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I Belong

Review: Dark Instincts by Suzanne Wright

Dark InstinctsTitle: Dark Instincts

Author: Suzanne Wright

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Phoenix Pack (Book #4)

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Format: Paperback, 314 Pages

ISBN-10: 1477828745 (Montlake Romance)

ISBN-13: 978-1477828748 (Montlake Romance)

Reviewed by: Kristie


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.

Quick & Dirty: Two characters who couldn’t be quite different on the outside, find love when they realize that they have more in common than they thought. A good standalone story with dark elements but I wasn’t completely hooked by the relationship.

Opening Sentence: Opening your eyes to find that you’re upside down can’t be good, can it?

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Dark Instincts is the fourth novel in The Phoenix Pack series. This novel gets right into the action from the very first page. An evil pack of Jackals are attempting to kidnap a toddler from the Mercury Pack. A pack that has close ties to the Phoenix Pack. Roni, an enforcer for Mercury is there, and she has to fight with everything she has to keep them from taking the boy. The two packs gather together to discuss what the fallout is for the attempted kidnapping. As they look into the Jackal pack, they uncover something even more gruesome and terrifying. Something that must be stopped at all costs.

I have not read the previous books in this series and I don’t think that it really hindered me at all with the story. The story itself stood up pretty well as a standalone. My only complaints where the fact that I didn’t know who all the characters were, and I got lost in the XX is mated to OO and AA is with BB. There was a section where all these characters were just laid out in quick succession like that. I also didn’t quite understand the hierarchy of the pack, but I was able to get by with assumptions and guesses so if I get that wrong, it is entirely my fault.

The dark events of Dark Instincts follow along with the development of the relationship between Roni and Marcus. Roni is an enforcer, the tough muscle, for her pack. She is very manly. She prefers her combat pants and stupid/funny graphic tees over wearing anything that would make her looks feminine. Roni doesn’t like people. She often hides behind strange knowledge and uses that to confuse people and make them go away when they try to engage in conversation. Roni is infallibly loyal to her family. It is basically the only reason she has stayed around as long as she has. She has a dark past that she hasn’t entirely gotten over and it plays a huge part in the act that she puts in front of people today.

Marcus is an enforcer for the Phoenix pack. He is a people person and kind of a man-slut when it comes to his relationships. He prefers one night stands. Marcus is loyal to his friend, the leader of the Phoenix pack. He also has his own dark secrets that he is working through.

Roni knows she isn’t Marcus’ type. He likes the feminine, model types. She also doesn’t want to become another one of his statistics. She doesn’t mind the one night stand, but there is something about Marcus that keeps her from submitting. Marcus has been trying to seduce Roni for a long time. He hopes by slowly getting under her skin that she will eventually let him in. It does work, slowly. Before she knows it, she allows Marcus to touch her casually. Their relationship slowly evolves from an ember to fireworks. Marcus knows exactly how to treat Roni by following her physical and nonverbal cues.

Roni’s family doesn’t quite “get her” and her masculine tendencies. Her mother really likes to put her down. She puts up with it because she feels she owes it to them.

As a couple, I thought Roni and Marcus were good together. I didn’t love them but I didn’t hate them either. I felt they were abrasive at times. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason why but there was just something about them that I didn’t overall enjoy.

This novel has some pretty dark elements. The events of this novel slow down after the initial opening scene as the packs try to track down the Jackals. The ending was quite action packed and didn’t quite play out like I thought it would. Although, I will say I was a little let down by a major point of the storyline that happened off the page and just had a quick wrap up in the epilogue. Dark Instincts was told through Roni and Marcus’ third person POVs.

Notable Scene:

Finally in possession of her order, Roni made her way to the parking lot across the road. It was as she approached her car that it happened: the unmistakable feeling that someone was behind her crawled up her spine. She waited until she knew they were up close before acting. In a swift, fluid movement, Roni swerved on the spot, grabbed a hand holding a syringe, and forced the strange female to stab herself in the neck. Within seconds, the dumb bitch was out cold. Huh. A sedative.

Roni locked her gaze on another female, who was staring at her wide-eyed and looking terribly amused. Even, strangely, a little excited.

“Oh, you are good.” She’d said it like Roni had come recommended or something. “You will be lots of fun for us.”

Roni didn’t recognize either of the females, but she’d smelled scents similar to theirs before, so she knew one thing: these were jackals. That made both Roni and her wolf growl. “I’m tired, I’m pissed, and I’m seriously unhappy that the donuts I waited half an hour for are now splattered on the ground. So make this really, really quick, and really, really sweet.”

“We’re going to need you to come with us.” The jackal gestured to a waiting car that contained two other females, both of who were watching in morbid fascination. They were trying to drug and kidnap Roni in a public area in broad daylight? Really? Quinn was right: the sick freaks just didn’t care.

“And why would I do that?”

“Let’s see . . . there’s four of us, and one of you.”

Three of you, actually.” She toed the unconscious body at her feet. “This one’s not going to be much use to you for a while.”

“Those still aren’t good odds for you. So be a smart little girl and get in the car.”

Roni pursed her lips. “Nah, I don’t think I’m going to do that.”

The jackal’s face hardened. “It wouldn’t be wise to try to fight us off, wolf.”

“You’re right: willingly getting into a vehicle with a bunch of shifters who intend to kill me makes a lot more sense.”

“Last chance. Get. In. The. Fucking. Car.”

“You can call that ‘Plan B,’ okay?” Roni didn’t wait for the jackal to make the first move—she needed to get this over with quickly and quietly. This wasn’t the time for fancy moves or toying with the bitches’ spleens. So Roni did what she always did when having a good, long fight wasn’t an option. She dealt her opponent a hard blow to the temple. And, yep, down the bitch went.

The Phoenix Pack:

1. Feral Sins

2. Wicked Cravings

3. Carnal Secrets

4. Dark Instincts


FTC Advisory: Montlake Romance provided me with a copy of Dark Instincts. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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