"Will she choose love?"
Reviewed by Gabrielle Lee
Posted May 1, 2010
Jet has been trained to do one thing and one thing only: to
take and capture Nick Carter. As her pack is held hostage
she must try and retrieve Nick or one by one her pack will
pay. Yet when she comes face to face with Nick Carter she
finds herself drawn to him. Together they might find a way
out. Can Jet go with her instincts and let love help lead
her or will she close herself off from the world and love?
Doranna Durgin writes a fast paced story that keeps the
readers interest until the end never lagging once at all. I
enjoyed the bond that develops between Jet and Nick.
Watching Jet realize that she may have not been told the
truth by her leader and seeing her take matters into her own
hands by freeing Nick was a good read. With each other's
help they fight the evil that they face and hope to rescue
her pack. As Jet and Nick both learn to trust they must also
try to understand their attraction to each other and what to
do about it. Jet is a woman who finds love in a very
unexpected place and finds that she is willing to fight for
it. Nick is a great Alpha who loves with all his heart and
fights for what he cares about. Full of action and adventure
this book is much more than just a love story between Jet
This book may be part of a series but WOLF HUNT can be read
as a stand-alone. The different shape shifters in this book
make it an interesting read. If you enjoy your shape shifter
books with equal parts of action and romance than this book
is one that you should definitely check out.
Nick Carter, Sentinel consul adjutent, runs as a timber
wolf--and it shows. But few of his Sentinels know the line
he's been walking within compromised Brevis Southwest, and
he needs to keep it that way. Uncovering entrenched Atrum
Core moles has proved to be a long-term effort, requiring
much patience--but it's time to step up the hunt.
Jet is a woman with no last name, because Jet didn't start
life as a woman at all. She is an Atrum Core construct, a
wolf turned human, roughly educated to Core purposes and
turned loose on a mission: Take out Nick Carter...
When the two come together, neither Sentinel nor Atrum
Core will be able to predict--or contain--the results.
He saw her in stages.
Pure feral grace…
Surrounded by the chaos of the Pima County Fairgrounds
with a complex breed ring and performance dog show cluster
in full swing around him, Nick Carter caught only a
glimpse of dark, lithe movement as the woman ducked wind
chimes at a sheltered display and disappeared around the
end of the vendor row. And though his vision was full of
pop-up shade shelters and colorful wares, people lingering
in the wide aisle with a variety of dogs ranging idly
along beside, the desert's seasonal wind gusting and
lifting swirls of fine desert grit until it was all one
big dance of color and motion—
In truth, in that moment, he saw only one lean woman:
swift, bordering on rangy, dressed in black beneath an
early winter desert sun. Black fitted vest with no shirt
beneath, black crop pants, black leather shoes, tight to
her feet. Black hair, short and artfully mussed. Pure bed
head. Pure feral grace in her movement, taking her so
quickly out of his sight.
He saw it all in that instant—a stranger, on his turf. A
shifter, so obvious and yet unknown.
Forget about the troubles within brevis regional, forget
about the increasingly problematical stealth amulets being
employed by the local Core. Hell, forget about the very
concerns that had brought him out here, signs that Fabron
Gausto had returned to run amok once again.
Pure feral grace…
Not here. Not without his permission.
He followed her. Around the end of the vendor row, past
the main building with its reserved grooming stations,
show superintendent's table, and show committee setup.
Past the tall wire exercise pens teeming with packs of
small breed dogs, all of whom invariably crouched or
cowered or rolled over as Nick passed by— and now all of
who still lingered that way from the woman's recent
At least he knew he was on the right trail.
Another glimpse of her, nothing more than a black-shod
heel, a toned calf—but still his shoulders and nape
tightened. It was her, all right.
It wasn't a trespass he could allow to stand. Not with the
entire Southwest regional office compromised from within,
the aging consul a man who hadn't taken his javelina boar
in years, Nick's own handpicked Sentinel echelon team
wounded and recovering, and dammit, every sign that they
were all still defenseless against the recently employed
And as incongruous as it seemed, not with the recent
incidents at dog shows in the area—dogs stolen, dogs
missing. While the local law had chalked up such problems
to animal rights activists, Nick had the feeling it was
more ominous than that; it smacked of the Core's endless
experiments to harvest power that didn't belong to them.
With the Core, ominous was never simple, never moral.
And someone always died.
She's only a woman, he tried to tell himself, as a twinge
of the absurd touched him—chasing after that lean form
here on the busy dog show grounds when he should have been
interviewing the breeders he'd come to see. Except…
Not "only a woman" at all. He could recognize the wolf in
another as easily as he could see it in a mirror, in his
own hoarfrost hair and pale green eyes—but mostly in his
manner, as though at any moment the civilization might
simply fall away, leaving gleaming teeth and laughing eyes
and blood-spattered fur.
