I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Touch of the Wolf by Vella Munn
Published by Entangled: Ignite on December 30, 2013
Genres: Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook (249 pages)
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Abandon as a child, Winter Barstow is a woman without a family history and few clues to lead her in the right direction. When a stolen artifact from the Olympic National Forest arrives at her door, Winter travels to the remote outpost in Washington in search of who sent it to her and why. Instead of answers, she finds the handsome, yet moody Forest Ranger Jay Raven hiding from his heritage.
Jay’s attraction to Winter is instantaneous, and powerful. To admit it, however, means Jay must recognize a culture he’s left behind—something he’s not willing to do. But when Winter discovers the body of her college mentor, her life is in danger and only the call of the wolf can lead Jay to her side and back to his Native American ways.
And a love strong enough to offer both.
Having just embraced his family, Jay is now faced with a difficult decision: turn his brother in for the theft of ancient tribal artifacts, or protect him. Worse yet is protecting Winter as her continued search for the thieves leads a target for killers. Now Winter and Jay must embrace their heritage and the spirit of the wolf to save Winter’s life, as well as the love that has brought them home.
Touch of the Wolf had me a bit nervous in the beginning because I wasn’t sure if what I was reading was stereotypes or realities. So I did some research. The author is, in fact, a white woman who has a passion for Native American history due to her love of nature. Okay then. That caused me to lean more toward the uncomfortable end of the spectrum, even though it sounds like she probably had done some research. I don’t know though. I just know that Jay’s brother is an alcoholic and his uncle wears feathers in his hair and communes with eagles. And there’s this overarching theme of the “uncooperative Native” since none of the Hoh people wanted anthropologists stomping all over their land. I’m not Native American, so I can’t actually speak on any of this, but it all seemed questionable.
What I can comment on is that Jay’s brother’s alcoholism did wind up being used a plot devise. Winter’s professor who was murdered while studying the land admits to hoping to find a Native with a weakness he could exploit. Well, that was Floyd, who he bribed with alcohol to get information and ancient relics. That is disgusting. It’s certainly portrayed as being an awful thing to do, but I could have done without that part entirely.
Also, Touch of the Wolf is not the Paranormal Romance that it’s marketed to be. There was a brief moment that was reminiscent of The Mask. Winter receives the illegal, ancient artifact, which is a wolf mask. She promptly puts it on, and whoa! Visions and she hears a wolf cry (to the blue corn moon), and then Jay tells her about Wolf. Wolf is totally real and a spirit in the forest. That is not paranormal. Kissing in the forest where a spirit wolf lives does not equal Paranormal Romance. It’s just a poorly done Contemporary Romance that attempts to use Native American culture.
Clearly, I did not enjoy Touch of the Wolf at all. Even the big reveal at the end irritated me. The villain spent three chapters monologuing a non-explanation for the murders, which gave the rescue party plenty of time to arrive. On top of what I already discussed, the romance was boring and the sex was cringe-worthy. I don’t think “her sex juices bathed his penis” is sexy in the slightest. It sounds messy. Like the rest of this book.