Monday, 6 April 2015

Dark Instincts by Suzanne Wright

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Dark Instincts by NetGalley and as always, all opinions here are my own.

Book Blurb:
It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that’s intoxicating…and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right—nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.

No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it’s the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses—until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who’s ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.

Book Review:
Dark Instincts is the fourth book in Suzanne's Phoenix Pack series and is my favourite in the series since Feral Sins (the first book in the series). While it's not a return to the raw, unadulterated, darkly sexual book that Feral Sins was, it definitely feels richer and a little more intense than the other two books in the series (which are still good, they just don't hold a candle to the rawness of Feral Sins).

I've said it in other reviews but it bears repeating, I'm ridiculously picky about shifter-themed books. By their very nature, they're stories about people who have a distinctly animalistic side and I want to get a genuine sense of that duality and I definitely want that to be a part of how they love. I want to feel the power of the characters, I want to fall into the richness of a well-developed fantasy world and I want to truly believe that these people laid before me on the page are both animal and human. That is something Suzanne Wright does very well, and it's something she does extremely well in Dark Instincts.

Roni is an incredibly complex character. She's a woman who has a traumatic history, but she's also a warrior. She's strong, smart, loyal and protective and has a backbone made of steel. She's also awkward around strangers (hilariously so!), stubborn and vicious. It took about two chapters for me to fall completely in love with Roni. I loved her strength, I loved that even though she was stubborn and super strong, she knew how to compromise. In Roni, Suzanne has created a strong female character who comes across as empowered, passionate and completely badass, but also a little vulnerable, very feminine and very loving. She's an incredible character, and Suzanne has done a wonderful job mixing wolf traits with strong, feminine human traits to create a character who is believable, loveable and kind of awesome.

Marcus I loved from the very first second he appeared! He's adorable, funny, and all kinds of sexy but he's also very alpha, very protective and very much not interested in letting Roni push him away. The way he loves Roni without expecting her to change will melt your heart. But he also does some bonehead stuff, all in the sake of proving his manliness, that'll make you want to smack him upside the head. He's sexy, protective and very alpha but he's also funny and kind. You won't be able to stop yourself falling in love with the big bad wolf.

Now, Dark Instincts has some pretty dark subject matter, and it covers some issues that may be triggers for some readers. But the plot is really excellent. It flows well, it has some interesting plot points (and quite a few emotional ups and downs!) and overall, in spite of some slightly sketchy bits and pieces, it's a well-thought-out, emotionally and sexually charged plot. It's intriguing, it's dark and twisty and it'll keep you interested right from the first page.

The dialogue is fun and engaging, Marcus is kind of adorable in a very sexy way which stops the plot from becoming too dark and Roni's random awkward factoids are an awesome addition to the story. The sex scenes are steamy and Roni and Marcus have some delicious chemistry. Dark Instincts also features many of the characters from the previous books, and the world they live in is richly described, so it's easy to fall into the story.

Overall, Dark Instincts is an intriguing, darkish, lusty tale and I'd recommend it to fans of shifter-themed romance novels. However, I wouldn't recommend reading it as a standalone novel. There's too much backstory and character development that you really need to be aware of to enjoy it fully. 

Dark Instincts releases 7 April 2015 and is available wherever you buy your books! 

You can keep up to date with Suzanne Wright's other work via her Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Goodreads, and Email. 


  1. Hi Suzanne,
    Thanks for commenting! I loved Dark Instincts and I'm excited to have the opportunity to share it with other readers.