Past My Defenses

Past My Defenses

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by Wendy Sparrow
     
 

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Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can't outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he'd trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the

…  See more details below

Overview

Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can't outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he'd trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can't escape the feeling they belong together.

They're hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak's Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622667376
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
06/23/2014
Series:
Taming the Pack , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
343
Sales rank:
515,566
File size:
3 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Past My Defenses


By Wendy Sparrow, Lewis Pollak

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Wendy Sparrow
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-737-6


CHAPTER 1

The night felt empty. The encroaching evergreens on either side of the highway loomed and swallowed most of the light from the stars.

Dane wiped a tired hand down his face. Look at him getting all spooked and sappy just because he wasn't going to be welcomed home after a long day of work.

Dane flicked on the radio and let it search through scratchy stations for a minute before turning it back off. He hated the silence, but he hated the noise even more. Another twenty minutes, and he'd be home.

He should get a dog.

A cat wasn't a pet — and it wasn't even his. A cat went wherever it wanted and to hell with what the humans around it needed.

A dog was always happy when an owner came home — stupidly happy, possibly — though he'd seen intelligent dogs. If he got an intelligent dog, he could teach it how to track — or maybe it'd already know how to do that instinctually. Dane yawned; his jaw popped from the effort. Plus, with a dog, he'd feel like he was the master of his domain. His cat — or rather the cat, because it definitely wasn't his, by any stretch of the imagination — suffered Dane's presence as long as the infernal thing was fed.

But a dog ...

Up ahead, a light caught his attention, and he pulled his Jeep off to the side of the road beside an abandoned car. The driver's side door was open and the dome light on. It was in a ditch, the front end embedded in the soft soil from the impact, but looked still drivable. The air bag hadn't gone off. There was a bend in the road, but not one so sharp someone should have lost control on it ... not someone sober anyway. Where the hell was the driver?

He leaned in. The sour smell of bleach made him wince and his eyes water. There was a small bottle on the passenger's side that must have broken open when the car crashed.

"Hello?" he yelled, grabbing his flashlight and beaming it out into the surrounding trees. The forest was dense in this area. "I'm a park ranger. Dane Hansen. Do you need assistance?"

Just miles earlier, this stretch had felt empty, but now, faced with this abandoned vehicle, there was a menacing quality to the stillness and shadows. The forests around Glacier Peak were never empty during the day, and the bigger predators would come out at night.

"Hello?" he tried again. Leaning into his Jeep, he radioed the accident in to his dispatch and waited, calling out periodically.

"I've got someone from the sheriff's department en route," Ross from dispatch said. "Stay where you are."

"You don't think I should see if there's someone out there injured?" Well, that was weird as hell.

"Do you have reason to believe there is?"

Even though he couldn't see him, Dane gestured at the car. "Well, the door to the vehicle is wide open and there's no one around. The emergency lights aren't even on." Duh. Something wasn't right.

"Do you see signs of foul play?"

"No. There's a small bottle of bleach on the floor that must have leaked when the car crashed. It might be masking other smells, but I don't see any signs of blood or a struggle other than what would have happened during the crash." Why would someone be carrying a bottle of bleach in their car? Odd.

There was silence as if Ross was conferring with someone. Other than how inky black it was, there was no reason why he shouldn't be safe tramping through the brush. He tried calling out a few more times. No response. The car door's being open like an alien abduction had just occurred was creepy as hell. The hair on the back of his neck was standing up straight as if someone were staring at him from the forest.

"No, wait for the sheriff's deputy to arrive," dispatch said. "Better safe than sorry."

Better safe than sorry? What the hell? Sure, he was a park ranger, not a cop, but he carried a gun. Even though he was new to the area, he'd lived in Washington State most of his life. He knew what was out in the dark. Yeah, he wasn't going to hang out by his Jeep waiting for the cops to get around to this. Who knew how soon that'd be?

He looked both ways along the deserted highway before feeling like an ass and stalking toward the forest with his flashlight pointed at the ground. The brush and grass looked to have been disturbed but prints were difficult to make out in the dark. He was careful not to step on the path he saw. Once he crossed into the tree line, the trail seemed even more indiscernible, but the sense of being watched increased.

Pausing, he looked around. Where were all the animals? Normally, he'd have scared a few small critters into bolting.

"Hello?" He should've asked Ross for the vehicle owner's name. That'd been stupid. Then again, Ross should've volunteered it. He could go back and search the glove box, but something about this screamed crime scene, and he didn't want some pissed-off cop snarling at him because he had to touch everything. Especially since they were treating him like a preschooler who needed someone to hold his hand before he could go into the forest.

He scanned his flashlight around him searching for something to indicate there was a person to follow in here. There was the blink of reflected light as his beam caught the eyes of an animal, and he jumped, but when he jerked back to it — it was gone.

