I may be a man, and not just a man, but a policeman, but even I like to park the squad car, open a bottle of Evian, unpack a watercress salad, turn up the Celine Dion on my mp3, and enjoy my momentary calm and escape from reality with the latest supernatural thriller/romance from veteran author Maggie Shayne or Marjorie M. Liu, or exciting newcomer Alyssa Day or Meljean Brook. You can imagine my unbridled excitement, then, at having all four of these fabulous authors in one book. I very nearly squealed with delight, but then remembered I was packing heat and almost fifty years old.
The four, unrelated stories of "Wild Thing" pack their own heat, of the passionate paranormal kind. In Maggie Shayne's "Animal Magnetism", Jay, a "hot young cop" (or "me", as I like to call him) tracks down a rapist and becomes involved with Macy, a beautiful lady vet who can talk to and understand animals. One animal in particular, a dog, can identify the rapist, and Macy must convince a skeptical Jay before the determined rapist silences both her and the only witness. Reminds me of the movie "Witness", if you replace the talking dog with that Amish boy.
Marjorie M. Liu's "Hunter Kiss" kicks off her Urban Fantasy series and introduces a young woman who is covered by living tattoos. These personal demons come out at night to protect her from the darkness and evil that lurk in the shadows, but who will protect her from her own demons? Maybe a handsome young cop? Or a slightly paunchy, middle-aged one? Who knows. You'll have to read the story.
Alyssa Day's "Wild Hearts in Atlantis", the second book in her Warriors of Poseidon series, continues the saga of the Atlanteans, sworn to protect humankind but not to desire them. Reminds me of my own oath of duty. Something about protecting, honoring, defending, keeping clean, and being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, and other things. Atlantean High Prince Conlan sends his trusted, outwardly good-natured warrior Bastien to play the diplomat with their sworn enemies and enemies of humankind. One of them, a half-breed, draws in Bastien and draws out his true feelings, testing his allegiance and the pledge that defines his being. My allegiance was tested once. Pepsi One? Diet Coke? But I stayed true, and my being remained intact.
Meljean Brook's "Paradise" is the third installment in her The Guardians series, dealing with vampires and forces that would both tempt and destroy them, like donuts. In "Paradise", the vampire Lucas Marsden, former DA, now a theater owner and head of the vampire community in Ashland, Oregon, receives a visit from the beautiful and mysterious Guardian Selah, sent to protect him and his people from demons that are hunting them. Lucas finds himself immediately attracted to Selah, but can he trust her?
I had to rip the cover off the book because I didn't want my partner to see its provocative cover. Not that I was ashamed to be reading any of the authors, but my partner has a very rigid idea of what a cop should read. When he asked what I was reading, I told him it was a book about a rogue cowboy who shoots a bunch of outlaws. That seemed to satisfy him. These fantastical and passionate stories will satisfy you, bringing out your inner beast and your inner, dare I say it, wild thing.