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Werewolf Sean Holloway treats the village marketplace like a sexual buffet, though his charm does little to win over his latest entr e of choice. Whether because of Jem Stonehouse's unique scent, her headstrong nonchalance, or the fact he is forbidden to see her by his pack's rules, Sean wants her.When Jem is nothing but flippant toward his advances, he pursues her with vigour, stealing moments alone with her without a libido-driven agenda.The new and heady experience for him drives their relationship beyond romantic interest, and straight toward love.That is, until Jem learns the truth about Sean's heritage. Knowledge of the existence of werewolves leads to only one outcome: death.In this prequel to Darkness & Light, we are taken back in time, to the very beginning of Jem and Sean's love-across-the-centuries relationship.Did it end there? Or did Sean defy his own pack to save the woman he loves?


First published December 13, 2011

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About the author

J.A. Belfield

49 books340 followers
Best known for her Holloway Pack Stories and The Therapist, J.A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her family, a spoiled dog, and a cat who likes to vomit in unfortunate places.

Once upon a time, she was a little girl with a vivid imagination. Not much has changed in the last forty years.

J.A. Belfield writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy. And now she writes saucy romance, too. Because she can. ;)

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5 stars
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30 (34%)
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17 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews
Profile Image for Ronda.
850 reviews118 followers
February 2, 2014
I really enjoyed reading about Sean (Mr. Holloway) and his courting of Jem. I've read about wolves in many books but this way of living in the Holloway Pack seems to be way in the past. I'm looking forward to opening the next novel.
Profile Image for Aimee Laine.
Author 6 books236 followers
October 20, 2011
As a fellow author with J.A. Belfield, I have the opportunity to read ARCs of her works. In fact, I've read this one so long ago that I had to re-read the ARC to remember all the minute details. Like how Sean is so amazingly loving to this women when you know (for a fact) he's a damn womanizer. How Jem is so snobby and hoity-toity (that's a southern thing) that she reminds me of the southern belles of the south.

And ... (you really do want to click this because it's profound)

Reading Instinct is like sitting at my grandparents feet and listening to how they fell in love and knowing they are right there in front of me to show me that it still lasts. In this case, the 'grandparents' is the novel Darkness & Light and the story being told is Instinct.

As a novella, this took no time for me to read and boy did I want more. Luckily, I've heard there's another prequel coming ... sometime ... eventually ... hopefully sooner than later because I do love Sean! (yes with the !).

5 stars all the way. Love it. Swoon from it. Read it again.
Profile Image for Danielle Smiley.
290 reviews12 followers
December 27, 2011
This is such a beautiful novella; historical, paranormal and an epic love story all in one. As a prequel, it's not something that needs to be read beforehand nor does it need to be read after the first book. It's amazing as a stand alone story without the support of the series (other than you'll be left wanting more!).

The story is told from Sean's point of view and it is so well done. Belfield's descriptive writing immerses you in the story until you can feel the forest around you. The plot moves quickly and pulls you along on the roller coaster experience of falling in love. I did not put this book down except to feed my kids (they fussed until I conceded).

I loved Jem's character. Especially in her first few conversations with Sean, she is so witty and strong. You know that she feels this crazy pull towards Sean but she's cautious until he earn's her trust. Then she loves with total abandon.

J. A. Belfield's a talent you should definitely experience this new year!

Cover Art:
This cover is as beautiful as the story! The monochromatic color scheme gives a sense of being bathed in moonlight. The details are perfect ... did you see Sean's shadow?
Profile Image for Ambur.
794 reviews430 followers
December 23, 2011
Well, I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I loved Instinct. I have yet to read one of J.A. Belfield's books that I haven't liked, or loved actually...and if Sean's involved, it usually leads to an automatic love for me. (Although, I love me some Ethan, too, but I think everyone does really. ;D)

Instinct is a novella that predates Darkness and Light, it also predates the Sean and Jem from it...in fact, this novella shows the very first Sean and Jem. I love that we get to see Sean and Jem in a different time, and get to see them being completely different. Don't get me wrong, I love Darkness and Light Sean and Jem, but I'm also a huge sucker for past lives. :)