"Nice, Dane. You're real brave. Maybe you do need someone to hold your hand." He scowled. Where the hell should he go next? The bushes around all looked mostly undisturbed. "Pathetic."

A car was approaching. Swearing under his breath, he turned and stomped back out of the forest with less care than he'd used going in.

Huh. More than one car. The one in front was a police cruiser that turned on blinding flashing lights. He blinked rapidly and tried to shade his eyes.

"Are the lights really necessary?" he asked the cop — whom he could barely see now.

"Yup. I'll take it from here," the deputy said, sauntering forward.

Travis. He was the same age as Dane, and they'd met a time or two.

"I can help you search. I haven't heard anyone, and I didn't see anyone on foot from my direction. I'm assuming you didn't see anyone coming from yours."

"Nah, but I got this. You can go on home."

Dane stared at him. This didn't add up. "It makes sense for me to stay. And I don't mind working off the clock." He had nothing but an empty house and a cat to go home to. Spending a few hours doing something worthwhile might lift this mood he'd been in.

Travis shook his head. "I've got someone to help, and we'll call you back if we don't turn up anything."

He squinted at the other vehicle. "Who?" And why couldn't he help? If this was some sort of locals-only thing, he'd misjudged Travis. The man seemed intelligent, but he hid behind a fairly convincing image of an idiot.

"Tracker. He's a local. With it being so dark and all, we'll try it this way tonight and get back with you."

He met Travis's gaze. "You know sending away another set of eyes is stupid as hell."

There it was ... a shrewd look that was quickly smothered. "Yup. But that's how the sheriff wants this played."

"Then, the sheriff is an ass, and if something happens to whoever owns that car because you sent me away, I'm not keeping quiet about it."

Even with the flashing lights still blinding him, he saw the white of Travis's smile. "Dane, I don't think anyone expects you to stay quiet very long. I'll keep you in the loop."

Shaking his head, he went back to his Jeep and waited there, watching his rearview mirror. Travis was investigating the car, and the passenger in the dark SUV that had pulled behind the cruiser didn't get out. Why were they being secretive?

Travis straightened from a crouch and went to the dark SUV — which was still mostly camouflaged by the blinding cruiser's lights. A minute later, he approached Dane's Jeep.

Opening the passenger door, the deputy leaned on the seat and stared Dane down. "Get a hold of me when the sun comes up, and I'll deal you back in if I can. In the meantime, I can't have anyone extra out in the dark wandering around."

"Why not? Afraid I'll get lost?"

Travis tilted his head. "Wolves. We've got a pack in the area, and the leader doesn't take to strangers all that well."

"Seems like a local thing."

The deputy grinned. "I like you just fine, Dane. Maybe later I'll bring you some roses to apologize for shutting you out. Pink or red?"

Dane started his Jeep. "I will call in the morning."

"I don't doubt it. I've always thought you were sweet on me." Travis slammed the door closed before he could hear Dane's real opinion.

He made the rest of the drive home in sullen silence, and when he slid from behind the wheel, the ache in his jaw alerted him that he'd been clenching his teeth the whole time. Great. The door wasn't open more than a crack when the damn cat darted through and out into the night.

"Lucifer!" Normally, he didn't let him out at night. He didn't want his younger sister's pet becoming a late-night snack for something lurking in the woods. "Lucifer!" Hell, the stupid thing could fend for itself. He'd open the pet door, and hopefully, it'd have enough sense to come in if something was chasing it.

Shaking his head, he turned to go in when he heard a wolf howl in the distance ... and then the screech of a cat. Hell. Yanking out his flashlight and turning it on, he bolted into the woods in the direction of Lucifer's screeching and hissing. Christa was going to kill him. She treated that cat like a child.

A half mile later, he stumbled into a small clearing and stopped stock-still. Well, that was something you didn't see every day.

* * *

Her naked hip pressed against the cold concrete was her first indication that something was very wrong in her world. The bright light of the room burned through her closed eyelids, but she almost didn't want to open them anyway. Reality was about to kick her tail — and since she was back in her skin-wear, that tail would be a metaphorical one, not an actual furry tail.

"Meow?" a plaintive voice asked.

"Oh, hell no," she said in a raspy voice, barely recognizable. That would explain the thick feeling of cement in her throat. Cats — those bastards — sent her histamine levels rocketing upward. And they knew it, too. They sensed it. It was why they always cuddled up to her no matter where she was. She was a damn cat magnet. She opened one eye. There was a drain in the concrete near her cheek and outside of that, a metal cage with a feline pressed against it. The cat stuck a paw through the bars and tried to swipe at her naked shoulder, missing only by inches. Beyond the maniacal cat, a man — a hot, red-blooded, sexy male no less, stood with his jaw dropped.

