Tiger by the Tail by Shelley Munro
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (145 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
One plus one equals three.
Tiger shifter Hari Daya takes one look at Ambar Patel’s photo and is smitten. Further research heightens his fascination. An arranged marriage would work, except the lady isn’t buying and tells him to take a hike.
Ambar is already involved with human Jake Quinn. Casual pleasure and lovin’ works best for her since she dreams of traveling the world and delving into new experiences. The frisson of heat and desire she feels for Hari is unacceptable. There will be no tiger mate for her.
Jake Quinn has no idea either his lover or his new friend are shifters, but there sure as hell is something weird going on in his head. As much as he enjoys sex with Ambar, he’s thinking about Hari too. Suddenly there’s kissing and togetherness way past his comfort zone. The slide into sinful pleasure with both Hari and Ambar is easy—it’s the relationship dynamics that give them headaches and make them wonder if they’re making a huge mistake.
This book seduced me as much as the characters seduced each other and what a wild ride it was.
Ambar is a woman who is finally free of the constraints of her very strict upbringing. Now she has the chance to explore and do the things she wants. Everything is going her way and she couldn’t be happier. Or so she thinks. Just like a good James Bond martini, she gets shaken. But Ambar most certainly gets stirred as well and everything explodes.
What I enjoyed the most about Ambar’s reaction is her very believable emotions of jealousy, insecurity and fear. This is the first book to actually touch base on what the dynamics are like when a relationship changes and there are more than the usual two players. Ms. Munro totally captured the essence of her characters and ran with it. I felt the perspective to be refreshing and honest. I really could empathize with Ambar’s feelings of betrayal and her fear of being left out. In fact it was awesome how the author got me to feel that too. Everyone knows that feeling at one time or another in their lives of being on the outside looking in and it’s a physical pain. The yearning for something they’ve lost and fear they’ll never have again. And the anger at the person they think has what they had. Those intense emotions are all there in this story and it made quite an impact on me. Did I think Ambar’s reaction went on too long? No, not at all. When I think back on the story, there is so much going on and she naturally takes awhile to learn to trust and share her confidences with them. No one jumps right into a new fragile relationship and bares all. So yes, it’s realistic, touching and it drew me in one hundred percent.
Jake is the first man in her life and he seems to match her quite well. I liked his sense of responsibility and I felt for him. He’s under a lot of pressure and has a huge worry hanging over his head like a dark cloud. The only sunshine in his life is Ambar.
Hari has traveled thousands of miles to be with Ambar and to marry her. He has it all planned out. His culture uses marriage brokers and he got a lead on her awhile ago. Hari is filled with purpose, anticipation and confidence. Like a balloon floating onto a very sharp spine, his expectations and plans pop and burst. What happens next is hot, sultry, sexy and oh so delicious. And a complete and utter shock to Hari. I absolutely enjoyed every caress and hesitant touch as Hari discovered that Jake is his mate too. When both men realize that the bizarre feelings are reciprocated and test the waters, a reader is in for an exciting and titillating seduction. I was blown away and completely got into the mood. It’s the best male loving scene I’ve seen in awhile because it was loaded with emotion, tentative hope and an internal see-saw of drama about their each coming to terms with actually liking being touched by another man. It was HOT.
The conflict is all character driven in this book. There are no creepy persons or villains. The story is all about falling in love in spite of their differences. Of coming to trust each other and figuring out what they want out of life and what they mean to each other. I read this book in one sitting because I simply had to find out what it was going to take for each one of them to admit they needed each other to be happy. The secondary characters helped and contributed a sense of a caring community. There is some great detail in this tale and I enjoyed the dialogue, the descriptions and the interactions between all the persons involved.
Tiger by the Tail is another winner for Ms. Munro and my high praise of this book is well earned. Every love scene mattered and with each one a reader can feel the heat building and the love growing. Each encounter had meaning and provided growth in one form or another. It being a paranormal romance, it delivered my personal favorite activity, biting. I love a good kitty bite and this book delivers that too. I enthusiastically recommend this book to any paranormal erotic romance reader who looks for quality writing and a happily ever after that satisfies.