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on 15 October 2013
First Bite is for me my first book by this author and certainly not my last. It's a paranormal tale about werewolves/changelings and magic. This is a very good introduction to what should be a very good series if this book is a taster of what's to come.
Neva has unwillingly been bitten by Meredith and is about to transform for the first time into a werewolf. She has seen first hand how dangerous werewolves can be especially those led by the thoroughly evil Meredith and is determined that she will not become a killing machine. Determined to end her life she jumps off a cliff but is seen by Travis - a natural born changeling/werewolf- and he tries to save her. Terrified of what she's become Neva unwillingly goes with Travis as he tries to teach her that she doesn't have to be a killer in order to survive. With her first change imminent it's important that she learn to trust Travis and learn from him.
Travis is a lone wolf and yet he feels strangely compelled to remain with Neva but danger is stalking the young couple. Meredith the woman who cruelly bit the unwilling Neva is following them. Determined to get Neva back in her clutches so she can perform a dark spell and consolidate her powers. Trying to remain hidden from her Neva and Travis will be in more danger then they can ever imagine.
I love books like this. An alpha hero with a heart of gold and a snarky heroine who stands up for herself. This book is chock full of humour and the writing flows really well. Interesting supporting characters and a villainess who is truly evil.
Although the book started with instant action I felt that the second half was for me when the writer truly got into her stride. It was a good mix of both suspense and romance but for me the humour was what made this a good read. I sincerely hope that there will be more books about these characters as I'd like to know what happens next and surely that's a testament to how interesting this story was. Well done Ms. Harper .
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Changed violently against her will, Neva Ross has no wish to become a werewolf. Especially not one under the iron rule of the murderous Meredith de la Rond. Neva is so determined to escape, in fact, that she'd rather die than go wolf.

So when Travis Willamson saves her from a suicide attempt, she's not exactly grateful.

Travis is soon regretting the impulse too, but his conscience - and his own inner Changeling wolf - won't let him walk away. Neva needs help, and it seems that it's up to him to provide it.

Danger, romance and the call of the wild are all present in this standard slice of shape shifter fare. Neva is suspicious, confused and angry, Travis is a scowly lone wolf, but both are deep-down good and decent people. Meredith, meanwhile, is vicious, violent and unpleasantly unstable, leaving the Good vs. Evil battle lines clearly marked.

The story is okay, the characters are all right and I did sympathise with Travis' irritation at Neva. Yes, she had good reasons for her mistrust at the beginning, but it drags and gets a bit dull to read. There were also a few continuity issues - such as Neva's retelling of how she was changed, compared to an earlier dream sequence - and I also didn't understand how some characters could drive for days and then run for their lives, only for other characters to stumble across them without much apparent effort. Then there was Neva's whole revelation to Travis about Meredith, which left me tempted to abandon the book for good.

Which would have been a shame, because after the sudden - and quite frankly at that point baffling - explosion of chemistry between the two of them, the story does get better. Less irritating, certainly, as the action picks up and the peril increases. By the end it's quite good.

However, in a genre packed with offerings, I found this story just a little too bland and forgettable. It's an okay read, but I doubt I'll return for more.
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Were tales abound, and I wasn't expecting anything too much of this one, and so ended up pleasantly surprised with the reveals in the tale, with the storyline and with the element of dark magic. The tale wasn't written around sex, or vice versa, which was refreshing, and even though it ended on a cliffhanger, I totally didn't mind and found myself looking forward to the next.

IMHO, female baddies can be so much more bad-butt than male buddies, and this one was particularly nasty and vicious. I liked that the female lead was noble, in total contrast to the baddie, and that she was still learning about her new self and her abilities as the tale ended. The romance certainly wasn't the most prominent element of the tale, but the leads felt solid and that they had a future together. There are a few more characters who were introduced and who will no doubt feature in future tales, but this wasn't their tale; dare I hope for a MM were romance in the next?

