Series: The Phoenix Pack #4
Published by Montlake Romance on April 7th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal Romance, Romantic
Sexual Content: Explicit sexual scenes, including consensual bondage.
Reviewed by: Kim
It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that's intoxicating...and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right--nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.
No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it's the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses--until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who's ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.
DARK INSTINCTS starts with an awesome attention-grabbing action scene that had my jaw dropping as I realized what was happening. Roni and Marcus are two fun, sexy and aggressive characters that I had fun getting to know.
The main characters are pretty messed up, but not so damaged that you can't understand their motives or their actions. Some characters in this genre are so broken, it makes them unlikable. Roni is an enforcer for her pack, a tough girl who is criticized by many of the women in her family for being a “tomboy”. She doesn't get along with many people, and likes to wear t-shirts with rude sayings. I didn't like her very much at first, but she grew to be a solid, awesome character. Marcus, on the other hand, is charming, seemingly easy-going and can talk to everyone. There is a darkness to him though, and he and Roni work through some serious stuff together.
The romance was well developed, over a few weeks, and with realistic extended family dynamics. The pack structure and werewolf lore were well done, and well explored. The novel could have easily fallen into the trap of having too many characters, but the multiple werewolves we met all worked to show how important the pack-family is to Roni and Marcus.
The explanatory writing at the beginning of the book was a bit repetitive; I had to read the words "dominant female" way too many times in the first few chapters.
The main plot is quite dark, and some of the things the jackals do are truly horrific. The story has more of an investigative feel to it, with relatively few violent action scenes. The book never felt overly slow and the explosive final battle definitely balanced the pace of the rest.
DARK INSTINCTS was fun and dark, and works as a stand alone novel, with minimal confusion from being the fourth in the Phoenix Pack series.Series Titles:
- Feral Sins
- Wicked Desires
- Carnal Secrets
- Dark Instincts
- For more gritty werewolf stories, try Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus.