Dark Instincts

Suzanne Wright
Dark Instincts
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Publisher
Brilliance Audio
Release Date
April 2015
ISBN
9781501236914
Series
Book 4 of Phoenix Pack
Genre
Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that's intoxicating…and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right—nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.

No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it's the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses—until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who's ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
May 29, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
117 people found the following review helpful
4.5 "Enforcers Unite" Stars for both the story and the narration!

Having recently fallen in love with another shifter romance series, I took one look at the blurb for DARK INSTINCTS and just knew I had to listen to it. What particularly called my attention was the idea of two dominant shifters--enforcers for different packs--finding their happiness together. Oftentimes, it's the hero who is the primary or stronger alpha or dom in PNR books, so DARK INSTINCTS was like a breath of fresh air. In addition, I also really enjoyed the suspense, humor and group dynamics between the extended members of the two packs (the Phoenix and Mercury Packs). Further rounding out this fabulous listen was the talented narration by Jill Redfield.

As this is the fourth book in the Phoenix Pack Series, it is worth noting that this series, like most paranormal romances, is intended to be read in order. In that regard, as this was my first and only listen of this series, it was definitely clear that a number of the characters had been presented in prior books and had continued to evolve over the series. This made listening to the beginning of this story a little difficult to follow, but I was able to eventually catch on. Additionally the immediate conflict, from a suspense perspective, and the primary romance, were fully resolved within DARK INSTINCTS, so this title could still be read or listened to as a standalone.

It isn't easy being a dominant female shifter in the Mercury pack, particularly given that her brother, Nick, is the alpha wolf leader of the pack. Nonetheless Roni Axton will not be deterred in showing her true personality. As the Mercury Pack's enforcer, moreover, she is able to use her true nature to help her pack.

Marcus Fuller, the enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, has a well-earned reputation with the ladies. However, the type of females he usually attracts are nothing like Roni. So imagine Roni's surprise when a mutual enemy brings their packs together and she soon finds that apprehending/seeking revenge on the bad guys is not the only goal Marcus has set his sights on.

The stronger Marcus comes on, the more Roni tries to divert his attention. But strangely enough, Roni soon finds that the one place she finds herself wanting to submit is when she is intimately involved with Marcus. As the two navigate the personal and pack politics to determine if a HEA could possibly be in their future, the immediate threat--a jackal pack intent on victimizing members of both the Phoenix and Mercury Packs to further their own demented agenda--becomes even more targeted and personal. Soon the fate of their destinies becomes dependent not just on the taming of their own true natures, but also on winning one of the most dangerous games they have ever been engaged in.

This was my first experience with Jill Redfield, and I absolutely loved her performance. Excelling in all the key markers I look for in a great narrator, I now know that I have found a new go-to narrator. Not only does Ms. Redfield do a good job of producing authentic male and female voices, but she also provides nuanced distinctions, befitting of the particular character's personality, to distinguish among the characters of the same gender. Ms. Redfield also conveys the particular emotion or mood of the scene by appropriately varying the speed, and/or, tone of her dialogue.

Perhaps my favorite part of Ms. Redfield's performance was her characterization of Roni. I loved how you could glean Roni's dominant nature from the authoritative intonation of Roni's voice. Additionally, you could hear Roni's angst as she pondered whether any sort of a future could possibly be in her future with such a possessive male like Marcus.

If you enjoy shifter romances, with equal parts action/suspense and romance/passion, then you definitely will not want to miss the Phoenix Pack Series. I, for one, now can't wait to go back and explore some of the prior titles in this series.
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