Changeling Dream (Changeling Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

"An absolutely fantastic read." -Joyfully Reviewed

In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It's almost as if he's alive . . .

"Powerful and uplifting . . . " -The Romance Studio (Five hearts)

Thirty ...

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Changeling Dream (Changeling Series #2)

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Overview

"An absolutely fantastic read." -Joyfully Reviewed

In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It's almost as if he's alive . . .

"Powerful and uplifting . . . " -The Romance Studio (Five hearts)

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.

"A remarkable story of belonging, need and passion." -Coffee Time Romance (Five cups)

"Make room on the keeper shelf-Dani Harper is definitely an author to watch." --Kate Douglas

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harper's Changeling series gains steam with this contemplative follow-up to June's Changeling Moon. Shape-shifter James Macleod retreated into his wolven state after a madman injured him and killed his pregnant wife. Thirty years later, the madman is now an old man with Alzheimer's who sends his son to find James and finish him off. Meanwhile, James's long-buried humanity begins to resurface when he scents veterinarian Jillian Descharme, who encounters him in wolf form while hiking and is surprised by their quiet emotional connection. The small suspense plot never removes the focus from James and Jillian. Harper's evocative writing of a man who coexists with his wolf is by far the book's best and most romantic aspect; more difficult for both Jillian and the reader is James's uncertainty and avoidance of commitment while he tries to remember how to be human. (July)
Coffee Time Romance
“A remarkable story of belonging, need and passion.” (5 out of 5 cups)
Joyfully Reviewed
"An absolutely fantastic read."
The Romance Studio
“Powerful and uplifting.” (5 out of 5 hearts)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758272195
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Series: Changeling Series , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 142,387
  • File size: 786 KB

First Chapter

Changeling Dream


By Dani Harper

BRAVA BOOKS

Copyright © 2011 Dani Harper
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-6516-6


Chapter One

March 31, 2011

The wolf dream again.

Jillian Descharme rolled over on the lumpy folding couch that doubled as her bed and squinted to read the alarm clock. 3:29 A.M. She didn't need to reach for the light—the dream was no nightmare. Far from it. Fifteen years ago, a great white wolf had emerged from the darkness and saved her life.

Her counselor, Marjorie, had favored other theories. She felt that the white wolf was something Jillian's mind created to protect itself, to protect her very sanity from a trauma that couldn't be borne, from a brutality beyond imagining. "The wolf is a symbol your mind has adopted," Marjorie said. "And in the study of dream images, a white wolf in particular symbolizes both valor and victory, plus the ability to see light in the darkest hours. It's an extremely powerful and positive image."

Marjorie was a skilled counselor, as well as a kind and loving person. She had helped Jillian work through a great deal of pain, and Jillian knew she owed her a lot. That was why she always felt a little bit guilty. Because although she stopped insisting the wolf was real, she never quite stopped believing it.

And she didn't stop dreaming of it. Jillian dreamed of the white wolf when she moved away from home, when she entered veterinary college, when she wrote exams, when she applied for jobs, when she competed in martial arts tournaments—pretty much any time she was nervous, stressed, or even lonely. Okay, especially when she was lonely.

Not alone. Here with you, the wolf always said to her. She didn't hear the words so much as felt them in her mind. Not alone. And in the presence of the wolf, she could believe it. Jillian always felt soothed, comforted, safe. Between them was a connection that defied description. A sense of wholeness she had never conceived possible.

"Nothing like being codependent on an imaginary friend." Jillian got up for a drink of water, realized that wasn't enough to get rid of the fuzzy taste in her mouth, and decided to brush her teeth.

Popping open the tube of toothpaste seemed to jog a memory at the same time. Jillian always welcomed the wolf dream and the calm it brought her whenever there were changes in her life. But in the past few years she'd noticed a new pattern—the wolf dream also seemed to show up just before something in her life changed. And this was the third night in a row she'd had the dream.