And he knew it because of how very often he'd been
counseled against it. Blend in, he'd been told in
training. We will always know you, but no one else should.
And so he'd cultivated the expensive haircuts and the
expensive suits and the other trappings of civilization
that somehow never seemed to fool anyone.
This woman wouldn't fool anyone, either. She wasn't quite
tame—no matter how she might try, whoever she was. And
that was the most important point. Whoever she was.
Because here in Brevis Southwest, Nick should
know her. Field Sentinels—those who could take another
form—were not thick on the ground in any region, and if
Nick hadn't actually worked with each of the Sentinels in
his region, he nonetheless knew their dossiers.
Not this woman's.
Nor had anyone reported anything unusual from other
regions—Sentinels gone missing, Sentinels gone traveling,
Sentinels following a trail across borders. She was a
complete unknown, an anomaly during restless and uneasy
times when Nick could not afford anomalies.
So through the outdoor show rings he followed her, giving
wide berth to the obedience rings and the utility dogs who
performed exacting feats of scent discrimination and
directed retrieving. Farther yet, where the agility dogs
barked excitement through their courses, the teeter
slamming to the ground and handlers shouting top-speed
course corrections with the panicked note that meant oops,
Here, Nick was at home—the very reason he'd come here
today, hunting interviews with handlers and owners. Of the
brevis Sentinels, he was the one with a pack of retired
show dogs. He was the one with co-owned dogs on the
circuit, a common arrangement in the world of showing and
He was the one to whom the affected handlers would speak
To judge by the startled expressions the woman left in her
wake, the number of people doing double takes over their
shoulders…she not only didn't fit into this world, she
hadn't ever learned to glide through it, either.
Just past the agility grounds, he stopped—with nothing
beyond but groomed, remote fields bordered by
a man-made tangle of trees and brush. Past that, a midland
desert choked thickly with its own native growth—creosote
and brittlebush and wild, gorgeous bird-of-paradise, all
scattered about with a variety of cactus. But right up
close, a field of nothing but informally parked cars,
people going to and fro… but none of them startled, all of
them chatting happily as they juggled gear and tugged
along rolling carrier wheels, their conversation lost in
the flapping of the shade canopy setups behind him.
An elusive scent played hide-and-seek on the gusty breeze;
There she was.
Waiting for him.
Everything that first glimpse had promised—rangy athletic
grace even in stillness, only a few feet away and tucked
up against the back side of the agility scorekeeper's
tent. Her features came as no surprise at all, they so
suited the rest of her—short, mussed hair a glossy black,
wide-set eyes a deep whiskey gold and tipped up at the
corners over the world's most amazing cheekbones, and a
wide, serious mouth that wouldn't have to say a word if
she only ever let those eyes speak for her.
Only a foot away now, and an unexpectedly swift step
brought her closer. She found his gaze, direct and
unflinching. "You're following me."
"You meant me to." He said it without thinking, while his
mind caught on her voice—lower than he'd expected,
smoothly musical, the edges of the words softened by the
slightest of unfamiliar burrs, the faintest softening of
"Did I?" She cocked her head slightly as she examined his
words, his demeanor—everything about him.
"You don't belong here," he said, but he kept accusation
from his voice. For now. "Were you looking for me?" And on
second thought, more warily, "You didn't come here about
the missing dogs."
At that she smiled again. Slowly. She shook her
head. "No," she said. "Not about the missing dogs." She
glanced over to the agility rings, where an overwrought
Border Collie flung itself around its own made-up course
as the judge signaled fault after fault and the handler
laughed helplessly. "They are but infants."
It startled him, as much as he hid it. So a wolf would
think, indeed—for compared to a wolf pack's complex social
structure and interaction, the domesticated dog led a
simplified and limited life. He thought of his own rowdy,
cheerful pack of little hounds. "They have their charm."
But her response had been too honest, too true. She's not
involved—but she's not one of mine….
Before he could take that train of thought any further,
she said, "You knew me," and she said it with some
He found himself smiling—all wolf. "How," he said, "could
I not?" And then, narrow-eyed, "Is that why you're here?
To see if I would know you? To see if I would follow you?"
"To see if you could," she said.
She's not involved, she's not one of mine….
"There's protocol," he said, the reality of it pressing
in. Too many things happening, here in Southwest. "You
need to check in with brevis if you're—"
"Run with me," she said, turning her head to a sudden
gust of wind, glossy black hair buffeted, eyes flashing
gold in the sun. Wild invitation from a wild child grown.
He stopped short. In those eyes—in the lift of her head
and the lines of strong, straight shoulders, in rangy legs
promising long, ground-eating strides—he suddenly
remembered something of what he was.
