Pick of the Litter

Pick of the Litter by Wendy Stone
Publisher: Phaze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

A night out has an unexpected ending for Marissa Spencer. Ending up on the wrong side of town, she stumbles into a bar and is attacked by ten men. When all hope seems lost, a dark stranger saves her and sweeps her away to his huge estate and into the midst of a world she’d never thought could be real. How could she have known that her savior was, in truth, a shape-shifter? Who would have thought that the gorgeous black panther with the golden torq was really the man of her dreams? She could only hope that she’d found the Pick of the Litter.

Pick Of The Litter hits you right off with our heroine, Marissa Spencer, being attacked by eight men in a filthy bar on the wrong side of town. Gang rape was what they had in mind but with the appearance of our hero, Lukah Alexandros, Marissa was only raped by one man. This scene plays an important part to the entire story. These ne’er-do-wells show up later in the story to again confront our heroine.

Marissa Spencer showed herself to be a very strong but also very scared woman. When she refused to report the rape to the police, I was angry at her. I could understand her not doing so as many are not reported but I did not like her show of weakness by not doing so. Another thing that bothered me was her physical interest in another man within hours of her attack. With a sexy hero like Lukah saving her, I could understand the instant attraction and so forgive her this reaction. Marissa showed inner strength when she was confronted with the panthers in Lukah’s house.

I loved the character of Lukah Alexandros. Lukah is a very strong, sexy male animal. He took on eight men single handedly to save Marissa in the bar. Then her takes her to his home to care for her with no intent of doing anything else. His strength and caring is also shown when he broke free of his family and started a new clan of his own. And many of his family come to him for help, as Nashe did when he arrived. Lukah is cute when he realizes her overwhelmed Marissa with the gifts the next day and then he does little gifts from then on. I felt that he would do anything to keep her with him.

I liked the characters in this story. Not only were the main characters well fleshed out, but I felt I knew the minor characters and their stories pretty well from the vivid descriptions given. One of the antagonists in the story is Lucinda, who believes herself to be in love with Lukah and tries to keep anyone else from getting close to him. There is also a story about her intended mate, Marshal and the taming of Lucinda. Marissa’s friend Terry and Lukah’s cousin Nashe were very interesting in this story. I hope that a follow up tale on these two characters is in the works.

I really enjoyed Pick Of The Litter. I found it to be an intense and at times disturbing read so be warned that some of the subject matter is not for the faint of heart. I can’t wait to see if Ms. Stone will have more books about this fascinating clan of shape-shifters.

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