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REVIEW: Cat Scratch Fever by Jodi Redford

Dear Ms. Redford,

I was checking the Samhain home page for new releases and stumbled upon your book. I was looking for something short, steamy and fun and this seemed to fit the bill. I’m happy to say that it was extremely enjoyable, and a fun, flirty read.

13419559Cat Scratch Fever has a familiar paranormal set up. The heroine, Lilly, is a lynchat (werelynx) and is going into heat. This is inconvenient for her because she’s trying to broker a business deal for land with the hero, Dante, who is a werewolf. The werewolves and werelynxes hate each other because werewolves stole the werelynx land years ago and won’t sell it back to them.

The set up promises sexy fun and delivers. In one of the very first scenes, Lilly’s overcome with lust from the heat so she pulls her car over and masturbates to relieve the sensation. Naturally the hero stumbles upon her and cannot help but watch. Writing up the description, it sounds a bit heavy-handed but I thought it was well done.

Lilly is a decent heroine. She wants the land back and will do anything to get it. She’s a bit headstrong and mouthy, but not in a way that makes me roll my eyes. She refuses to take crap from anyone, especially the werewolves. Dante is the alpha of the werewolf pack and he’s not an overbearing alpha. If anything, I didn’t find him quite alpha enough. One of the main angles of the storyline are his avoiding conflict with his father over one pack issue, and another female over another pack issue. I felt he could have dealt with these two people in a more authoritative way if he was the alpha, but it wasn’t enough to mar my enjoyment.

The sex is plentiful and fun. You promised erotic and it was definitely steamy, but nothing too ridiculous. I didn’t even pause at the ‘mating knot’. The head of his penis swells when he is in full mating mode, though it wasn’t really explained too graphically what this does, so I wasn’t too wigged out by it. I think I have become inured to unnatural penises in paranormal, which is a sad statement on the genre.

What I liked most about this book is that it was funny. Some of Lilly’s impatient lines to Dante were clever.

Fascinated, she watched those strong, tanned fingers grasp the zipper and tug it down. One notch at a time.

“Why are you moving so damn slow?”


“No, but I could have gone to a movie and filed my taxes in the amount of time it’s taking you to unzip.”

While I really enjoyed this, I’m going to have to take some points off for the ending. It’s a HEA but it’s extremely abrupt. A little aftermath goes a long way, and this wasn’t enough to ruin the read for me, but it felt as if there was a chapter missing. I’m sad there aren’t more books in this series immediately purchaseable. I give this a B.



January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.


  1. hapax
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 15:14:46

    I’m not a big reader of paranormals, and one of the reasons is the prevalence of “fated mates” and “hero/ine in heat” tropes.

    Is it just me, or is this the replacement for the old “forced seduction” trope, as a way of absolving women of agency and responsibility for their own sexuality?

    I would honestly love to hear thoughts about this from fans of the genre. Is this something that might call for a “letter of opinion”? (Or has this discussion already occurred, and I missed it?)

  2. LG
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 15:57:13

    I passed on this one because of the “heroine in heat” aspect. There’s just not enough in this one that sounds interesting to me, and hot sex scenes aren’t the #1 thing I look for in a story. So, I think this one is still a pass for me.

    @hapax: I think the prevalence of the “fated mates” thing is actually part of the reason why I do like the paranormal genre so much. I’m trying to think of what it is I like about it in the books I like best, and I think I prefer it when it’s more “insta-lust” rather than “insta-love” – they have to be together for one reason or another, and they’re physically attracted, but the emotional connection comes as the book progresses. Well, I say that, but I can probably think of books I like that are exceptions to that…

  3. Moriah Jovan
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 16:58:48


    Is it just me, or is this the replacement for the old “forced seduction” trope, as a way of absolving women of agency and responsibility for their own sexuality?

    No, you’re not the only one.

  4. Jenny Lyn
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 18:31:11

    I’m the opposite of January in that my go-to genre is contemporary. I’ll pick up a paranormal every once in a while for a change of pace. I like Jodi’s writing so I think I’ll give this one a try. What starts to trip me up on PNR’s is things like she mentioned about the head of his penis swelling during sex. I always get hung up on *why* is this happening if he’s in human form? I know things like that happen in the natural animal world to help insure conception, but… They were having sex in human form, right?

  5. cleo
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 19:25:26

    @hapax: I definitely think that forced seductions/ rape fantasies have migrated to paranormal romance. Menacing but sexy werewolves and vampires have replaced menacing but sexy pirates and ceos, imo. And on the other end of the spectrum, I think there are more sexually aggressive women in pnr than in other romance sub-genres – frex Virginia Kantra’s selkies / merfolk (who don’t go into heat) and Nalini Singh’s shapeshifters. I don’t quite understand the phenomenon, but I think it’s fascinating, and worth a longer discussion. I think it has to do with the power of sf /f to explore touchy subjects – and sex, especially women’s sexual agency, still seems to be a touchy subject for us. One reason I like pnr is because of the tough, sexy heroines.

  6. DA_January
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 20:30:14

    @hapax: I took it as more of sexual shorthand, personally. Easy reason to entrench the characters into a sexual situation when they are enemies.

  7. DA_January
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 20:31:15

    @Jenny Lyn: It did happen while he was in human form. I don’t know why and I have the same biological questions you do, but I guess if Lora Leigh can get away with it, its fair game for other authors.

  8. Jane
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 20:35:52

    @hapax:I’ve also heard that when there is romance between immortal beings using the fated mate can provide a justification for bringing them together in a short time and having them “fall in love”. Else, wouldn’t these immortal beings get tired of each other. I often think its a derivation of the reincarnation theme in THe Knight in Shining Armor. True loves / soul mates always find each other.

  9. Mohini
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 09:52:09

    @Moriah Jovan:

    Your link isn’t working for me. It might only be me but would you mind checking it?

    And I agree with the ‘being-in heat’ or ‘fated-to-be’ things largely being used as a way of taking the blame for the situation off the heroine.
    Or the hero, if the heroine is a virgin who doesn’t want it (but really, really does and has lots of orgasms) he’s in heat so he can’t be blamed for what he does.
    Boring, boring, boring. And icky, if it’s the second type.

  10. Moriah Jovan
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 13:21:20

  11. Mohini
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 06:23:58

    @Moriah Jovan:

    Thanks so much!
    I’ve read the entry and I really do agree with what you’ve said. I do like some paranormal romances (the first book of the parasol protectorate for instance) but not the ones that are sold as erotica- too formulaic.

  12. Anne
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 03:18:24

    It’s in my opinion the attempt at writing rape fantasies which have the chance at making it past the all-encompassing censorship against them. That was the case with the bodice rippers, and now – as those have been firmly clamped down upon – people go for PNR and UF.

    I absolutely adored Heat by R.L. Smith because it had so much fodder for that particular kink of mine, but it is written as SF. Would it be even still available if Smith had written it as a contemporary erotic novel? Doubtful.

    Rape fantasies are the most common sexual fantasies of women all over the world. Yet they are the most difficult to get in any noteworthy quality – outside of the romance tropes. And in those the fantasy is way too hidden to be really titillating enough. The very thing most publishers (and Paypal) forbid is the one so many women want to read. Give one pause.

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