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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Review: Puca

by Penny Ash

Kian loves humans, so much so he gets himself exiled from the Fae world. Emma doesn't believe in anything she can't see and touch. For her fairytales and magical creatures are just cute stories. Little does she know everything she thought she knew is about to change when her eccentric Aunt Chloe dies and leaves Emma an enchanted forest complete with a lust inspiring Puca.

Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't know what a "Puca" was; I had to look it up (it's a Fae shapeshifter!), but that didn't stop me from devouring this enchanting tale.

I got a much better feel for Kian than I did for Emma, who she is seemed a bit muddled to me. She is portrayed as strong and independent, but she allows her ex-boyfriend to take advantage of her in ways that seemed out of character without a better understanding of that situation. She doesn't believe in fairy folk at all, but the first time she sees Kian shift from dog to man she is perfectly fine with it, showing virtually no reaction at all. I didn't dislike her by any means, but she had a few contradictions so I didn't really feel like I knew her.

Luckily, Kian hogs the spotlight and he steals the show. After his banishment from Tara centuries before, he settles in Oregon and takes on a bad-boy persona complete with a Harley and a cop that he takes pleasure in antagonizing (and vice versa!). He can be difficult and cranky, but I think this is just a cover for his pining soul, which longs to be tamed by the love of a human woman, and this gives him a complexity that I savored. He is more mischievous and playful when in his dog form and I could see his true nature more clearly, as if he could express himself more freely as a dog. But what I found most irresistible about Kian was his intensity when he took notice of Emma. It gave me goose bumps each time he displayed his instinctual need to protect her.

Even though Emma was kind of a puzzle to me, the two of them together sizzle. The intimacy between them is incredibly sensual — definitely lovemaking rather than sex. I was so impressed that I found myself sighing with contentment, marveling at the depth of emotion conveyed. The overall storyline is unique and it held my interest through to the end. If you enjoy stories with sensitive, passionate men, this book is for you.

Review by Chamomile