She inhaled and exhaled — a long, raspy wheeze where she could practically hear the air scraping through her lungs. "While you're enjoying the scenery, do you think you could get that cat away from me? I'm seriously allergic. Unless you've got an EpiPen handy, this could get ugly."

He strode over, grabbed the cat, and without saying a word, went to the nearby door and tossed the vile beast outside. The cat yowled irritably but he slammed the door shut in its face. Well, that was more like it. Her respect for the man ratcheted up a dozen levels.

Vanessa sat up slowly, and it felt like she'd left her sinuses behind on the concrete. An involuntary groan slid out her hoarse, sore throat. She'd told the Alpha she'd be no good in this state. She'd warned him she had next to no skills when her allergies were this bad. She couldn't have caught the scent of a skunk if it'd sprayed her, let alone track anything. She was useless in either form. The Alpha was a man, though, and he thought he knew better. Typical man. Typical Alpha.

She should be in her home crowded against her air purifier, waiting for all of Snohomish County to stop blooming her to death. She wasn't deathly allergic to everything else like she was to cats, but it wasn't pretty. She'd been a snotty mess even before she'd padded out into the forest on four feet.

Then, it all got hazy — a histamine and altered-consciousness blur.

The man walked over to the tall island counter in the giant utilitarian mudroom and leaned against it, facing her, with his arms crossed. He kept staring at her.

"You were some sort of wolf," he stated, pointing at her.

She pulled up a leg and propped her chin on her knee, wrapping her arms around it. It covered much of the free peep show she was providing this stranger.

"If you say so." She sounded like a pack-a-day lifetime chain smoker. Real sexy. "Right now, I'm a naked woman in a kennel, hoping you have a couple of allergy pills and a shirt that furry spawn of Satan hasn't touched." She reached out a hand and rattled the four-by-five metal cage bolted to the floor. "I'll tell you what ... this reminds me of Reno — only that time involved a double-dog dare and a feather boa." Vanessa wrinkled her nose. "Actually, so far, this is better than Reno, but I wouldn't mind losing the kennel."

He grabbed a set of keys off the shelves across from her and crouched in front of the door. He was still wary of her, but it was likely hard to be afraid of a scrawny, naked woman in a cage who sounded like one of Marge's sisters on The Simpsons. The latch snicked open, and the lock dropped into his hand. With a show of false nonchalance, he turned his back on her as the door slipped open. Instead of moving, she watched the fluid grace of his limbs as he strolled toward the humming dryer in the corner, the picture of casual. It was for her benefit, after all — besides, he didn't look bad from behind.

They say when a person loses one of their senses, the remaining senses become heightened — what a crock of crap. She couldn't catch the scent of the dryer and the warm cotton contents that spilled out when he opened the door — or the scent of him, yummy, thirty-something male. Unfortunately, her ears felt plugged and gross from swollen passages and too long on the cold concrete, so she could barely hear the scrape of buttons on metal as he pulled a red flannel shirt from the dryer. Her eyes were all watery, but she glanced around and through the tears she could see a few other cages. She'd been in the largest. Most were for smaller animals — cats, raccoons, bunnies.

Where the hell was she?

If it weren't for the accommodating behavior of her captor, she'd be bolting for the door and running despite the fact that she felt two steps away from death. Her legs tingled with the desire to run ... or it was the lack of oxygen and the change from wolf to human? It could be either.

But seriously, what was with these cages?

The only thing that came to mind was poachers, but they'd have more large cages if that were the case, and he had unlocked the door.

Besides, there'd been a real look of shock on his face when she'd opened her eyes. He hadn't expected her to be anything other than what she'd been — a slight wolflike creature. A poacher would have known.

Plus, he didn't look evil. As far as she could tell. She blinked rapidly, hoping to focus on him through the wash of tears. It was no good. Even though her hormones, from being in heat, were telling her that he was a warm-bodied possessor of the XY chromosomes and a virile specimen at that, he remained a watercolor painting. Brown hair, tan skin, lean, tall ... and coming back toward her with the flannel held out and his cloud-gray eyes averted.

A gentleman.

Weird.

But also a big checkmark in the "he's not pure evil" category. Even if he had that cat.

She unfolded from the cage slowly, unaccustomed to fitting through a door the size of a small window.

"So, you like to keep cages around?" she asked as she stood. There. That had sounded casual. Well, as casual as she could be with this swollen, itchy-as-hell throat.

Please let him not be a poacher.

"I'm the new park ranger. I moved in a few months ago. Cages go with the territory. Typically I'm just holding animals for animal control or until they heal, not because they felt like a stroll on four feet instead of two."

