Sunday, December 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Cloaked in Christmas' by T.F. Walsh

Australian author TF Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney. She is a very popular writer of paranormal fantasy and horror, having written at least six bestselling novels.

Readers on the lookout for Christmas stories that stray from the usual fireside warm tales will find this book a welcome departure. To set the tempo she offers a glossary that defines what to expect, wulfkin wise: ‘Moonwulf – Wolf shifters who will transform from human to wolf form only during the full moon. Wulfkin – Moonwulves who have gone through the Lunar Eutine rite of passage and are now able to change at will into their wolf form. Lunar Eutine – A rite of passage for a moonwulf to permanently transform into a wulfkin. It takes place beneath a blood moon. Eutine means true of heart and draws on a moonwulf’s connection to his or her inner wolf. When the moon is completely shrouded in black, a new wulfkin will be delivered. Alpha – The leader of a pack of wulfkin/ moonwulves who rules only over his or her claimed territory. Varlac – A reigning wulfkin clan who rule and set laws for all alphas living under their territory jurisdiction (e.g., Europe, Africa, etc.). Varlac Emperor Alpha – Varlac leader who rules over every Varlac, alpha and pack in Europe.’ So now with the characters clearly in mind the story can begin. Hold on tight!

‘After fleeing her abusive ex, wulfkin Cacey Varg and her daughter settle happily with a new pack in Finland. As Christmas approaches, Cacey learns her ex has found them and is on his way to take their daughter back. But a massive snowstorm prevents her from packing up and leaving town - and instead delivers a sexy stranger to her doorstep. Can she trust that he isn't one of her ex's henchmen? Second-in-command to Europe's most powerful wulfkin, hunter Vincent Lyall's spur-of-the-moment decision to check on his ailing mother soon finds him marooned at a cabin in the woods by the blizzard of the century. Trapped with this spirited vixen, resisting temptation is easier said than done . . . But she refuses to believe he is who he says he is. Is love powerful enough to win when two sexy wolf shifters, an unwelcome past, and animalistic urges wreak havoc on the holiday season?’

The story is well paced and the characters – though not familiar ones – offer a different take than we’ve found before. TF Walsh is a pro and this is a fast read and a very fascinating fantasy. Grady Harp, December 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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