Overall, a good introduction to this series, and its ordinariness drew me in. I will certainly be reading the next in the series.
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on 6 November 2013
3.5 stars

FIRST BITE is the first instalment in Dani Harper's new paranormal romance series-Dark Wolf and if you are a fan of Dani's writing you will definitely see similarities and comparisons with her paranormal Changeling series including the use of the term `changeling'.

The premise focuses on Neva Ross as she is about to undergo her first change. On the run from her sire, Neva is determined to end her life before she has had the chance to destroy so many others. Believing that all wolf shifters are werewolves and evil, Neva hopes to destroy the very thing that she is about to become. But life takes a funny turn when wolf changeling Travis Williamson stumbles upon Neva as she attempts to end it all. What ensues is an epic push and pull between Neva and Travis-both human and wolf.

The relationship between Neva and Travis is one born out of necessity for Neva but out of sympathy for Travis. Neva pushes Travis away at every opportunity but in the end, her inner wolf knows that without Travis they would probably both be dead.

The storyline finds Neva and Travis on the run hoping to elude the sire who wants Neva above all else. And when Travis finds himself imprisoned by Neva's sire, it takes everything Neva has to rescue the man who would one day be her mate.

First Bite is a story about new beginnings; dark magic; power and control; love and sacrifice. There are moments when you wonder why Travis endures the sarcasm and negative attitude from the woman whom he has helped at every step of the way, but in the end, it will be Neva's wolf that knows that Travis is her mate, before the human mind has had time to comprehend.

Dani introduces several secondary characters including the `b*tch queen' as she is called. There is definitely more story to be told as Neva's sire wants revenge for the disappearance of a powerful piece of magic and the missing wolves who no longer are under her command.

copy supplied by the author
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is okay - it starts well, but I found myself bolting a bit in the middle. The last third however, is pacy enough and pulled me back into reading with more care.

There are bits that don't bear much analysis - such as how are Travis and Neva found the first time, and bits that aren't explained or explored - such as the wolf characters who could have added a whole other dimension to things. There's some lazy stereotyping - shape changers eat a lot, and have a magical mate bond - well whaddya know? And the end is a bit neat, what with Neva's suddenly able to do what she does, with no practice or tuition. I did worry about what all those poor wolves were meant to do with themselves though...

The baddie here is just a tad too "Mwah-ha-ha-ha, I am eeeevil, I bathe in blood and slaughter innocents, mwa-ha-ha-ha, see me and weep", if you get my drift. If she had a moustache she'd be twirling it for all she was worth! Cartoon baddies are easy to draw, especially if they happen to have a nifty talent for magic nobody else has, and Meredith is all mad baddie, with no subtlety or back story to explain how she emerged as she did. I'm not saying I wanted her whole life story, but, given what the book reveals about her, you have to wonder why she turned out quite so bad.

There's a lot of set up for the (as yet unannounced sequel/s) - and the book certainly ends with a lot of untied ends. It seems to be based in the same world as the author's Changeling series, book one of which is Changeling Moon, the creed "never harm a human, and never turn a human against their will" is used in both, but the author's site doesn't make a connection between them, so I presume there are no common characters.
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on 26 January 2014
I really enjoyed First Bite, having never read anything from Dani in the past, it was a pleasant surprise to find an author who can write a good story and compelling characters without falling headfirst into too many clichéd tropes.

Neva is a strong character, although I did get a bit tired of her suicidal tendencies that take up a lot of the book. I could kind of see why she’d think like that, but when Travis shows up and is so obviously different to Meredith (the evil wolf queen) then you’d think she’d but two and two together and work out that life as a changeling is worth a pop – especially since Travis seems gorgeous, and a decent six pack is always worth living for!

From a writer’s perspective, the notion of ‘Changling’ was a bit misused, as this traditionally is a Fae term. And it didn’t exactly add much to the overall story, other than to feel a little confusing at times. I think if the story had just stuck to ‘Werewolf’ or even ‘Shifters’ then it would have flowed much better

I loved the antagonist, Meredith, such a great villain – and it was refreshing to find one in a paranormal romance book which wasn’t a diluted shadow of a character lurking in the background.