That had never happened before. Back in bed, she lay with her eyes open, wondering what the dream meant, wondering what was coming. She hoped it wouldn't be the bank calling about her student loans again. That thought was enough to keep her awake for the next hour. When her alarm went off at six, however, there was nothing unusual about the morning except that it took three cups of coffee to jumpstart her brain instead of one. There was nothing different about the weather. It was the same as it had been for weeks, just another humid scorcher in southern Ontario. There was nothing different at work. There were no new animals at the environmental center, and no unusual visitors. She accidentally sat on her lunch bag, but except for being squished, her peanut butter and honey sandwich tasted exactly the same.

Later, at the post office, she had nothing but bulk mail in her box. She dropped the flyers and ads into the trash by the door as she left. At least there weren't any bills. But there was no winning envelope from Publishers Clearing House either. She attended the last of her weekly Tae Kwon Do classes—she couldn't afford any more—but there were no breakthroughs there. She had yet to master all 29 movements of the hyung, the complicated practice sequence that would allow her to progress to the next level.

The feeling of letdown was heavy by the time Jillian opened the door to her tiny rented room. It was silly, it was childish, but she couldn't deny she was disappointed that not a single out-of-the-ordinary thing had occurred that day. On top of that, she was tired to the point of being downright cranky. Maybe the stupid dream didn't mean anything this time. Maybe it isn't supposed to mean anything. Maybe Marjorie was right and this whole wolf thing really is a figment of my—

The phone rang, making her jump, and she snatched up the receiver with a growl. With any luck it might be a telemarketer and she could unload a little of her frustration. Petty, she knew, but it would be something. She promised herself to feel guilty later. "Yes?"

"Is this Dr. Jillian Descharme?"

"What are you selling?"

The caller didn't even pause. "A job. I'd like you to come work for me. My practice is running me ragged, and I need a hand. If you're as good as your instructors say you are, it could turn into a partnership. That is, if you like northern Alberta."

She fumbled with the receiver then, certain that reality had taken a complete holiday. "What?" Her brain finally kicked in. "Wait a minute. I forgot what day it is—this is a stupid April Fool's joke, isn't it?" Jillian wracked her brain to figure out who might pull such a prank. A coworker? A former classmate? "Of all the mean, rotten—"

"No, it's no joke, honest. Hey, if I'd realized what day it was, I would have waited until tomorrow to call you. I promise you, this is a real call about a real job. Look, it's calving season and I haven't slept in two days, so if I sound desperate, I am. Will you come?"

"I don't know you from Adam. And you haven't even met me. You haven't seen my résumé. I haven't even applied for the job yet. I didn't even know there was a job." She certainly hadn't looked for anything that far away, had never been to that part of the country. Mentally she pictured a map of Canada and visualized Alberta. It was one of the largest provinces, stretching from the American border all the way up to the Arctic Circle. Just how far north was this clinic? Was there still snow on the ground there?

"I've been friends with a couple of your instructors for a long time. That's where I got your name. They both said you're good, and that's good enough for me." He rattled off their names and enough personal details to prove he was telling the truth. Or that he'd really done his research. He seemed to read her mind then. "Call them up. Ask them about Connor Macleod, and they'll tell you I'm not a nutcase or a stalker."

"But I have a job."

"I heard. I also heard your present position's temporary. I happen to know the director of the place—he thinks you're extremely talented too, by the way. Says he'll even let you go early, if you decide you want the job here."

She sighed and swore, forgetting that the man could hear her through the receiver. She ran a hand through her choppy blond hair, causing it to stand straight up in places. It was all too true that her job at the environmental center was up at the end of the month. She'd tried hard to find another opportunity to work with wildlife, especially wolves, but most positions these days were filled by volunteers. Those that weren't were largely government-funded—and that funding had dried up considerably after the last election.

Tapping the phone against her chin, Jillian figured that this Macleod guy really must be flat-out desperate. Why else would he call someone on the other side of the country for God's sake? It was on the tip of her tongue to say no, to tell him she'd rather patch up coyotes and feed orphan skunks than work with livestock and pets. Not only were they more interesting to her, but coyotes and skunks didn't have owners to deal with. She wasn't as good with people as she was with animals. Okay, she could be downright lousy with people, especially ones that didn't take care of their animals.

But she couldn't make herself say no, especially when Macleod told her that living quarters were part of the deal.

