Last Week on Inked Brownies

Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1) by Suzanne Wright


Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published September 29th, 2015 by Montlake Romance

Last September, I saw several recommendations for this book on my Goodreads updates feed and decided to request it from Netgalley, not really expecting to get approved, being a new blogger and all. Ever since I did get approved, I’ve been postponing to read it, though, because I saw some excerpts that had pretty sexually graphic language in it. I’m not a prude but damn girl! I decided to take the plunge on the 13th of January…

~Goodreads Synopsis~

Ally Marshall isn’t just a wolf shifter — she’s a Seer.

But a girl doesn’t exactly need special powers to know that Derren Hudson despises her entire kind. Disdain practically rolls off the Beta of the Mercury Pack . . . disdain mixed with a healthy dose of desire. And no matter how much the ruggedly handsome male appeals to her, this is one call of the wild she’s determined to ignore.

After one betrayal too many, Derren doesn’t have much use for Seers — except for Ally.

Forced into acting as her protector, he finds himself intensely and passionately drawn to the woman who incites his primal instinct to claim.

And when enemies target the pack, Ally’s gift may be just what the Mercury Pack needs.

Can he put his distrust aside, or will he force himself to turn his back on the one woman who makes his inner beast howl?

~My Thoughts~

Up until about 30% of the book, it was actually surprisingly enjoyable. It read like a paranormal thriller and Ally, the main character, seemed to be a pretty bad-ass chick, which is always a plus. I could overlook the fact that way too many characters were introduced within a very short timespan. Apparently, it all makes sense if you have read The Phoenix Pack-series prior to this book because that’s where most of the characters originate from.

Within this same first 30%, sexual tension was definitely building up in a carnal and obvious kind of way; it was a ticking time bomb for things to become yuck. When that bomb did go off at roughly 35% of the book, it went off brutally, with body-parts-flying-in-your-face-intensity. Now before I go off on a rant here (which I will), I KNEW this was coming. I’m not judging the vulgar language for being vulgar. If you don’t like that kind of stuff, but the story is still sufficiently good, you can always just skim through the sex scenes and go back to where the story left off. However…

Let’s break it down into separate points of criticism:

  • The sex scenes: I can imagine that if you ARE into this kind of explicit stuff, you don’t want to read the same things over and over again. Well, guess what, you will in this book. Practically every sex scene is identical to the others. After having read about three of them, I could predict exactly what was going to happen in the next one. It all starts with the word ‘cock’, which also happens to be the main favourite here apparently, as you can find it 63 times throughout the book. No other synonym for penis is being used. Even when not involved in a heavy sex scene, someone’s cock is always on fire or someone is cocking their head. After awhile, it really started to get on my nerves.

no cocks

Now instead of making my point about the repetitiveness of the sex scenes by writing a
painfully embarrassing paragraph about it, here’s a diagram I made which sums it all up
pretty accurately:


The Circle of Bullshit


The ‘ouch!!’ is referring to Ally being in pain. Derren seemingly thinks it’s a turn on to
hurt her a lot during sex. Which makes me arrive at point 2;


  • Derren: How is he supposed to fill in the role of super hot sexy love interest when he’s a tremendous asshole? He’s selfish, overly possessive (‘it’s because of his wolf’ my arse) and clearly has some mommy issues.“He was a selfish aggressive bastard with a serious amount of baggage“.Now there are a lot of guys out there who are like this and you can simply dislike a character because of it and move on. However, it’s not just dislike I feel for him. There’s an intense amount of loathing present. Every time Ally tells him “no, please don’t do this”. He goes “You’re mine” and does as he pleases anyways, not sparing her a single inch. I’ve seen some other people mentioning it as well in their reviews: this is rape. Period. Derren is basically raping Ally in every sex scene…”It’s not going to be soft and slow tonight baby“. My note here was “Did I miss something?“At one point he says he never wanted to hurt Ally. A couple of pages later:
    He pounded into her so hard he knew it had to hurt, but he couldn’t stop.” My note here: “I never want to hurt you Ally. Bitch please“.So yes, it’s disgusting, it’s WRONG and I don’t see how this would be a turn on for any woman to read about. Maybe I’m not submissive enough for this kind of shit. Which is point 3;
  • Ally’s supposed to be a dominant female. “She was a dominant female wolf, so of course she didn’t like being manhandled“. Whatever happened to THAT? I wonder who Derren’s previous Alpha male was…62f973bda18334a7cc0c1eab1cb97163
  • The side characters: I already mentioned there are way more characters than there should be. Sadly, most of them are bland as fuck as well. For example, Nick, the Alpha male of the Mercury Pack literally does nothing else but growl, mumble and look tough. As for the other characters, apart from Cain and Shaya, I couldn’t keep them apart, really. They were just filler material with stereotypical personalities.
  • The story plot: Ally and Derren are both ‘damaged’ and haven’t found their true mate yet. Predictable instalove. I already saw the perp behind the attacks coming from a mile away as well.

Even though I enjoyed the first part, I’m still giving this book a low rating. I never like to read about rape, but when you pass off rape as romance, I’m out. It’s a wonder I was able to finish it at all actually. I did add half a brownie for the first 30% because the story had some potential there and I was intrigued by the shifting mechanism. After that, it all went to shits sadly. Which is too bad, because I honestly think the author can do better than this. 1.5 brownies.

brownie2brownie2 half

An ARC of this book was provided by  Montlake Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Links to the book:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

About Anne (231 Articles)
Dutch book reviewer who reviews in English. Grammar nazis beware!! I like brownies. And chamomile tea.

8 Comments on Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1) by Suzanne Wright

  1. A very good review! Thank you for pointing out all the wrongness of those sex scenes. I am not a fan of “mommy porn”. But even if I did like that, I hate scenes that are rape disguised as sex. It is WRONG! Thank you for reading this so I don’t have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I was afraid it would be too explicit for most people, but then again, so was this book. chuckles at mommy porn Thank you for agreeing on that!


  2. Great review… this was one of those ones I just could not wait for you to publish! I was slightly horrified that the sex scenes were more horrifying than I anticpated them to be… and again- kudos for the cock diagram! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bookheathen // 02/02/2016 at 17:12 // Reply


    Liked by 1 person

  4. katelynnhillier // 30/05/2016 at 21:35 // Reply

    OUCH! You definitely didn’t pull any shots on this review. I absolutely love reading your reviews when you didn’t like the book – you’re so funny when you’re being critical!
    Seriously – my stomach hurts from laughing so hard.
    I can definitely see why those rapey scenes would turn you off. I haven’t come across any books yet where he keeps on going even after she says “No.” (wait – except for the unicorn smut shivers but that’s a whole other beast on it’s own). And repetitive words kill me too. Maybe the author was just feeling cocky when she was writing this? 😉
    P.S. Your diagrams are on the ball!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. Winning rant alert!! This sounds gross and disgusting. That diagraph.. 😀 Love it

    Liked by 1 person

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