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Friday, September 10, 2010

The Wallflower by Dana Marie Bell

The Wallflower by Dana Marie Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (84 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Is Emma ready for a bite?

A Hunting Love story, Halle Puma Series Book 1.

Emma Carter has been in love with Max Cannon since high school, but he barely knew she existed. Now she runs her own unique curio shop, and she’s finally come out her shell and into her own.

When Max returns to his small home town to take up his duties as the Halle Pride’s Alpha, he finds that shy little Emma has grown up. That small spark of something he’d always felt around the teenager has blossomed into something more—his mate!

Taking her “out for a bite” ensures that the luscious Emma will be permanently his.

But Max’s ex has plans of her own. Plans that don’t include Emma being around to interfere. To keep her Alpha, Emma must prove to the Pride that she has what it takes to be Max’s mate.

If you enjoy paranormal romances with funny quips, sassy mates and well developed characters then The Wallflower will be a treat.

Emma is a hot ticket. Maybe she used to be a wallflower in high school but those days are long behind her. Well, they should be but there’s this one babe who is a thorn in her side. I found Emma’s response to the witch as one I could respect and very classy. She now gives as good as she gets and I enjoyed every minute of it. Some people are inherently nasty and never seem to grow up, so the secondary character that plagues Emma is a great personality to showcase the inner strength that Emma now has.

And the part where she was snarling at Max, the way that whole scene was written had me grinning ear to ear. I could visualize it in my head and I would adore seeing that on the big screen. Even at her most grouchy, it was still romantic.

Max is the alpha and a very interesting man. Ms. Bell’s choice of scene for Max’s introduction to Emma was classic and quite fun. It had a real presence to it, a fullness that resonated with me and hooked me.

He’s a classic kind of character, full of take charge genes that demand capitulation from those he is in charge of. When Emma stands up to him, the resulting reaction is everything I could wish in a man who becomes besotted with his future mate, and the hunt is on. What fun. I loved Max’s strength, and so did Emma.

One of the main things that hooked me about this story was the dialogue. When Emma called Max ‘Captain Caveman’, it gave me the giggles. She has all these cute references to kitty litter and jokes about shifters in general that it gave me a good feeling about Emma’s persona. She’s a character that I’d like to know for real. Max’s reaction to some of what she says is equally fun and enjoyable to read. He takes his role as alpha seriously but he knows how to have a good time as well, and his sense of humor compliments Emma. Ms. Bell must have a delightful sense of humor of her own, because this story is warm and loving even when the tension is high.

The sensual and sexual tension is wonderfully built up and delivered. I have said it before in my reviews of paranormal romances and I’ll say it again - I adore a good bite scene and this tale delivered splendidly. It was erotic, titillating and very satisfying. Another thing I appreciated was Ms. Bell’s handling of Emma’s reaction to the big revelation. This story was so well balanced, it made me feel good during and after my reading of it.

The secondary characters each play a vital role in helping a reader understand the main personalities in the tale, or they contributed to the plot movement. Everyone was there for a reason and it was believable. The story is told in both Max’s and Emma’s points of view with a perfect balance to keep me interested and involved. The conflict is mostly external but it tweaked a few internal issues as well. I think this book was written with a fine balance between an involved and fleshed out storyline and the amount of sexual escapades between the hero and heroine. It satisfied my mind and my libido.

The Wallflower is a book not to miss for readers who are looking for a hero and heroine who can make them smile, sigh and outright laugh. It’s a vibrant and rich world of likeable characters and an interesting courtship between a hunky eye doctor and an adorably sassy shop owner. I had so much fun reading this book that I simply have to find more by Ms. Bell. Her writing is becoming an addiction I can’t wait to indulge more in. I absolutely recommend reading this impish and delightfully saucy book.

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