Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Predator's Kiss by Rosanna Leo
Bear shifter Ryland Snow just wants peace. The peace and quiet afforded him at his woodsy retreat, the Ursa Fishing Lodge. As owner of the lodge, Ryland enjoys the tranquil life he’s created among his fellow shifters. He lives to maintain a safe haven for them, away from meddlesome human eyes.
When his rock star brother arrives, bringing trouble in the form of a possible hitman, Ryland is incensed. He’s been cleaning up Soren’s messes as long as he can remember, and is tired of his brother’s lecherous exploits.
Things go from bad to worse when Lia Goodblood stumbles upon Ryland and his lodge. Yes, the reclusive erotica author is easy on the eyes, but the human woman is more trouble than she’s worth. To say nothing of her bizarre fear of furry creatures.
Ryland determines to rid himself of her presence. But when he learns she’s on the run from a crazed fan, Ryland’s protective bear instincts flare. And the bear won’t be denied.
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**Warning: Mild spoiler included regarding a notable bedroom scene**
This was a wonderful, sweet story and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. There's not a whole lot of setup to things, but instead it gets right down to business, introducing us to the characters and their problems. The problems seem realistic enough, and their responses in how they deal with the stresses reflect thier characters well, I just wish there had been a bit more sense of real danger here, because for the most part the mood throughout is more comical than anything (though yes, some parts are quite steamy).
Lia seems like a pretty down to earth sort, very unassuming and quite shy and reluctant to engage with other people much despite her fame. Or perhaps because of it. She also has an unfortunate phobia of anything furry, though we do eventually find out that she has some valid reasons for the phobia. Like many heroines, she's reluctant to do much on her own behalf regarding her stalker besides run from him, but when it comes to others around her being threatened, especially those she's come to care for, she'll spring immediately into attack mode to defend them. Thankfully she eventually learns to harness some of that impulse for herself instead of just saving it for others.
Of the men, Ryland comes off as the most mature one, for he's been working hard for the last many years building up his resort to turn it into a haven for shifters. Even though all he really wants is a simple and quiet life, he doesn't balk when trouble lands on his doorstep, first in the form of his younger brother, and then in the form of Lia. Though a part of him certainly wants to turn them away so he doesn't have to get involved in their troubles, ultimately his own honor won't let him do that. Soren is family, so there's little question of Ryland helping him out really, and in Lia's case, all of his protective instincts demand that he help keep her safe. He of course resists his attraction to Lia for a long while, not simply because that's what heros in romance novels do but for some fairly valid reasons related to his past. He's a stubborn one, but even he eventually caves in to the inevitable.
While I did find this to be a very enjoyable read overall, I did have a few problems with it as well, mostly relating to some of the problems they had to overcome, some of which were fairly serious in nature such as Soren supposedly having a hit out on him and Lia having a crazed stalker. I felt that both of these problems ended up being solved far too easily really, but I suppose that's mostly because this is really a romantic comedy, not a romantic suspense novel. Both needed to be in there to give Soren and Lia a reason to be on the island at all, but other than that I think the story could have done without those plotlines and could have worked with just the other issues that were in play between them.
The bedroom scenery here was very nice, and pretty hot, though I'm going to have to disagree with some of the reviews I've seen regarding the honey scene because I have to say that I found it to be a bit of a turn off the way it was used. Ryland spreads the honey all over Lia's genitals, repeatedly, and while I can appreciate how stimulating the prolonged oral action required to get it off would be, my practical side couldn't help cringing at putting sweet sticky stuff there because that's just asking for a nasty and unpleasant infection. That's just me being too practical minded, however, and I certainly understand why many find it a very, ah, stimulating scene.
Overall this is another wonderful read by a fabulous new(ish) author and one that I expect has a very bright future ahead of her as an author. I for one will almost certainly devour anything she puts out in the future, and though I wasn't as taken with Soren in this book as some were, I look forward to reading his book as well. Anyone interested in paranormal romance, espcially with shifters, or in romance with a side of comedy will love this book. If you want a dark, angsty, or kinky read though you'd probably do well to look elsewhere. 4 solid stars and a strong recommendation for this one from me.
I received a copy of this book from the author as part of a Goodreads Author-Reader Exchange program for an honest review.