Sean is a big-time womanizer...seriously, he has a different lady every Tuesday...the one time his older brother (and alpha) lets him visit the market...until he meets Jem that is. :) Once Sean smells Jem's wonderful scent and lays eyes on her, he is a total goner. Other girls just don't appeal to him anymore, and he actually wants to...egad!...talk to a woman...while she still has clothes on. Blasphemy, but he does it. :P Okay, now I'm going to be serious. Sean pretty much does a 180 once he meets Jem, and the more time he spends with her, the more compelled he becomes. I loved falling in love with them. It was wonderful, and despite all of the things standing in their way, Sean is still determined to be with her. He's just so determined, and I love that about Sean...even if he is a total extremist. :P

One of the things that I found the most interesting about Instinct was that we get Sean's side of their love. In Darkness and Light, it's all Jem, so Instinct is almost a reversal in a sense, especially since Jem seems to be more hesitant one in their relationship. In Instinct, the circumstances are all different, and Jem is unsure, but a lot more willing to be with Sean...of course, she also doesn't have a husband already in this one. :P

I loved Instinct! It's a fantastic novella, and I think you could read it before or after Darkness and Light. It's really up to you, but personally, I liked having read Darkness and Light because it was kind of nice going from where they are now to looking back at where their relationship truly started. I completely recommend Instinct, and the rest of the books in the Holloway Pack series. I love this series, and I think that J.A. Belfield tells amazing werewolf stories. :D

Have you read any of J.A. Belfield's books yet? Thoughts on Sean?
Do you like werewolves? What about British werewolves...hmmm?
And, what do you think about past lives?
Profile Image for Jocelyn Adams.
Author 14 books423 followers
January 9, 2012

I finally found time to read Instinct. Like a ravenous reading beast, I devour pretty much any story J. A. Belfield writes, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this little lovely. As usual, she did not disappoint me. Five of these little babies from me ☆☆☆☆☆, deserving of every single one.

First off I have to say I LOVE this cover. The colors and lighting are eye-catching enough, but then I noticed the subtle detail of Sean's shadow taking the shape of a wolf. Very creative and fitting, and the whole flavor of the couple's attire matches the story to perfection. Bravo again, J. Taylor!

This story is from Sean's perspective, the hero from Darkness & Light. Here, we see him in a previous life where he's trolling the marketplace for his latest female delicacy to have as an afternoon carnal snack, enjoying a different one each week. He's a bit of a naughty one, that Sean, until a chance encounter brings him upon Gem, a blonde enticement that raises his mind from his trousers to the worthy woman she is. She's stubborn and has heard of Mr. Holloway and his adventures under women's petticoats, so she isn't as easy to win over as Sean might like. What she does, is earn his respect.

Her scent, beauty and the bold way about her make sure he doesn't give in, trying as hard to win her as she tries not to be won. Destiny, it would seem, has other ideas. Not that it's easy by any stretch. Between the rules of his pack and Gem's mother, a talented witch who dislikes werewolves, the path they walk is a hard one. One very enjoyable for the reader to be tugged along the emotional roller coaster Sean finds himself on.

Although this is a short read, it's packed with intrigue and emotion, and woven together like silk threads, creating a story so smooth and captivating you'll want to curl up on the sofa and read it again and again.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Beth The Vampire.
308 reviews22 followers
May 30, 2014
Okay, so the main reason that I read this novella was to try out my new kobo ereader (which is fantastic by the way!). I do have the first book in the Holloway Pack series, and I thought I would give this novella a go before I started the book. It was a sweet little story; a love story with a supernatural twist. Sean is a ladies man, until he meets Jem...well it's actually her scent which attracts him at first. The gradual unfolding of their relationship was done very poetically, and the end culmination seemed like a natural progression of the story and not just something thrown in there to wrap everything up. The characters were clear, even those that didn't get much page time, and this is a credit to the writer, especially in a limited amount of space that a novella provides.

At times, especially at the beginning I felt like the supernatural elements took a back step, but in the end they were really brought out and it added an extra element to the story. Sean is a werewolf, and it is against the rules to engage in a relationship or tell anyone of their existence, both rules which Sean breaks. I liked the addition of wolfs bane brining out the change, and how this is used for Jem to discover that Sean is a werewolf. Something I want to focus on, which I feel made the story, was the superb writing. I don't know how to describe it, but it was addictive and flowed so well, it was the main thing that kept me going. A few times during the novella I had to stop and comment to myself about how well as passage was written, and J. A Belfield's use of language is certainly top notch. I look forward to reading more from this author, mostly to flesh out the story a little bit more and to delve deeper into the world she has created.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
1,192 reviews105 followers
January 3, 2013
Okay I won the book Blue Moon, and I thought it didn't make sense to read the 2nd book first. So I bought this short story and book 1. This was my first taste of J.A. Belfield, and I loved it :) I loved the story of Sean fighting for Jem. The story sucked me in, and I wanted more. I definitely want to read the entire story :)
Profile Image for Tina.
322 reviews10 followers
November 28, 2015
I really enjoyed getting to know Sean and Jem and watching their relationship develop.
Their forbidden love adds to the story. I would like to know more about Sean, James and their pack,so I am looking forward to reading more stories in this world.
Profile Image for Terri Rochenski.
Author 13 books176 followers
January 19, 2012
Once again, Ms. Belfield delivers. A love story with a little less tension than D&L, but the emotion is there. My senses were engaged from the first page.

