Title: Dire Needs
Series: The Eternal Wolf Clan #1
Author: Stephanie Tyler
May Contain Spoilers
Feared by humans and envied by werewolves, the Dire Wolves are immortal shifters, obeying no laws but their own bestial natures.
Rifter leads the pack, and his primal instincts have led him to claim Gwen, a woman seeking solace from the chronic pain that has wracked her body her entire life.
But whatever future Rifter and Gwen have is threatened by an enemy of both humanity and the Dire Wolves…
One of the most exciting aspects of jumping into new genres of fiction is discovering new-to-me authors. I have been reading more paranormal and urban fantasy, so I was curious when I came across Dire Needs. Stephanie Tyler has several best-selling romantic suspense series under her belt, as well as several series romances, so I was chomping at the bit to start reading this book.
I love werewolves; they are one of my favorite paranormal beings, and they are so much more exciting than vampires. To me, a good depiction of a werewolf captures that edgy, dangerous side, and shows how little control they can have over their inner beast. The more unpredictable the werewolf, the better. They should be always teetering on the brink of losing control over their human side, and in this respect, Dire Needs excelled. Rifter is the alpha over a small group of alpha dire wolves. He is one tough M-fer, and he is swift to mete out punishment over what’s left of his pack. The great Extinction wiped out most of the Dires. After they turned on humans, going on a murderous rampage, the Elders punished them harshly; every Dire was killed, except for Rifter and his small group of Dires. There are no females, so they have no hope of ever finding a mate. Oh, and they are immortal, so they have plenty of time to reflect on the sins of their ancestors while protecting the humans their kind once slaughter indiscriminately. These are some tortured heroes, without hope of ever finding a happy ever after.
When Rifter meets Gwen in a were bar, she latches onto him and takes him home. She is dying, and for one uninhibited night, she wants to let loose and revel in being alive. She wants to forget about the seizures that have invaded her life, that are pushing her to the brink of death. Her medications are no longer suppressing them and she has lost all hope for survival. If ever two unhappy people needed each other, it is Rifter and Gwen. Both without hope, both willing to throw caution to the wind to squeeze some kind of enjoyment from their hopeless existences. The chemistry between Rifter and Gwen sizzles. Rifter is at first reluctant to give in to his attraction for a human female, because he is so badass he’s afraid that he’ll hurt her. Always skating on the edge of violence, he’s even more dangerous during the full moon. The beast within demands that he give in to the animal inside, and so he finds it impossible to resist Gwen’s advances.
I enjoyed the interaction between Rifter and his Dires. They are always one word or gesture from tearing each other apart. Vice is my favorite, and I can hardly wait to see him achieve his HEA. Now, while I liked the Dires, I was overwhelmed with the number of characters in Dire Needs, and by the rapid succession in which they were introduced. The first 60 pages is full of character introductions and info dumps about the Dires and the Weres, and I thought it bogged down the story. The beginning of the book was uneven for me, and it didn’t always hold my attention. I wasn’t fully engaged in the story until the fighting started, and then I didn’t want to put it down. That’s when the story was at its best; during the action and when the characters took charge, instead of the world-building taking priority. I found the world of the Dires a bit confusing, and honesty, after having it force fed to me, I stopped trying to understand it and just went with the flow, hoping that the focus would shift quickly back to the characters again.
While Dire Needs didn’t rock my world, I am invested enough to read the next book. We have several story threads that need resolution, and I am curious to see how the Dires are going to best the witches and the weretrappers. Plus, all of that testosterone was addicting, and I want to see how our alphas find happiness after being unhappy for such a long time.
Grade: Waffling between B and B-
Review copy provided by publisher