Darkness & Light by J.A. Belfield
Series: Holloway Pack #1
Published by J.Taylor Publishing
Published on: June 6, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
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Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes to be, a bid to escape boredom.
Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn’t met—at least, not in this lifetime.
Apart, the two are safe, but live unfulfilled lives.
Together, they’ll become prey to rival packs, just as they have been for hundreds of years.
When their worlds collide, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Their renewed bond deepens. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.
Can Jem accept her destiny before it’s too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?
Darkness & Light starts off with Jem married to this a$$hole named Peter. Her husband didn’t begin this story as a complete jerk but the speed at which he progressed from “there’s something off about this guy” to full-out “run for your life!” was staggering. I found it weird that it took 8 years for Peter’s crazy to surface in their marriage. Mind you, Jem seemed a little out there as well but in a wolf-like kind of way so I was ok with that. Her definition of what it means to be a wife was simple, instinctual almost in nature but in a human it still came across as a little odd. The werewolf fan in me understood that wife does equal food and sex provider in the wild but my feminist side had a hard time connecting with Jem because of her willingness to stay with and even defend her abusive husband.
I enjoyed the way that the chapters were divided into “Light” and “Dark”; the first being Jem’s real life and the second being her werewolf dreams. The blurb gives you a pretty good idea of what this all means. Jem’s dreaming about her past lives and eventually (as was bound to happen) they collide when she meets Sean. I also really liked Belfield’s werewolf prophecy; it’s complex, unique and I quickly found myself getting sucked in by her Holloway Pack universe. J.R’s beautiful, descriptive writing style definitely played a huge role in my overall enjoyment of this novel as well. My only complaint is that more fat could have been trimmed from this story because it ran a little unnecessarily long.
Jem continued to rub me the wrong way right up until the very end, even after she’d accepted her new reality. Her naivety only seemed to escalate after all that unpleasantness with Peter. For one, she confronts her husband alone after he’s clearly demonstrated that he intends to do her harm. And two, Sean’s pack vehemently warns Jem that she’s in danger because of her heritage and that she needs to be extra cautious. So, what does she do? Wanders off into the woods alone and gets kidnapped. Her stupidity was the driving force behind this story’s plot and I have no patience for dumb heroines. Thank goodness for Sean and his sexy alpha maleness! I love me some good werewolf man candy that this guy had me drooling all over my eReader in no time. He’s never far from Jem’s side so at least you get plenty of good to accompany her bad.
Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book; I loved Belfield’s writing and her werewolves are top notch, especially Sean, but I couldn’t stand her lead female character, Jem. I am going to continue reading this series because I want to know more about the Holloway Pack and the werewolf prophecy, hopefully Jem gets a bit wiser with each new installment or at the very least, Sean forgoes wearing a shirt… and pants.
Great review Carmel, I think I would not even finish the book with a heroine like that. No matter how good the rest of the story is.
I’m crossing my fingers that Darkness & Light had a bit of growing pains and that the next installment will be better.
Great review Carmel and I’m curious to see how the rest of the series will play out. I’m not fond of clueless heroines, but a great alpha will sometimes make up for that. Crossing my fingers that Jem wises up in future installments…and you know…that whole Sean with no pants thing 😀
From what I’ve read this series’ is more about Sean in the latter installments than Jem.