Ah, huh, well, this blew. She'd managed to keep what she was from the previous park ranger for the four years she'd lived under the protection of this pack. She'd blown their cover in just months now. Who knew what the hell her Alpha would make of a two-legged knowing he'd caught a Lycan? Jordan didn't tend to take a light stance on things like that. Damn. Just damn.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow, Lewis Pollak. Copyright © 2014 Wendy Sparrow. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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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Meet the Author

Writing is in Wendy's blood…which is also about thirty percent Mountain Dew and twenty percent
chocolate brownies. Wendy has been telling tales since she was a child with varying amounts of
success. Her parents clearly anticipated her forays into the paranormal because she heard "The Boy
Who Cried Wolf" so many times she could have written the screenplay at age five. She lives with a
wonderful husband and two quirky kids and is active in Autism and OCD support networks. She can
usually be found on Twitter where she'll talk to anyone who talks to her and occasionally just to
herself

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Past My Defenses (Taming the Pack series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
IAmy More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review. I’d like to start off by saying I wish this book had a different cover. There is something about the cover that didn’t click for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but I almost didn’t request it over at Net Galley. Then once I was approved for the title, that cover held me off again from starting it right away and it almost got pushed back in my to-read list. I double checked the release date and decided I needed to start irregardless of how drawn to it or not. The synopsis and cover just didn’t match up for me, I think. The description lead me to believe it was going to be a funny light-hearted read, and the cover was all dark and brooding. I’m so glad I decided to not judge a book by its cover and requested the title. It was a blast to read. Filled with a great mix of humor, witty come backs, great chemistry, a suspenseful mystery to be solved and a killer to be stopped. For those paranormal romance lovers out there what it wasn’t filled with was lots of sex. Plenty of teasing, but I don’t think I read one steamy scene in the whole book. To me that was fine. I read a lot of books classified as romance and perhaps I am getting tired of the sex scenes. (Gasp! Say it ain’t so! Calm down. I think I just need a break for a while.) Quite frankly I think the story didn’t need them. The build up and bringing together of these two was interesting and fun enough. I didn’t feel gypped by not reading about their time in the sack. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I am definitely going to be checking into more of her titles. This was a fun ride. Interesting set up and world she has created. I am so glad that this is going to be part of a series. Much of the story centered around Vanessa and Dane, but there was almost but not really a love triangle with Jordan the Alpha. The story didn’t end so well for him and I would love to see him get his own book. The chemistry was not only good between the two love birds but with Dan and Jordan. Sure they were practically at each other’s throats the entire book, but I think there is a budding bromance in their future, especially if Jordan finds his own love. We don’t learn a lot about the Were world here, like Dane we were kept in the dark a bit. I hope that in future books we get to explore more of the pack structure and rules. I don’t need a lot of details, but it would be nice to see behind the curtain a bit more than we did. Only other complaint that I had was about Vanessa. I understand it was part of her character to be this way, but I wish she had not doubted herself so much. It got a bit annoying after a while. Most of the time she was this tough werewolf with a smart mouth, then she would get all wrapped up in her head and over think everything. I wish she would have had a bit more confidence at times. Then again it did give her room to grow, but man sometimes I just wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to stop over thinking. This was a great read. Surprised me quite a bit. If you are a fan of Patricia Briggs, Molly Harper, Jacqueline Rhoades, Lynsay Sands, or Kerrelyn Sparks you might want to give this one a try too.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Vanessa may be a Lycan and the fastest one but she has issues with her allergies. They bring her down quickly. She even has allergies in her Lycan form. When a cat make her flare up her allergies extremely bad she awakes to find herself locked in a kennel. Dane is surprised when the wolf he has in a cage turns into a beautiful woman. He hasn't seen anything like her before but he just knows he wants to get to know her better. Vanessa has one thought in her mind and that is mine. Seems she has found her mate even if she doesn't want to believe it. Now the two struggle to come to an understanding. They have to work on their issues, hers being ready to run at the site of danger and his is to understand how the pack works. If that wasn't enough a killer is also out their and seems to be targeting Vanessa. They have their hands full and keeping Vanessa's allergies under control is just the start. Dane is amazing to me. When he finds out their is Lycans, he takes it in stride really well and from the start does everything he can to protect Vanessa and become part of her world. He is also very sweet as he works to learn all her many allergies and help her. He is protective as well as he rushes into danger if he thinks it will save her. Vanessa is a funny character. She has problems not just a human with allergies but as a Lycan as well. It leads her into many problems. he is also a woman who is scared. She isn't used to facing her problems but used to running from them. She knows deep down Dane is her mate but tries to deny it and what she is many times. This book is packed full of many things that make it amazing. You get lots of laughs with Vanessa's allergy issues. She has more medicine than anyone I have seen and more allergies. You also get the sexual tension between he two as they try to wait to do anything. They are different as night and day but they both need each other. You also have an element of danger as there is a killer running wild. The have to figure out who it is before the killer gets Vanessa. I liked all of this book and how the author tied everything together. It flows very nicely and was a joy to read. I look forward to more books in this series.