Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen Series #1)

( 131 )

Overview

Ann Smith loves her handsome, dynamic boss, Jasha Wilder, but her daring plan to seduce him goes awry when she encounters a powerful wolf who-before her horrified eyes-changes into the man she adores. She soon discovers she can't escape her destiny, for she is the woman fated to break the curse that binds his soul.

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Scent of Darkness (Darkness Chosen Series #1)

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Overview

Ann Smith loves her handsome, dynamic boss, Jasha Wilder, but her daring plan to seduce him goes awry when she encounters a powerful wolf who-before her horrified eyes-changes into the man she adores. She soon discovers she can't escape her destiny, for she is the woman fated to break the curse that binds his soul.

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  • Scent of Darkness
    Scent of Darkness  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This satisfying series kickoff finds Ann Smith, an inexperienced, plain-Jane office assistant, dropping off some paperwork at the home of her handsome, successful boss, Jasha Wilder-and hoping to use the opportunity to confess her mad crush on him-when she catches him transforming from wolf to man. It's just the beginning for the dumbstruck secretary, whose discovery draws her into Jasha's cursed world-his family's ancient pact with the devil, the search for their clan relics, a gang of boisterous, unpredictable relatives who share his shape-shifting ability-and onward to her extraordinary destiny. Dodd's latest is a fast-paced, well-written paranormal, with a full, engaging mythology and a handful of memorable characters. In Ann, she creates the quintessential all-American girl, counterpointing nicely the rich tapestry of Jasha's family history; the mix shows great promise for future volumes. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Barnes & Noble Review

From Eloisa James's "READING ROMANCE" column on The Barnes & Noble Review


I grew up knowing all the connotations of pink, thanks to my feminist mother. Pink was the color of Barbie's shoes, hula hoops, and Pink Floyd, all of which she loathed. And the color of bubble gum and cotton candy, neither of which she allowed (she was an early foodie). But somewhere along the line, pink took on a different connotation: it was adopted by a fierce band of women tackling a devastating disease -- breast cancer. These days, pink is feminine and feminist, the color of women warriors.

This fall Penguin Books has launched a special initiative to promote breast cancer awareness: classic, reissued romances written by Nora Roberts, Bertrice Small, and more, tagged with pink ribbons. I read a few of these novels, and was delighted to find romances with no relation to cotton candy. These are books that tackle life's toughest issues head-on, that depict men and women in hardship, in pain, and in love.

Nora Roberts's Angels Fall is the story of Reece Gilmore, a woman whose life is torn apart by the kind of casual violence that has become seemingly commonplace in America. The sole survivor of a workplace massacre, she suffers from extreme PTSD. Once a promising chef, she now lives hand-to-mouth in a rattling car, hitting the ground every time a truck backfires. When the novel begins, she finds herself in a tiny town, meeting a sardonic, surly writer named Brody, and begins to heal -- until she witnesses a murder. She's already considered a nutcase, so no one believes her, except for Brody. He is the man every woman living through trauma needs at her side. When Reece tries to hide her scars, Brody shocks her out of self-pity by mocking her ears and her skinny hips. He never babies her, but he fights for her, always remembers to lock the doors, and brings her tulips in every color of the rainbow.

Irene Stenson, the heroine of Jayne Ann Krenz's All Night Long, is also haunted by murder -- but in her case, it's the deaths of her mother and father. She discovered their bodies as a teenager, and even now, seventeen years later, she's afraid of the dark, and blood makes her dizzy. Irene never believed the police's verdict of murder/suicide, and she's come home to find out the truth. Along with a murderer, she finds a man who understands, bone-deep, what it is to be scarred by death. Luke Danner is an ex-Marine haunted by the whap-whap-whap of helicopters, unable to take himself out of "battle ready" mode. Luke is a gruff, taciturn man, the kind a woman can lean on, and cry on, and depend on. He's no more social than Brody and he, too, believes Irene when no one else does. In a spinning world, he is, as she says, "sure and true and right."

