Hand-Carved Wolf

Kristal Dawn

Shade Brown is battling a number of issues. The nasty scar on his face instantly puts people on guard around him. He earned it a year ago, when he lost his wife in a horrific car wreck. Now his mother — the woman who was helping him raise his daughter — passes away. He sees life through very dark lenses. When his daughter refuses to deal with their losses by taking on the persona of a wolf, Shade’s not sure how he will cope until he meets Lacey Davis, a nurse with complicated issues of her own. She took on the job of caring for a man who was dying of cancer, then fell in love with and married him. When he passed, he left his immense fortune to her alone, drawing the scorn of his family. When she begins having nighttime visits from the ghost of an American Indian woman with a message, she thinks she is losing touch with reality. 

A lovely premise binds this short but heartwarming fantasy romance. The characters are well developed and have strong motivations, with realistic reactions. The writing, however, is simplistic. Short, choppy sentences disturb the flow, and a huge chunk of backstory in the opening chapters slow the story down. That being said, the “bones” of the plot are strong, the love story emotionally moving, and the sex scenes tasteful. The sprinklings of humor with the two old ladies who help bring Shade and Lacey together are fresh and balance the dark tone of these characters’ problems. For readers looking for a classic love story with very serious undertones well delivered, “Hand-Carved Wolf” is just the thing.

FS Brown