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was hilarious with the whole battle in Vanessa's head between her human side and her wolf side, especially when it came to drooling over Dane. I really felt sorry for Jordan and what happens with him at the end of the book. Definitely went through the whole gamut of emotions over the course of this book. So glad I read it and that I have other Wendy Sparrow books to read!
AnitaBlakeFan More than 1 year ago
This is a new author and new world to me. I have to say, I found it to be very cute. How can you not love a werewolf who is taken down by a house cat due to extreme allergies. She is allergic to everything under the sun; cats, pollen, even marshmallows. Evidently, marshmallow allergies are a thing, who know? I didn't.   This is a world where lycans are mated, so you have the instant love. In this case, our female is mates with a human. He finds her as a wolf, near comatose in the woods. She wakes up in a cage as a human, much to his surprise. Vanessa is a strong and has all the traits to be alpha female. Our hero is a park ranger.   Someone doesn't like this pairing and is trying to put a stop to it. There is quite the suspense story around this as not only is Vanessa attacked, but Dane is too. Werewolves are dying and there aren't many to begin wtih.   This is a cute story with some great suspense. I will say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this story. I thought it would be cute. I didn't realize that I would like the suspense as much as I did. I can't wait to see were this story goes next. According to the author's website, book two in this series is due out in the Fall. I will definitely be checking that out, plus looking at what else this author has available.
closkot More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts - 4 out of 5 Unicorns - I really liked it!!! ***Received ebook from Entangled Publishing for an honest review The cover doesn’t do much for me, but the moon is cool.  The guy on the cover screams serial killer, and I think he is supposed to be Dane but maybe that is sexy to someone else, for me “Oh Hell No”…lol This a nice start to a series.  There were a few parts that I was bored, but I think it happens sometimes with new worlds when they are created.  There is lots of action, silliness, tension, and humor mixed throughout the book.  I think this series will get better as it goes along.   I loved the quirky interactions and miscommunications happening between Dane and Vanessa.  She is a strong alpha female, and I love that she is always herself.  Dane is an Alpha who isn’t wolfy, and he butts heads with Jordan who is an Alpha who does go wolfy.  Dane and Jordan are always humorous with their arrogance and competition.  I can’t wait to see where this series goes next :) Wendy does a great job pulling you into the story.  Her writing style is fun, and I love all the humor she mixes into the story.   I recommend this series to my shifter lovin’ friends.  I wonder how long until Book 2 comes out :)
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
I was unprepared for this book.  I figured it was just another in a long line of shifter stories that I would read, enjoy and move on from.  Not so fast.  This book started out different and stayed there.  This fun story surprised me and kept me reading and up past my bedtime.  I’m not sure what I can say without spoilers so let me just say if you like a fun furry tale this book is for you. I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy by author/publisher for an honest review
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Two hot alphas and a feisty female werewolf in heat, what more could you ask for!  This story has funny at times, sweet, hot and intriguing.  Vanessa and Dane really brought a whole new meaning of fun to arguing and allergies.  Their instant intense chemistry was hot and I wished we could have gotten a little more into that.  i loved their immediate protectiveness of each other and how they just knew the other was kt for them.  The suspense of the story behind who was trying to get to Vanessa was a good one.  I didn't figure it out until the end.  So I am glad it wasn't predictable.  I have a very suspicious mind so I was glad it wasn't who I had originally thought it was.  I loved Jordan's character.  He was a scene stealer and funny.  I always love great bantering in a book and this one had it in spades between all the main characters.  I do hope the author continues with this series as I would love to see the other characters get their own HEAs.