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Monday, September 27, 2010

Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks

Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (375 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

Wanted: Bride. Must love children. Mortals need not apply.

Carlos Panterra is looking for a mate, a woman who will love and care for the young orphans he's recently taken under his wing (or paw, as the case may be). When the shape shifter spies the beautiful Caitlyn, it's like sunshine amidst the darkness. At last, he's found the perfect woman, except . . .

Caitlyn Whelan is mortal. Worse, her father is the head of a CIA agency bent on hunting the undead. Still, Caitlyn knows that Carlos is the man for her, shape shifter or not. So she jumps at the chance when her sister offers her a job to work with him, determined to show Carlos their attraction is more than just animal magnetism. But danger lurks in the night, and their unleashed, untamed passion might just get them both killed . . .

Want to read a book with the sexiest were-panther around? I have to admit to lusting after Carlos for some time now (but especially after the last book) and couldn’t wait for him to have his own story. If I said nothing else about Eat Prey Love, I’d have to mention how much this book oozes sexual tension. Ooh la la, the pages all but burned my hands!

How perfect for Carlos to desperately want Caitlyn Whelan, the daughter of the head of the Stake Out team. Falling for her brought Carlos right into Sean Whelan’s sights. Surprisingly, however, that isn’t the conflict in this story. It did add some fun, though!

This story’s first chapter was great – we resolved some old issues (from the Whelan family) and added some new ones. I loved to see how Carlos’ and Caitlyn’s entire lives changed from the moment they met. And then Carlos, a man devastated by the fact that the were-panther population was dwindling down to the point of extinction, was shaken to his core by his unwanted attraction to a mortal woman before being forced to spend time with her. Caitlyn challenged him at every turn, undaunted by the fact that he was rude and unkind and just plain irritating. She knew what she wanted, and that was that.

Things aren’t so easy for Carlos. He has to find a were-panther mate to rebuild their population. But he’s unwilling to transform a mortal, since the death of one during her transformation was what led to the slaughter of his people. So, loving Caitlyn is impossible.

The first half of the story dealt with this push-pull problem, though I think it could have been well addressed in a smaller number of pages. After a while, the desperate attraction Carlos felt for Caitlyn, and the weight of responsibility he carried was really rather old news. I know, I know: poor Carlos was filled to the brim with angst and I didn’t know whether to sympathize with him or shake some sense into him. I didn’t have to worry, though. Caitlyn, despite her lack of physical strength, was more than strong and savvy enough to deal with Carlos. Thankfully, she doesn’t let him get away with much.

And then ... the real action started. A trip into the jungle to find a mate for Carlos. How conflicted they both were! Worse, there were rumors of people disappearing into the jungle, never to be seen again. And then ... could it be? YES! Were-tigers make an appearance as well. And Caitlyn’s ability to understand any language (even that of four-legged mammals) was certainly handy on this jaunt. Throw in some evil vampires determined to capture a were-cat, and things got a little crazy. Once this kicked in, I could barely put the book down. THIS is the Kerrelyn Sparks I know and love. I’m so glad I was patient enough to work through the first part to get here, because WOO HOO!

I don’t want to give away spoilers, but suffice it to say that she does a fabulous job of not only introducing us to several new characters that will surely show up in future books, and giving us yet another great evil to overcome, but deals with Carlos’ and Caitlyn’s problems in a realistic, understandable, and believable way.

Love Kerrelyn Sparks? Never read her (and if that’s so, then why NOT? She’s an incredible author!) but love a sexy, exciting, fun paranormal? Then you need to pick up Eat Prey Love – however, though this book will stand alone *okay*, I would strongly recommend you nab the entire Love At Stake series because it’s a winner, and while Eat Prey Love may not be my favorite addition to the series, that’s a little like saying milk chocolate isn’t my favorite kind of sweet treat.  Chocolate is still chocolate and a Kerrelyn Sparks books still rocks! It’s a winner and I’m pleased to add it to my keeper shelf.