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Monday, July 26, 2010

Animal Instinct by Michelle Pillow

Animal Instinct by Michelle Pillow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The wild thing she saved is the man she’ll desire most.

A Ghost Cats story.

Eve Matthews, head veterinarian at Jameson Wildlife Rescue and Preserve, measures success by no one’s rules but her own—much to her rich parents’ distress. A life filled with animals means she’s rarely alone. Still, a little human contact of the male variety would be nice.

The only one in her life right now is Midnight, a black panther she brought back from the brink of death. She doesn’t think twice about bringing him home to keep an eye on him. Changing clothes in front of his golden eyes. Confessing her deepest fantasies to his alert ears. It’s not as if he’ll ever tell anyone her secrets.

Forced to watch her every move, listen to her every word, Viktor is in torment, trapped in panther form while he heals. He aches to fill her nights with the pleasure she craves, but to shift too soon risks death. Until the night she pleasures herself, and he can take no more.

They come together in a cataclysm too fierce to be a dream. But the shifter who left Viktor for dead is drawing near, determined to finish the job he started.

What would you do if your pet told you he understood all your confided naughtiest fantasies and even worse, he could make them come true?

Eve is a woman with integrity. She has a brain and for some reason, her mother is unappreciative of it. It takes a lot of courage to buck parental pressure but Eve has a passion for animals that supersedes her mother’s demands. Her comfort level for big cats is such that an injured panther instills no fear in her and she finishes his healing care in her living quarters. When a person is on their own turf, confidence and security loosen lips and Eve gives the panther both an eyeful and an earful about her life and her dreams in addition to her night time fantasies. The author does a good job in setting the stage for what comes next.

Viktor is both man and cat. He is on borrowed time while healing from an attack and he has to make the most of it. Unlike Eve, he’s fully aware of himself and her and he’s falling in love with no way to express it while stuck in cat form. He also knows that the other bad guy is out there somewhere to ensure his demise, so he has this push-pull dilemma of wanting to protect Eve and just plain wanting her. He might be on sure footing with his own kind and knows the rules of the game but with Eve he is adorably clumsy.

All his good intentions fly out of his head when she is near and nothing comes out of his mouth the way he intended. It’s a good thing there is such a phenomenon as ‘animal instinct’. Viktor needs all the help he can get.

When Viktor and Eve do the body tango, Ms. Pillow gives a reader exactly the right amount heat with passion and emotion for a steaming read. There is just enough paranormal spice to make the fast and furious coupling believable. Since this is a short story, it’s a bit of a challenge to balance the plot and characters without shortchanging either with the erotic content and the author pulled it off nicely.

When the external conflict catches up to Viktor, it’s brutal and quick with tight writing to carry it through. Secondary characters help illustrate Eve’s stand and her choice of occupation. There are also a few surprise characters that had me grinning. I didn’t expect that and I thought it was cute the way the author had Eve handle everything.

Animal Instinct is a perfect short paranormal romance for a discerning reader who wants the plot and characters to be real and meaningful, but need the heat and sensual touches to be scorching. This book delivers on all fronts and I enjoyed reading it immensely. This is a fun summer read.

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