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Wendy Sparrow has definitely written a werewolf (they go by lycan in this universe) story with a twist here. Our heroine does have super speed and fantastic hearing, but she also suffers from near-dibilitating alergies and has a relationship with her four(!) air purifiers that borders on unnatural. Seriously. She's taken down by a housecat in the first scene. (I was going to say "common housecat", but I'm not entirely convinced he is.) She's allergic to marshmallows. (According to the author's note, so is Ms. Sparrow. My condolences...) Though I do love the fact that Dane puts her list of allergens on the fridge. And memorizes it. And they put the list to good use...more than once. “What are you doing?” he asked, smiling against her skin. “Listing out my allergies so I can keep my hormones from taking over.” He shouldn’t keep going. They were meant to be paying attention to their environment. Plus, now “ragweed” had joined the list of words that couldn’t be said in mixed company. They should stop. He pulled back enough to drag his shirt off. “You stopped on sesame seeds,” he said. “Carrots, celery, cumin.” Cumin was said on a long moan. She made spices she couldn’t have sound even more forbidden. “You forgot coriander.” He groaned as she bit his collarbone. “I didn’t forget coriander. I just hadn’t gotten there yet.” It earned him another bite. Oh, hell, they should really stop. “You were listing the Cs in alphabetical order.” “I was just listing them.” She pressed herself closer to him. “Fennel, kiwi.” She tipped her head back and those nails scraped down his back again. “Coriander.” Coriander was on the list of inappropriate words now. Ms. Sparrow's sense of humor really shines in this novel. Even though I will readily admit that a simple conversation or two could have resolved most if not all of Vanessa and Dane's relationship woes in--oh, the second chapter maybe--I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the novel I didn't even care. Plus, the "whodunnit" at the end isn't completely obvious, which made it fun (though that individual was on my short list of suspects, I wasn't at all sure until the big reveal). Please tell me this is going to be a series! I need more from this universe. And I really, really want Jordan to get a HEA too. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A- I recieved a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
cattouch More than 1 year ago
Vanessa has allergies...major allergies and lots of them...especially to cats....and she's a werewolf. Dane is a park ranger and one night he finds a comatose wolf with his cat siting on its head. He takes it back to his home and puts it in one of the holding cages till he can get help for it. Except when he wakes up in the morning he has a gorgeous, naked woman sitting in the cage in desperate need of antihistamines, who denies everything. They've been scent matched and are crazy for each other..except he's human and someone is hunting members of her pride. The alpha of her pack wanted her for his mate so Dane and he clash constantly. This is a mystery and a shifter story and a lot of fun. I love Dane and Vanessa and would like to know what happens to Julian and Travis. Good story, great characters,...Highly recommend it.
Lynn53 More than 1 year ago
A Wolf Love Affair. Rating: 4 1/2 stars I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way. I loved how this author made her to be a woman who is less than perfect. It’s something that most people will not admit to but it does make her a little more human (kinda-sorta). Our author also makes this a fun tale to read – it will have you laughing (you just will not be able to help yourself). Some of you may be a little disappointed with the lack of sex but there are enough teasers that you can use your imagination to fill in the missing pieces - I certainly didn’t miss it. And if those scenes were added it might have extended the book so I find it was perfect just the way it was written. This is a contemporary paranormal that shouldn’t be missed.
Shirene More than 1 year ago
New authors are given two things simultaneously when I read their work. Firstly the opportunity to stumble or lose track of a world. And more often than not this pass is readily applied to a first book. The second and harder to achieve is the chance to just blow me away. Well, Ms. Sparrow blew me away with this book. There is something truly charming, witty and knee slapping hilarious when a shifter is allergic to EVERYTHING! Every time I thought I couldn't be more amused I was hit with another allergy that could not only take a wolf down but could kill it. And the first thing is the cat. I mean a house cat, not a tiger shifter or a cougar shifter but a run of the mill stay at home cat. I was in stitches and literally had to put my Kindle down because I was laughing so hard I was crying. And yes, I know how dangerous allergies are I have a weird one myself that causes me to get migraines. Not to mention a parent that can go into anaphylaxis by just smelling cooking onions. So I get the serious nature but this was handled in such a way that made it humorous and true delight to read rather than the horror of watching a loved one struggle for breathe because of onions being cooked on an open grill. But back to the story, the story was well told. There was a true mystery that was solved. And to be perfectly honest, I had no idea who did it until the great reveal. So well played Ms. Sparrow. But then again it might also be partly due to the fact that the other portions of the book were so engrossing I was not trying to figure out the "Whodunit" so much as being swept away by the story. Now our poor allergic heroine, Vanessa first meeting Dane Hansen, the new park ranger, after being attacked by a house cat and the cat winning. I love the fact that when Vanessa finally comes to in human form she mutters, "Oh, hell no," after seeing the cat in the same room with her. I'm still chuckling about that because I too am a cat magnet and I'm violently allergic to them as well. The fact that she not only evaluates the situation, grabs medication to calm the attack down and crashes is something I can completely not only say is true but I've experienced it myself. So for realism it is spot on. Well done, Ms. Sparrow. Now our poor confused and curious hero, Dane, knows he caged a wolf and yet she never admits that this is the case. However he acts as a gentleman removes the cat, finds medication for Vanessa and a clean room where she can crash to sleep the whole event away. However the stick in the situation is that Vanessa is "in heat" and not only does it impact Vanessa but Dane is also drawn to her as well. And she wakes to not only finding her mate but discovering it is the man that rescued her the night before eg Dane. She should really open her eyes. This was momentous. She'd found her mate. Open your eyes, Vanessa. She opend her eyes and tipped her head