The front cover is beautiful, but perhaps would have been more accurate to have Travis on there too – as the book is third person and concentrates on him as well as Neva, it would only be fair to have him represented. I guess, in that vein, also Meredith too.

Overall I’d give First Bite 4 out 5 stars – well written, paranormal romance at its very best.
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on 16 October 2013
First Bite. The Dark Wolf Series. Dani Harper

Arc supplied via Netgalley
I love paranormal romance so went into this book eagerly. Its starts with Travis rescuing Neva and assuming she knows what she is. After some bickering and misunderstandings he starts to discover that whoever she's escaping from isn't good. He's known about Changeling Law all his life though and finds it hard to believe things are as bad as Neva says. He's a good man, I like him - it was clear he had some secret, some reason he was lone wolf, but he wasn't telling Neva about it and his plans at first were to teach her enough to live and then let her go. His wolf though... he had other plans. Anyway before they manage to do much Travis discovers people/changelings after them and after a few close calls realises that its Neva they want and not him. Then he learns she hasn't been exaggerating and that her past is dark and deadly, and Meredith with stop at nothing, certainly not at killing a few people , to get her back.
I liked Neva too, moral and resourceful, she was determined not to get drawn into Meredith's cruel games, but was risking her life trying to escape. She'd rather do that though that fall back to murdering on Meredith's command. Her wolf wants Travis too and though she's new, she helps Neva immensely. I could empathise with Neva. She's a good person trying to avoid being forced to do evil even though she risks her life. She's a great heroine, and excellent Mate for Travis even if neither realises it at first.
There's not a lot of sex here, but there is lots of sexual tension between Travis and Neva and when they do get together sparks definitely fly! Its hot and steamy, very sensual and meaningful. The novel is a good mix of romance and adventure, but my main criticism is that there was too much use of magic as a get out. I struggle with books that do that - I love the addition of magic, but when its always the quick fix answer or escape then it just seems to detract from the suspense of a novel. I like it when the plot uses existing skills, and there was much of that here, just that little tendency to take what I see as a quick fix that's less satisfying for the reader. I did feel after all the hype and adventure the Meredith finale was a little underwhelming... Despite those crits though I'd happily read more of this series, and look forward to seeing where it goes next. Hopefully we get to meet some of Travis pack, that should be entertaining. It's priced at £3.99 for 281 pages/1719kb. Good start to a new series.
Stars: four.
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on 16 October 2013
The first book in the Dark Wolf series is an intriguing and sexy story with some surprising elements.

Neva will do anything to protect her family, even if it means she must die now that she has been turned into a monster. Travis is a changeling with a dark past and he uses his powers to save Neva's life. They find their attraction to each other as they go on the run from Neva's dark sire.

The attraction between the characters is intense as their wolf halves fights for what is theirs, but the human halves fight against it. The author has made their romance very interesting with snarky and humorous dialogue between the two and when they finally reach the hot and steamy parts, the heat radiates off the pages.

The author has painted a vivid picture of this world with a plot that flows smoothly from one scene to the next and has an interesting concept of the paranormal world. There are a few unexpected twists as the suspense builds. The action in the battles are well written and believable and the reader is completely drawn the plight of the characters. All of the characters captivate the reader with their strong personalities that reach out and grab the reader's attention.

The author has created a spine tingling paranormal romance with action, suspense and magic that takes a hold of the reader's imagination and keeps them engaged to the very end. This is a great start to a new series and I can't wait to see where the author takes this great story.
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on 15 October 2013
I think this is a awesome start to a new series, the suspense throughout draws you in and holds you by the throat until the last page.

The villain is truly bad she has a evil character right to her core , Meredith is the bad seed the bad twin and it was great to read. Meredith is insane she is a wolf changeling and she uses real black dark magic to achieve her goals, she is a real piece of work.

Geneva (Neva) is a strong character she was turned against her will and makes the decision to kill herself before she makes the change. This is where we meet Travis he feels a strange pull towards Neva, his inner wolf directs him to her a couple of times, so Travis saves Neva after her suicide attempt, then his wolf directs him to the hospital to spring her out.