In Jodi Thomas's Welcome to Harmony, Alex McAllen is the town sheriff -- and a woman given to behavior unbefitting to her uniform. She is so scarred by the guilt she feels for her brother's death that she tends to drink herself insensible on Saturday nights. Luckily for Alex, her brother's best friend, fire chief Hank Matheson, hauls her out of the bar before she goes home with any cowboy who wanders by. In short, Alex's problems aren't small, and Jodi Thomas doesn't minimize them. She is a woman in pain, a woman whose guilt is as crippling as Reece's fear in Angels Fall. Hank becomes her right hand, not only in the bar, but as they tackle a firebug threatening their small town, and his strength gives her the courage to fight on, to accept the past. This novel looks squarely at the fact that despairing people are not always easy to get along with -- nor to love. And yet they need love more than anyone else.

Catherine Anderson's Always in My Heart looks at a pain that is even sharper than that caused by the death of a brother or parent:  two years ago Ellie Grant and her ex-husband Tucker lost their oldest boy Sammy -- and their marriage shortly thereafter. Now they're both trying to mend. Ellie is certain that Tucker's luscious girlfriend Liz doesn't bother her. Tucker thinks Ellie's friend Marvin is a loser, but it's none of his business. The only people who truly don't accept Marvin and Liz are the Grants' two remaining children, Kody and Zach. But it's not until the boys manufacture a way to get Ellie and Tucker into the wilderness together, with time alone, that they discover each other's wracking guilt. Both of them are hiding a heart-breaking secret, and it's Tucker who realizes that they must learn to talk to each other. Even better, he knows exactly the words that will start the healing: "I'll always, always love you…until the rivers stop flowing, and the ocean goes dry." 

Christina Dodd's Ann Smith, in Scent of Darkness, feels unlovable not because of a burden of guilt or sorrow, but because she was convinced as a young girl that she somehow attracts devilish attention -- and that those who love her will die. Thinking that camouflage will work a miracle, she laughs softly, never swears, keeps her virginity, and dresses sedately, hoping to disguise the scary little tattoo she's had from birth, the one that will attract the Evil One and his minions. What she needs is no more than what the other women in these books need: someone who believes her, who loves her, and who is not frightened by her problems. Someone who will stop her from feeling unloved, unwanted, and sorry for herself. In her case, this turns out to be Jasha Wilder. A distant ancestor of Jasha's made a pact with the devil, so her little tattoo is nothing compared to the one that ripples from his shoulder to his waist. He realizes that Ann wouldn't, in his words, recognize love if it dragged her into the forest, but he convinces her:  "Without you, I'm not whole…Maybe you want a stronger man who doesn't need you. But this is the only kind of love I have, and it's yours if you want it."

Sitting across from a doctor when she says the word "cancer" is a moment that no woman forgets. But if that woman happens to have at her shoulder a man like those described in these novels -- the kind who will love her no matter what, who accepts her scars and her guilt and even her drunken Saturday nights -- then she is luckier than she feels. Life spends a good deal of time knocking us down. These novels build a reader back up, giving her the backbone and the courage to go on for another day, without pretending that scars and guilt are easy to ignore, or that they don't mark us as people. That makes them perfect complements to the cause they support.  




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451221735
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/3/2007
  • Series: Darkness Chosen Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 336,708
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 4.24 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Dodd is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into twelve languages. She lives in Washington with her husband and two dogs.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 131 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2010

