A Panther’s Flight by J. Hali Steele
Publisher: Eirelander Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
When a mate is worth waiting for.
Fane Baron is a Reign warrior—a sanctioned killer charged with hunting down the rogue vampyre cats of the Sovereign Kind. Haunted by memories of stalking his best friend and afraid the same contagious addiction will consume him, Fane makes a drastic decision; he’ll stop taking blood. He knows the consequences of his decision, the problem is, can he live with himself once he meets her…?
Edy Adair is in a predicament of her uncle's making. A few days from her first change to a panther, already dealing with the clawing emotional turmoil of being in heat, she’s headed on a short flight to Arizona with the vampyre cat of her dreams. Only problem, he isn’t the mate chosen for her by her parents. The fact is he killed her cousin!
How do you heal when your job is your life, even who you are, and the decisions you have to make in the course of it haunt you with a jagged ache?
Such is the story of Fane, a rather honorable and powerful man who I found fascinating in his inner torment. The conflict is both from the past and in the present; he has to forgive himself as much as anything and as we know in real life, that can be darned hard. Add to that another dilemma, wanting to do the right thing but fighting against it because he craves to be very naughty indeed. It’s always an interesting situation when a determined and focused man finds out his hormones and libido are a force to be reckoned with and ends up taking desperate actions because of them. The harder they are, the more thrilling the fall.
Edith is the heroine that has Fane’s tail in a kink. She’s excited, spunky, determined and horny as the day is long. She’s also wracked with her own internal guilt load but it’s more of a realization that the path others have chosen for her is not what she herself wants. The actions and internal dialogue leading up to her master plan were quite entertaining as she has a problem with earthy language. Edith is certainly not a pushover. What she is, is fun.
The beginning of the book sets up the world building whys and wherefores and is just shy of an info-dump, but it was effective. The humor both self-directed and external worked well to give the characters added depth and interest. The dialogue was fraught with lots of delicious sexual tension and buildup. There is even a heroic moment to show off Fane’s capable alpha cat. Both Fane and Edith have to learn to trust each other and that process is hindered by misconception and assumption – very realistic issues.
Also, the secondary characters tweaked and moved the plot along in a very satisfying direction.
A Panther’s Flight is a romantic paranormal tale with plenty of emotion, hot sensual buildup with some tantalizing sexual fireworks and a happily ever after that leaves you with a satisfied smile and a melted heart. It’s time well spent.