Series: Darkness Chosen
Author: Christina Dodd
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: August 5, 2008
Meet Doug Black—the Wilder brother who’s been missing for centuries. With no idea of where he’s from, he’s become an angry young cop with the ability to transform into a cougar. in search of others like him, he comes across a beautiful woman who may hold the secret to his destiny...
On the night Firebird Wilder learns she isn't a true Wilder (at least in blood), something stalks her family's ranch. The scent investigation by her brothers doesn't exclude a Varinski, but deep down Firebird knows who paid her family a visit.
State patrolman Douglas Wilder is determined to find his birth family who's abandoned him in the desert at his birth, leaving him to die. The family who's passed onto him the terrible gift of being able to turn into a cougar at will.
His search is temporarily detained by the sudden appearance of his former lover, the girl who left without an explanation three years ago. Firebird has a secret she can no longer keep, three years ago, Douglas has fathered a son, but the night she planned to tell him, she saw him change and fled for her life.
After the news of her true heritage, she knows she's made a terrible mistake and is determined to right wrongs committed by her and by whomever tore the true Wilder son from his family.
But she isn't the only one keeping secrets and Doug's could be the most deadly of them all.
This book heralded the time of reckoning. The back story was heart wrenching, the peril palpable, the final battle wonderfully drawn, yet I couldn't help but feel there was something missing...This was definitely the weakest book in the series.
As with the first book in the series—Scent of Darkness—there was no *real* feeling between the two leads. Sure, lots of nice, sweet words and inner monologues about their feelings and betrayal yadda yadda, yet I didn't *feel* it. I'm all for second-chance-at-love, yet Firebird and Doug were a little too cold to make it believable.
The only time the emotion was real was when Firebird discovered Doug's (other) secret. Doug on the other hand was a little cold throughout the story. One again it was explained by his childhood and youth as an abandoned child, but still, I wasn't convinced.
Also the two were pretty bland compared to the couples from the previous books, the tidbit about Doug working as a cop at such an early age (16) was iffy, and the Varinskis have lost a little of their demented charm in this installment, yet the final battle was still amazing.
Even the final confrontation and resolution between Doug and Firebird, which should've been...I don't know...great, was lacking, so the only reason this book even got such a high rating was for the older Wilder brothers (they're always a hoot to read - grownup men acting like complete idiots), their wives/mates, and of course Zorana and Konstantine.
It was lovely how the whole story came full circle and ended where it began - with Konstantine and Zorana happy and in love.