    Great new series

    Sent of Darkness by Christina Dodd
    Ann smith was absolutely in love with her boss; she had worked for him for years and he never seemed to notice her in anything other than a professional capacity. She desperately wanted to show him her feminine side. So after receiving an important fax regarding his business she took that as a perfect excuse to dive up to his home in Washington and seduce him.
    Once she got to his home she found he was not home and proceeded to make her self at home and get ready to seduce him. Once she heard something down stairs she was excited it may be him, rushing to find out she found more than she bargained for. All she wanted was this perfect man and instead what was standing before her was a perfect wolf now shifting into what was that perfect man. As soon as she gathered her strength she ran for it and he followed chase.
    Ann soon learn that not only was she now a part of this man's world but she was also destined to save his soul and his family. This was a lot to learn in one day. She knew she loved Jasha but could he ever truly love her for her or because she is his family's only salvation?
    Jasha Wilder was a formidable man he had a great family a growing business and all the women he wanted. But he held secretes that were coming back for him and his brothers with a vengeance. Now that his distance relatives were back and seem to be out for blood he will do anything to protect his family and Ann. He had known her the whole time she worked for him, he trusted her above all else but now he found he wanted to know even more of her, every inch of her. This woman did not sooth his beast she brought it closer to the surface but he wanted her even more. If they can just survive the war that has been brought to them he will have and keep this woman if it is the last thing he does. But can he convince her that his love for her is genuine?
    I thought this was a good book. I was a very quick and easy read. At first it was a bit slow and dry but as soon as it picked up, man did it pick up. It flowed smoothly though each chapter keeping you waiting for more. It was just so easy to read. Jasha was the perfect alpha male takes what he wants and damn the conciseness. He knows how to protect and wants to do everything right for Ann; messing things up a few times, but he never quits trying. Ann was very sweet and since she had hid her own secretes that have made her a bit weary she is a little shy and timid but it is to be expected from what she has gone through. I think this was a good series and I will be reading the rest of the series I would like to see how the rest of the brothers fair.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I just don't know.

    Forgive my low review but, this is actually a prequel to Dodd's Chosen series. It tells the story of what happened to Aleksandr Wilder's family. I bought this book along with Storm of Shadows at the same time. I read storm of shadows and was disappointed with that one. Then I started reading Scent of Darkness and I feel alseep so many times during the first two chapters I finally stopped and put it down. I already know what happens in the end, they break the curse of course... I read Chosen series first, how would I not know? Perhaps one day, I'll pick it back up. This is another "love" conquers all against evil series. I researched more and found out she wrote it very much like she did her chosen series, I have decided to put this one down for a while. Until then, it stays low on my list of things I wish to read. I am a little disappointed that it wasn't mentioned by the author that this could have been read as a prequal to the Chosen series, then I would have probably started off with scent of darkness first. It was my first choice afterall, but barnes and noble didn't have it in stock, therefore I went with Storm of visions first.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    Just okay

    The idea was original the writing not so much. Scent of Darkness was okay as a filler book (until I can get my hands on the next J.R. Ward or Karen Moning) but I don't see myself going out of my way to purchase any other books in this series. The characters were too wishy-washy, going from one emotion to the next so quickly I wasn't entirely sure they weren't in need of some bipolar medication and what they were feeling for each other didn't come off as real. I'm still not sure Jasha really loved Ann. And, while Dodd did have a few moments of good writing she had a lot more of just okay writing with a lot of cliche descriptions. A lot of it just felt awkward.I'll probably read the next one, if the library has it, just to see if Dodd improves. For the plot's sake I hope she does.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2007

    No depth of Character

    Since this is Ms. Dodd's first attempt at the paranormal genre I shouldn't critize it to much. Ms. Dodd is an awesome writer. However, her characters lacked imagination and depth. This book has a wonderful storyline. The quest to break a thousand year old curse is pretty cool. But I found myself wanting to hear more about Jasha's(main character) parents then watching his relationship unfold with his assistant. She left so much untold. Or, maybe she told it but there wasn't a real connection with the characters. Even Ann (Jasha's love interest) didn't believe Jasha truly loved her. Just when I thought it was going to get really interesting it burned out and was boring. No build up and No battle. This book didn't leave me aching to read the next. It did however leave me curious to see if gets better as she continues the quest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ann Smith is a quiet, organized woman who has moved up the company she works for to become the owner¿s office administrator. She heads to his country home, having to drop off important paperwork, and hoping to seduce her handsome boss. All is going well until she hears a noise in the house and witnesses a wolf change into a man, only it isn¿t just any man, it is her boss, Jasha. She runs to get away, and one thing a wolf loves to do is to give chase. Jasha is shocked to find Ann in his house. He chases Ann and some very steamy scenes progress from there. During the run, Ann comes across a beautiful find. The painting of Madonna is a family icon for Jasha, which was thrown into four corners of the earth when a pack was made with the devil, and it could mean the redemption of his family if and when all four pieces of the icon are found. Ann¿s destiny slowly unfolds and the truth that she has kept hidden also comes to light. Jasha and Ann must make it to safety there are enemies who are out to kill them both. Mystical creatures in Ann¿s mind, however, they are members of Jasha¿s family. Over 1000 years ago, Konstantine made a deal with the devil and in return for reeking terror the family was gifted with the ability to change shape and have extended life spans. Konstantine Wilder broke away from the pack to marry the woman he loves and has had many gifts in life while in hiding from his family. He is also very ill so his children must find all of the icons to redeem the family. I found Scent of Darkness a well-written, quick paced book. I had a hard time connecting to Jasha, however, the rest of the characters were a pleasure to meet. I look forward to reading more of the series from Ms. Dodd. Deidre Sine of Night Owl Romance © Night Owl Romance 2005-2006

