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The Vow

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The Vow sounded like an entertaining shifter story and potentially, a series to follow, but the more I listened, the more I felt like I was missing something. There was surprisingly little world-building for a story like this, and there were mentions of things I felt like I was supposed to know about. Lakota and Melody had known each other their whole lives and there was mention of things that happened when they were kids, things that should've created some sort of bond between them. The problem is I never really felt that about these characters. There was attraction,  but I just didn't feel the chemistry I expected. Once finished, I did some searching and found that apparently, this series is interwoven with or a spinoff of a couple of the author's other series. As I understand it, it's set in the same world, so maybe I should've read those books first? Maybe then things would've clicked for me? I don't know about that, but I do know it would've been nice to have that information before listening to this one because too many things felt like the reader was just supposed to already know them, so the story fell short for me. There was a bit of suspense - a serial killer nonetheless, but it felt like an afterthought much of the time. Now, that had some great potential, including the reveal of the killer, and I would've liked to have seen that part of the story developed a bit more. 
I did like Nicole Poole as narrator, and her performance is what kept me listening through most of the book. I liked that each person had a distinct voice and it didn't sound contrived at all. I think this is my first time listening to her narration, but I would gladly listen to her again. All in all, this was a mediocre story somewhat saved by a solid narration.
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The Vow: Book 1 in the Black Arrowhead series by Dannika Dark
Narrated by Nicole Poole
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) | Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2020

The Vow is the first book the Black Arrowhead series by Dannika Dark. It also is part of the Mageriverse series. This is the first book by the author that I have read and it will not be the last! I am obsessed! This book was so good!

The Vow has is all. The storyline was incredible, fast moving, and intense! The characters were engaging and fun to follow along with. The romance was amazing with the right amount of steaminess! Also, the murder mystery was great and kept me on the edge of my seat!

I look forward to seeing what comes next and I will definitely be reading the other books in the Mageriverse because I need more!!!

The narration by Nicole Poole was incredible! She was fun to listen to and gave life to the story!

I definitely recommend this book!

I'm so grateful to Dannika Dark, Tantor Audio, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this ARC audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
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The Vow by Dannika Dark is the first book in the Black Arrowhead series. It is a spin-off from the author’s Seven series. 
Melody is a sassy, spunky woman who knows what she wants and will be very direct about it. I loved that she could make Lakota blush! It was so sweet and adorable and I just wanted to hug them and protect them from the big bad author who still has a few more books to drag them through.

Alyssa Hadid
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24 days ago
The Vow by Dannika Dark
The Vow (Black Arrowhead, #1; Mageriverse #15)
by Dannika Dark (Goodreads Author)
Want to Read 
Read in November 2020
Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm especially wowed by this book.

I don't think there was much chemistry between the main characters and it also felt like I barely knew anything about them besides the basic background. Although it's been said that I don't need to read the Seven Series beforehand, for this story I think I should have (or at least have a look at the book(s)? where Lakota and Melody made an appearance). Lakota once saved Mel when they were younger and it was mentioned a few times but not really elaborated on it. It felt a bit like there was this whole backstory that I was missing, especially in a story where the main characters knew each other since they were little.
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Melody and her best friend Hope have moved out on their own leaving their packs behind and are working towards their dream of opening a store. Melody does the fashion and Hope the jewelry. Everything is on track for their opening until a supplier issue arises and Hope can’t make her jewelry. In their search for a new supplier they agree to split the list of potentials and meet with different people. Melody gets to visit Hope’s number one pick but things in the small town she wanders into are not as they seem. There’s a lot of trouble brewing between the shifters and Melody stumbles right into the middle of it. But she’s not alone...

Lakota, Hope’s older brother and a bounty hunter has been sent in undercover to see what’s going on in this town. Two rival groups of shifters with an ancient feud are on the brink of war. Why? Because of a few instances of shifter murders that nobody knows who is behind it.   Lakota happens to have ingratiated himself into the very pack that Melody is approaching for business purposes...

They are of course well acquainted and have been friendly for a long time. He’s her bestie’s brother so of course he treats her in a sisterly way too. Or he did... this little trip turns things on rather upside down between them. With murders and threats and shifters poised to battle it out Melody ends up being forced to stay with the pack for her own safety. Lakota to protect his cover has been pretending they don’t have a long standing acquaintance. He’s tasked with making sure she doesn’t get killed and bring more trouble to the pack. Together they try to work out what’s really going on and find out who they can trust when everybody around them has secrets and anybody could be the killer... 

