May 16 2009
Dear Ms. Teglia
Thank you for sending me a copy of your latest release, Animal Attraction. This is a stand alone full length story featuring Chandra Walker, an ordinary shop girl who finds out that her rare werewolf genes makes her a target for an all male pack looking for an alpha female, a queen.
Chandra has no idea that she’s anything but fully human. Sure, she’s been sick and has had very strange cravings for raw meat of late, but the next logical jump from enjoying more protein is not “I’m a werewolf.” When a gorgeous but unknown man starts coming on to her in a strange way at Chandra’s store, she’s frightened rather than turned on and begins to believe that she is going to be the victim of some crime. The site of his gold card stamped with Zachary Neuri does little to allay her concerns.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that Chandra was scared instead of turned on. His flirting, his wealth, and all of his external trappings warned her that he was more dangerous than someone who was less suave.
Zach is the alpha male of his all male pack and Chandra is a descendant of the old pack regime. Zach has found her and reclaimed her but Chandra will have the opportunity to choose her mate. Whomever she chooses will become Pack King. She isn’t given much time. The occasion of her turning is shortly upon her.
I am always happy to read your books because the erotic romance part of the story is usually very well done. Animal Attraction is no different. The romance and the eroticism is blended well which is never easy. However, there is little emotional conflict to provide weight to the story which makes it difficult for the story to stick with a reader after the last page.
I think that part of this comes from the fact that the story is a bit episodic with no overarching conflict. First Chandra’s conflict is that she isn’t convinced of her werewolf heritage and then she isn’t keen on the idea of sleeping with 11 men in a twenty four hour time period in order to choose a consort. Second, the conflict turns to an external one when another Pack threatens danger to Chandra’s Pack. How that conflict is resolved is interesting but a deus ex machina character is involved in bringing the external conflict to a close. The final stage of the conflict is an emotional one wherein Chandra is torn over whom to choose to be her consort.
I never really understood why, in an animal based setting, that the alpha of the Pack could be chosen by courtesy of mate partner. It would seem that if the consort couldn’t defeat the challengers, then the queen’s choice would be under constant scrutiny. Maybe if I was told that the chosen consort would be imbued with special powers as a result of the position or something the underlying worldbuilding would have worked. Otherwise it seemed antithetical to biological basis of wolves.
The sex is hot and attention is paid to the emotional connection of the characters. Having read a plethora of bad sex novels recently, I recognize that good erotic romance is difficult. In the end, though, the outstanding worldbuilding questions I had along with the lack of an overarching conflict, I felt a little bereft at the end of the story. I waffled over the grade at the end but decided to go with B-.
This book can be purchased in trade paperback from an independent bookstore. No ebook format I could find.