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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Tiger’s Tale by Nara Malone

The Tiger’s Tale by Nara Malone
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Never quite fitting in, Marie has always struggled with her identity. Adam has shown her just how sensual she can be, but despite this awakening she still doesn’t feel complete. That’s because she’s not. Orphaned at birth and raised by humans, practical Marie has no idea of her dual heritage as tiger and woman, or the role she must play to save her species.

When Adam discovers that his alluring girlfriend is not only a Pantherian tiger but carries unique genetic traits that could save their species, he asks Ean to join them as the third partner in the traditional Pantherian mating triad. With the future of the species at stake, the sexy shifters have only one week to convince her that not only is she a tiger, but she must mate with both men to save the Pantherians from extinction.

Adam and Ean may finally give Marie what she has longed for. After losing her foster parents Marie had a hole inside of her she felt only having children and a family could fill. Just when she realized the hole may never be filled, along come Adam and Ean telling her that she could have everything she wanted plus more. The problem is the only way to give her all of it is for her to learn and accept what she really is—a tiger shifter.

Although the main plot of the story was well thought out, the subplots left me wanting a little more. I think part of the reason may have been the author was trying to fit too many different subplots into this story. I would like to have seen more about Ean’s conflict between losing his wife and finding Marie. I would also have liked to have some resolution in regards to Marie’s biological parents. It seemed to be a significant factor in the plot of the story, yet there was really no closure with respect to it.

I did, however, enjoy the devotion all three characters showed one another, which kept their relationship moving forward. Even when Marie was angry and did not want to deal with either man, you could still tell she genuinely cared about each, and although disappointed and confused she still did not want to leave or harm them.

This story was unique because it focuses a lot of attention on Marie becoming pregnant, which you do have in some romance/erotic stories, but it is usually fleeting and unimportant throughout the story. In The Tiger’s Tale, the pregnancy played a large role. Marie’s one wish in life was to have her own child and these two men figured out a way to give her just that. I think in this aspect many women, who want nothing more than to have a child, will be able to relate to this storyline, making it even more appealing.

The lack of progression during Maria’s pregnancy did leave me a little unfulfilled. Again this may be due to the fact that the story has many different subplots. That warm fuzzy feeling you normally get when reading a romance is missing. It also does not have the intensity you expect in an erotica story. The only relationship that really seemed to develop during this time was hers with Ean, which the story did need.

I like the fact that Ms. Malone incorporated the fact they were shifters very thoroughly throughout this story. Not only were the emotions important because they were shifters, but in certain parts, particularly the pregnancy, the actual physical shifting was also important. Many stories use the notion of shifting as nothing more than a plot device, but the actual animal form itself is really not required. In this story, Marie had to shift which I enjoyed because it made it feel like a true shifter story, not just a romance story that could have been about regular humans or shifters. The main plot and the unique notion of shifting kept me entertained thorough the entire story. All in all, this was a story I did enjoy, and I give it three cherries.

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