Barnette, aka bestselling author Jennifer Armintrout, paints a bleak life for her characters — both the humans and the wolf shifters. Some of the most interesting parts of the story concern the hero and heroine’s misconceptions about each other. Aurelia has a difficult time seeing Raf as anything more than a cripple and Raf thinks Aurelia is weak because she is a mere human. After they spend time getting to know each other, they do start a relationship, however, as they are trapped in a dire situation with no one else to turn to, it seems like the pair is together more out of convenience than true love. But while the romance aspects are lacking, the author’s worldbuilding is spot on. Readers will be intrigued by the inhumane, deadly wolf-men that are very different from the shifters in other paranormal tales.

Although Aurelia is happy to be leaving her father’s castle, which has always been more like a prison than a home, she has many misgivings about where she will be going next. The fully human Aurelia is engaged to a wolf-man, Sir Roderick Canis who is the son of Lord Abelard, the leader of the free wolves of England. Aurelia is escorted to her intended's demesne by Sir Raf, Roderick's older, disabled brother. Raf fears that if danger erupts, he will not be able to protect Aurelia because he is missing a leg. But when she is threatened, Raf’s wolf instincts emerge and he finds that he can keep Aurelia alive. However, their journey is not an easy one. On the run, and emotionally exhausted, the two look to each other for comfort even while knowing they will soon be parted. (RESPLENDENCE, Oct., dl., $3.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Dawn Crowne