Review: Claimed by the Wolf by Charlene Teglia

      Claimed by the Wolf: A Shadow Guardians Novel
Charlene Teglia; Kindle Edition, 304 pages, Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published December 8th 2009)
They guard humanity against supernatural threats from the five gateways into the world. The Shadow Guardians: a vampire, a werewolf, a demon, a dragon and a fae are united in brotherhood— and war.
 Shadow Guardian Kenrick is an alpha werewolf forever in his prime. When Sybil, a beautiful apprentice witch, unknowingly opens a realm to the Otherworld, there is a sudden influx of demons—and it’s up to Kenrick to help her stop them. Soon their passion flares and Kenrick desires Sybil as his mate. But to form their union, Sybil faces the ultimate test: She must bind herself to the Shadow Guardians by sharing herself with all five warriors.
 – Goodreads on Claimed by the Wolf

Just looking at the cover, what does it make you think of? I mean, aside the normal “mm, hunk, tattoo, yummy” part  You know what it made me think of? Gena Showalter‘s Lords of the Underworld series, am I right? By the way, one of these days I’ll post my thoughts on that as well, I was hoping I’d be able to postpone that until the last novel would be published, but since it’s gonna be a while and there’ll be a few novels in the series coming out, I’ll just go ahead and post my review of the ones I’ve read up to date (meaning all of them  ). But don’t let me get sidetracked, we’re talking about Claimed by the Wolf here.
 I don’t mean anything mean by the cover similarity, it’s just one more example of the “covers phenomenon” that I’ve seen takes place. Some “pattern” of covers gets a lot of thumbs up, as a result a lot of books specifically from the same genre begin looking like they’re relatives, resembling each other. Don’t make that face at me, I know you’ve noticed. There are “trends”, like the stud-muffin with sculpted abs (often not showing faces at all, at times showing some face too), or the gorgeous chick (often in a very elegant gown), or the flowers (various takes on color, species, settings) and so on. I guess it’s a formula that works, so a lot of people tend to apply it. But I think the visually appealing effect wears off very quick, there’s such a thing as desensitizing the audience. Never mind, this is another tangent.

Ok, so, the cover looks yummy. Fact. Dark and sexy and all; maybe not so much original, but yummy no doubt. On to the content.
 I was really getting into it, after the first pages of the first chapter. It looked very, very promising, curses, witches, all kinds of supernatural beings, stud-muffins, the works. Very, very promising.

One thing is for sure, Charlene Teglia knows how to make her readers chuckle. With heated content, that’s not always easy, but she does it and seems to do it effortlessly. Her writing style is very entertaining, easy to follow, fun, full of suggestive imagery. On the writing itself, it could easily be a 5 out of 5. I’d love to read something written by her other then erotica, because it feels to me like she could pull of some YA, for instance, with stellar success.

Her characters are really charismatic, and quite strong, considering we’re focusing on the one on one (though many on many in cases…) action. They’re quite intense, and I like that a lot. They’re also hard to dislike, which says a lot about the way she builds them; I mean by that, she has the acute skill of building you a picture you’ll find it hard to dislike. Of course, one can also think she doesn’t linger on the characters enough to bring up the dislike-able traits.

The plot was well thought out; it had a clear, consistent direction, and there was some battle action as well as couple-action (Can I call it that? Meh…). I will say though there could have been a lot more development of the plot, and it would have permitted it quite well, because it was well thought out. However, the author chose not to go too in-depth with it.
 Instead, she went very in-depth with the sex, no pun intended. There’s all sort of sex going on in this novel; the one on one, possessive kind, the slightly (very slightly, by my standards) power-play kind, threesomes, moresomes, voyeurism, all sorts. There’s also emotional involvement, which I found a bit disturbing, I’m sorry to say. Let me explain that.

Sybil has to go through 5 lovers to get the mark of this war slash sex goddess, in order to undo the harm she unwittingly does opening one of the gateways between the human world and the realm of shadows, demons and the likes. I’m not spoiling anything, the book blurb says as much  The blurb, however, had me thinking this is going to be a Sybil/Kenric pair, hence the erotic content, I mean, an apprentice witch and an alpha – that’s pretty obvious to be a world of fun. But reading though, I found that while the more emotional couple consists of them, it’s more like a 6 ways relationship with the other guardians, and that’s the part that I found somewhat disturbing. Of course, this might also have to do with the fact that despite my broad likes, multiple partners is not something I’m into reading.
 The ease, or more like pleasure, with which Sybil goes through these 5 lovers, and then keeps them as lovers, to all their mutual pleasure, sort of made me lose interest, really. The sex was hot, but it also seemed shallow; and of course it would seem that way to me, intimacy is not something I associate with multiple partners. Please keep in mind I’m not saying it can’t be intimate, or that it isn’t an awesome thing to have or to do if you’re into it, I’m just saying for me it’s not doing it.

I did very much like the fact that each of the 5 guardians had their own flavor, their own brand of fun. One of them was (or was supposed to be) very much so into power-play, BDSM-ish, and I was sort of looking forward to that part of Sybil’s adventures, but it proved disappointing to me. There wasn’t much dominating going on, aside a light spank and some playing around. Again, of course, that would seem so to me, as I associate real power-play with a deep emotional connection, and it couldn’t have happened in a 24 hours affair, the fifth in a row.

Over all, there was a lot of sex, and I mean a lot, enough plot, and a lot of fun going on. As it wasn’t exactly my brand of fun, I find I enjoyed reading it more then I would have expected. So if you’re into moresomes, and hot sex with supernatural hunks, this is the novel for you. Give it a try, see for yourself.


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