First and foremost, I want to point out that one of the main reasons why I decided to read and review this book is the cover. For some weird reason, I pictured Cloaked to be a story about Little Red Riding Hood with a modern and different twist, with Red Riding Hood being the wolf. Wherever that came from, I don't know, but I'm still glad I had the chance of receiving a copy of this novel.
Title: Cloaked (The Wulfkin Legacy 0.5)
Author: T.F. Walsh
Publication Date: January 4th 2016
Published by: Crimson Romance
Source: ARC Given through Netgalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Raised by an overly protective wulfkin pack, Daciana leaps at the chance to venture into the human world for her one-year independence ritual. But after someone steals the endangered bear cubs she’s been assigned to protect, she must locate them or lose her job and return home in disgrace. The sexy inspector on the case isn’t making this any easier. He knows nothing of her kind, and wulfkin rules forbid relationships with humans.
Newly divorced Inspector Connell Lonescu trusts no one but himself. He’s convinced relationships are a waste of time and thinks burying himself in work will ease the pain. Yet he’s attracted to the gorgeous and mysterious Daciana, even if there’s something slightly odd about her. Can Connell learn to trust the sexy but secretive woman?
Daciana is a strong-willed, hard-headed woman who is very passionate about what she does and who she is. All her life she just wanted to be a valued member of her pack; she wanted to make them proud of her and what she accomplished, that she's totally blindsided by what the world threw her way. Now with everything happening in her life, she's torn between doing the right thing and following her heart.
Connell is a complicated man with lots of self-doubt. That's what happens when your supposed best friend screws your wife in an interrogation room of the police station you work in. His intentions of keeping Daciana at arm's length--literally--is noble, but there's only so much fighting he can do before he gives in. But he still has trust issues and can't fully move forward with his relationship; can he let go of the past and learn to depend on another person again?
I've said it in previous reviews and I'll say it again: I love books with strong female leads. I'd rather read a novel with women like Melody Callahan than those with weak-ass "girls" in some contemporary romance books. This has NOTHING to do with feminism, okay? I don't want people to misinterpret that. I just like stories that puts the female protagonist, in this case Daciana, in serious and/or dangerous situations. And there is no shortage of that here in Cloaked.
Daciana can be found in a couple--or more--scenes where she's fighting for her life, both in human and wolf form. She has this authority that animals understand; an aura or scent that says, "Don't mess with me because I can easily kill you." Even in her petite, human form she doesn't stop fighting for her life and that of the cubs she's trying to rescue. And this is where I started liking Connell; he understands Daciana's impulse to follow her instinct and solve this case on a good note, and he doesn't try to stop her. He doesn't treat this woman who likes to dress like a ninja at night like a frail woman who needs protecting. Even when he sees her battered and bruised, he didn't go all alpha on her and said "I told you so." He respected her for her bravery and passion, and he deserves a pat on the back for that.
There weren't a lot of characters introduced in Cloaked which is good in a way because the readers' attention will be more focused on the leads and the story. Speaking of the story, Cloaked is intriguing and exciting. We don't really know what will happen in the following parts of the series, and that keeps us readers on our toes.
This is a relatively short book, in my opinion, because I finished it in about 2 hours, but a good 120 minutes well spent. Pick up a copy of this guys, but let me warn you: YOU WILL BE LEFT HANGING. Just sayin'.
Book cover from Goodreads