Profile Image for Lola.
1,469 reviews242 followers
January 5, 2015
I enjoyed this more than I expected. After reading Blue Moon the second book in this series I decided I also should read the prequels, which up so far I forgot about. And I was surprised at how good and interesting the story was.

This prequel is about when Jem and Sean meet in another time period, I am not totaly sure which time period. I think this is the first time they meet. The story is a bit predictable and I think they fell in love a little bit too fast, but it was a very enjoyable prequel and I liked seeing more of Jem and Seans past. Also this prequel is told from Seans pov and I liked seeing his point of view. Be aware that this is a short story, so it is short, but actually I didn't really mind. I would've preferred a bit more elaboration on certain points, but this prequel tells the story it has to tell and there is another prequel that follows this one if you want to read more.

Both characters are slightly different than in Darkness and Light and Jem keeps formally calling Sean Mr Holloway, which was fun. I liked seeing how they where different, but also still the same in certain ways as well. The only thing that bothered me is that I couldn't get a good view of who was in the pack and how they related to each other.

I think the story could've used a bit more world building. I was a bit confused if this really was the first time Jem and Sean met (with this I mean if this was the first life in which they met). And which time it was actually. It is in the past, that much is clear, but I would've liked a bit more hints to sugest which time period it was and what was considered normal in this time. There isn't any explanation about the werewolves, so I would recommend book 1 Darkness and Light first.

To conclude: a very enjoyable short story. I liked seeing Jem and Sean in one of their other lives and noticing the differences and similarities in their personalities. I was a bit confused about the pack and the personalities of Seans pack members, but I guess this story is too short to go into that in depth. Also I would've liked some more hints about which time period this was. All in all a very enjoyable short story and a must read if you like this series.
Profile Image for Dahlia (yadkny).
930 reviews140 followers
July 2, 2012
Sean Holloway's insatiable appetite for the female form knows no bounds until a new scent captures his attention. When the hunt for the owner of such captivating aroma brings him to Jem Stonehouse, Sean is at once taken by the sight of her and intrigued by these sensations she solely stirs. Her fragrance stays with him long after she boldly turns down his attentions and walks away, but Sean's pursuit is only further piqued by this and will not be denied. Not even by the firm objections from his Alpha brother.

After several weeks of stimulating conversation and secret rendezvous's with Sean, Jem believes he's turned over a new leaf from his philandering ways. She in turn defies her Mother's protests to stay away from him and continues their whirlwind courtship neither of them expected and one that could quite literally change Jem's life forever. However, acceptance is key and none more so than Jem's acceptance of the existence of werewolves and that she just might have fallen for one.

The ease with which the story flows is amazing to say the least. From the first page the reader will be sucked into this historical paranormal romance while listening to Sean's telling of his and Jem's first meeting that started it all. It was most definitely love at first sniff for him and although he was a cad with the ladies and held high regard in his rakish reputation, everything changes when the innocent and challenging Jem enters his life. They instantly became a couple to root for.

While the descriptive element in the writing seems lacking in illustrating the setting and characters a bit more, it was made up for by the quality in the writing. The dialogue and romantic/conflict development created an attractive atmosphere that I couldn't help but fall into. After reading this very promising start to the Holloway Pack series, I am incredibly curious to find out what happens next and believe readers interested in this sub-genre of romance will be too.
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,149 reviews163 followers
April 1, 2012

