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New Box Set Review! TAMING THE PACK (Books 1-3) by Wendy Sparrow

Don’t miss my conversation with author Wendy Sparrow (and a tour giveaway!) here!


Taming the Pack Boxed Set

by Wendy Sparrow

About the box set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

Review:

Past My Defenses

Wendy Sparrow has definitely written a werewolf (they go by lycan in this universe) story with a twist here. Our heroine does have super speed and fantastic hearing, but she also suffers from near-dibilitating alergies and has a relationship with her four(!) air purifiers that borders on unnatural.

Seriously. She’s taken down by a housecat in the first scene. (I was going to say “common housecat”, but I’m not entirely convinced he is.) She’s allergic to marshmallows. (According to the author’s note, so is Ms. Sparrow. My condolences…) Though I do love the fact that Dane puts her list of allergens on the fridge. And memorizes it. And they put the list to good use…more than once.

“What are you doing?” he asked, smiling against her skin.

“Listing out my allergies so I can keep my hormones from taking over.”

He shouldn’t keep going. They were meant to be paying attention to their environment. Plus, now “ragweed” had joined the list of words that couldn’t be said in mixed company. They should stop. He pulled back enough to drag his shirt off.

“You stopped on sesame seeds,” he said.

“Carrots, celery, cumin.” Cumin was said on a long moan. She made spices she couldn’t have sound even more forbidden.

“You forgot coriander.” He groaned as she bit his collarbone.

“I didn’t forget coriander. I just hadn’t gotten there yet.” It earned him another bite.

Oh, hell, they should really stop. “You were listing the Cs in alphabetical order.”

“I was just listing them.” She pressed herself closer to him. “Fennel, kiwi.” She tipped her head back and those nails scraped down his back again. “Coriander.”

Coriander was on the list of inappropriate words now.

Ms. Sparrow’s sense of humor really shines in this novel. Even though I will readily admit that a simple conversation or two could have resolved most if not all of Vanessa and Dane’s relationship woes in–oh, the second chapter maybe–I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the novel I didn’t even care. Plus, the “whodunnit” at the end isn’t completely obvious, which made it fun (though that individual was on my short list of suspects, I wasn’t at all sure until the big reveal).

Rating: 4 ½ stars / A-


This Weakness for You

Jordan’s story! I loved him in Vanessa and Dane’s book (Past My Defenses), and the nonstop sparring (mixed with a healthy dose of mutual respect) between Jordan and Dane continues here, since Jordan scent matches with Dane’s younger sister Christa. Absolutely perfect! 😉

Ms. Sparrow’s writing made me laugh out loud over and over again. Her sense of humor is fantastic, and really shines through both her writing and characters. Poor Christa–it took her most of the book to get used to the fact that she was surrounded by Lycans with amazing hearing, and her lapses made for some really funny scenes. (Awkward for her, but super funny for the rest of us)

Lucifer the cat is back too, and seeing him instantly obey Jordan even over the phone is hysterical. (Clearly, I need to get involved with an alpha Lycan–can I connect with one on eHarmony, do you think? My cats have a little too much power here.)

I was already half in love with Jordan’s big bad alpha wolf self after book one, so it was pretty much a given I was going to enjoy his book. Christa ends up being his perfect counterpart–she sees herself as weak for much of the book, in part because she has MS (yay to Ms. Sparrow for writing a heroine with MS!), but in reality she’s so much stronger than her condition. She’s a kickbutt marksman (markswoman?)–the scene where Jordan decides to teach her some basic gun safety is hilarious–and she has zero filter as far as her brain-to-mouth connection goes. (Remember the Lycan sense of hearing? So. Many. Laughs.)

Even her dad is awesome. If ever a family were created that should be involved with supernaturals, the Hansens are it. His retelling of his phone conversation with his daughter re: their new in-laws? I think I snorted some Pepsi Max out of my nose at that part.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you like paranormals, appreciate humor in your reading, and enjoy sweet sexiness (there’s not really much actual steaminess, though, but I for one didn’t miss it at all), then do yourself a favor and give this series a try.

Quite a bit in this book hinges on what was going on in book one, but much of it is explained along the way (some of it for Christa’s benefit, since she was new to the situation), so it’s not necessary to have read the first book to “get” this one–but this series and these characters are so much fun you’re going to want to read them both—and since they’re now in a box set together, it’s easier than ever!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A


Crazy Over You

It’s a good thing that digital highlighters don’t ever dry up, because I gave my Kindle’s highlighter function a real workout with this one. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, and so many truly clever lines. I enjoyed the heck out of reading this one.

Right from the very first page, Travis and LeAnn are on opposite sides–he’s a small-town sheriff, she’s a (rather successful) petty criminal; she’s looking for her brother, he might just have had a hand in the man’s very recent death; he wakes from a dead sleep to find her naked on top of him, with one of his own knives to his throat–and just in case that’s not enough, Travis realizes almost immediately that they’ve scent matched, which means they’re destined to be mates.

Oh, the conflict! The pages are oozing with it, in the best possible way.

“If you let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.

She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”

Well, that would ruin any “talking”.

Even though at first they seem like oil and water, the reader can clearly see that fate got it right this time–LeAnn and Travis are each exactly what the other needs. Travis, the organizing, control-freak alpha, definitely needed a less-than-gentle shove out of the rut his life had gotten into. LeAnn had spent a lifetime looking for a place to belong and a family that wouldn’t leave or make her want to leave, and she finds it with Jordan and the pack. Plus, she gets to use her “special skills” for the greater good for a change.

She could hot-wire cars. That was good to know. Also very sexy. In a non-law-abiding way that he couldn’t ever outwardly support.

The suspense was nicely done–though I was pretty sure I knew some of what was going on, I didn’t have it all figured out until the characters did, which was excellent. Book three continues the series’ overarching plot where the packs are concerned, finally resolving their main problem–which is good, because resolution! but sad, because the series comes to an end… 🙁

The romance, of course, is fantastic–Travis and LeAnn have great chemistry and even better banter. Even in the middle of a shootout, they were making me laugh.

Both he and LeAnn bounced up at the same time, firing. More swearing from Troy.

“Yes!” LeAnn said as they dropped back down to the floor.

“I got him,” they said at the same time before scowling at each other.

“Oh, that was me,” LeAnn said.

“No, I’m sorry, but that was me.” He wasn’t going to give up his hits because she was a woman he wanted in a filthy way–one he wanted even more now that he’d seen her fire a gun. “Troy, was that last hit from a rifle or handgun?” he yelled.

His answer was more swearing.

“It was from a rifle,” he translated for her.

“Oh, sweetie, if you really need this to boost your self-confidence, I’ll give you this one,” she said, giving him a long look.

“Honey, that wasn’t a gun in my pocket a few minutes back. Trust me, I have a lot to be confident about.” He gestured toward the other side of the table with his head. “Including that last shot.”

She pulled her shirt off. “And they’re real, babydoll.”

He stared.

“And that last shot was all me too.”

See what I mean? There’s a lot more where that comes from, believe me. 😉

This book was a thank-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-work-today-because-I’m-not-sure-I-could-stop-reading-it kind of story. Make sure you’ve cleared out a few hours before you sit down to start it; you’ll be glad you did.

I have loved this series from start to finish, and can’t wait to see what Ms. Sparrow has in store for us next. In the meantime, at least we have her backlist… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

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