Jillian hadn't been out of veterinary college very long. She desperately needed a full-time position, any position that would give her a chance to pay off her massive student loans and get on her financial feet. She might have a DVM after her name now, but that was all she had to her name. No cash, no savings, no car, no furniture, no apartment. No family that could help her out either, not since an accident had claimed her parents when she was in college. She didn't even have her textbooks anymore—she'd been forced to sell them last month to keep her small room near the environmental center.

"Hello? Hey, are you still there?"

She realized she'd left the man hanging. "Sorry, just thinking things through. It's a big move. You're just about on the other side of the country."

"Let me make it easier then. Commit to giving us six months, and I'll pay your way here. If you really hate us after that, or we can't stand you, no harm done. I'd pay your way home, too."

She could do six months. That wasn't a long time. She could keep her temper, make nice with clients for six months. Probably. Macleod likely ran a cramped, shoestring operation in the middle of nowhere, but the guy was offering good pay and a place to live. And surely there must be wildlife rehabs she could look into while she was there. Maybe she could work for Macleod's clinic for a while and then move on to what she really wanted to do with her career. Besides, how bad could it be? Making a mental note to check this guy out with her instructors and maybe even the RCMP before she actually packed any suitcases, she said yes.

And remembered the wolf dream as she hung up the phone.

The full moon called and the Pack answered. The lights of the town of Dunvegan were left behind as seven creatures ran silently, effortlessly, mile after mile. Nothing could cover distance as efficiently as a wolf's perfect form. Charcoal and tawny, gray and silver, gold and black, the wolves were a diverse group, yet they moved as one with the smooth grace of long practice. Eventually a white wolf joined them, easing into the band without a ripple.

The Pack loped along the game trails at the very tops of the coulees, high above the Peace River valley. The wolves' path seemed almost suspended between sky and water, moon above and moon reflected below. Joy, fierce and bright, was all around.

Stars wheeled overhead, revealing the constellations of the early morning as the Pack leader turned toward Elk Point. There, she slowed at last and picked her way along the rocky promontory until the trees parted to reveal a sweeping view. Tongues lolling, sides heaving, the wolves flopped down on the stone plateau just as a wind gusted up from the valley. Dry leaves swirled into a lazy vortex around the group. The air crackled, flashed here and there with tiny sparks, as static electricity began to collect. The power built until the ground thrummed with it, until the very rocks vibrated.

Sudden silence burst as loud as a thunderclap. Human laughter and human words flowed in quickly to fill the vacuum. The breeze died away, the leaves fell to earth. Where eight wolves had been, there was now only one. A lone white wolf and seven human beings.

Connor Macleod automatically reached out a hand and ruffled the thick soft fur. His older brother was not just the only one in the family with such a snowy pelt, but the only Changeling that Connor had ever seen with that coloration—not an albino but a true white. Their father had often called James a winter wolf, but there was always a touch of sadness in his voice when he did so. Connor had pressed him for an explanation once. It's a verra long journey until spring for a winter wolf, lad. A verra long journey. Connor had been too young to attach any meaning to his father's words. Now he saw that they had been all too prophetic.

He spoke to his older brother in his mind. All of them had that ability; it was part and parcel of being Changeling. Good to see you, bro. Have you eaten tonight?

Old moose, lame. Easy hunting. Full now.

James's words were always clear in Connor's mind, but they were few and labored, as if it were a strain to use human words at all. As if running as a wolf for thirty years made it difficult to even remember the language. Seven words in a row nearly counted as a speech.

It might have given Connor a tiny glimmer of hope, but he hadn't allowed himself that luxury in many years. His hand fell away from the thick white pelt as he automatically blocked the rest of his thoughts from his brother. What possible good could it do to tell James how much he missed him, ached to talk with him, to joke and laugh with him, hell, even to fight with him? How the whole family grieved for James, as if he was dead. And he was dead to them. Even as a wolf he very seldom ran with the Pack or came near any of them except Connor on occasion. James had forsaken his human self entirely, and it was unclear if he was bound to the Macleods by remembered human ties or merely a wolf instinct to be part of a Pack.

