This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: July 4, 2011
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website: http://pjschnyder.com/blog/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Hot
Kat was born a human, but when she was kidnapped as a military cadet, she was infected with a virus that mutated her genetic code, allowing her to transform into a feline. Now blessed -- or cursed -- with extraordinary senses and a deep and instinctual dislike of men, she has yet to fully overcome the torture that was inflicted on her during her imprisonment, and instead focuses on being one of the most bad-ass mercenaries this side of the galaxy.. Hiding scars both physical and mental, she's resigned herself to never knowing a loving man's touch, until her well-meaning mercenary friends dump her on a planet with a reservation at a swanky hotel and orders to "enjoy herself" until they return. Miserable, knowing that her social skills leave a lot to be desired, she decides to take advantage of her time off by heading down to the local bar.
Faced with the end of his military tour and strongly disillusioned by the orders given on his last mission, Lt. Christopher Rygard heads to the bar to drown his misery, when he's astonished to witness a beautiful and deadly woman cut through a massive bar brawl like a hot knife through butter, and cautiously introduces himself to her.
Taken slightly aback by her shy manner yet intrigued by her obvious capabilities, he flirts with her and is happy when she clumsily returns his advances.
Making their way to her hotel room, they give in to the scorching attraction crackling between them, and he unknowingly gives her the first positive sexual experience of her life.
The situation quickly deteriorates, however, when a misunderstanding leads Rygard to be cruel to Kat, but before the situation can be corrected, Ryagard is attacked by creatures from the alien world that his last mission had taken place on. Out for blood and revenge, the attackers are as astonished as Rygard when Kat assumes her feline form to defend him, and she quickly earns the respect of the attackers. They are given a choice -- Rygard can die now, or they can work together to right the wrong that Rygard's team committed, and Kat attempts to shoulder aside her hurt to participate in a mission that could very well result in her being enslaved again.
To make matters worse, Rygard's allegiance to the military requires him to report Kat's existence as a shifter -- and in doing so, he would certainly be risking her very life.
Apart from the ending (*grumble grumble*) I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Kat is made of awesome and Rygard is a deeply honorable man with some baggage as well, and together I think they make a perfect match. The sensuality level was perfect for this length of a story, and the secondary characters all added to the story rather than distracted.
I was very happy to receive word that there is at least a slight possibility of a sequel, and there is absolutely no question in my mind that if one is released, it will be promptly added to my "must buy" list. I admit, I can't help but hope that the kindred alpha at least makes a reappearance, though I do hope he gets his own heroine and keeps his paws off of Kat ;)
Recommended for fans of tough heroines with a traumatic past, a new take on shapeshifting, and of vaguely ambiguous endings. 3.5/5, simply because I'm withholding a half a star because of the ending lol