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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Claws On Silk by Summer Devon & Linda Gayle

Claws On Silk by Summer Devon & Linda Gayle
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length; Full Length (164 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Blackmailed into acting as her family’s assassin, Anna corners O’Riley, her prey, but is shocked to realize the farmer standing over him is another of her kind: a rare Varelse, a tigerlike creature bred to kill. Anna’s drawn to Isak, who hasn’t shifted for years but who sees Anna struggle with her dual nature. Sometimes cultured lady, sometimes bloodthirsty beast, Anna begs for help. Isak agrees -- if she’ll spare O’Riley’s life. In their sensual lessons, he awakens his own dark animal -- and unleashes her feral passion.

But there’s a hitch -- Patrick O’Riley, the charming blackguard she hunts, desires her too. What’s more, he also wants Isak. And to Isak’s surprise, the farmer finds he’s curious about the three of them together.

Yet over their heads hangs the specter of Anna’s blackmailer -- her uncle, who wants Patrick dead. Knowing they must confront him and learn the truth, Anna, Isak, and Patrick embark on a journey that takes them over land and sea and pushes the boundaries of their turbulent relationship. With their lives on the line, the three surrender to the lure of claws on silk and the savage lust that entwines them with danger and desire.

The authors created a unique plot with this story.

Anna was born for the sole purpose of the power her aberration brings, yet the same aberration made her family members fear her. This created a cold calculated individual who was raised with little to no affection. Anna seemed almost robotic due to her strict upbringing. This quality, while helpful when you are raised to be a killer, sometimes left me feeling disconnected from her character. I wanted just a little bit more emotion from her instead of everything being decided in a logical fashion.

Even though Anna had been raised to follow the orders of family members, I enjoyed it when she began to question the validity of their decisions. It was interesting to watch her grow as she not only questioned authority but started making decisions on her own, mixing logic with understanding. I think that the internal conflict with Anna as well as the external conflict between her and her family added a certain depth to the story that increased my enjoyment.

Anna knew that her aberration was unique, which is why she was so shocked when she found Isak Arnesen standing over the man she was sent to kill, Mex O’Riley. While Anna knew little about who and what she was, Isak seemed to have a full understanding of who he was and what he wanted out of life. Isak’s personality, while a little stronger than Anna’s, also lacked emotions. I do not know if this was due to his solitary lifestyle or the Varelse blood that coursed through his veins.

Of all the characters in this book, I enjoyed O’Riley the most. He seemed to have that spark that would attract people to him whether good or bad. He reminded me of that one friend we all have that we usually don’t even like but for some reason we keep them around because they add a certain excitement or pizzazz. He also seemed to have the unique ability to defuse a situation no matter what the cause. Whether it be playing dead or sassing a killer, O’Riley was truly entertaining.

The relationship development in this story was consistent and smooth. While the validity of the feelings were sometimes questionable due to Anna and Isak’s lack of emotional response, there was never a question that these three complemented one another. The authors did a great job in demonstrating the attraction between all the main characters even when O’Riley and Anna seemed to be enemies. Additionally, the sexual encounters between these characters really left me on the edge of my seat. While Isak and O’Riley never had intercourse with each other they did demonstrate an interest for one another and sneaked a few kisses here and there.

While this story had its ups and downs, I think that the unique paranormal element of the Varelse, antagonistic conflict, and sexual tension made this story amusing and fascinating. Anyone who likes an unusual twist on paranormal erotic novels will find this story entertaining.

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