Willow’s Review of I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta
Publisher: Charles River Press
Date Published: October 20th 2012
Series: Werewolves of the West, #1
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 coworker and he’s saved her life twice – in the past twenty-four hours.
Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred 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 picked this title up for two reasons. The first was because the title alone intrigued me. I mean seriously, “I Kissed a Dog”…yeah, I just had to know why anyone would want to kiss a canine. I mean come on, us cats are much better kissers, believe me, and that’s not only because we don’t slobber all over you when we do kiss. We are much more refined and better mannered than any dog, any day. So I had to know what was up. And finding out that the main male character is a hot werewolf explained it all. Yes, I’d definitely kiss a werewolf. No way would this feline hesitate! The second reason for picking it up was because the story synopsis sounded fun, and promised to be something I would enjoy. And I did! =^.^=
Atta has created a wonderful range of characters that the reader will both love and hate respectively. Chloe is a sarcastic, yet klutzy woman who admittedly takes a bit of getting use to, but eventually wins you over as the book progresses. She has a feisty side to her that is a lot of fun, and I greatly enjoyed watching her verbally spar with Zane. Yes, there were times where I found her to be a bit too whiny, and her fainting moments got to be a bit tiresome, but for the most part, she strikes me as the type of character who has a great deal of potential to be the best out of everyone in the end. And seeing as this is the first book of a series, I see a lot of opportunities to grow and kick major butt for her in the future. Zane is just a total hottie! He really cares about Chloe, and I love that he wants to protect her, even if I sometimes found his way of doing so a bit domineering. The man is definitely Alpha, no questions there. And for the record, I’m not usually one for chauvinistic men, but Zane really isn’t as bad as some werewolf characters I’ve stumbled upon in other books. He really is the perfect counter-point for Chloe. Jazmine is the woman you just love to hate! Atta does a spectacular job portraying her as a serious b****. She’s so evil, I love it! Alcuin and Valamir are two characters I can’t wait to see more of. Alcuin is just plain fun and Valamir has sexy down to an art. I now have two new vampires added to my list of favorites after this book.
The mixture of supernatural lore throughout this book is amazing. I loved reading about the treaty between the pureblood werewolves and the Indian Tribes against the mutants, and even the mutants history was interesting. Add in the vampires, various paranormal hybrids, and more, we’re talking a serious paranormal smorgasbord here. I can’t wait to see what Atta has in store for everyone in the second book!
The only complaint that I have was while there was definitely chemistry between Chloe and Zane, nothing really happens between them until the end. There’s kissing, lots of verbal sparring, but over all I was I was genuinely frustrated by the lack of sex in the book. Yes, I’ve gotten use to paranormal romance novels having a number of spicy scenes throughout the pages, but this was practically non-existent. I’m not asking for serious ripping off of clothes every three chapters, but what’s wrong with a bit of love every once-in-a-while? And what made it even more frustrating, were the times when Chloe would mention her virginity and how she was waiting until marriage to finally be with a man. ~headdesk~ I don’t get it. I’m sorry, I just don’t.
That aside, this was a fun book. The story is fast paced, filled with action and suspense, and full of twists and turns that make for a great read. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series, She Kissed a Vampire, which will hopefully be released sometime next year! Yet another title which begs me to investigate it!