But not one of us blames him for it. Good Christ, how could we? We weren't there. We were too far away, all of us too damn far away. He shook his head. By the time they'd arrived at James's farm, the house was a heap of blackened beams and cold ashes. Too damn late to do anything but bury poor Evelyn. It had nearly been too late for James as well. The Pack had tracked him through deep wilderness for two days, unable to catch up with him until he finally collapsed from his horrific wounds. Over thirty years had passed and still Connor shivered at that memory. He had barely recognized the blackened and battered creature that once was the white wolf. Changeling or not, it was a miracle James had lived.

But the miracle was incomplete. The wolf came back to them, but not the man. Connor glanced over at his brother. The massive white creature was stretched out on the ground beside him as if relaxed, but the vivid blue eyes flicked from person to person. Alert. Ready, Connor knew, to disappear. Everyone else knew too. Connor noticed that each member of the Pack, family and friend alike, would glance over at James and then quickly turn away, not knowing what to do or say. Fearing to break some unknown spell, fearing that the white wolf would leave them even sooner than he usually did.

It's hard on James but it's hard on all of us too. Your older brother has lost his balance, his ability to be comfortable in both worlds.

Jessie Watson's voice was warm and strong in Connor's mind. He knew the Pack leader was focusing her speech so only he could hear it. He did the same. I don't know how to help him.

You're doing all you can. James is doing all he can, too. He's chosen to stay here, for one thing. He wanders but always returns. He still feels a connection to this land that your family claimed and settled, a bond to something that symbolizes roots. And he responds to you, Connor. Cares for you as a brother, not just a Packmate, even guards you. Haven't you sensed him on some level when you've been working late at the clinic?

Connor looked across the fire, saw it brush golden highlights over Jessie's dark skin. There was always something regal about her, a sense of power. She was a small woman, downright tiny when standing next to her husband Bill. Yet she possessed a formidable blend of courage and wisdom, as well as more exotic gifts. Including magic. He didn't doubt her, but the news came as a surprise. James has been at the clinic?

Many times. Perhaps you haven't noticed his physical presence because thoughts of James are always in your mind. Take a walk tomorrow and use your Changeling senses to check the stand of trees behind the building. Scent the air, the ground. Watch for hairs in the hay bales in the compound, prints along the fences in the corrals. He watches over you, Connor. He watches over the others too.

Well, then he should be fired—he didn't make sure everyone was dressed tonight. Connor tried to lighten the subject, a little uncomfortable with the notion that the older brother he worried so much about was guarding him. He turned his attention to where his younger brother Devlin was mercilessly teasing his twin Culley about missing shoes and socks. Anything—clothing, objects, tools—that touched a Changeling's body as it shifted to wolf was automatically suspended in a another dimension until human form was resumed. What or where that dimension was exactly, Connor didn't know, only that the current theory favored the existence of many more dimensions than the four that Einstein declared. That was Devlin's passion, exploring the physics associated with Changeling life. Culley, however, couldn't care less. Always in a hurry, he often Changed without checking to make sure he was fully clothed.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Changeling Dream by Dani Harper Copyright © 2011 by Dani Harper. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a super thriller

    In 1981 a lunatic killed his pregnant wife Evelyn and severely injured shapeshifter James Macleod. Though he healed physically, James has never shifted back into human form since the assault.

    A white wolf saved Veterinarian Jillian Descharme from a near deadly attack. When she told people about her hero, everyone ridicules her tale. Three decades ago, she accepted a job in Dunvegan, Alberta. Whether she resides in Canada or the States; Jillian still dreams of her rescuer.

    The crazy person who killed his family sends his adult son to complete the job only half done. At the same time James recognizes the smell of Jillian who he saved years ago nearby. As the white wolf and the human hiker connect, he begins the first step in regaining the humanity that was lost by the attack.

    The second Changeling werewolf romance (see Changeling Moon) is a super thriller due to the strong lead couple, the obsessed dying yet predatory father and his indoctrinated son, and the Northern Albertan location. James' duality is brilliantly depicted as the wolf has dominated the human essence for thirty years; while his defense mechanism of avoiding commitment in order to keep people he cares about safe enhances the drama. He makes the tale fresh.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    Highly Recommended- a must check it out!!!!

