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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carolina Wolf by Sela Carsen

Carolina Wolf by Sela Carsen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (86 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Poppy

All it takes is a spark of Grrrrrl power to set the swamp on fire!

A Tickle My Fantasy story.

Librarian Debra Henry is boring. And she’s okay with that. Really. It’s not as if the teensy amount of witchcraft that flows in her veins is worth getting excited about. Yet someone—or something—thinks it’s worth crawling out of the swamps to attack her. Those “somethings” are werewolves.

When one of them is hurt saving her, the least she can do is take him home and patch him up. Healing him stirs more than her senses. Maddox Moreau awakens the magic that sleeps in her blood. And suddenly, life’s not quite so boring.

A wildlife manager at Congaree National Park by day, Maddox likes being the BWIS—Big Wolf In the Swamp. By night, he lets his wild side out to play lone wolf. At least until he meets the one woman who can share his soul. Perhaps it’s best, though, if he holds off on sharing his preference for raw meat.

Rescuing her seals his fate—but only if he can protect her from a rogue of his kind. A werewolf with a nasty stalker streak…

Warning: This story contains hunky werewolves, librarian fetishes, Southern humor, smart-ass women and men who think that’s sexy, magic, medieval legends, disco music and flatulent Boxers. (The dogs, not the underwear.)

I love a story with a sexy werewolf and strong plot, and this latest release from Ms. Carsen doesn't disappoint.

From the moment the story starts with vivid descriptions of a walk through a dark and eerie swamp, I was well and truly caught. But, I'd thought this was a light, comedic romance? No worries... after the first few pages, the humor begins. Don't get me wrong, this story absolutely has its darker moments, but with the simple addition of a strong and three dimensional secondary cast, the author kept things from getting too heavy.

From the moment I met our hero, Maddox, I was in love (okay... maybe it was lust initially, because, dear heavens is he sexy). Despite her feeble attempts at denying him, I knew our heroine was sunk from the get-go.

What about our heroine, Debra? Well... she's a witch. Okay, so her power is weak and unused, it's still there, and we find out that it's not just hereditary, but that she and her family have been charged with guarding something -- a "something" that the bad guy wants in the worst way.

The bad guy? Oh yeah... dark and slimy and powerful. The kind of villain that leaves a black trail behind him. Debra has the misfortune of meeting him in the dark of night, is completely under his power and certain she's going to die. Until she's saved by a wolf... or maybe not a wolf. As the attack ends, and the villain slinks off into the woods, the wolf becomes a naked man -- yep, gorgeous Maddox is a werewolf.

The two of them work together to figure out just what's going on. Debra helps Maddox heal from the wounds inflicted upon him by the evil guy (and what a hot, hot, hot scene THAT was), and the two set tongues a-wagging. Did I mention our secondary characters? They include two gossips who try to one-up each other by getting the scoop on anything juicy in the small town first.

If the story occasionally moved so quickly that I struggled breathlessly to keep up, and if some of the storyline about the ancestors of our H/H was a little confusing and convoluted, it really didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of this entertaining read.

Kudos to Ms. Carsen! I read this story from beginning to end in one sitting. With a good balance between dark and light, she built a world that interested me, created characters I quickly became invested in and made me fall in love. And, really, isn't that what it's all about?

I truly hope the author writes about this little town again. I'd love to revisit it and would be first in line to grab a copy of my very own.