Saturday, December 12, 2009

Short Story Saturday: Meow

If I were a character in a novel, I would be the cold-hearted sociopath. You would know this instantly because -- come closer, I'm only going to say this once -- I don't like animals.

I am not enticed by purrs or soft fur or charming wagging tails or mournful eyes. I look at a four-legged creature and think: crap on my carpets... funky smell in the house... ridiculous vet bills... pain in the ass when we travel...

Cutesy stuff also does not really appeal to me. Hummel figurines, Thomas Kincaid Painter Of Light, Precious Moments, wooden ducks wearing dusty blue neckerchiefs... these are not a few of my favorite things. These are things Most Likely to Make Me Hurl.

Given that I don't love anthologies, I don't love cats in general, I don't especially love stories about cats, and hoo boy, how much do I NOT love that cover--all of this considered, I think it's understandable that I didn't run right out and buy The Magical Christmas Cat last year when it came out. Plus: FIFTEEN BUCKS. Too much for a book that I probably will only like half of, at most.

But you know, it's NALINI. I can't just ignore that. And I happened upon a copy this past weekend at my favorite used book store and got it for under $6. That I could justify.

Put a little meow in their stocking this year with these tales of Christmas and felines-from beloved bestselling authors!

New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and top-selling authors Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, and Linda Winstead Jones have a special gift for readers this year: heartwarming holiday stories featuring passionate romance, paranormal adventure, and a distinctly alluring feline touch. With four new stories-including one featuring Lora Leigh's genetically altered Feline Breeds-this is a collection packed with more surprises than Christmas morning, and more chills than the snowiest winter night...

Stroke of Enticement lived up to its title. Strong, appealing characters and a nice dollop of Singh's signature steam make this a great story to curl up with on a winter evening. However, it's not long on conflict or plot, and readers unfamiliar with the Psy/Changeling series might wonder at the world-building. I don't think it would get in your way of enjoying it, but it's hard to say from my fan-tage point.

Conversely, if you're a fan who decides to skip this one, you're not going to miss anything important. There's not even a hint (that I could tell) of the overarching series plot and if Zach or Annie showed up in the last two full length books, I don't remember and didn't miss anything by not having their backstory.

Best thing about this story was Annie for me. She's such a contradiction: you think she's going to be the mousy-librarian type, but she is so totally not. I loved her. Zach is lovely and sexy and protective and all, but he's a bit of a cookie-cutter Singh hero.

If you're new to Nalini Singh, here's what I think you can extrapolate from this story about whether you'd like to read more: did you like the characters? Did you like the dialog and interplay with the pack and family members? Do you find the shape-shifting man/cat appealing? if so, check out more of her work. If you found it a little dull, I think I can reassure you that that is more of a function of the format than her style.

Do you have a short story you'd like to share? Link up!


M. said...

Hi Nicola,

I agree about that cat cover. It looks like a mediocre cat snack ad.

Here's my link - did brief reviews of two anthos, and will add the third tomorrow.

Nicola O. said...

Yay, and thanks for throwing in, M. Was feeling a little lonely here all by myself!

M. said...

No problem. Part 2 of my antho post up now.


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