Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Status: There are no spoilers for any of the other books in this series. It’s technically book 4.5, but could be read before or after any of the books in the series thus far.
Source: Received from the publisher for review
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Location: Nirvana, Nevada
Other Info: Check out our joint interview with Thea Harrison at On a Book Bender!
Description and link (from Goodreads):
Claudia Hunter is on a road trip through the Nevada desert when she sees the body of a dog on the side of the highway. Pulling over to investigate, she quickly determines that the enormous animal is clinging to life. While working to save him with the help of the local vet, Claudia realizes there’s something about the creature that seems more. Other. Wyr. Which makes this case of animal cruelty attempted murder.
Too injured to shape shift, Luis Alvaraz is reluctant to tell Claudia what he knows about his attack, afraid it will only make her a target. But the sheriff is corrupt, and his attackers know Luis is alive and vulnerable. To make matters worse, a sandstorm is sweeping into town, and if they’re going to survive the night, Luis will have to place all his trust in Claudia.
Warning: Take a gorgeous man temporarily stuck in the dog house, add a strong, take-no-prisoners woman, mix in encroaching enemies and a raging sandstorm and stir to combine. Enjoy with a freshly opened can of whoop-ass.
Ruby: So far I like it, but I don’t know if that’s because Thea is making it clear that this is a heroine who doesn’t need a Wyr to keep her safe. It’s not that I think her previous heroines were weak, but there was definitely an aura of the Wyr as protector. I’m wondering how much longer he’s going to stay in Wyr form. The attraction is already there, but since this is a short, he needs to be human for a bit.
Amanda: I loved the heroine in this story. Whereas previous stories it seems more focus has been on the Wyr (male), the focus of this story is really on Claudia. As for the romance aspect, it didn’t quite satisfy me. Once you finish, you may understand why.
Ruby: I particularly enjoy the show-not-tell aspect of her kickassness. And she completely pulls it off. She isn’t posturing.
Amanda: She knows what she can do. I think I almost like her character better than Luis.
Ruby: Agreed. He was the eye candy. And, oh, what eye candy it was!
Amanda: Were you left feeling a little dissatisfied by the ending?
Ruby: Oh, absolutely.
Amanda: I didn’t like how the romance didn’t have a clear ending. Unless Thea intends to write about them more. I might be okay with that.
Ruby: Partly because they didn’t really settle the issue of her getting older while he will remain in the prime of his life.
Amanda: Exactly! There is potentially a lot more to their relationship that needs to be resolved.
Ruby: Because Claudia was right — she’s only going to keep aging. If he aged normally, it wouldn’t be such an issue, because he’d be doing the same. But because he’s a Wyr, he’ll be the equivalent of thirty when she’s seventy? Which means he’ll be spending portion of their relationship caring for her in her old age, no?
Amanda: And if he fully mates with her, he’ll die when she dies.
Ruby: I could buy him feeling like he’d rather make the choice to mate with her than live life with a could-have-been, but it would need to be explicitly discussed between them.
Amanda: Yup. Too much was left up in the air.
Ruby: And I wanted to know more about what the tarot cards were up to next.
Amanda: Yes! Made me wonder if that will be the next novella.
Ruby: I hope so!
Ruby: I’ve been thinking and…do you think that Luis was kind of bimbo-ish? Like, in order for Claudia to be so kickass, his character was diminished? This was, in part, due to the fact that this was Claudia’s story, and not Luis’. He–and his character development–got sidelined. Except for his glorious physicality. So glorious. Honestly, I’m as bad as a man.
Amanda: Seriously, romance novels are for women. We’re allowed to be as bad as men. I do think that Luis’ character was diminished. Claudia is the star. She saved Luis. She was able to figure out what was going on, and had a very big part in taking care of the problem. There is total girl power here, and Luis is more of a trophy wife. Husband? Wyr? Whatever.
Ruby: YES! He is totally a trophy husband. Which is enough to tickle my funny bone, but doesn’t make up for the unsatisfying ending.
Amanda: If it had been anyone other than Thea Harrison, I think I would have been much more upset over the ending. It really was left open. Too much so.
Ruby: You know how you said you wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel? I think I’d rather follow the tarot deck than Claudia and Luis.
Amanda: Well, I don’t know that I would want a sequel. I just wanted an ending with more closure. Something that made me say, “YES! This is a HEA! I can leave this story with the satisfaction that they are happy together. Forever. FOREVER!”
Enter to win an ecopy of Natural Evil from Thea Harrison!
Outtakes–A sneak peek behind the scenes of the fawesome duo.
Ruby, I can see you typing! Can you see me typing?
I feel like we should include this in our review. Or not. but it would be funny.
I feel like funny is half the point of our joint reviews.
Joint reviews must be funny, or else they are rather boring.
It’s like watching something print. Like a picture develop. The imagery was slow in coming, but it came.
Dammit! There’s always a #GutterPass.
I have them up my sleeve so they are always there when I need them.
I’m pretty sure you follow me around so you can make certain you are giving me one every day.