Born to Be Wild
Grade : B+

Oh goody. Another series to glom.

Josie Barrett grew up in Stone Creek, leaving only to attend veterinary school before coming back to take over her father’s vet practice. So she’s well-acquainted with the fact that 70% of the Stone Creek population isn’t human, but is composed of Others. Since the Unveiling a few years ago, paranormal beings have lived out in the open, and most of the Stony Creek denizens are shapeshifters.

This includes Sheriff Eli Pace, who walks into Josie’s lab late one evening bearing a wounded Lupine (canine shapeshifter). To their surprise the Lupine doesn’t shift back into the human state while wounded, nor does her supernatural healing system take care of her gunshot wound – both of which would be normal in a healthy shapeshifter. As Eli and Josie pursue their own lines of investigation, one judicial and the other medical, they also acknowledge the sudden attraction that takes hold of them.

For a book smack in the middle of the series, the ease of the world-building is incredible. Granted, it’s not terribly complicated, but Ms. Warren manages to lay out all pertinent plot and zoological elements (and there are quite a bit of them) without resorting to those dreaded info-dumps, and make it all comprehensible. That in itself is no small task.

The author employs a pleasing prose that inserts moments of genuine humour that never even approach wacky or artificial, and that moves along swiftly and economically. The plot itself, if not edge-of-the-seat suspenseful, is damned interesting and very well-balanced. Add to that a demonstrable knowledge of veterinary medicine and appropriate scientific terms, and it all adds up to a winner.

As for Josie and Eli, I didn’t love them, but I definitely liked them a lot. They’re so normal (Eli’s feline shape aside) and so relatable in their conversations and feelings, that they were a much-needed breath of fresh air. There’s nothing unique about them (which is why I didn’t love them), but they’re fun to be with. They talk, have awesome sex (which is Warm but borderline Hot, by the way), and I believed in their whirlwind romance.

I do think the ending came too suddenly, crossing from romantic into mush and leaving some unanswered questions. And Josie has a moment that juuuuuuuust crosses the line from brave to TSTL. Borderline, but I call it like I see it. I’d also say that while this book is really good, it just doesn’t have that extra punch that elevates it to a DIK.

Nevertheless, this was an incredible find for me. I’m always on the lookout for more quality paranormal series (especially shapeshifter – I like furry animals), and this more than fits the bill.

Reviewed by Enya Young
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 19, 2010

Publication Date: 2010

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Enya Young

I live in Seattle, Washington and work as a legal assistant. I remember learning to read (comic strips) at a young age and nowadays try to read about 5-6 books a week. I love to travel, especially to Europe, and enjoy exploring smaller towns off the tourist track though London is my favorite city in the world.
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