- Title: I Kissed a Dog
- Author: Carol Van Atta
- ISBN:1936185725 (ISBN13: 9781936185726)
- Series: Werewolves of the West #1
- Published: October 20th 2012 by Charles River Press
- Format: eBook
- Genre/s: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
- Source: Publisher/Author
- Rating: B
BOOK DESCRIPTION – Chloe Carpenter isn’t like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.
In her otherwise wacky life, she’s finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he’d roar right back out.
Problem: He’s her new co-worker and he’s saved her life twice – in the past twenty-four hours.
Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of pure-bred werewolves, has a job to do – figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.
With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she’s the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.
Problem: She despises him.
Together, they’re forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.
Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she’ll do anything to keep him from Chloe.
I Kissed a Dog was cute, from the title to its inventive plot. Chloe’s immediate dislike of Zane was a little strange but then again considering she could “hear” animals perhaps not so strange after all. Chloe begins to suspect that all is not kosher with the new vet when she realizes that she can “hear” his thoughts. Chloe soon becomes aware that there are many more things that go bump in the night than she originally thought. Before she knows it she is being whisked off to Vegas as part of a plot with implications that reach far beyond her imaginings.
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher/author for an honest review.
- Title: She Kissed a Vampire
- Author: Carol Van Atta
- ISBN: 1940676029 (ISBN13: 9781940676029)
- Series: Werewolves of the West #2
- Published: February 14th 2014 by Charles River Press
- Format: eBook
- Genre/s: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
- Source: Publisher/Author
BOOK DESCRIPTION – Best selling author Melanie Larson’s relationship with her friend, Chloe Carpenter, is bleak. Falsely accused of murder, Chloe’s future rests in the hands of her mate, Zane Marshall, and the Pacific Pack’s pure-bred werewolves. In an effort to help, Melanie joins forces with the pack and soon discovers the monsters she writes about in her paranormal novels really do go bump in the night.
As Chloe struggles with legal troubles, an unwanted blood bond with a master vampire, and a reunion with her mate, Melanie untangles the attention of multiple supernatural suitors determined to claim her as their own. Strangely attracted to a brazen vampire, she must decide if the blurred line between passion and pain is worth crossing.
Werewolves, vampires, and fae royalty race to unearth an ancient artifact with the power to extend their existence. Can Chloe and Melanie restore their friendship in time to stop magical mayhem from ruining everything they’ve worked so hard to redeem?
EXCERPT – With a giant on both sides and Ava trailing close behind, I made my way down the faery equivalence of a Hollywood red carpet, my bare feet sinking into the squishy-soft fabric. If moss and velvet mated, this carpet would have been the result.
I was grateful for Ava’s sound advice. She’d suggested that I go barefoot to show my respect for nature, something faeries valued, and more importantly, so I wouldn’t fall flat on my face. I was glad I’d listened. For some reason, I felt almost powerful. Ready to react to whatever misadventure found us. I’d been warned, again by Ava, that this would be a night to remember, and not for its quality comforts and peaceful prattling, but for its raunchy revelry and gross indulgence. The atmosphere already hinted at the debauchery to come.
Frighteningly beautiful creatures, scantily dressed, lounged around tables overflowing with obscene amounts of food. They stopped their celebrating as I was paraded by with my own unique entourage. My appearance causing them to murmur and giggle amongst themselves. For most, their eyes remained cold and hostile contrary to their blinding smiles. They found me interesting, perhaps even intriguing, but that was as far as their favour extended. I was an unwelcome outsider who’d caught the fancy of their prince. Though honouring me was required etiquette, liking me was not.
Ava had made certain to explain the importance of this event. I was the honoured guest of Prince Kellen, The Dark Court’s future sovereign. His father alone outranked him. From what I’d learned while she completed my dazzling hair design, Kellen had always been domineering and indulged to the extreme by daddy-o, the Unseelie King. No one knew for certain whom his mother was considering the current king preferred young men in his bed.
According to Ava, he’d bedded the previous queen and then banished her to the human realm following the birth of their son. Others believed Kellen was an adopted child, possibly negotiated away from the Seelie Court and their light worshipping brethren. It was rumoured that he bore resemblance to the light court twin, Nox. Lux, the other light twin, had been missing since early childhood. One more unsolved faery mystery.
I didn’t have time to ponder further. An elevated dais, featuring one grand table laden with colourful foods and floral arrangements, rose up in front of the room. Kellen had risen and extended his hand, waiting for my arrival.
