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Mark of the Wolf (Wolves of Black River)

Mark of the Wolf - T.L. Shreffler 4.5*

Eleven year old Maddie suffers physical abuse at the hands of her stepfather every time he decides to drink himself into oblivion. Her only escape are the woods behind her house where she often runs to escape his belt, what ever the time of day….whatever the weather. Her saviour comes in the form of a tall dark haired man who always seems to know when she needs him, he carries her sleeping battered form to safety without saying a word then disappears not to be seen again until the next time she needs him. This pattern continues for seven years. When Maddie is 18 her life is endangered by loan sharks that her Step-father owes money to and the help of the unnamed stranger is more important than ever but this time the safe place is his home, but is she really safer with him?……….

This book without doubt caught my interest right from the first page, in my first sitting I had only intended to read the first chapter to get an idea of how the book read……..I was almost ¾’s of my way through the book by the time I fell asleep at 3am! Although parts of the plot made me go ‘aaarrrgghh that wouldn’t happen’ overall I really enjoyed the story.

Gareth is a tall, dark, rugged but handsome guy with a dark secret, he’s quiet and keeps himself to himself and has that brooding side to his personality that attracts women to him. Its not surprising that Maddie would fall for him, he’d saved her life more than once and he was pretty hot! There was a side to him that I didn’t like, sometimes he took advantage of Maddie and her naivety and he even became quite rough frightening her at times which, for me, made him lose some of his appeal.

Maddie isn’t a very good student, she has no friends (that we know of) and as well as suffering at the hands of her step-father at home, she is ridiculed and bullied at school. She is definitely not a meek and mild girl though and has been in trouble with the police as a result of her retaliation to the girls who goad her. This doesn’t stop me from pitying her and wondering how in such a small community her plight goes undiscovered.

It was interesting to watch the relationship between the two grow. Gareth already knew what he wanted from Maddie but didn’t want to rush her or frighten her off, so he with-held information about himself and what needed to happen and I didn’t like that! I have to say though that even with the parts of the plot that annoyed me I was still hooked to the book, fully enjoying it right to the very end.

I did notice a few grammatical errors towards the end of the novel but they were only simple mistakes, missing words or the wrong tense which are all easily fixable and didn’t take away my enjoyment of this werewolf / human love story.

Copy supplied for review