Instinct by J.A. Belfield is a novella "prequel" and is the beginning of the Holloway Pack Series.
I really loved this novella, its kind of the prequel or the history you need to know for the next books to make total sense. It's well written to the point you cannot put it down. The descriptions make it possible for you to visualise the surrounding of the characters as well as what the characters look like too.
Its a lovely romance. I love how Sean finally meets his mate and lets say his match with Jem. Their love is forbidden as Sean is a wolf however Jem also comes from a supernatural family in that her mother is a witch.
This book features an old fashioned tale of courtship.
I think you could read this book after Darkness & Light but I am glad I read it first as I think things in Darkness & Light make sense more quickly having read Instinct first.
A beautiful tale.
I also really like the cover which when you have read the novella you know depicts Sean & Gem walking along the lane during Sean's old fashioned courtship of Jem.
I can't wait to read Darkness & Light now!
So did I enjoy it? YES Would I recommend it? YES Would I read more of this series/by this author? YES/YES

Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk £2.05 on kindle.
Profile Image for Renée.
212 reviews66 followers
December 18, 2011
In this way to short but amazingly funny prequel to the sexy novel Darkness & Light is womanizer Sean Holloway mesmerized by the scent of the beautiful Jem Stonehouse.

Belfield does it again. When you read the novel you can feel the love between Jem and Sean. Jem is a lucky girl, who in the world doesn't want to be loved as much as Sean loves her.

The only thing that bothers my about this novel is that it's way way way way way to short!!! I want to read more about the adventures of Jem and Sean!

I want to read about their past lives, they're future lives and everything in between!
Side by side, breath for breath, beat for beat.

Instinct makes you long for more stories about the Holloway Pack. Just as much, if not more, as Sean longs for Jem.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
226 reviews18 followers
November 28, 2014
4.5 Stars

I've had several of my goodreads friends recommend J.A. Belfield's books. I finally decided to dive into the world of the Holloway Pack and I'm ever so glad I did. The writing was elegant and the plot was well thought out and interesting. I loved seeing the start of Jem and Sean's relationship. I will admit I am not a fan of historical writing but I did enjoy it in this aspect especially knowing it is setting up for a modern day story. This is a short but great start to the series and I am eager to read the rest.
Profile Image for aCupcakeBlonde.
1,145 reviews22 followers
February 5, 2013
This novella really delves into who Sean and Jem first met. I loved it being from Sean's point of view. I had enjoyed the excerpts from his point of view at the end of Darkness & Light. His narration is more satisfying for me and straight forward. Their first meeting was more sweet and restrained then I thought. My only gripes are what was missing from the story. Like their binding ritual. When the book ends there is no mention of Jem's mother accepting Sean and their love. And how did Sean become Alpha if his brother is Alpha. I am hoping these questions will be answered in the next novella.
Profile Image for Sue Tint.
603 reviews21 followers
January 12, 2012
One of the best novellas I have read in a long time. Review to come
Profile Image for Marie.
321 reviews4 followers
May 27, 2013
Another amazing book from J.A. Belfield!! It was sooooo awesome to see how everything started! This book did not read like a short story!
Profile Image for Angarad.
1,493 reviews22 followers
February 26, 2013
First meeting for Sean and Jem from Sean's point of view. It help understand him better ad see and feel what he feels for Jem. Wish I had one sexy werewolf for myself.
Profile Image for April Pawless.
314 reviews
April 21, 2016
love this quick read

This is a great prequel to a series. I can't wait to read more about this couple and this pack.
Profile Image for Maghon Thomas.
1,270 reviews1 follower
April 20, 2016
I love this series. Especially since I read books 1 and 2 before this one. This is the back story, where Jem and Sean from another life, another time, are together. I loved seeing them together like this and I especially enjoyed understanding how everything finally worked out. this made the present stories make so much more sense to me. And I freaking LOVE reading from Sean's view. And my only complaint is that it's short. I'd love more time from Sean's POV! But I loved seeing how different the time period can make their personalities. Because Sean and Jem are quite different in here than in D&L and it was so much fun! A great little addition to the series but I would say read book one- Darkness and Light- first and then read this one ;) 5 PAWS!
Profile Image for Tina.
322 reviews10 followers
September 9, 2016
I really enjoyed getting to know Sean and Jem and watching their relationship develop.
Their forbidden love adds to the story. I would like to know more about Sean, James and their pack, so I am looking forward to reading more stories in this world.
86 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2012
I am not a hugh fan of historicals or when the rake is completely converted because of one, er, girl in this case.
Profile Image for Perla The IB Teen Book Blogger.
497 reviews35 followers
April 14, 2013
Loved this prequel, but I was so confused when I tried reading the sequel that I just quit trying and stuck with my good memories of this one.
Profile Image for Janel.
328 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2016

I love this prequel. I love J.A. Belfields writing. Her story line in this series is awesome. Can't wait t o read the next one.
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