A hush fell over the rowdy room. The gleam in his strange swirling eyes told me everything I didn’t want to know. He found me far more appetizing than the exotic foods. My heart stampeded and I trembled in his presence. My heightened senses, though somewhat decreased since my initial reaction to Ava’s blood, still intensified my responses.
Kellen looked like a golden sex god. His hair tumbled over sculpted shoulders and seemed even longer than I remembered, its length doing nothing to diminish his masculinity. He was shirtless, his lean form rippling with muscled perfection. I heard Ava gasp behind me, equally taken by his untamed sensuality. Even with my bond to Alcuin and Ava’s blood donation, I wasn’t immune to his appeal. He’d managed, with the help of his father’s magic, to turn up the dial of his desirability to a whole new level. If they succeeded and somehow found a way to break my blood bond, I’d be doomed for sure.
He helped me up the few stairs onto the platform and kissed my forehead chastely, making me shiver. Heat spiralled down my legs, and I swayed toward him. He chuckled and ran his finger over my cheek. I leaned closer to my sworn enemy, disgusted by my body’s betrayal. I was beginning to doubt my faery helper. What if her blood had made me more susceptible to Kellen? I had a terrifying feeling that I might have been conned by the one faery I’d so wanted to trust.
“Ava, you outdid yourself this time. She is exquisite. You have earned a place at my table this evening, as an equal.” Kellen gestured for her to join us.
Her sharp intake of breath told me this pronouncement was unexpected and highly unconventional. “My Lord?” Her voice shook.
“Please, you have earned it.” He directed her to the seat on my left, forcing another fae to move aside.
The king, who appeared no older than Kellen, clapped his hands together three times. The crowded hall erupted into conversation and music, surprising me. I hadn’t realized just how quiet the room had become. With everything back in motion, the king directed his attention toward me.
“She is indeed lovely. Breathtaking even. Maybe I should make her my queen and extend my reign. What do you think, son? She would produce a remarkable heir.”
The whole table paused, all eyes on their king. The audience suddenly silent again, seemed to collectively hold their breath, their shock tangible. I was as dumbfounded as the rest. This was a turn of events I hadn’t anticipated.
“Father …?” For the first time, the prince looked like a lost little boy about to lose his favourite toy.
“Don’t look so surprised, Kellen. You have assumed that I am ready to step aside and transfer my kingdom to you. Unfortunately, you are impulsive and have little skill in governing. How would the humans say this? Ah yes … ‘it’s all about me.’ In this case, it’s about you. It’s always about what Kellen wants.” He sniggered at his humorous attempt. The others laughed on cue, but were clearly made uncomfortable by his puzzling comments.
Glancing between the two faeries, I wasn’t sure who was the lesser of two evils. Kellen was a known commodity. His father, especially after his outburst, was a mystery.
I decided to test the water and bowed my head. “You flatter me, your Lordship.” I lifted my eyes in what I hoped was a coy demonstration of my approval.
The king’s face blossomed with light, his pleasure evident. “Kellen, move next to Ava. Melanie will sit at my side. I find her a refreshing breath of air.”
The prince’s mouth had fallen open, and he looked ready to cry. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost. Ava looked pleased and winked in my direction. I wondered what she was up to now. Maybe she was on my side after all, though I didn’t doubt that her personal satisfaction would always come first.
“A toast!” The king rose.
Everyone clamoured to their feet, goblets raised. Unsure what to do, I followed along.
“We drink to my future bride!”
Refusing to drink, Kellen glanced between me and his father before snapping his fingers. An assortment of fae separated themselves from the audience, swords drawn.
“I’d hoped to avoid this awhile longer,” Kellen said and then shrugged. “You should have left what is mine alone.”
“What is the meaning of this?” the king sputtered. “Sit down, son, before I have you removed. I will forgive this transgression with the understanding you think you’re in love or some other nonsense.”
Kellen made no move to obey. Instead, he glowered at his father who was beginning to look alarmed. Ava tapped my leg and pointed under the table. Together we slid beneath.
The last thing I heard before the clashing of metal was a swooshing sound and a loud thud. Turning toward the thud, I found myself looking into the still aware eyes of the king—the king’s head minus his body to be more exact.
Holding back my scream was impossible. I wailed like a banshee and grabbed for Ava as my forced engagement feast erupted into a Dark Court civil war.
Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s chick.
Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.
She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.