Having read another series by the author I was was familiar with her work as well as her narrator before listening to this audiobook. So I had high expectations and they were met it was a nice and interesting story and I’m looking forward to more in the series in the future.
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It was so wonderful to finally get Lakota and Melody's story. I loved both characters from the Seven series although it can be read as a stand alone.  I've always loved the chemistry they had. This book didn't disappoint.  It was just beautiful.
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The Vow is the first book in the Black Arrowhead series by Dannika Dark. The audiobook is narrated by Nicole Poole. Melody is an ambitious entrepreneur who has always loved the thrill of a new adventure, but she's about to get more than she bargained for when the only way to save her business is to secure a deal with a powerful tribal leader. Running Horse, Oklahoma, isn't on the map, and Mel is about as lost as a Shifter can get. When she unexpectedly runs into her best friend's brother, her friendly visit quickly turns treacherous. Lakota Cross is a man with secrets. While tracking a killer, he reunites with Melody, and their friendship sparks into a passionate affair. But if he doesn't quell the fire soon, it might burn out of control. Once again, fate brings these two Shifters together in a moment of need. But will the sacrifice be greater than the reward? Murder, mayhem, and a mating ceremony.

The Vow is a roller coaster ride of world building, character development, and mystery- and I was all in from the very start. I liked Mel and Rose from the very start of the book, and was thrilled to see how trying to do the right thing for others got our main characters their happy ending. While I thought her connection with Lakota and their ending up together was a little predictable, I very much enjoyed the journey that they took to get there. The town and tribe dynamics and cultures were well built, and sadly the prejudice, mistrust, and resentment all too believable. The mystery of the murders was very well done, although I have to admit that the culprit was not a big surprise to me- everytime they popped up in the story I had my suspicions that they were up to something.  The narrator did a wonderful job with the book. She captured the heart of the story and characters in her performance using inflections and slight changes in her cadence to capture the difference in characters. I enjoyed the book and look forward to more.

The Vow is a solid start to a new urban fantasy and romance series. I look forward to reading (or listening) more as it continues.
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I love Dannika Dark and I was instantly immersed in THE VOW. We’ve gotten clips of these characters in other series and am glad they got their own story. Lakota and Mel’s chemistry was OFF. THE. CHARTS. I am beyond excited to see what’s coming up next in the BLACK ARROWHEAD series!!!
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I will admit that I would have loved more of the book told from Lakota's point of view since I adore dual narration in my romance stories. Maybe a handful of times the story was narrated from Lakota and I would have loved more (like equal amounts as Melody) or none at all since this tiny taste just made me want more.

I really enjoyed the narrator, she did a great job of giving all the character's their own voices and personalities while at the same time making sure that Melody was the focus of the story as the main character. Keep in mind that regular speed was too slow for me and I listened to the book at 1.75x speed which was just about perfect (I usually listen anywhere from 1.5x to 2x).

Overall this was a fast paced paranormal romance that had equal parts heat and mystery which helped keep the plot moving at a good pace. I would pick up another book in this series (which I guess this is the first in this series but part of a bigger series) in the future.
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The Vow (Black Arrowhead Series Book 1)
by Dannika Dark 
This is a new take on shape shifters with wider animal types then just werewolves. The tribes and beliefs are made up, but Dannika does a great job in indicating the history of this world.  The story shows how misunderstandings can cause more problems than expected by the characters. A set of shifter girls are starting their own business, but there are more stumbling blocks in their way than just starting a new business. When a supplier tries to raise prices because they are opening their shop, they are forced to look for a new supplier. This leads them into danger as they become involved in a political battle between tribes and shifters. The romance that springs from it is astonishing. She is a great world builder, and they mythology she hints at will make a great series.
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3.5 rounded up to 4

I enjoyed this book. I've never read an urban fantasy/paranormal romance before. I'm not familiar with all the workings of the wolf world so it was a new experience for me. It took me a bit to adjust to the language and at times it felt a bit cheesy for me. 

I liked learning about the histories behind the tribes and each pack. It was interesting to learn more about shape shifters and I thought it was cool to find out the different animal forms they take on. I buddy read this with a friend of mine who is an avid reader of paranormal and urban fantasy so she helped me out a bit a long the way. 

I liked the relationship between Melodie and Lakoda. I liked seeing their relationship develop from a childhood friendship into something more, even if Melodie didn't realize it at first. I enjoyed their romance. 

Overall this was a good read for me. It was slower than I was anticipating but having a murder mystery helped to keep it interesting. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to read something in this genre but isn't sure where to start. I enjoyed the narrator. She did a really good job of telling this story.
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The Vow was thoroughly entertaining. 