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    But I didn't feel any type of pull between Ann and Jasha. The idea is superb... a family cursed for a thousand years, but the execution just seemed a little off to me, and I was really looking forward to the series. Jasha's character didn't seem as developed as I would have expected and Ann's had too many twists that just got to be too much. I mean, I know the idea of the book is about as fictional as it can get but I found myself rolling my eyes alot, as far as her character goes. And also- I'm all for pop culture references but by the 400th one, I was bored.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    Office assistant Ann Smith knows she loves her boss, Jasha Wilder, although he only behaves professionally with her. She assumes her feelings will remain unrequited as a handsome hunk would never look twice at a plain Jane. Still one evening when Ann drops off papers at Jasha¿s home, she decides to tell him the truth. However, her confession is short circuited when she observes her employer change into a werewolf. --- One millennium ago, Jasha¿s ancestor Konstantine Varinski made a Faustian deal with the devil, which his descendants suffer from ever since. Jasha's parents ignored the devilish contract to marry and raise children. However, their act of defiance has left the Wilder family in jeopardy of eternity as permanent guests of the devil if they fail to restore the missing pieces of a religious icon. Shockingly Ann has become part of the solution or perhaps more likely a resident of the hell. --- The opening gamut in Christina Dodd¿s Darkness Chosen paranormal romantic suspense story line is a fantastic thriller due to a strong fully developed cast. The contrast between the lead couple is wonderfully interwoven into the fast-paced story line so that the reader compares her Americanism to his millennium shift shaping heritage. SCENT OF DARKNESS is must reading for sub-genre fans as Ms. Dodd serves up a fabulous first entry and if this is any indication of the quality of the future entries, the audience will receive immense pleasure with this saga. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Loved it

    I don't normally read this genre, but this book held me from the beginning. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    This was my first experience with this author, and definitely my

    This was my first experience with this author, and definitely my last. This book was poorly written, characters had no depth, and the story was so terribad, I could not even make it to the end. Just pass this one by folks, and grab up some Nalini Singh, Briggs, or someone of that nature. I know this genre doesn't get a whole lot of serious attention, but let's not degrade so low as to let authors like this get away with putting out such garbage.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Some issues but still a good read...

    My Review:
    This is a tough book for me to review and rate, because generally, my ratings are based purely on how much I enjoyed the experience of reading the book.
    This is a book that I enjoyed reading. I read it pretty much in one sitting and did not want to put it down, but there were certain aspects of the story that bothered me and simply did not sit right with me.

    But instead of focusing on the negative first, let's talk about what I did like about this book.

    *I like the demon/shapeshifter aspect of this book. I like that the shapeshifters are the way that they are because of a pact made with the devil 1000 years ago. I thought that this was a really creative twist on a paranormal story. That pact has come at the price of love, and I liked that the Wilder's have cheated this curse of the pact.

    *I liked the scene where Ann realized that Jasha was a shapeshifter and what a shock that was to her, although I had issues with the scene immediately following that (I talk about that below.)

    *I liked that Christina showed Jasha relating with the local wolf-pack, who are really wolves. They know that he is different, but they still accept and protect him. It was interesting to see the interactions between him and Leader...two alphas in their own right.

