Moving on, the Dark Guardian series is a collection of books that brings us into the world of "Shifters" or people who can change into animal form, in this instance all the characters can turn into wolves though we are told that there are other clans that can shift into different animals. The series is comprised of four books, Moonlight, Full Moon, Dark of the Moon (which I haven't read), and Shadow of the Moon.
From Hawthorne's website:
Moonlight Book 1 in the Dark Guardians series
Kayla has always felt a kinship with nature. Adopted as a child, Kayla has no idea that she’s inherited the gene that will turn her into a wolf. She can’t understand why she’s so drawn to distant, aloof Lucas...
As the leader of the Dark Guardians, a pack of werewolves that gather in the national forest, Lucas must watch Kayla until she discovers her destiny as his perfect other half. Just when Kayla finally begins to understand her fate, a new danger emerges...one that threatens their very existence.
Full Moon Book 2 in the Dark Guardians series
Lindsey has always known that Connor was her destined mate, but this summer as her full moon approaches, she finds herself dreaming about darkly handsome and silent Rafe. When the others are captured by their enemies, she and Rafe must work together to save them. As they spend time together, Lindsey will come to realize that some dangers come from within as she is forced to face her true feelings for Connor and Rafe. One is a friend. The other is her true love. But listening to her heart could cost her everything.
Dark of the Moon Book 3 in the Dark Guardians series
Brittany has never had a guy declare her as his mate, so she faced her full moon alone. But she has always loved Connor from afar. When they are imprisoned by their enemies, they must depend on each other to survive. But Brittany harbors a dark and dangerous secret that could destroy them both.
Shadow of the Moon Book 4 of the Dark Guardians series
HAYDEN was born a werewolf, a Dark Guardian. But her ability to sense the feelings of fellow werewolves has made her life unbearable. She runs away, only to be tracked by charming, mysterious Daniel, a newcomer to their pack and the one Shifter immune to her powers. As she reluctantly follows him home, Hayden finds herself falling dangerously in love…
But even as her feelings for Daniel deepen, Hayden begins to wonder if he is who he claims to be.
The books are remarkable to me, because they are quick and easy reads that also manage artfully done, complex world building and three dimensional characters. That's a tricky balance. In addition, especially in Shadow of the Moon, Hawthorne is great at building the heat in a romance without any romantic physical contact to speak of between the characters. So if you or your kid like a good romance without any overtly sexual displays, this would be a series to get into.
The only thing that gets a bit tiresome is the whole "alpha male" possesiveness of women thing. Hawthorne explains it as being modeled on wolf society, and there are other things that explain this dynamic that I can't discuss here without spoilers, but it can still grate a little. Especially if you've had a bad experience with a possessive or overly jealous/suspicious partner.
Also, apparently it has been optioned for television so if you don't want pop culture to flood you with spoilers, get to readin!
Recommended Reading is a recurring feature on this blog. I'm doing this in an effort to build a list of YA books that I believe are both great stories and treat people's bodies in a sensitive and respectful manner. I will do my best to point out things about books I suggest that might be triggering even if I feel the book as a whole is worthwhile. If you have suggestions for future recommended books or comments/criticisms of books I write about please feel free to leave them in comments.