Melody and her best friend Hope are opening a store together. They have just separated from their packs (a rite of passage) and are embarking on a huge goal for themselves. When Hope finds her gem supplier is price-gouging she starts a desperate search for a new supplier. Mel offers to help with the supplier interviews and to travel to a small nowhere town in Oklahoma to meet one of the potential new sources. She never expected to run into Hope's half-brother Lakota. She also never expected to walk into such a backwoods small town with so much racist/speciesist/nativist? goings ons.

Lakota is a bounty hunter on assignment in Running Horse, Oklahoma. There is a serial killer on the loose and shifter women are the target. He is undercover in the town's native pack trying to sus out the culprit when a blast from the past, Melody shows up. Soon there are multiple murders on both sides. Can he solve the mystery of who is behind the deaths while keeping Mel safe and out of harm's way?

Now, just a little disclaimer here, this is my first book by Dannika Dark. Yes, yes. I know. I am late to the party. I keep meaning to start the Seven series and this was just the kick in the pants I needed. I will say this can absolutely be read as a stand-alone. While I'm sure that once I read the Seven series I will get more of the background crossreferences but I didn't feel left out. Maybe because this was the first in the series? But either way, you should be fine.

Nicole Poole on narration was fab. I really dug her voices and her intonations and inflections were just on point.

The relationship between Mel and Lakota was a fairly slow burn and I quite enjoyed that the paranormal mystery aspect was at the forefront versus the side story. I honestly didn't know the culprit until way farther into the story than normal. I was just entertained. I do wish we had maybe a bit more romance between Lakota and Mel but maybe that would have detracted from the story itself. I definitely wanted more of a long-term HEA between the two but maybe that will shake out more in later books.

The Vow is definitely a great start to a new series and I am absolutely looking forward to more in the Black Arrowhead series!

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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The Vow by Dannika Dark is the first book in the Black Arrowhead series. It is a spin-off from the author’s Seven series. I three of her books from the Seven series, but never had the chance to complete the series. The thing I remembered most about both books was the ability to read them as standalones.  Therefore, when the opportunity came for me to listen to the Vow, I did not hesitate.

The author did an excellent job in developing and explaining the world, so readers new to the author’s work would have no difficulty following.

Melody Cole is shifter and a businesswoman. She, along with her best friend, Hope, is in preparation mode for the commencement of their new business. A business which caters only to shifters. However, their plans hit a snag when one of their suppliers tried to take advantage of them. Securing another supplier meant taking a trip, and Melody opted to go to Oklahoma to secure a deal with a well-known jewellery maker. While making pit stop, she came face to face with Lakota, the boy who saved her life years ago. The problem though, he was no longer a boy but a sexy as hell, adult male. Despite their intense connection, they pretended not to know each other because of Lakota’s job as a bounty hunter.

The Vow not only delivered a hot and steamy romance between the hero and the heroine, but it also brought a suspenseful murder mystery to the table. Wow! What a ride, and Melody found herself smack dab in the middle of it all.

Told for alternate POVs, the story gave me insight into each of the character’s feelings. Melody is a strong, independent and determined woman, but she was a big coward when it came to commitment. Lakota on the other hand struggled with the circumstances of his birth, which made him avoid relationships.
I enjoyed the mystery element of the story. I loved how it unfolded and I like the fact it wasn’t easily solvable case. Aspects of it had me on the edge of my seat, and I was eager to learn who was behind the murders,

Narration
I have seen rave reviews about the narrator, Nicole Poole. This is my first time listening to her and I see why she is a favourite among avid audio book listeners. She brought life to the story and the characters.  One could easily distinguish between the voices for each of the characters, which enhanced the listening experience for me. I would definitely listen to more of her work.

Overall, The Vow was an entertaining story. If you are a fan of paranormal romance and shifters, then you will want to give yourself a treat by grabbing this book.
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I am a huge Dannika Dark fan - so this review may be a little biased - but I have honestly been hoping for a book like this for what feels like forever.  Melody and Lakota are characters from the Seven Series and Mageri Series. If you haven't read those series - you can 100% start with this book because it does stand apart from those books.  Reading those series is totally worth the investment because they are awesome and will give you an even greater appreciation for this book - but this book can be read as a starting point as well.  

Melody is definitely a free spirit - she is 25, incredibly creative and talented.  She and her best friend Hope are trying to open a boutique but have run into a major issue with their supplier of gemstones for Hope's work.  As a result Melody has to travel to Oklahoma to meet with a dealer.  Melody is very brave - and maybe a little bit reckless - but she is also a pretty smart business woman.  When she gets to Oklahoma she gets drawn in to a major drama involving the locals - and Lakota is at the center of it all.  

Lakota has been working as a bounty hunter and is working a case undercover when Melody appears back in his life.  The two have always been connected - any time one has needed saving, the other appears.  This is definitely a case where fate keeps bringing them together.  

