Here’s a better picture of the Highland Cow’s bangs. 🙂 Like a sheepdog, how can they see anything???
Isn’t she cute??? It was October when we were in Scotland and really cold on the North Sea, but otherwise we were pretty warm. Well, I had a wool coat on all the time. 🙂 But I was expecting REALLY cold. I swear NY was much colder before I left for Scotland. Except for seeing Dunnottar Castle on the North Sea. We had to get pretty bundled up for that.
These were the gardens at Crathes Castle, shot from the castle itself. I couldn’t believe how vibrant the greens were, along with the brilliant autumn colors AND the so many flowers were in bloom. It really was spectacular!
Now, if only I could get my yard to look like this! Note the bench in the upper right hand corner? That’s where one of my MacNeill wolves would be right now with the she-wolf of his dreams. 🙂
Have a super fun Wednesday!! Do you have brilliant colors in your garden like these?
This time, I finally get to officially meet Bjornolf! I remember him from A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing and I was incredibly intrigued by him. Do you want to talk about a secondary character that was so shrouded in mystery, had cojones and macho attitude to make Chuck Norris proud and snagged me hook, line and sinker into wanting to know more about him? Bjornolf is that man and this novel does him justice. I still chuckle at his method of restraining Anna in that previous book. He tied her up with her own pantyhose! I never forgot his character and neither had Anna. In fact, I consider myself very fortunate that Ms. Spear also remembered him because this book is the result.
My favorite aspect of Anna is that she isn’t a pushover. She’s military just like the hero and can shoot, punch, evade and plan just like the rest of the guys on the rescue team. Much to my amusement, there are times when a man’s upper body strength becomes a hindrance and Anna experiences a double whammy. Then, there are the times when it’s downright delicious and it’s because that strength belongs to Bjornolf.
I tip my hat to Ms. Spear for doing something that made me appreciate her all the more. The author showed her sensitivity to readers by helping out with explaining how to pronounce Bjornolf’s name. It was done in a delightful and sweet manner even when the situation was far from sweet or safe. Foreign names look exotic and can add an air of mystery or intrigue to a book but I always find it frustrating because my mind plays games with the pronunciation when what I should be doing is concentrating on the plot. By doing what she did insured that I had a better, smoother reading experience.
Speaking of plot, what a roller coaster! The conflict reaches into the past and warps the present. As the mystery is unraveled, readers learn just how evil the culprits are. In an odd twist, Ms. Spear shows that even the most warped individual can have their good side and their moments of tender humanity. Unfortunately, the ugly truth shreds those memories into tatters because it’s that profound and demented. I felt bad for one of the secondary characters but on the bright side, that innocent person ended up with an awesome and terrific, although still maturing, support system.
As for the holiday end of things, I liked how the author tied in the festive season with Anna and Bjornolf’s personal internal conflicts. For many, Christmas signifies new birth and beginnings, giving from the heart and self, forgiveness and hope, love and for some, healing. All of these special holiday qualities are played out between the hero and heroine as they learn about each other, face their fears and realize that the future is not only brighter but totally doable because they’ll be doing it together. The word ‘together’ takes on a whole new meaning towards the end and I thought it made the happy ever after that much more powerful and complete.
When it comes to showing the love, Ms. Spear has Anna and Bjornolf experiencing it in their human forms and in their wolf forms. I love her descriptions of them running, and sensing the world around them; and an occasional ‘woof’ always makes me smile. I like the sense of building anticipation and the joy of they’re finally coming together. Those scenes are always well written, filled with the best forms of romance.
A Seal Wolf Christmas is a complete, adventure-filled romance overflowing with the best of what keeps me addicted to books by Ms. Spear. It has characters that I love getting to know, action to keep me riveted, fun and silly moments to make me smile and fast paced and often witty dialogue to keep those pages turning. This is another strong addition to a sexy and fun series that keeps the craving alive and well for all of Ms. Spear’s wonderful werewolf series’ heroes and heroines.
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”