Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Heart Review: Changeling Moon by Dani Harper

Changeling Moon (Changeling #1)
Dani Harper

Page Count: 344

Release Date: 31 May 2011
Publisher: Brava (Kensington)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by FSB Media in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Leyane!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything—until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf's vicious attack.

As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside.

With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw... and ultimate evil.
In attempts to elude the fast life of Vancouver in wake of a tragic personal defeat, Zoey Tyler seeks refuge in the small, drama-free town of Dunvegan, which seems warm and inviting at first, but seems to have mysteries and secrets of its own. The whole "heroine escaping her horrible past" cliché in romance novels is overrated, but for once, I was glad to see the swirling crisis actually be revealed bit by bit, rather than culminating to a disappointing climax. Harper fluidly incorporates Zoey's past demons with those she finds in Dunvegan, making for a rich, complicated plot.

Changelings, which differ from werewolves due to their greater power, and their ability to change into human form whenever they please, are creatures you don't encounter often in paranormal romance, so I enjoyed this fascinating twist on the mythical beings in a contemporary world. Readers get both Connor's lupine and Zoey's human perspectives, which kind of did make the story drag on, but was overall highly revealing. When one enraged beast sabotages the Connor's pack by resurrecting old werewolf folklore which exposes real-life changelings, the entire public is terrorized, and the changelings of Dunvegan, in grave danger. Somehow, Zoey is connected to all of this... and it's Connor and Connor alone who can show her why.

As much as I liked the supernatural elements, the romance aspect is unconvincing—plenty of insta-love going around—but the love scenes, woooowhee! If you enjoy hot hot alpha male sex, you need to pick up this book now.

The characters are disappointing too. The secondary characters such as Jessie the pack leader and Connor's playful-yet-equally-sexy brothers are great—I loved them—but Zoey is extremely dislikable. She's supposed to be "strong" and "independent" but she's quite aloof, and rather stiff-necked. She says and does the rashest things that may give her the strapping young reporter vibe in a romance novel, but would literally get her nowhere in real life. Connor, too, isn't that great. He's huge and sexy and tough, yeah, but nothing about him really clicked for me. He's unnecessarily overprotective of Zoey—even though he knows nothing about her—and again, is an ideal, but pretty unrealistic hero.

Pros


Smoldering chemistry between Zoey and Connor // Secondary characters are great, especially the Macleod brothers! Mmmm! // Connor is a fantastic alpha hero // Refreshing take on changelings, as opposed to werewolves

Cons


Changelings seem to be the ideal species—there's basically nothing they can't do // Neither Zoey nor Connor are particularly likable // Physical attraction is well-portrayed, but actual romance and love storyline unrealistic

Verdict


Since I've never read a changeling romance before, I am glad I gave Changeling Moon a chance; Dani Harper introduces paranormal lovers to a world of werewolf folklore, bloodsucking predators, and sizzling romance. While this first book of the Changeling series isn't something I would necessarily recommend or read again, if you want to try your hand at changelings, you might want to consider this one Americanflag

5 hearts: Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book (x)