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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tempting the Enemy by Dee Tenorio

Tempting the Enemy by Dee Tenorio
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Futuristic
Length: Full (232 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: Best Book
Review by: Poppy

Detective Pale Rysen, an Alpha, is determined to secretly rebuild the Wolf packs from the ashes of genocide. When a killer starts picking off young females looking for sanctuary, it's his job to protect them. Forced to work with a hated enemy, he fears his cover will be blown.

Jade-Scarlet's membership in the powerful Order of the Sibile has always been controversial. A half-wolf, Jade's unstable psychic powers are a disappointment to her mercenary handlers. So when the Oracle commands her to work with Pale, Jade must prove herself...even if it means challenging the enigmatic shifter.

Yet Pale triggers more than her curiosity. He sends her into Heat, and the intense sexual attraction could mean losing control of her gifts—something she can't allow. As the number of victims rises, so does the danger. A murderous darkness wants them both dead. But even if they stop the killer, how long can they fight each other?

There are no words ... and so many words ... to describe how truly incredible this story was. I read this book until my eyes blurred from exhaustion, and even when I couldn’t actually read anymore, I thought about it and counted the minutes until I could return. The characters completely wrapped me up and brought me into their world – a world full of cruelty and love, treachery and trust. A world so like ours but somehow utterly different.

Pale is a wolf shifter hiding in plain sight. Shifters were the victims of genocide that nearly wiped them all out and Pale is part of a movement trying to rebuild them again. But something out there is killing “strays” – shifters who are on the run trying to find sanctuary.

Jade-Scarlet is a Sibile, one of the feared and revered women with psychic powers who hire themselves out as mercenaries. They use their powers to help humans with problems otherwise outside their limitations. She’s called in by the powers-that-be to help Pale discover who The Woodsman is – a serial killer who leaves neatly stacked body parts as a calling card, but who is seen by no one.

Pale has a good reason to hate the Sibile, so isn’t pleased to be forced into working with one... and then he meets Jade who’s Sibile and shifter ... and in heat. He’s driven nearly insane by her heat cycle, but is determined to resist for several reasons. One, she’s a Sibile, regardless of her shifter genes. Two, he is part of a group of males who refuse to force a wolf in heat to accept them – something that is sadly quite common as the wolves are driven by instinct to rebuild their people. Rape is common, but just as ugly and repugnant to Pale as it should be to any thinking person.

Still... their forced partnership is going to test his determination as it’s never been tested before. Worse, as time goes by it’s clear that Jade is in mortal danger, and that his need is far more than physical.

Author Dee Tenorio thrusts the reader into this world without explanation or backstory, but a long, onerous explanation isn’t needed despite the strange world we’re tossed into. As she feeds us description and backstory slowly and skillfully over time, everything we need to know is given to us in small, manageable bites. Her talent was amazing as she so clearly described Pale and Jade, how we got into their minds, their hearts and their pasts. In only a few paragraphs I was hooked and never once did I regret choosing this book to read.

The sexual tension is hot, hot, hot ... but unconsummated for some time. That’s not to say there isn’t a whole lot of the physical in this book, and a whole lot of steam that’s going to make you step back and fan yourself and then jump right back in for more, but every touch, every kiss, every everything is appropriate and just exactly right.

I shivered at the need felt by both Pale and Jade, and then my heart swelled with the emotions they began to feel. I was completely immersed in the story, and I laughed and cried and felt with them, page by page. I can’t remember a time when I was so completely invested in a pair of characters, when what they went through mattered so much to me.

They were both so flawed and yet so perfect for each other. Strong when they needed to be, weak when they knew they could be.

I could rave on for days, but I won’t. What I will say is this: do yourself a favor and do not miss this book. Even if you’re not a huge shifter fan, or you’ve never liked futuristic books or whatever reason you may think you have for skipping it ... don’t. I read a lot of books and I seldom find one that grips me as this one did. Fact is, the moment I’m done with this review, I’m going to pick it up and read it again. And then maybe again. It’s just that good.