May 3 2008
Dear Ms. Hauf,
I understand that this is the first offering from Nocturne Bites, the new Harlequin/Silhouette line of paranormal novellas. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never read any of your previous work and paranormal novellas can be hit or miss with me.
Sunday is a female mechanic who lives out in the middle of nowhere. One day, she meets an attractive man named Dean, whose car has broken down. Instant lust strikes and Sunday agrees to give Dean lift back to her garage and fix his car.
There’s a complication, however. Dean is a werewolf and it’s the night of the full moon. To avoid shifting and embarking on a rampage, Dean normally has sex. Lots and lots of sex. Sunday’s presence seems like an easy solution to him. Too bad Sunday has a couple secrets of her own that make sex with her downright deadly.
I ran into an unexpected hurdle while reading with this novella. Sometimes readers trip over something in the text that kicks them out of the narrative. An incorrect detail. A writing voice that doesn’t work for them. Characterization that doesn’t ring true. In this case, it was a strange association. With a male character named Dean and references to sawed-off shotguns, rock salt, and demons, I found myself thinking of the Supernatural television series. I know these are superficial similarities, but it still ended up distracting me from the actual story. This likely contributed to my lukewarm reaction.
Overall, I found the romance between Dean and Sunday a little disappointing. Despite the various problems they encountered, I felt like they never progressed from their initial physical attraction. I think I was supposed to believe it had, thanks to the shapeshifting complications and demon fighting but since I never did, ultimately the ending fell flat for me. I suppose I find it hard to believe that a promiscuous man will turn over a new leaf for a woman he just met and has known for less than 24 hours, especially if having sex with that woman results in complications, to say the least. Others might disagree. A C for me.