Travis is a lone wolf with no pack, when we find out the reason for this your heart goes out to him.
He is a really good guy, he stayed with Neva to show her how to be a changeling to make sure she made it through her first transition, showed her how to change ect.

Travis is a lone wolf with no pack, when we find out the reason for this your heart goes out to him.
He is a really good guy, he stayed with Neva to show her how to be a changeling to make sure she made it through her first transition, showed her how to change ect.

I loved the interactions between Travis and Neva there is great chemistry and some lovey humor.

The other characters in this book, Riley and Baker are great, i liked Baker he was funny, Riley he is a bit of a mystery and has suffered so much at the hands of Meredith, you want to know more about both of these guys in future books.

I thought the wolf /changeling with magic would be too much for one book most of the time you just get one or the other in a story, but i found that having both subjects worked really well, it tied the whole thing together.

This book takes you on a suspenseful wild ride of twist and turns, with humor and romance thrown in for good measure, it is a great mix and a cracking read and i cannot wait to read more, i will be reading the next book for sure.
Although there is not a cliff hanger at the end, there is a big space where there can be so much more story to come and you want it so bad, i need to know where everyone goes next and what happens to them, i love a book that leaves you wanting more!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Neva was turned into a werewolf against her will and is terrified of turning into a viscous monster like her maker Meredith and the rest of her pack. She managed to escape and is determined to take her own life before the next full moon forces her to make her first change but she is saved by Travis, a natural born changeling. Travis wants to show her that not all changelings are evil and to help her embrace her new life but with Meredith hot on their trail they're going to have a fight on their hands just to survive.

First Bite is the first book I've read by Dani Harper but I loved the humour it contained and am definitely planning on checking out her Changeling series as soon as I get a chance. I think I picked up this book at the perfect time, I was looking for something fun that would be a quick and easy read and that is exactly what I got, the banter between Neva and Travis was fantastic and I really enjoyed spending time with them both. There was plenty of action and drama, particularly in the second half of the book, which made this a real page turner and it didn't take me long to devour the whole book.

I really liked Neva's character and I appreciated the fact that she had such horrified reaction to having been turned into a werewolf. All of her experiences of other werewolves have shown her how monstrous people become after the change and she wants no part of it. She clings to her hatred of her inner wolf to the point of being a little too stubborn about it but I could understand why she felt that way and her reaction was believable to me. With Travis's help she slowly realises that it doesn't have to be that way and starts to come to terms with her new abilities but it takes a long time for her to fully trust him which makes a nice change compared to a lot of paranormal romances.

Travis is a lone wolf who has spent years away from his pack but he is a caring guy who can't walk away from Neva when she needs his help. Changelings have a strong code of honour and Travis is horrified when he learns of the way Meredith has been breaking so many rules by turning people against their will and by killing humans to work her dark magic spells. He is protective of Neva and tries to show her the truth about changelings and how good her life can be if she accepts her inner wolf but he never pressurises her to do anything she doesn't want to. When Neva refuses to go with him he just quietly follows her and watches her back until she accepts that she needs his help. My heart broke for Travis when we learned about his past and discovered why he had exiled himself from his family and I'm really looking forward to (hopefully!) seeing him reconnect with his pack in the next book.

I did have a few minor issues with the story but they weren't enough to stop me enjoying it. I still have some confusion about how Neva was initially changed because she gave two different accounts throughout the book and there were times when I felt Meredith was almost too evil, her actions were so horrific she almost became a comic book villain and it was hard to take her seriously. I prefer my bad guys to have a few shades of grey in them and I found it very hard to relate to her desire for nothing but power. In spite of these problems I really enjoyed First Bite and am looking forward to continuing with the series. Although this is a paranormal romance series the ending suggests that Neva and Travis will continue to be the main characters in the next book and that is something I'm really pleased about, there is so much more to learn about Travis's background and I want to spend more time with them as a couple.
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