Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-809-3
Fantasy Romance, 2009
From what I can find on Google, Tempt Not the Cat had been previously published before, first at LTDBooks (under the title Shameless) and then at Ellora’s Cave. I have no idea whether this edition has any significant revision or addition from its previous incarnations, so you’d best ask the author or the publisher if you have such a query.
Erihn Spencer is a romance author. And in this story, like all romance authors always do when they embark on a grand writing project, she heads over to that special cabin in the woods where of course she finds plenty of creative juices, ahem, in the form of some hot guy that fuels her libido all the way to the next galaxy. His name is Fayne. No, really. As you can probably tell from the names of the characters alone, this one is actually a paranormal romance with werecats, vampires, and plenty of mate-mate-mate mojo, but the basic story is recognizably the same.
Not that this is a bad story. It’s just that Tempt Not the Cat does not stand alone very well. I have no idea whether this book is a later book in a series, but it sure reads like one. From the opening chapter, I am bombarded with so many characters with existing relationships, completely throwing me off my equilibrium as I struggle during the first third of this story to figure out who is who and who is sleeping with whom. This big cast is, if you ask me, a misfire on the author’s part, because eventually the story moves on to focus on Erihn and Fayne. Those characters could have been removed without affecting the story too much.
Fayne and Erihn talk to each other instead of merely having sex non-stop, and there are some efforts made by the author to develop the romance beyond superficial animal attraction. But while I appreciate her efforts, I also feel that there are some big chunks of information about these characters that I am missing.
Reading this story is like wading into a party where everyone else knows each other and I’m the only stranger of the group. This one could have been a pretty good read, I’d wager, if I hadn’t felt lost so often while reading it. If I had known that this book won’t stand alone, I wouldn’t have attempted to read this one without having read the previous books first. So, if you do opt to pick this one up, maybe you should also pick up the previous book or books in the series as well and start from there.