Reviewed: May 31, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: N/A ~ (Non-Series / Stand-Alone)
Rating: 4 Stars
Aliyah Carter is being hunted by poachers, hunters that are a part of a smuggling ring that brings African predators to the mountains of Colorado and releasing them to be slaughtered. Snatched in her cheetah form six months ago, the shifter Aliyah is racing for her life when an arrow pierces her flank. She manages to evade the poachers but is found by Duncan Kennedy, local sheriff, who is quite surprised to find a cheetah in his mountains, let alone one so grievously wounded. When one of the poachers sneaks up on Duncan while he's trying to aid the wounded feline, he's rescued by the surprising actions of the cheetah, and manages to get the large cat back to his cabin. But the surprises are just beginning when the top predator he leaves in his mudroom - arrow still sticking out of her flank - turns into a gorgeous female...with an arrow sticking out of her thigh. The world as Duncan knew it has changed forever, and Aliyah, feline to female and gorgeous with it, claws her way into Duncan's heart, then his bed. But the threat to her life and the threat to Duncan's mountain may tear them apart forever.
This short novella is a bit light on world building and character development, but the narrative is smooth and the plot quick-moving. The big game poaching is a relevant topic in this day and age and I liked that subject being addressed. I wish there had been a bit more care given to the development of the emotional relationship between Duncan and Aliyah, and that it had been given as much attention as the sexual relationship. I'm familiar with erotic paranormal romances, and prefer that their be a better balance between the sexuality and the emotion. That is the only complaint I had about this nifty little prequel to Maya Banks' Amber Eyes.
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