back, and the memory of the cat and the cage and the man-sweet heaven on two legs-all rushed back in an awful, grim reel of a "he's a human" horror flick. Dane. The guy she'd been planning to convince that he was crazy today. The guy with that cat. "Oh, hell no." How can you not love an introduction that has everything wrong with it. This is another reason this book just worked for me. I just loved this sense of playfulness and willingness to say what we would be thinking if we were in that situation. So thank you, Ms. Sparrow for keeping it real but Hilarious! But what you really want to know is what about Vanessa and Dane together. Best word to describe these two is Flammable. Neither of them want to give into the attraction or mating but they continue to pull towards each other through out the book. It was a true delight and joy to watch these two dance around each other and the obstacles that they had to overcome in order to sort out the mystery and find the killer. Final Thoughts: If you enjoy a great sense of humor and are looking for something in the same vein as Darynda Jones or Molly Harper books then I would say that this book will fit the bill. And both of these authors are some of my personal favorites. Ms. Sparrow has huge shoes to fill when it comes to writing another book in this series but I'm hopeful that will she be able to make another couple as interesting and unique as Dane and Vanessa. This book is joining my Must Reads of 2014 list because it is a work that deserves to be seen by as many romance fans as possible. Well done, Ms. Sparrow. I greatly anticipate book 2. Entangled Publishing Ignite provided me with a gifted copy of Past My Defenses but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Past My Defenses Author: Wendy Sparrow Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC Published: 6-23-2014 ISBN: 13-978-1-62266-737-6 ASIN E-Book: B00KP8FDPY Pages: 271 Genre: Paranormal Romance Tags: Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Shifters, Werewolves Sensual Rating: Sizzling Overall Rating: Great Reviewed For: Entangled Publishing Reviewer: DelAnne Dane Hansen, a Glacier Peak Park Ranger, stops on his way to investigate an abandoned car off the side of the road and part way into a ditch. Things don't add up as an accident, yet the sheriff's office seems to be acting as if it is an everyday event. Later that night his sister's cat, Lucifer gets out and attacks a beautiful silver wolf and amazingly seems to win. Dane brings the unconscious wolf home to treat it. He keeps an eye on it through the night and suddenly where once there was a wolf in the cage is unexpectedly a gorgeous woman, a gorgeous naked blond woman. Vanessa could not believe this had happened to her a homicidal house cat had brought her down. Even now it sat outside the cage trying to get to her. Her allergies were going to be the death of her yet, literally. She could barely breathe not to mention a human had found her and now knew about lycans. Jordan was going to be so mad, at best he might ask her to leave, at worst he would kill her and the human to protect the pack. Meds, she needed meds or Jordan wouldn't have to killer her. This was all Jordan's fault anyway for sending her out when he knew how her allergies were. Now someone was out to make the lycan species extinct, the alpha female was missing and Vanessa's mate was a human. Could life get any more complicated? Yes the killer decided Vanessa needs to be eliminated next. Humor runs throughout this story, as does suspense and romance. As unusual a paranormal romance Past My Defenses is I still found it to be an absorbing story I have read in a long time. I was laughing out loud as poor Vanessa and Dane got to know each other and Dane worked his way around the minefield of her numerous allergies. I especially thought it was hilarious how everyone keeps asking if he knows she is allergic to marshmallows like he is insane to get involved with someone so freakish. Dane even memorizes the two pages of allergies to ensure to avoid them. Now that is true love. I sincerely hope there will be more from Wendy Sparrow in her Taming the pack series. If so I hope Jordan will be next in line to find his pack, or if possible, maybe Travis. There is definitely more to these two than what meets the eye. Wendy Sparrow is a new author for me, but I can see her becoming an author I will be following closely. Pick up a copy of Past My Defenses and enjoy yourself beyond belief.
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read. Vanessa and Dane story is when you find your other half, you will do anything to keep it.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Meet Vanessa, she is a wolf shifter who is allergic to almost everything. She wakes up in a cage at Dane's house. Dane is a smexy forest ranger, they instantly bond. Vanessa is in heat and Dane resists her many advances. Throw in a cranky alpha and a mysterious coworker and you have a fun story. This was a funny, well paced book, but I felt a little cheated. The two main characters repeatedly get hot and heavy together, but don't actually follow through. I also became annoyed by how flighty vanessa was. Overall is was a entertaining story about true love, with plot twists that will shock the reader. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine. Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him? Review: I enjoyed this paranormal romance by new to me Author Wendy Sparrow. With all her allergies, Vanessa needs to live in a plastic bubble...LOL  There were parts to Vanessa's character that I did not like and at times I wanted to tell Dane to run away from her, she is too much trouble but I guess that would not make a very good romance ;)  Vanessa seemed to get herself into trouble or put herself in harms way alot.  Dane has the patience of a saint in my book!  For being thrown into a world of shifters, finding out you are a mate to one and then trying to keep that mate from getting killed he really handles it well and tries to make this budding relationship work. Overall, I  enjoyed the story.  The Author's voice had the right mix of humor and snark that I like in books.  The ending was not all that surprising to me, I guessed who was behind the killings but I have to say I did not get why until the end.  I would definitely like to read more from this Author! 3.5 Stars
