Published 2011 344 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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.
Changeling Moon is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by Dani Harper. Dani Harper had a lifelong career in journalism before turning her hand to writing paranormal romances. Her previous writing credits include the 2007 e-book “Heart Of The Winter Wolf” which is an earlier version of Changeling Dream, the second book in this series. The books follow various members of the Macleod family (who are all wolf shapeshifters) as they find their mates. There may not be any vampires in this story but there is no shortage of other paranormal phenomena including psychics and werewolves.
Changeling Moon is set in a small town in rural northern Canada populated with a quirky cast of slightly odd, but generally nice, inhabitants. The exception to the “odd but nice” rule is the town drunk, Bernie – who also happens to be a rogue werewolf. The story starts with Bernie attacking town newcomer, Zoey Tyler, while in his wolf form. She puts up a fight but gets bitten in the process. The town’s vet, Conner Macleod (also a werewolf, or changeling, as they prefer to call themselves) comes to Zoey’s rescue. Initially he stays around to make sure that her wounds get treated properly, so she won’t turn into a werewolf with the next full moon, but he soon finds himself drawn back to her…
Conner and Zoey’s relationship develops nicely against an exciting backdrop of rogue werewolf attacks and complications caused by the machinations of an over-zealous paranormal investigator. Zoey’s character is credible in her role as small town newspaper editor, wanting to report the strange animal attacks but also not wanting to upset the paper’s owner and sponsor’s by printing sensational stories. The author’s own experiences in the newspaper trade no doubt providing an added grain of realism here. Connor is typical romance hero material – what woman wouldn’t find an animal-loving vet with his own successful business attractive? Throw in good looks and his penchant for rescuing injured and stray animals and he’s clearly woman bait… and that’s before you factor in is his supernatural abilities!
The romance part of the story is sometimes sizzling hot and sometimes just, well… cute. This leads to an uneven distribution of romantic tension throughout the book. Occasionally Connor and Zoey seem more comfortable and cosy together than on a knife’s edge of relationship drama and heartache but the suspense laden background plot is enough to carry the story forward at these points, so it never stalls.
Overall I liked Changeling Moon and found it to be an undemanding, fun read. It has some quality writing; in particular the secondary characters are all interestingly quirky and originally developed. The fantasy world building is smoothly done, gently leading readers into this new world where changelings roam the wilds of northern Canada. There is plenty of potential for a great paranormal romance series here - the Macleod siblings should provide a wealth of exciting material for further series instalments starting with Changeling Dream out next month (July 2011).
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