    It was brilliant and serious page turner. I love James and his mate fall in love with each other.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another great story from Dani Harper. I just love her character


    Another great story from Dani Harper. I just love her characters and the way they interact with each other. I can't wait to read the third book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Solid Second Book

    The book is big on emotional development. It's big on traditional story telling. The writing is a bit long winded but like other traditional stories you don't notice how wordy it is until you're done.

    This isn't an action packed roller coaster ride. It isn't so much sex you have to search for the plot.

    A solid good read from an author who has her mechanics together. Will read more of her books as I think she will only get better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    (Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf): Review - Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

    After the murder of his wife and unborn child, James Macleod isolates himself from everyone he knows, and has been living as a wolf ever since. Thirty years later, James is drawn back to his home town for reasons unknown to him at first, something that may give him a reason to become human again.

    Jillian Descharme has been hired by Connor Macleod as he is in desperate need of another vet around the office. She accepts the position and moves across the country to a small town in Northern Canada. The town's residents befriend her shortly after her arrival, creating many new friends. Although Jillian seems to be enjoying the experience, there is a secret she has not revealed to anyone. Emotionally, Jillian is broken, she was attacked when she was just a young girl and not by one, but by several men. Jillian recalls seeing a white wolf with blue eyes appeared that night just after the attack, the wolf had saved her life. When the morning arrived and someone found her, the wolf was nowhere to be found.

    Over the years Jillian would see the wolf in her dreams whenever she began to stress, hearing him tell her that he's there with her, calming her instantly. Jillian hopes that she encounters the wolf again someday, to confirm her sanity, to feed her obsession, and just to see it again one last time.

    Changeling Dream is book two in the Changeling series, following Changeling Moon. Just when you think the series cannot get any better, Changeling Dream proves the theory wrong. Readers will be overwhelmed with emotion by these two broken characters, especially once they encounter one another. Dani Harper illustrates each of their vulnerabilities by detailing background stories of the characters, and revealing their connection to one another. Jillian and James together heal their wounds and overcome their fears. Changeling Dream takes a slightly more serious tone, addressing strong subject matter such as rape and depression.

    My favorite element in Changeling Dream is how secondary characters in Changeling Moon came forward, playing important roles in Changeling Dream. I also enjoyed that more supernatural abilities as well as new characters are presented in this novel. The story focuses on James, Connor's older brother who lost his way when everything that mattered to him was taken away many years ago. Jillian and James are connected, finally being able to heal when they meet again.

    Dani Harper should be commended for her wonderful imagination with this captivating series, having one story flow smoothly to the next. I can definitely say that I am looking forward to the next installment of this series, Changeling Dawn, releasing January 2012. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy Paranormal Romance and shapeshifter tales.


    5/5 - Must read! Highly Recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    "A Magnetic, Sensual Tale of Romance"

    Thirty years ago, a deranged mad man shot James and Evelyn Macleod, killing Evelyn and their unborn child and seriously wounding James and leaving him for dead. James blamed himself for not adequately protecting his family and disappeared for decades. Years later, Dr. Jillian Descharme, DVM, hadn't graduated from veterinary college for very long. Despite her diminutive size and pixie-cut blond hair, Jillian could tackle any animal problem, large or small, with ease and uncanny natural ability. She longed to secure a full time veterinary position due to mounting bills, especially her student loans. Jillian had had a feeling a change was coming. She had been visited in her dreams, on several nights, by the huge white wolf with sapphire blue eyes that seemed to penetrate her very soul. Jillian was never afraid-on the contrary, she felt safe and relaxed enough to sleep soundly when he appeared. Out of the blue, Jillian receives a call with the offer of a full time position at a veterinary clinic, but it's on the opposite side of the country in Dunvegan, Alberta! What a change that would be, indeed! After pondering a bit, Jillian makes a deal for a six-month trial at the North Star Animal Hospital, that happens to be run by none other than the overworked, Dr. Connor Macleod, James' Brother and his staff, including the very intuitive office manager, Birkie Peterson. Jillian's natural flair for working with animals amazes and pleases both humans and four-legged clientele alike. On her days off, Jillian, with camera in hand, sets out to explore the magnificent countryside and discovers Elk Point, which has several sets of wolf tracks and is introduced to the white wolf of her dreams! Jillian is unafraid and slightly injured from a tumble in the dusky darkness of the forest path, the white wolf, sensing her pain, curls up beside her, licking her wounds and shielding her from the nighttime with his massive body. Upon waking the following morning, she sadly discovers the wolf is gone. Jillian wonders if it was only a dream brought on by exhaustion and imagination. While heading back down the trail to the animal hospital and her living quarters, she bumps into Douglas Harrison and his dog Buster and excitedly relays the tale of seeing the white wolf. Frowning, while backing away from this wild woman and her explanation of the confrontation, Douglas exits the trail quickly as horrid memories rear their ugly reminders within him. After the strange meeting, Jillian wonders if there is anyone she will be able to regale the story of her beloved white wolf to, and perhaps figure out its relationship to a horrible crime committed against her, so many years ago. She thinks the White wolf may have helped her heal inside and out. You will be drawn like a magnet to steel to the unfolding story, as you are introduced to Bill and Jessie Watson, Connor's wife, Zoey and more of the Macleod clan. You will feel as if you know this special couple, so much in love that it hurts at times, and will be waiting, like I am for a sequel. One thing is for certain-I will never gaze upon "Lilies of the Valley" the same again! Nancy L. Narma

