ARC-Review + Giveaway: BLACK GOLD by Vivian Arend

Their wolves are howling at the moon. Their human halves are on different planets.

Lone wolf Shaun Steven’s automatic response to the words “happily ever after”? Kill me now. Yet with all his friends settling down he’s begun to think there may actually be something to this love-and-roses crap.

One thing’s for sure: his dream mate will have to out-cuss, out-spit and out-hike him. So he never expected the one to push his forever button would be a blue-blooded Southern debutante with a voice as dark and velvety as her skin.

When Gemmita Jacobs steps off the plane in Whitehorse, Yukon, it’s about more than her research project. It’s her declaration of independence from an overprotected upbringing. Except there’s something in the air she can’t quite define—something that unexpectedly rouses her mating instincts.

Moments after their eyes lock, the deed is done—and done thoroughly. When the pheromone dust settles, though, all the reasons they don’t belong together become painfully clear.

It’s enough to make a wolf learn a whole new set of cuss words…

Warning: Two strong wolves getting exactly what they deserve. Includes wilderness nookie, shifters being naughty in public places, the Midnight Sun as a canopy for seduction and grizzly shifters on the loose. Oh, and don’t forget the sarcasm.

Author: Vivian Arend
Series: Takhini Wolves, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2011, September 13
Format: eBook
Source: Received an e-ARC from author for review

First line:
“Excuse me, ladies.”

Memorable Scenes:
– drunk Shaun > hilarious!
– lunch scene with Evan and Caroline > there had better be yummy stuff coming for Caroline and Evan!
– Caroline’s dominance fight > awesome fight scene

Gemmita ‘Gem’ Jacobs is on a quest for adventure and independence in the form of a field excursion to the Yukon area. She’s stubborn and determined. I loved Gem and her genuine enthusiasm and zest for life. Her attitude of not wanting to be controlled and wanting to taken serious by the men in her life was what I loved most about her.

Shaun Stevens is a helicopter pilot. The pilot charged with flying Gem to her research location. He’s rebellious, blunt and unpretentious. He’s also a little restless and listless and sort of going through the motions of life without a goal or mission. Seeing his friends find their mates he realizes he’s longing for a mate of is own too. I liked Shaun more when he was being his whatever and rough round the edges self. When he was trying too much to be a gentleman to Gem he didn’t wow me that much and I’d want him going back to his swearing –forgetting to hold the door for her or pull her chair– self.

I loved the romance in this book, loved Shaun, Gem and how they matched together! Their chemistry is explosive, intense and scorching. At first I thought things were going very smooth for them, a bit too smooth. Then Shaun put his foot in his mouth, Gem was insulted by his lack of trust in her abilities and the fireworks started. I loved the battles of will and wit between them. They were one of the things that made this a great book next to the nice balance between action, romance and characterization.

I welcomed all the newly introduced characters and I suspect there’s lots of yummy to come in this series. Evan and Caroline were interesting to say the least. But I was also very happy to have a small reunion with TJ, my very favorite Granite Lake wolfie, when he made an appearance. I’ll always have a soft spot for TJ ;)

BLACK GOLD is a great start of this new shifter series by Vivian Arend. Her trademark humorous and lighthearted writing style remains strong even when she ups the ante and takes the characters to a more complicated emotional level. BLACK GOLD was longer than the books in the Granite Lake Wolves series and this left room for more depth and complications in the characterization and story lines. Since that was the one thing I was missing in Vivian Arend’s previous books, I really liked this and look forward to future longer stories by her.

And yes, the ever-present humorous wit and banter wasn’t missing in BLACK GOLD either. All the characters, main and secondary, contributed to the fun vibe and great dynamics of the book.

Again Vivian Arend’s wonderful writing made this book another great reading experience. The ease with which the world building is done and the paranormal elements are meshed with characterization and romance made for a fast-paced fluently flowing book. The writing shines in its simplicity and clarity. No elaborate plots or intricate world building. Just straightforward and enjoyable storytelling that’s spiced up with a sweet and sizzling romance.

Favorite Quotes:
There was no doubt Evan was the strongest wolf in the area, but the dude was nuttier than a fruitcake at times.

There was a pause—only a second—as they stared into each other’s eyes. Then the world exploded as they both moved.
He hadn’t kissed her before. Now he consumed her, feasting at her mouth as if he was starving. She returned as good as he gave, nipping and licking, her tongue tangling with his. The exhilarating flavour of her mate burst onto her taste buds, adding to the richness of her pleasure.

He tasted wild. There was raw energy in his kiss, the hint of a sweet aftertaste that made her smile against his lips.

Any pain she’d experienced was gone, replaced with the urgent desire to use him like a pogo stick.

His grin was mesmerizing. “I would love to be your guide. Put yourself entirely into my hands.”
Into his hands. The coals in her belly fanned to high heat, and she forced herself to ignore them. Not now. They had already established they could have sex. Hot sex. Melt-the-sheets sex.

Then she lifted her chin and calmly stepped away from the table, leaving a stunned Shaun in her wake. He watched her walk a few paces before leaping to his feet.
“Shaun,” Evan warned. “You might want to give her a little space to cool off.”
His friend turned back in the middle of the room, the most pleased expression on his face. “Are you kidding? She’s got a freaking backbone. I love it!”