    *I liked that Jasha owns a winery and how their vine-growing abilities come from their mother's gypsy blood and her gift with plants.

    *I liked the relationship between the siblings and want to know more about what happened with Adrik. The three siblings that are left, though, have a good relationship and I always like reading stories with good sibling relationships.

    The things that bothered me about the book were issues with the main characters:

    *Jasha is too alpha. He basically forces Ann several times in the book and ultimately, she does get pleasure from that, but it was always prefaced by pain. This was just too close to rape for my liking and Jasha admits and apologizes for "forcing" her several times. It just seemed wrong somehow in the way that it was written someway...

    *Jasha and Ann have worked together for 3+ years. 6 months ago, she decided that she was going to change so that she could be the type to attract him. He admits that he never really saw her as anything more than his really efficient assistant. I have a hard time accepting soulmates when it requires her to change to get his attention.

    Like I said, I enjoyed the book. There were just those little things that niggled and didn't sit well as I was reading it, and for me, those little things are big when it comes to the ability for a relationship to last forever...even in a romance novel.

    I am still debating about whether I will read the other three books in the series. I am curious about where the story goes from here because there were a lot of unanswered questions left after this one.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    great read!

    I loved this book and cannot wait to start the 2nd one! There are several things that keep you reading to the end of the book....and wanting to read the rest of the series! I love paranormals....and this is no exception. I wasn't crazy about the cover - and put off reading it for a while because of that.....then, I gave in. And am I glad I did!!!! Highly recommended!

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    O.K but...

    I'm a little disappointed because though I liked the story, the writing skill lacked. The character's feeling were explained but yet not where you can "Be in the characters", many times I had to read the lines again to understand because of either grammar or typing problems. The story didn't "flow". There were bumps here and there for me!!
    And that's too bad, it could have been really good.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely Love This Series!!!!!

    I don't usually read paranormals, in fact this was my first time but I fell in love from the start. I love Dodd's writing! I could not put any of these books down. I read them one right after another and was so sad when it was over. Loved them!!!!

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    Great Book, great Author

    Christina is a wonderful author and I would recommend reading her books.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Lovely start to a new series

    The plot was very interesting and engaging. The characters are even more so. Overall...very good book.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    great beginning

    I absolutely loved this book. It had me in its grip from the beginning. Went through it very quickly only to be disappointed and yet thrilled at the end. I was not aware when i picked up the book that it was the first of a series and was therefore disappointed that i could not find out what happened next. However, I was thrilled to find out that there would be a whole nother book for me to breeze through.

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  • Posted December 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous!

    Wow, The whole Darkness Chosen Series is great. Christina Dodd really develops the characters. The only draw back I can think of, is each book pretty much has the same story line. Which I suppose, with a story like this, it has too. It is definaly thirlling and very romantic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    this is a good book to pass the time with if you are waiting on your favorite authurs book to come out..I used this book to fill in time waiting for Meyer's Breaking Dawn..but it is a page turner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    Obsession Worthy

    Normally, and when I say that I mean that only in the one precentile range, do I ever read a romance book classified beyond historical. The reason why is moot but having a love for Christina Dodd as I do, and lack of books available to me on an impromptu family vacation, I found myself purchasing 'Scent of Darkness'. I really thought I was going to have to pressure myself into reading this but once I started I couldn't find enough personal time for me to read more of it. I used every excuse I could remember creating as a teenager to be left alone to read. It's certainly not what I was expecting as a paranormal book. Even the whole 'romance' part of it sticks with the fact that the relationships founded by these men are as primitive as their animal halves. My only disappointment is there is only one other book out in the series and I'll have to wait for the others. As a parting note I can't forget to mention that little cliff hanger at the end, which is surely what is driving me out in this thunderstorm to purchase the sequel. If that doesn't say how good this book is, I don't know what does.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2007

    Intriguing concept and fast-paced read

    I love the concept and Christina delivers a jammed pact thriller with snappy dialog and hot sex scenes while leaving you hungry for more. This one is the first of a 4 book series. Can't wait for the next installment.

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