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Monday, July 6, 2009

Tooth and Claw by Annmarie McKenna

Tooth and Claw by Annmarie McKenna
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Eglantine

Vampire: (noun) Bloodsucker, murderer, bedpost-notcher, God’s gift to women, fiend.

Seth Gramble is a prince among his people. Half vampire, half jaguar, he is one of a rare few who can shift into an animal form. Both his halves have found their mate in a female detective determined to lump all vampires in with the rogue who killed her former lover. He’s given her six months to see him differently. He’s done waiting.

Paxton Tenor wants nothing to do with a blood-sucking fiend, no matter how much he makes her body sing. Nothing good can come of a vampire. A case she’s working on partners her with Seth, and she’s forced to reconsider her hatred. He doesn’t seem at all like the rogue who sucked the life from her boyfriend in cold blood.

When Seth’s kitty comes out to play, Paxton realizes she’s been stupid to deny herself this man. And when he puts his life on the line to protect hers? All bets are off.

Warning: Let’s be realistic here people; there’s sex. Who doesn’t want to be coerced into bed by a sexy, God’s-gift-to-women vampire? And when they can be undressed and on you before you can blink—hello. Even if said vampire faints at the sight of his own blood…

Is there a god? The question has been pondered by greater minds than mine through the ages, and has nothing to do with the plot of Tooth and Claw. Yet I felt the answer must be 'yes' when I got my mittens on this excellent ebook after an unfortunate deluge of electronically published titles of such low quality that I despaired for the industry.

The screen almost spontaneously combusts from the word go. Ms McKenna certainly knows how to crank up the tension. And though the sex is M/F only, with hints of bondage and some anal play, it sizzles.

Characters are rounded, well written and real. My only niggle was that the heroine's bitchiness seemed a little too much eventually. This small bother was by no means enough to take away from my enjoyment of the story as a whole.

Editing, which is often a very irritating problem with ebooks, was flawless. I cannot understand why Samhain is able to maintain such high standards while such an overwhelming majority of electronic publishers can't do the same. Cover art is another issue that often makes me cringe, but the illustration you lay eyes on when you open this novella is pleasing on the eye.

All in all an exceptional book and a very good effort, both from author and editors. Five cherries given to this one without a moment's hesitation, and worth every cent of the cover price.

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