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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best of Breed by Pat Cunningham



Best of Breed by Pat Cunningham
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (58 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

It started out as a joke: a werewolf entering a dog show. Adele Chase has always believed herself ugly, with her doggish wolf form and non-shifter blue eyes. But in the show ring she’s discovered a place where she can be beautiful.

Now, poised on the brink of her biggest win, nothing can deter her-–not even the presence of Bowie, the notorious werewolf hunter. He’s stalking the show in search of a werewolf and found what he thinks is a woman. Adele realizes he could be her destined mate–-or, if he uncovers her secret, her death.

With Best in Show within her reach, she plays a dangerous game with a man who might either love her or kill her…with neither aware of the enemy who’s out to destroy them both.

What fun! A werewolf who’s always been told she’s ugly because she’s part “monkey” or human decides to prove her pack wrong by winning Best Of Breed in a dog show.

Little does she know that she and her brother will run into Bowie, a ruthless killer of werewolves. More, she feels the mating bond with him and is stymied – only alphas have that happen, and besides how can she have that kind of bond with a human?

I really enjoyed this book. Despite the constant peril that Adele was in from Bowie and an unknown assailant, the undercurrent of humor and fun remained throughout. Adele is strong, if sometimes foolhardy, and determined. She is also stubborn to the point of imperiling both her brother and herself. Still, despite this, I liked her. She didn’t let her lifetime of being told how ugly she was stop her from doing what she could to prove the world otherwise. Her poor self-image reflected in how she reacted to Bowie, though, and her ability to believe anyone could find her attractive.

Bowie has his own issues. He’s on a blood feud, determined to kill the entire pack of wolves who killed his family. He has a reputation as being completely ruthless, so it’s no wonder Adele isn’t too happy about her attraction to him.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the idea that some external, mystical power decides who you love – so I wasn’t certain how I’d feel about the relationship between Adele and Bowie. Ms. Cunningham does a good job of making me believe that Adele and Bowie develop a relationship outside the “bond” that tells them they’re supposed to be together. And she makes it seem as though they have a choice about whether they choose to accept one another or not.

The writing was deeply descriptive and the editing good. The plot, for a short story, was remarkably complete without being ponderous or loaded with backstory. Easy to follow, enjoyable to read, with loads of tension and plenty of angst, Best of Breed is a winner!

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