Tour’s Books Blog

January 29, 2010

Book Review: Claimed by the Wolf by Charlene Teglia

  • Title: Claimed by the Wolf
  • Author: Charlene Teglia
  • Type:  Erotic paranormal romance
  • Genre:  Witch accidentally opens a portal for demons and is given second chance – at a price
  • Sub-genre:  Sex magic and death
  • My Grade: C+ (3.5*)
  • Rating: xxx
  • Length and price: Full novel.  80,000 words for $13.99, discounts available
  • Where Available: Where books are sold
  • FTC Disclosure: Purchased from online bookstore

In Claimed by the Wolf, Charlene Teglia writes a super hot paranormal sex romp that tells the tale of what happens when rookie witch Sybil Ames dabbles in magic well beyond her skill level.  Sybil is the coven’s youngest witch and frustrated by her very slow training.  One day she stops at an estate sale and discovers a book hidden in an old dresser.  Thinking it an old grimoire, she buys it for $1.   In just barely trying it, she accidentally opens a portal to the demon world when the old spell book compels her to speak a spell.  Realizing she’s done something awful, she calls on the Goddess for help.  Caught in the lash of power she can’t control,   Sybil does the only thing she can think of, breaks the magic circle to allow a Guardian in to try to destroy the spell book she’d thought so ordinary.  Kenric, a werewolf, breaks through, but in trying to burn the book. the spell is able to jump and write itself in her body.  She has become a living spell that could open a portal to the demon world.

Kenric grabs her and takes her to where he and the other Shadow Guardians have dwelled for ages.  Thousands of years ago the werewolves, dragons, vampires, fae, even some demons banded together to drive the evil for the world.  In the midst of a great battle, the witches betrayed them and attacked them.   As king of the werewolves, Kenric felt as if he had failed his people.  In death, he and others were given a chance to act as Shadow Guardians, protecting the portals by the goddess Inanna.  They live in an alternate world where she now is.  She is about to learn the price of her request for help to Inanna.

Inanna is goddess of sex and war.  The five Shadow Guardians, Kenric, a werewolf, Kadar, a dragon, Abadan, a demon, Adrian, a vampire, and Ronan, a fae.  Each were marked by the goddess through death magic.  Now she must be marked by them, each in turn, through sex magic.  Having asked the goddess of sex and war has another side affect, she’s always horny.  Five days and five nights, one day with each for them to do with as they please.  Each one will mark her, until the the mark is complete and the power of the spell sealed.  While the prospect of being with some of these males is frightening, it’s also exciting to Sybil, something she finds completely unexpected.  Witches are, by nature, polyandrous, but she’s had a rather sedate sex life.  Things are about to change.

First is Kenric.  He’s already taken her as a way to control the heat that keeps building inside of her, but his hatred of witches for their betrayal in the battle that cost his people their lives vies with his need to mate with the witch.  He is astonished when knots inside her, something that only happens when a werewolf finds its mate. Kenric does not want to be attached to a witch.  He struggles with feelings of deep seated guilt that he failed his people by not seeing the witches would betray them and switch sides to fight with the demons.  The ties between a werewolf king and his people is a strong one, one that makes him feel his failings very deeply.  Sybil is aware of his ambivalence toward her, but not the whole reason why.  Of the five Guardians, it is Kenric that Sybil is most drawn to.

The relationship between Sybil and Kenric is an interesting one, but it’s Kadar that appeals to me as a character.  Teglia created a rather unusual charmer with her dragon.  Kenric hands her off to the dragon by chaining her to a rock at the dragon’s mercy.  Kadar really is charming and witty and very observant.  He is also telepathic and has a tail in his human form that he enjoys using during sex.  With each successive mark, Sybil gains more control over the power inside her and each of her lovers teach her how to channel her power a bit better.

She just finishes her fifth day and has the last mark of Inanna when she and Ronan get the news that Abadan has been taken captive.  This last, relatively short portion of the book, like the initial setup, moves very fast – too fast to have sufficient weight and depth to carry the whole story.

The five days and nights form the bulk of the book and the sex is smoking hot.  More importantly, Teglia allows Sybil to keep a sense of humor through the whole thing.  Some of the plot elements in Claimed by the Wolf have a lot in common with Teglia’s Animal Attraction – one female, multiple men vying to pleasure her sexually alone and together in order to win her as a mate.  While the goal here isn’t to secure a mate, but to create a magical mark, the males are naturally competitive, sensual, and highly sexed.  While I felt a lot of affection among the group, I didn’t get the depth of feeling or abiding sense of love between Kenric and Sybil.  The story around the spells and the magic was interesting and provided enough substance to hold my interest, but mostly I felt like whole chapters were more like an introduction to the secondary characters rather than an integral part of the plot.  I find that many erotic romance author’s often set the stage for another book or series in book one, losing any compelling storyline in the process.  As an erotic romance is succeeds, but the characters are just developing.  Only Sybil, Kenric, Kadar, and to a lesser extent, Abadan get really fleshed out to any extent.  If the book is the start of the series, I’m not sure how this polyandrous relationship will set with a second female character in the mix.  Had there been just a bit more character and plot development, this could easily have been a B- to B book.

Was Claimed by the Wolf worth the price?  Well, not to me.  It was good, just not $10+ dollars worth of good.  There is the real problem I keep running into – all too often erotic romance is more pricey than good.  For erotic romance fans – this is a solid recommendation for a red hot read.

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