Review: Arctic Winds by Sondrae Bennett

April 2, 2011

Arctic Winds

Author: Sondrae Bennett
Series: Alpine Woods Shifters Book 1
Publisher: Lyrical Press
ISBN: 978-1-61650-227-0
Date Released: January 12, 2011
Format Reviewed: Kindle ebook
Source: Purchased
Length: Novella (262 KB)
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal Romance

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Online blurb:
Nothing will stop a wolf once he’s found his mate…not even her own doubts.

After her skulk abandoned her four years ago, Samantha knew she would never truly be wanted. When she accidentally stumbles into a wolf town and is asked by their premier to stay, she believes it’s the novelty of an arctic fox motivating him. She knows she’ll be on her own again once he tires of her.

Jason finds himself pulled to Samantha from the moment she faints in his arms. His wolf is calling to him, telling him he’s found their mate and the heat he feels for Samantha is impossible to resist. But his little fox is loaded down with emotional baggage and doesn’t believe she’s worthy of love. Can he overcome her fears? Or will pack jealousies and the local foxes convince her she doesn’t belong with him before he has a chance? (from the Lyrical Press website)

My opinion:
Samantha is an arctic fox who was orphaned as a child and has been wandering since her skulk threw her out four years ago when she reached adulthood. She’s used to feeling alienated and uncomfortable and has learned to accept the loneliness for the most part. She’s got a strong sense of self-preservation and relying only on herself.

Jason is the premiere of his wolf pack and when he scents Samantha in the diner, his wolf stands up and takes notice. He knows she’s a shifter but not what she is other than she is not a wolf but his wolf wants her. Now. When Samantha realizes she’s stumbled into shifter territory and tries to immediately run off, he does everything in his power to keep her there without spooking her too much.

I like stories of unusual shifters and I really liked that Samantha is an arctic fox shifter and she’s riddled with doubts about herself and whether anyone should care about her. She’s got an inner strength, though, and it comes out at times. I found her a bit on the emo side every once in a while but no so much that I felt like shouting at her to get a backbone. I really liked, however, that she wasn’t a Mary-Sue kickass heroine as many shifter heroines seem to be.

I definitely liked the use of alternative (but not too odd) terminology in the story. Premiere instead of alpha, etc. It made a nice change and there wasn’t so much that I felt Ms. Bennett was trying too hard, nor was it too alien to recognize what the words meant right away.

The story of Samantha finding her place (as well as her mate) in this wolf shifter town is a warm, satisfying read that will not disappoint. I loved the tidbits of bonding and acceptance that were sprinkled throughout Arctic Winds.

Arctic Winds is debut novella from Ms. Bennett and suffers a bit from the restricted word count of a novella in that things seem to happen quickly and a bit abruptly. That said, I liked Arctic Winds quite a bit and hope to see more (and maybe longer) works from Ms. Bennett. Maybe some more fox shifters even?

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