The Covert Wolf is a very good Urban Fantasy Harlequin novel that centered on Lieutenant Matt Parker, a Draicon (werewolf) SEAL officer who deals with mystical things that threatened the lives of the country and Sienna, a banished half-fae and half-Draicon who wanted to find a missing orb, a powerful magical item, so that she would be accepted back into her Seelie family. Matt was coping with guilt over the death of his bestfriend Adam, a jaguar shifter who died when they were ambushed by pyros aka fire demons lead by their enemy dark faes in Afghanistan. The SEALs are targeted because they were the one who have the ability to seal doorways from the dimensions which the pyros came from. A powerful Fae orb were missing and so to find it, they need fae magic and had asked Sienna for help. Sienna who had her own agenda, have intense hatred to all things Draicon. According to her aunt, she was born when her mother were raped by a Draicon who in few years later, killed her mother and her entire family in a Draicon raid. This brought intense trauma to her which she mentally block her mind from remembering it. Being partnered by a werewolf brought fear but she knew more lives were at stake with the orb missing in the world.
To be honest, its hard to get good books from NetGalley especially when I randomly request books based on the blurb. Mostly, I randomly select books in hope I would enjoy it. Thankfully, this book have given me some faith in that system I made. I am surprised that, despite its length, the book is compact with action, plots and character progression which are rarely to be found in short novels. Let alone, Harlequin romance novels which are notorious since I’ve gotten used to its authors and their tendencies to use predictive classic plots.
The writing style is simple to read and descriptive where it should be but even with my copy and its problematic format, the story doesn’t bother itself with fillers. The author cleverly embedded subplots, memorable hints and characters until the last moment of revelation. In essence, its a mystery novel with multiple twists.
The book is written in multiple point of views, most notably Sienna’s and Matt’s. From the general characterization, I had expected classic PNR alpha male and spunky female which is not a problem but can be repetitive. Luckily, both of the characters were having problem with their pasts and their problems were relate to one another and their mutual attraction became natural as you go on into the storyline. Most of the time with supernatural mating character behavior, they always fall in lust before they fall in love. The author conveniently built up the attraction between the characters with added conflicts and revelation which somewhat successful for a paranormal romance. However, unlike the usual PNR, I didn’t feel the characters were forced onto one another. In fact, both of them learn to trust each other in the hard way. As you pace through the pages, their dependence goes on into an emotional level that transient their differences and commitments. This is pretty realistic as a way for them to fall in love with each other. I rarely enjoyed three dimensional romance novel characters and luckily, this book doesn’t disappoint me in tiresome way.
I do wish the publisher allowed more pages into the book since I had a feeling it would have gotten even better with normal 300 pages or so. One thing to note was the clinical way the author does on portraying intimacies that made me aware it was still a Harlequin. I will be looking forward for the next book of the series.
I would recommend the book for folks that are tired with average Paranormal Romances (one with alpha and damsel in distress types and some lame antagonist) and Urban Fantasy readers that need some light readings but like some action and mystery to fill the time. Whatever the multitude of Harlequin books lacks, this one somehow one of the rare books that can carry itself on its own. I do like Sienna’s character that had progressed from an insecure character who hid under a strong fragile facade into a stronger character that strive to protect who she loved even when faced with her strongest fear. That’s very empowering.
The book is an ARC from Harlequin the publisher via netgalley from the nocturne series. It will be published on 24th July 2012 and so do look up to the title or pre-order it because from the hundreds of Harlequin books that I’ve read, this books stand out the most in every way.