Author: Katie Reus
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne Cravings
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
About the book:
Jaguar shifter Estrella Rios is packless, and she likes it that way. No one is going to tell her what to do, least of all the sexy but arrogant wolf shifter who intends to claim her as his mate…
Rainer wants to know what a lone cat is doing in his pack’s territory without permission—but mostly he just wants her. From the moment he meets Estrella, their attraction is scorching and undeniable. But enemy vampires have set their sights on Estrella, too, and keeping her safe proves difficult, especially when it’s clear there’s more to Estrella’s heritage than either of them could imagine. Now they must discover the truth before it becomes too late for Rainer to ever claim her heart…
But enemy vampires have set their sights on Estrella, too, and keeping her safe proves difficult…and keeping his hands off her is impossible.
What I’m talking about:
Estrella Rios is a lone Jaguar shifter… a woman without a pack, and she’s never known pack life. Raised by humans since she was five, Estrella considers herself a human, with a pesky side of shifting. She’s never told anyone what she is and knows nothing about shifter life or protocol.
One night while working at an art gallery, Rainer (brother of the Alpha’s second-in-command) approached Estrella for being in the alpha’s territory without giving notice. After she brushes him off, he follows her and saves her from a vampire attack. Soon the pair are on the run from the vampires who had been hunting Estrella.
The pair have immediate chemistry, and Rainer recognizes it as the mating call. After the adrenaline rush from their initial running from the vamps, the pair cannot keep their hands off of one another. Their encounters are steamy! However, I love that Rainier recognizes that in order to win Estrella over, he will have to give her control of their situation. He is willing to give up his need to take and mark her after she admits she’s never been with a shifter. Rainier does not want to scare her off even though he wants to possess her and make her his mate. It’s very romantic!
Even after their initial coupling, Estrella cannot give up her human ways of thinking – which I feel is very appropriate given her background. She sticks to her guns and doesn’t let the shifters take control. I admired Estrella throughout the story and even gave her a few “you go girl” thoughts while reading. Meanwhile, Rainer accepts all that Estrella is, knowing that in time they can make it work. He stands up for her, even if it wasn’t the smart move in his brother’s eyes. It is because of his admirable treatment of her that Estrella learns she can finally “let go” and be the woman she is inside: shifter and all. The couple create a solid relationship, and I admire the direction they take in the end. It’s not your standard shifter-mating HEA, but it is romantic, appropriate and happy!
Near the end, a secret twist is revealed, one that isn’t too much of a shock for those paying attention to the clues. If this story was longer – or part of a series – I would want to think more about how this news would impact the overall story arc. But since the novella is pretty much stand alone, I will leave it as a good twist, but not earth shattering.
Overall Tempting the Jaguar is an entertaining novella. Ms. Reus has a knack for giving the reader steamy romance and exciting action in an engaging read. As with her other novellas, this story is something that could be developed into a great full-length book, but it is enjoyable as is.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
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