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Charming Rip Van Winkle Werewolf story

    This one surprised me by how much I liked it. It's sort of like a Rip Van Winkle werewolf story, which is unusual by itself. But it's also set in Canada, which I found a bit refreshing, too.

    Dani Harper has a strong voice, something I always appreciate. There's nothing worse than picking up a book that reads just like every other book out there, but thankfully that wasn't the case here.


    James has spent the last 30 years in wolf form, eschewing his human half as a way to escape the grief of losing his wife and unborn child in a horrific act of violence. It's not until Jillian, a new vet at his brother's clinic, arrives that he has any interest in slowly returning to life as a human. And once he does, he discovers that time felt differently in wolf form, and the world is far different from the one he left.

    Jillian is a victim of a violent assault, but she's used the experience to make herself strong. Her only concession to weakness is dreaming about a white wolf, something that brings her comfort and a feeling of safety. She gets a bit of a shock, though, when she discovers after her move to a new vet clinic that her dream wolf is 100% real. And not a normal wolf at all.

    My main problems with the book were in the very end.

    The largest problem for me was that James never really found the time to tell Jillian who and what he was. He plans a life with her, but won't tell her the truth? She only finds out when there's no other option but to tell her. And even then, it's not James who reveals what he is, but his family.

    I also found the whole terminology thing (Changeling) to be a bit hokey and awkward-capitalized throughout the text, no less. But it wasn't disruptive enough to really annoy me.

    Book history: Dani Harper has been totally upfront about this being a reworked version of an older title, Heart of the Winter Wolf. You can read the whys and hows on her webiste.

    Cover critique: I can't figure out what is up with this cover, but it looks like Photoshop gone terribly wrong. Is that her back?...but then we have the necklace. And her head looks almost Exorcist twisted. It's definitely not a sexy cover.


    My Grade: B+
    FTC: review copy courtesy of the publisher

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Another wonderful story of the Macleod's!

    Jillian Descharme has a painful past. With a little help from a savior, she is able to move past the pain and move on. She is now a veterinarian, and truly enjoys her job. With a new life and changes ahead of her, this strong woman takes on many new and exciting challenges. Though there is one she can do without, one that takes on the form of a Viking warrior. James Macleod knows sorrow and pain. For thirty years, he has run fast and far from it. Back then he lost everything he loved, his wife and unborn child. He may know sorrow and pain, but in all those years he has never dealt with it. James is reluctant to heal, but it is time. His wolf is ready to move on and with a lot of help, he will. Jillian's past comes back in a surprising way. Years before, after an attack, she is saved by a beautiful white wolf. Well over a decade later, the wolf is back.but how? James is a Changeling, but for the last thirty years he has been living his life completely as a wolf. He is drawn back home and to a blonde beauty. He just can't seem to understand why. "Changeling Dreams" is a book of healing. The injury is very old and it takes most of the book to fix it. The story is slow and steady, but in a good way. The healing is believable. There is no wonder drug or epic mind shattering revelation and WHAM James is all better. There are no quick fixes and that is what makes the journey so heartwarming. This storyline is what makes "Changeling Dream" different from your normal fast paced, sex filled paranormal read. Ms. Harper is dealing with feelings and emotions on a different level. She wrote a believable plot and was consistent and meticulous in regards to James' healing. I enjoyed that I was able to tag along with him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well done!

