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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bad Medicine: Moon Bitten by Alice Gaines



Bad Medicine: Moon Bitten by Alice Gaines
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

After years of besting opponents in business, Jared Scott decides he wants a more powerful competitor. A creature with the strength and speed of a wolf and the cleverness of a human being fits the bill. He contracts with WishLabz to help him hunt a werewolf.

Jared's consultant at WishLabz, a werewolf named Amanda, has a history with hunters that goes back to when some men killed her parents. She doesn't like them, and so she doesn't like Jared much, either. She plans a surprise for Jared -- but it turns around and bites her, too.

Watch the fur fly as a lonely wolf-woman and a cynical and bored human man collide in a clash of beliefs, strong wills and misplaced revenge.

This is actually a pretty cool story. I liked the heroine Amanda’s mystical baby sitter and foster father. It was a nice touch because it imbued this tale with caring, love and tenderness. Despite her tragic start in life, she’s survived and thrived – well financially and in life skills. Her heart is a different matter. She has that walled up behind an impressive fortress and she has no intention of anyone ever making her that vulnerable again. Which a reader knows is the perfect type of person to be set up for a fall, and fall she does, much to my reading pleasure.

Jared has tackled every challenge in his life and conquered. He’s great at materialistic goals and considers himself a connoisseur of pleasing the ladies and leaving them satisfied while he continues onto the next agenda. It’s a pretty shallow life and he really didn’t realize anything was missing, nothing important anyway, until he met the heroine. I found it humorous at how he thought another orchestrated challenge could sate his restlessness. It never dawns on him that it’s his heart that has needs, not his brain.

Amanda’s objective isn’t as clear to her as it is to her pixie-cat secretary, whom I adored. What a terrific and fun secondary character. The heroine is purposely blinded to what her actions truthfully mean because it’s colored by her needs – of revenge, of not feeling helpless like she was all those years ago. For some reason, she fixated on Jared and I got the impression it’s because deep down, where there’s a crack in her defenses, she realizes he’s the man strong enough to save her from herself.

I admit that Amanda was a bit too blood thirsty for my personal tastes but it worked for the story. What I mean by that is that what she does to Jared she did it a little too enthusiastically and I got that impression from the author’s word choice during the scene.

One thing I guess I should mention is the parts where Jared and Amanda express furry wolf lust with gusto. If a reader isn’t comfortable with imagining haunches and paws, then they need to be aware that it’s in here. The human mind is present but it’s … distracted a bit by their powerful mating bond. The love is clear and the words are expressed so for me, I had no problems. I actually liked the fact that they both never lost sight of their feelings, no matter what form they were in.

The epilogue wrapped up everything in a passionate and optimistic tone that satisfied the romantic in me. It was sweet and true to their healed relationship. Did I mention what Jared had to do to get Amanda to open up to him? Oh, that was a good part. A reader is going to have to take a chance on reading this book to find out. It sure made me appreciate his character even more.

Bad Medicine: Moon Bitten is a nice twist on the werewolf tale with more than your average emotional hook to connect a reader to the story. I was entertained and fascinated at some of the creative and unique paths Ms. Gaines set up for her characters despite its short length. I found the tale exciting and couldn’t put it down. Now I have to wonder, just what is Gloria’s background story? I can’t think of a more distinctive secondary character that deserves her own account as this gal. How in the world did Ms. Gaines come up with her? I’m captivated.

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