Friday, 2 July 2010

Review - Pack of Lies © Vanessa Vaughn


Author: Vanessa Vaughn

Publisher: Ravenous Romance

Genre: GLBT, Paranormal

Buy Link

When Jack is attacked by a powerful werewolf one moonlit night, his world is forever changed.

Marcus is that wolf, the strong leader of his pack, who never imagined a mere mortal could ever escape him, much less ever become one of his kind. And yet, as time passes, he can't deny the handsome human is slowly beginning to change.

No longer the civilized architect he used to be, Jack feels a new power coalescing inside of him. He barely even recognizes himself as he becomes more sexual, more impulsive, more wild in every way.

But as the bite transforms him, it also binds he and his attacker together forever. The two share a powerful unbreakable link, no matter how forcefully they may each try to deny it. Marcus is already hiding secrets from the other wolves, and his position as Alpha is threatened. Could Jack be the new ally Marcus needs to set things right, or will their desire for one another draw them away from all they know and alter the course of their lives forever?

The moon.
That soft sensual glow is always with me. Even when I can’t see the night sky, I feel
its dark caress.

As the moon’s phases change, it breathes a coy suggestive whisper in my ear. It
presses close, and I feel its fingers brush my skin. That light sparks something inside of
me. Something primal. It starts a fever somewhere deep and spreads like slow-burning
fire through my limbs.

I can always sense the Change starting. The full moon’s strong hand curls around my
throat. I feel its grip tighten like a man’s thick fingers on my neck. When that grip makes
me suddenly lightheaded, my pulse quickens, and I sink quietly to my knees. I know I
have to give myself over, and I know how impossible it is to resist.

Some humans dream about submission. They crave it, complete with soft tortures and
the smooth caress of expensive leather. They want to be bound and made to feel
wonderfully, blissfully helpless. They enjoy feeling compelled to give in.

Humans like to play with their toys.

But what do they know about pleasure and pain so naturally intertwined?
When the animal in me takes over, I feel sensations more intense than any whip could
offer. My teeth descend to sharp lethal points against my tongue, and I feel the lovely,
horrifying ache as bones lengthen and skin is stretched.

But that ache only makes me smile.

© Vanessa Vaughn

My Thoughts

When I got a request to give my thoughts on PACK OF LIES I jumped at the chance, why - because after reading the blurb and the first few pages – I figured I was ready for this, for even from the first few pages in I knew this was going to be something different.

The blurb while giving quite a fair amount of detail of the plot does really just skim the edges of what this book is about. PACK OF LIES opens with Marcus's pack in the midst of shifting and it’s shifting unlike anything I have ever read  before. Marcus and his pack are currently living on the outskirt of town in an old warehouse, this locale suits their need to stay safe while being in the perfect area for them to hunt.

As the night moves in Marcus is in his element and he is hunting. His preys –Jack and Ivy, who just happens to be two friends on their way home and without a care in the world, when they are bitten by Marcus their entire world is turned up side down and Marcus is at the centre of a lot of their disruption.

Alpha Marcus is gay and living his life to suit the needs and expectations of his pack, when he bites these two strangers that was one more problem added to the multiple that he has already and right at the top of his problem is Julian, the usurper in waiting.

Check out Paranormal Haven & Larissa Benoliel thought on this book, they give a pretty accurate sum up of the book.

What worked for me

This book is really a character driven book and as such Ms. Vaughn gives her cast enough room to let me see them, their true self that is. Marcus is living a lie and when a hunt goes wrong but ultimately allowed him to connect with a human he is curious at first – but as the connection grows stronger he is starting to see that sometimes taking a chance is worth it and then there are just some things he really can’t deny. Jack and his friend Ivy are living the life they have always dreamt of and as such they are impressionist in a world that is too easily impressed. When they are bitten all that is them comes to the forefront and this is when I really saw them for who they really are.

I love the fact that the author has given me something different in this book, the wolfs are not the romanticised shifters that I am used to. The are aggressive, they hunt where and what they will, there is little to no emotional connection between these people and it is really survival of the fittest in order to literally stay alive that exist between them.

Changing POV is a hard sell for me, but I thought it so suited this plot. We got Marcus’s POV and in that we see how he is dealing with his pack as well as his dilemma in realizing that the connection that he has with Jack is more than just a normal thing; and then there is Jack’s POV – this is really a journey, Jack is honest about how he feels, what he is willing to accept and he even goes as far as opening up himself to show me how far he was willing to go to be with Marcus.

This is a dark book, the language while descriptive and sensual in some places is really not very hopeful. There is no sarcasm to lighten the mood nor is there any attempt to make happy with anyone. These people are who they are and it's either love them or hate them and I really really like that about this book.  

Once I got past my stereotypical idea of what I though was missing in this book and accepted that the focus of Ms Vaughn's plot is on the human angle of accepting the wolf – it then became edge of my seat stuff. I was intrigued and fascinated by where I was being taken into this book.

PACK OF LIES is definately not the regular  read– while some reader will most certainly have issues with this as it is wordy and some scenes are really overly long – for me, I was ready for this book. It’s not pretty, the softer side of Marcus and even Jack are sweet when they do come about – but the aggression, power struggle and constant need to outthink the pack were really the standard.

Due to the descriptive language the book is not the fastest read if this is not your thing, coupled that with the fact that it’s not the regular fare, expect to spend time to really enjoy this one.


Jacks unsuspecting attitude was a little far fetch for me. After being bitten and some strange things starts happening to him, it just does not ring true that as a professional who has dragged himself up by his bootstraps he would have no idea or even a wild guess at what might be happening to him – on the other hand he could really just be that naive to the media’s take on things that go bump in the night. 

The book has a sort of cliff-hanger ending, it’s not HEA nor is it HFN, it - I would hope is the beginning of something that I would be queuing up to read. However there is no info on follow up book or plans to revisit at any point in the future. Yup, I went looking so I was a little let down that this was just it. 

Bottom line

PACK OF LIES really has very little to moan about. Some readers who love the world building will have problems with it, if you are look for a history lesson on these shifter’s past – it’s not there either, but if you think you can’t read a book devoid of quite alot of this – I am here to tell you, you can and you just might enjoy it.

My first book by Ms Vaughn and I love what I have read, PACK OF LIES is billed as erotic material but this is so much more and well worth it.

See book trailer HERE

8 Speak To Me:

Ava March on 2 July 2010 at 22:17 said...

The book sounds interesting. Not sure if it would be my cup of tea, but the angle of the book sounds interesting. Though I have to ask - you mentioned dual POVs. Are they both 1st person POVs?

Chris on 2 July 2010 at 22:26 said...

I just picked this up last night. :)

Vanessa on 2 July 2010 at 22:32 said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I am so happy you enjoyed the book! To answer your question, yes there will be a sequel. It will be finished in September and will probably release in late 2010. Happy reading!

Lily on 3 July 2010 at 01:12 said...

Sounds interesting. I'll keep it in mind for when the sequel is released.

Erotic Horizon on 6 July 2010 at 20:59 said...


This is definately a new approach to the whole shifter genre - I liked it alot..

Not sure if awhole lot of people will be ready for this..


Erotic Horizon on 6 July 2010 at 20:59 said...


Please let me know what you think..


Erotic Horizon on 6 July 2010 at 21:01 said...


I really enjoyed this one and thanks for the info..

I am pleased to know it doesn't just end there..


Erotic Horizon on 6 July 2010 at 21:16 said...


Another few months to go then hon... Add it to your list..