"Run with me," she said again, looking out over the
remaining fields of the fairgrounds to the thick tangle of
irrigated wooded borders between the tended green land and
the natural desert grit and caliche and sand, filled with
thorns and things that bit and stung and knew how to
survive their harsh land.
Nick looked out at that land, and he looked at the woman
flinging wild in his face, and without even realizing it,
he grinned again, dark and just as feral as she. All wolf.
She hadn't expected him to respond to her—not personally,
not in any way. She'd expected to fail.
She hadn't expected to respond to him.
She'd seen pictures—flat and uninteresting, without scent
or texture. They hadn't told her what she truly needed to
know. They hadn't revealed the deeper truth of him.
They hadn't told her he was alpha.
Not alpha as reckoned in the world of cities and people,
as among the Sentinels or the Atrum Core. Meaningless,
those appellations. But alpha in the truest sense of the
So now she'd found him, and now she'd drawn him in, and
now she knew she would not fail.
But now, she wanted to.
Not an option.
This open area in which they spoke held little shelter for
changing—nothing more than ugly plastic portable bathrooms
tucked beside the scorekeeper's tent. Jet wrinkled her
nose at them and targeted the informal parking lot beyond—
full of oversized vans, small RVs, and big SUVs.
A moment earlier, he'd been amused. But she'd left him
with his civilized human thoughts too long, and now he
held out a beckoning hand. A commanding hand, as if he had
every right to demand her response.
She supposed he did, when it came to that. But she tipped
her head just so, and she dropped her jaw in light wolfish
amusement… and she backed away. Just a step, then two…
hesitating in invitation.
"Later," he said, his voice grown hard in a way that
didn't quite match the yearning in his pale green eyes.
Humans might have trouble reading the truth of those eyes,
but she had no such hindrance. He held firm
nonetheless. "You've got questions to answer."
"After. If we run," she told him, jogging a few easy
strides away from the hustle-bustle barkbarkbark before
hesitating again—knowing just the pattern of tease and
entice, though he'd likely not recognize it until too
late. For all his wolf, he was far too human to see the
subtleness of what she could wield.
"No," he said, though his glance at the spit of woods as
it reached through this field showed him to be just a tad
more perceptive than she'd thought. A little faster.
And so she moved again, body fluid and beguiling,
expression clear. Romp with me.
He shook his head. "I'm not bargaining. I want you out of
the field until you're formally cleared."
She couldn't help a laugh. "That is for no man to say. I
am my own person." Not strictly true at the moment… but
true for so much of her life that it clung to her, curled
up inside her and aching to be set free again.
"You," he said, and those light green eyes darkened as he
lowered his head slightly, "are in Brevis Southwest.
Without permission or notification." Not a good sign, that
challenging look, or the set of his shoulders. If he
wanted to take her, he could.
Then never let him get close enough. She slipped farther
away, a few light-hearted steps toward the beckoning
woods. "After," she repeated. She closed her eyes, flung
her head back, let flared nostrils scoop in the scents of
this man-made wild spot that had outpaced any attempts to
keep it tamed. A hundred yards away, the scattered cars
defined the edge of the parking area, more sparse than the
clustered vehicles around the entrance to the performance
grounds they'd just left. The noises and odors of that
place had grown more distant, and the woods, the desert
beyond… they called all the more loudly.
And besides, she was close enough now.
This human form could run, too.
Run she did, straight for the woods, all smooth easy speed
and loping strength, taking advantage of his momentary
surprise to gain ground. And once there, she didn't
hesitate. She spun to face him even as she toed off her
shoes; she tugged impatiently at the buttons of the vest.
So confining, these clothes! She skimmed free, rolling
them into a quick, practiced ball and standing to face
him, wearing only Gausto's necklaces on this lean, naked
human form, skin tightening against the shadowed breeze.
He stopped short at the sight of her, eyes gone dark, jaw
gone hard. He took a step toward her—
She smiled, showing teeth, and crouched into a tight ball
of flesh, reaching within to free the wolf. It swelled
from inside her, a rising wave of relief and power,
swirling blues and grays that expanded to obscure her from
the world and the world from her. But that veil quickly
shrank back, showing her the world now through her wolf's
eyes. And still she showed her teeth, a laughing curl of
lip—a challenge. Come run with me if you dare.
He took it as such—but he took off none of his clothes.
All the specially made Sentinel clothes with their warded
pockets and natural materials—useless to one whose changes
had been instilled by the Core, triggered over and over
and over until she learned to do it herself, then trained
with powerful aversives to remain human while they taught
His gaze latched on to her even as the glorious flicker of
blue lightning gathered—her first sight of a Sentinel's
natural change, flashing and strobing until he finally
closed his eyes and lifted his head just so—and then the
light obscured his form, twining and crawling around him
until she had to look away—if only for an instant, and
then she drank in the sight of him, well-pleased.
What do you think about this review?
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!