Eloreen reviews ‘Challenge the Darkness by Dirk Greyson’. Published August 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press, approx 224 pages.
Why I read this book: This book was provided free of charge for an honest review for the tour. I love paranormal books, and shifters in particular, so I jumped at a chance to read a new author.
Title: Challenge the Darkness
Author: Dirk Greyson
Series: Yellowstone Wolves
Genre: M/M Paranormal Shifters
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Aug 31 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
When alpha shifter Mikael Volokov is called to witness a challenge, he learns the evil and power-hungry Anton Gregor will stop at nothing to attain victory. Knowing he will need alliances to keep his pack together, Mikael requests a congress with the Evergreen pack and meets Denton Arguson, Evergreen alpha, to ask for his help. Fate has a strange twist for both of them though, and Mikael and Denton soon realize they’re destined mates.
Denton resists the pull between them—he has his own pack and his own responsibilities. But Mikael isn’t willing to give up. The Mother has promised Mikael his mate, told him he must fight for him, and that only together can they defeat the coming darkness. When Anton casts his sights on Denton’s pack, attacks and sabotage follow, pulling Denton and Mikael together to defeat a common enemy. But Anton’s threats sow seeds of destruction enough to break any bond, and the mates’ determination to challenge the darkness may be their only saving grace.
But he’s gone,” Anna mumbled. “The other half of my soul has been ripped away from me. We’ve lost our home and our family. All of it was taken from me in the instant Gregor died.” Her voice remained steady, though, and Mikael knew she’d keep it together. She was the mate of an alpha, and that alone would sustain her.
“I know. But the boys will need you, and your new pack will need you.”
She turned to him. “You lied to Anton.”
“In a way. When Gregor asked me to come to ensure the fight would be fair, he told me if anything were to happen to him, he wanted me to take care of his family. You and those two boys were important to him. So when Anton tried to claim you, I had to step in.” He glanced in the backseat and saw that both boys were asleep, lying down on the seat, curled together just the way he’d slept with his siblings, Karl and Catherine, when they were pups. “What he was doing violated everything I believe in, and if I could have, I’d have helped everyone in the pack, but I can’t. They are beyond me, but not you and the boys.” He had to save a piece of his old friend. If Anton had taken the boys, odds were good that at some point they would end up dead too. Gregor’s blood in Anton’s pack would have been a threat to him, especially if they grew to be as strong as their father.
“What if they grow up to challenge you or your sons?” Anna asked with a touch of pride.
“They won’t. I won’t have children.”
“You’ll find a mate,” Anna said.
“I might, but I know my mate will be another man. The Mother told me so in a dream when I was eight years old. She showed him to me—another eight-year-old boy. I remember his blond hair, fierce eyes, and the way he looked back at me. It was like we could see each other for a brief time through the ether. Then he was gone, but I always knew he was my mate. I just haven’t met him yet.”
“What about your brother and sister’s children?” Anna asked.
“You’ll see. Karl is my beta and he’s fantastic at it. He always has my back, and Catherine is an enforcer. No one messes with her, including her husband, Stan. My younger brother, Christopher, is away at college.” Christopher’s role in the pack was up in the air at the moment, by his choice. He’d always seemed to go his own way and follow his own drummer. “They are my support, always, and I couldn’t be the alpha I am without them. We’re not a large pack, only about twenty in all. The core of the pack is my family—my siblings and their spouses, their children, and my uncle and mother. And now you and the boys. So if they grow up and follow in their father’s footsteps, as long as they care for their pack the way Gregor always did, they’ll have my blessing and support.”
Anna didn’t say anything right away. “Thank you, Alpha,” she finally said softly.
The story starts with a scene that leads to death but by no means does this story stay that dark despite the evil lurking with another Alpha wanting to take over all the land. Death is a part of these wolves lives and we meet Alpha Mikael Volokov as he deals with the aftermath of a neighboring pack challenge. Dirk provides excellent writing when presenting Mikael, the secondary characters Anna and her children, his brothers and sister, and the nieces and nephews along with the pack members of Mikael’s Yellowstone wolves and the other neighboring pack, Evergreen wolves led by Alpha Denton Arguson. You see a wolf society slightly different that normally portrayed and it makes it more inviting and realistic, and you want to learn more. They are up against a truly despicable creature, the stuff of myth and legend. Through it all Mikael and Denton have to navigate their own connection as mates. How can two alphas, which is nearly unheard of, be mates? Alphas of their own separate packs, how can they reconcile their growing love for one another in a society where one mate is the dominate and the other the submissive? The story weaves this and more into a rich, realistic paranormal romance as you root not only for Denton and Mikael but the others of the packs as well. They find there happy ending but not without trials, overcoming fears, and compromises. I enjoyed it immensely and can’t wait for the next installment.
I give Challenge the Darkness 10 out of 10 pots of gold.
Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things. Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built. Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.