Seeing them together is pretty awesome.  There is really never any question - from an outside perspective - that they are meant to be together.  The only question is can they get out of their own heads to see that for themselves.  Or at least for Melody to see it.  The storyline is fast paced and even though the villain isn't really too hard to guess - it is still a good mystery.  

Overall - I definitely recommend this for fans of urban fantasy/paranormal romance and especially for other Dannika Dark fans like me!  I listened to the Audio version of this book - and I love Nicole Poole as a narrator for this and for the other series.  She always brings me right back into this world.  

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, but these opinions are all my own.
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OMG I have never read or listened any of Dannika's books before but now I have to. I loved this story I didn't feel like I missed anything by not knowing the other books. Love love love this. Can't wait for the next one to come out.
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"And boom goes the dynamite"-Wheeler

No this book isn't about Wheeler but if you've read the book, you know exactly why I quoted him.  

I loved this book so so much! I loved being back in the Mageriverse.  I am going back and rereading all the books now.  I think we have all wanted to know more about Lakota from the second he popped up in this story.  I am so glad that the author gave us his story. Melody is the daughter of one of the couples from the Seven series... and I loved her.  She was so down to Earth and she loved with her whole heart.  These two characters had a connection because Lakota saved Melody when she was a girl. I knew from that moment that if Dark every wrote about Lakota that Melody would be his HEA and I am 100% not mad about it.  They fit.  

The narration was good. Poole always does a fantastic job.. I do kind of wish that Dannika Dark would pick someone else just because Poole has done all her books and the characters kind of blend together with the audiobooks. BUT that didn't take away from the story.. just an observation.

I received an early copy of the audiobook from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm especially wowed by this book.

I don't think there was much chemistry between the main characters and it also felt like I barely knew anything about them besides the basic background. Although it's been said that I don't need to read the Seven Series beforehand, for this story I think I should have (or at least have a look at the book(s)? where Lakota and Melody made an appearance). Lakota once saved Mel when they were younger and it was mentioned a few times but not really elaborated on it. It felt a bit like there was this whole backstory that I was missing, especially in a story where the main characters knew each other since they were little. Incorporating a bit from their past might have helped me feel the chemistry between them more.

Other than that, I think this is a decent story. It was super interesting to see racism in reverse (our heroine Melody experiences it). I was also pleasantly surprised that I couldn't figure out who the killer was, and, even though I haven't read the Seven Series, I really liked the get-together family moment at the end. I can only imagine how fans of this series will freak out about the cameo appearances.

The narration by Nicole Poole is very pleasant to listen to but somehow I've never been able to connect the characters with her voice. Her voice sounds a bit older and more sophisticated than I imagine the characters to be but that could just be my personal preference. Setting my personal preference aside, she is a fantastic narrator. I especially like her male voices, they sound incredibly authentic.
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I've read some of Dannika Dark's books before and have always enjoyed them.  The Vow was a reminder to me that I need to go back and tackle the ones I haven't gotten to yet.  If you're looking for a really well-done shifter series, she can definitely write it.  Not only does she have the nuances down with their personalities, she delves into creating shifter societies.  I always enjoy her work.  The Vow is a standalone which appears to be the beginning of a new series.  That said, these characters do make an appearance in an earlier series by the same author, but it isn't necessary to have read that beforehand.

I listened to the audio version of The Vow and the narration was quite good.  I was able to easily follow the story and could tell who was speaking at all times.  Not only do I recommend the book, but the audiobook as well.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced audio review copy.  I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.
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I quite enjoyed the narration by Nicole Poole, she was able to bring out the different characters from the book. As for the storyline, it was interesting and I enjoyed the characters potrayed in this book. Thanks to NetGalley for this audiobook copy.
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Thanks to NetGalley for advance copy The Vow. I was immediately drawn in to the complexed shifters world. Unlike other shifter books you read about the presence of different shifters and shifter tribes. Seeing the raw emotion present in Melody and Lakota relationship after a odd chance meeting far from home. But this book is not just another romance story with Lakota being sent to the tribe land to find the killer among them.
Nicole Poole narration truly brings this book to life. Her voice truly brings the characters to life. I really enjoy the way she present this book.
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Thanks to NetGalley for early access to The Vow. I was immediately sucked in even though the fantastical elements took me a bit to get situated. 

I appreciate the layers provided by the presence of different shifters and tribes. The animalistic and raw romance was satisfying and I’m excited to see where the characters might go next. My only gripe is more personal taste and less literary — I struggle with the male dominance role that was presented— the idea of males being the protectors and females being submissive. I realize that this falls in line with animal qualities and therefore makes sense here but it made my hackles rise while reading.
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