LITERALADDICTION_MLO More than 1 year ago
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Chelle: *Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review --Actual rating 3.5 Skulls Past My Defenses, the first book in the TAMING THE PACK series by Wendy Sparrow was a cute read, and it had a GREAT surprise towards the end with the whodunit, but I didn't love the heroine. I spent too much time wanting to smack her and rolling my eyes and that took away from the overall enjoyment of the book for me personally. There are going to be readers who adore her though, she's quirky, utterly 'human' in her flaws, and makes her man work to win her... I really loved Dane though. He is one of those instantly trusting and accepting heroes and has a protective streak a mile wide. Wendy also does a great job of making him just alpha enough while reminding the reader that he's just human, he's not this uber powerful werewolf like the other guys of the tale. When he's thrown into a world he didn't even know existed and confronted with a woman who both infuriates and fascinates him, it's incredibly entertaining to get inside his head.  The overall storyline was decently paced. There were some areas where I felt myself losing interest, but those were primarily the spots where I wasn't feeling Vanessa, but as soon as the gears shifted I found myself sucked back in and loving the surprises that Wendy spun into the plot. I also loved the tension and interaction between the supporting characters of the entire book. I instantly found myself wanting more of several, and I can only hope that as the series continues we'll get their individual tales.  Bottom line: Past My Defenses was a good paranormal romance - quirkily, different, fun, and surprising, and as mentioned, while I didn't connect with the leading lady, there will be readers who will absolutely love her. Plus, why wouldn't you want to check out a book that started out as a joke on Twitter!? Such a great birth of an idea. :) 
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
Werewolf with allergies = Fun Read! “It’s not that long of a list.” Well, it was, but it could be longer…in theory. He laughed in response. “I don’t even know what a couple of those things are.” “Like what?” “Annato seeds. And I don’t know anyone else who’s allergic to marshmallows.” It’s one thing to have a long list of allergies, but it’s quite another when you are a werewolf! And for Vanessa, nothing is more embarrassing than waking up in a cage after having her wolf form taken down by Lucifer…the devil…cat, all because of those allergies! And to make matters worse, Dane, the forest ranger who found her and caged her, turns out to be her mate…and he’s a human, and it’s not going to be easy to get him to believe that she wasn't the wolf in the cage. Talk about having a bad day! Oh, and the fact that she’s currently in heat and can’t seem to keep her hormones from taking over…well doesn't that just add some extra fun... For Vanessa, when things get difficult, she runs…except this time the lure of her mate has her rethinking her instinct to run. Throw into the mix the pack alpha who is thinking of making Vanessa the pack Alpha female, a poacher who his killed and has set his sights on Vanessa, and her mate who refuses to give in to desire because he wants to be sure that her attraction to him isn't just because she’s in heat…it’s a wonder why Vanessa hasn't already hit the other coast! “When she’d taken off, he’d practically pulled muscles trying to chase her. He was sure he’d really screwed up – and, okay, he had, but then she’d turned at the edge of the landscaped portion of the cabin’s yard, and the alarm in him settled. The rush of adrenaline had turned to arousal. His brain filled with what seemed like an arrogant and outrageous certainty: she was his. I just loved this fun read. Although there wasn't a lot of steam on the pages, the tension was off the charts as Vanessa and Dane battled their attraction to one another. The mystery of the poacher and who was behind the killings was great and, although I had a feeling I knew whodunit, there were still some twists that kept me surprised and turning the pages. I really enjoyed the world and characters that have been created, the human/lycan connection was a nice twist to the traditional werewolf lore. There were a lot of great characters introduced and I can’t wait to read more about the pack, especially Jordan and Travis. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Sami_Creech More than 1 year ago
Vanessa has got to be the funniest Lycan I have ever read about. She is snarky, passionate and a hot mess. Vanessa is allergic to pretty much everything which makes it hard on her to track and do basic things in either form. She is sent out by her Alpha Jordan to track a member of the pack who has disappeared. Of course Vanessa tried to tell him she would be worthless with her allergies acting up but one cannot disobey an order form their alpha so off she goes. While she is on her tracking mission she is assaulted by a cat which brings her down and she is taken in by Dane who is a forest ranger to make sure she is ok. Dane gets the surprise of his life when he turns around to check on the wolf her brought home and comes face to face with a naked woman instead. Vanessa tries her hardest to convince Dane is nus but he is having none of that. TO top it off Vanessa realizes that Dane is her mate. While trying to figure out how she could possibly be mated to a human she finds out that the pack member she was sent to find hated her and wanted her dead. Elaborate plans were made to take her out. Jordan and Dane fight over who gets to protect her and of course being her she wants to protect everyone else. This is a wonderfully written story that will suck you in from the first paragraph. It is full of romance, sexy fights, and intrigue. Definite must read!