    Review by Zita: Book 2 of Dani Harper's Changeling series really holds its own. With the same excellent writing and realistic, snappy dialogue, Harper engages you and draws you into the world of the Macleod pack and life in the Canadian north. Jillian and James come together and the sparks fly right from the start. Jillian is a survivor with a true horror in her past. She's pushed herself beyond that, but the psyche is not easily healed. James has baggage like you wouldn't believe, but he also has strong family ties and a solid base that allows him to reenter the human world. In the end, Harper manages to tie all the loose ends together and give Jillian and James the ending you definitely find yourself rooting for.

    Well done, Dani Harper! I can only hope that more stories about the Macleod pack are brewing in that talented brain.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Set in Dunvegan, the same cozy town in Southern Ontario where th

    Set in Dunvegan, the same cozy town in Southern Ontario where the first book in the series, Changeling Moon, took place, Changeling Dream is James Macleod's story. After 30 years of being trapped in wolfen form, Connor's estranged brother rises to humanity when a vaguely familiar new face, Jillian Descharme, comes to town. James has never met Jillian before but recognizes her somehow—he knows her from the soul—but comes to realize the person he really doesn't recognize is himself—neither as wolf, nor man.

    The storyline with the mysterious connection between Jillian and James is compelling but everything else was a disappointment for me. I didn't totally love the first book, but wanted to give this second book a try because the "lost brother" story intrigued me; however, I didn't enjoy it at all. Typically with series, I am particularly fond of later installments because of the recurring characters, but even with the reprise of Zoe and the Macleods, I felt pretty much nothing.

    The main characters, for one, I had a huge problem with. James's guilt over a family tragedy 30 years ago has given him an overactive sense of responsibility, which is why he overcompensates by desperately trying to keep Dr. Descharme out of danger. This would be a great alpha male quality, but it was written so simply and choppily that it actually makes him rather stalkerish... showing up in her bedroom in the middle of the night, visiting her at work every day, coming to her rescue at every possible moment. Yeesh. And then there's Jillian, who just may win the "Least likable romance heroine" award. Described as feisty and independent, this girl's maddeningly sensitive, and an irritatingly raging feminist. She only comes off as cold, pigheaded, and can just never cooperate, so the fact that she ends up "falling" for James is not only uncharacteristic, but also unbelievable. Even though she has her own demons, I felt no sympathy for her whatsoever, and found most of her points of argument very trivial and illogical. 80% of the book is her talking to herself (she talks to herself more than she talks to other characters... what the f*ck?) and apprehending over a stagnant relationship. It isn't just the attitude I found distasteful, it was everything.

    And then we need to talk about the so-called romance itself. All it is is terribly angsty, with no formidable foundation or realistic expectation... and yet Jillian and James are absolutely soul mates. She doesn't even like the guy one minute, then is yearning for his touch and affection the next. Finger. Down. Throat. Now.

    I literally had to keep asking myself why I was bothering to finish this book. I found it painfully boring, annoying, and although not completely unreadable, something I mostly skimmed—particularly for the last half (aka the part where everything happens). 

    Pros: Captivating premise about dreams and guardian wolves

    Cons: James is suffocating and dislikable // Jillian is inflexible and dislikable // Unrealistic, tiring "relationship" // Messy, inconclusive story // Terrible climax

    Love: "James was very much like the river. Calm and steady on the surface, but somehow [Jillian had] been drawn in and captured by the deep current beneath. Would she escape? And did she really want to?"

    Verdict: "The lycanthropic and mystical aspects of Changeling Dream were enough to hold my attention, but I definitely had to grit my teeth through this one. James's story was nice to read, but the exasperating rising action, a messy, premature climax, and ridiculous insta-romance between him and Jillian had me rolling my eyes."

    Rating: 3 out of 10 hearts (2 stars): Not a fan; I don't recommend this book.

    Source: Complimentary copy provided by FSB Media in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Leyane!).

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