Then she snorted, and his ego got a little bruised. “Oh yes, the legendary wolfish sex drive. It’s okay, Evan, I think I can handle anything you want to dish out. Only I’m not doing kinky things with you when you’re in your wolf form. I draw the line at that.” (Caroline & Evan)

He was going to lose his ever-loving mind at this rate.
A dozen measured strokes later he was praying for a miracle. If he didn’t do something now—stop, recite the times table— something, he was about to go up in smoke.

Evan chuckled. “I know everything, man. It’s politics. Every so many years—and no one seems to know exactly how many—the bears meet to redistribute territory and such. Their hierarchy is way more formal than the way we wolves do things. They vote and shit.”
No way. “Like, no beating each other up or ripping out throats for leadership? They vote on bits of paper and that decides the leaders?”
“Barbaric, isn’t it?”


Vivian has gracefully offered another full set of the Granite Lake Wolves ebooks (Wolf Signs, Wolf Flight, Wolf Games and Wolf Tracks) and I’m giving this set away to one of the commenters on this ARC-Review.

My reviews of:

Besides the Granite Lake Wolves ebook set (offered by Vivian) I’m also personally giving away an e-copy of BLACK GOLD because I really think it has a lot of appeal for paranormal romance readers.

Giveaway Rules:
– This giveaway is open internationally.
– I will draw and announce the two winners on Sunday September 25st
– If you have a preference for either just the Granite Lake Wolves set or just the BLACK GOLD ebook, make this clear in your entry
– Make sure you leave a way to contact you if it is not included in your profile. Please note that if your are picked as a winner and I have no way of contacting you, I will draw another winner
– To enter: Do you prefer novellas or full length stories? And why?

22 thoughts on “ARC-Review + Giveaway: BLACK GOLD by Vivian Arend

  1. There is more time to develop the story in a novel but I sometimes need a quick read. Black Gold only because I have all teh other wolfie stories. linze_e at

  2. oooh, this sounds good! I am a new Vivian Arend fan so I am definitely getting this one soon!! I like both books and novellas. I love the detail you get in a full length novel, but sometimes I just need a quick "fix" for my romance addiction and novellas are perfect! Fabulous giveaway. Thanks to both of you!! smiles…

  3. Both of them. I love the great/unique stories and I don't care if they are novellas or full length stories.Thanks for the giveaway!artgiote at gmail dot com

  4. I prefer full-length novels because I really get to know the characters and see more of their lives than in novellas. Thanks for the giveaway! I have all the Wolf series but would love to win "Black Gold" :-)smaccall AT

  5. I can so relate to characters who have foot-in-mouth comments…I'm not a stranger to those either ;)I still have to try a shifter/Wolf story from vivian Arend!! I was always under the impression that a novella couldn't give depth of emotion and character development but have been proven wrong by a few authors. It can be done but most of the times I still left with that feeling of wanting more. That's why I will always prefer a full length or even a category length…it really brings layers, complications, elaborate scenes I so enjoy when reading.

  6. I love the full length stories best as there is a lot more room to develop the characters and get really into the world and the story.I have a full set of the Granite Lake wolfie books so just an entry for Black Gold for me please.irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

  7. I love both since full length novels are full reads while novellas are short enough when you don't want a long read or want something quick.I definitely prefer Black Gold ebook, thanks for the giveaway!lilazncutie1215[at]yahoo[dot]com

  8. Love the review Pearl, it sounds like another winner from Vivian! As for your question, in general I prefer full lenght stories because they have more room for character development and depth of the story.

  9. I really prefer full length stories because the characters and story line are fully developed. Some novellas I've read work well and are satisfying, but most tend to leave me wanting more.I would love to win the Granite Lake Wolves books – thanks for the chance.k(dot)cherub2011(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. It depends on how much time I have and my mood. There are times I prefer a novella because it is quick, easy and I can read one before I go to bed at night. If I have a weekend, then I prefer a novel so I can sink my teeth into the characters, into the scenery into the story and invest myself. Thanks for the giveaway, and I have no preference. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

  11. I like both. Full length novels allow for more depth and description but novellas work great when I wan a quicker read or don't have alot of time to read a longer book. Thank you for the giveaway. I have the first two of the Granite Lake series but would love the last two or the new book.GFC: June M.manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  12. Great review Pearl, thanks. I like both. A short story to get a feeling for a new author's writing style before buying full lenght novels. But if I already love an author, the books cannot be long enough for me.

  13. I prefer full length novels. The romance (and the sex) always seems so rushed in novellas. I still read novellas and am REALLY impressed when they fall together just right. I think it must be so much harder to write a novella. I think the Granite Lake Series sounds great. Thanks so much for the reviews. I have found lots of great authors.avedock(at)

  14. I prefer full length. Nearly every time in novellas, just as soon as I'm thinking "oooh, this is good, I can't wait to see what happens next!" It's over! poof, gone! I would like either prize, not having read any of it. Yay wolves!

  15. Hi i Love a full Novel But I also Like A qickers sfory as well depending on how i feel. I would like the Granite Lake series of ebooks cause i don't have them and i have heard alot about them. However i will take whatever i am given. Thank you so much for the chance to win such a great gift.Joannie jscddmj[at]aol[dot]com

  16. Since I'm pressed for time at the moment (reading ARCs and reviews in a panicked frenzy before I start a new job in about a week) I am taking the easy road and announcing the winners in a comment on this post… Winner of the Granite Lake Wolves ebook-set as drawn by was commenter #1: Vanessa B.Winner of an e-copy of BLACK GOLD as drawn by was commenter #13: lisagkI have contacted the winners to let them know and I thank you all for participating! Hugs,Pearl

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