Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-239-8
Fantasy Romance, 2008
drian Giordano is a confirmed bachelor and he doesn’t intend to get married anytime soon. Oh, wait, this is one of those stories so let me rephrase that sentence. Adrian Giordano is a confirmed Puma bachelor and he doesn’t intend to settle down with a mate anytime soon. There, that’s more like it. Of course, you know how things are. One look at Sheridan Montgomery, the new girl in town, and his fangs (among other things) are showing. She’s a legally blind albino Puma on the run from a pack of rogue Wolves, so Adrian gets to flex some muscles and do that protective hunk gig during the courtship ritual.
One of my biggest problem with the author’s previous Halle Pumas stories is that Ms Bell doesn’t know when to stop cranking out those one-liners, to the point that when her characters should be scared or worried, they are still on that caustic trip instead and the whole story feels like a surreal comedy that can’t be taken seriously as a result. I’m glad to report that this problem isn’t prevalent in Cat of a Different Color: the characters exhibit more realistic emotions as befitting the situation they are in. The author’s sense of humor is still intact, but it shows up at the right places.
While this story doesn’t break any significant new ground if you have read any mate-mate stories of this sort, Cat of a Different Color is nonetheless an enjoyable read. There are various moments in this short story when I feel that the author could have downplayed the main characters’ interactions with secondary characters in order to provide more much-needed focus on their rather superficial romance. Still, the pacing is fine, the characters are likable stereotypes, and the author’s sense of humor makes this one a bouncy and fun read.
Without all that distracting non-stop one-liners cluttering this story, I feel as if I’m finally getting to know what the author is capable of, and I believe I like what I see here.