Cougar Heat by Marisa Chenery

HEAT
Cougar Heat by Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Twilight
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (81 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

After four years of banishment from his cougar shifter family group, Taylor finds himself called home to take his rightful place. On the trip to Anchorage, he runs into some unexpected trouble—trouble with long legs and a body to die for. Suddenly the long drive doesn’t seem so bad.

Abandoned at a truck stop diner by her now ex-friend, Aspen seeks the help of an unwitting hottie when a trucker makes unwanted advances. Good thing the hunk is willing to act as her boyfriend. And to plant a panty-melting kiss on her lips to drive the point home. As things heat between them, she’s determined to see how far they can take it.
Having taken on the responsibility of heir apparent, Taylor settles into his family group. Though dating a human is frowned upon, Taylor refuses to lose Aspen. The pleasure he finds in her arms isn’t something he’s willing to turn his back on.

Aspen needs to be rescued, in more ways than one. At the present though, someone to get rid of the creep intent on taking her for a ride in his truck would be nice. Some guys just can’t take no for an answer. Lucky for her, Taylor is quick to come to her aid. A ride in his truck is definitely preferable and she can’t help but think that she wouldn’t mind riding him as well.

Summer has ended and it’s time for her to head home. For a woman in her latter twenties, her life doesn’t seem to have much direction. She lives in an apartment above her parents’ garage and there’s no mention of college or permanent employment. But she doesn’t give you the impression of being a freeloader, either. I think perhaps she’s just not found the right man or job that really touches her heart and gives her purpose. Maybe that’s something Taylor can change.

Taylor, on the other hand, has found both meaning and purpose in his life after being kicked out of the cougar family four years prior. He’s happy with where he’s at and what he’s doing. He’s found a new family, so to speak, with a different breed of shifters. When his brother and cousins show up to take him back home, he’s reluctant to leave. Not only has his banishment been lifted, but he’s expected to take his father’s place as head of the cougar family, which includes running the family business as well. Just imagine taking a cowboy and sticking him in a stuffy suit behind a desk in a high-rise office building. He was raised with the idea that his true mate could only be a cougar shifter, like him; that cougars didn’t date humans, and that no one questioned his father’s commands. After meeting Aspen, Taylor is about to break all the rules.

As usual, I got so caught up in Ms. Chenery’s stories that if there were any editing errors or point-of-view violations, I didn’t catch them. One complaint I did have with this one though is that the dialog felt a little mechanical or unnatural at times. Expressions of sentiment came a little fast. However, taking into account that Taylor is a male shifter—known for developing quick and deep emotional attachments, especially when dealing with females—and there’s a bit of magic involved, I felt it could be overlooked and accepted as believable. One thing I really liked about Taylor is that once he made up his mind about Aspen there was no swaying him. He did his best to keep his promises and didn’t let his family, or more specifically, his father, deter him in what he felt was right. The attraction between the two of them was exhilarating and I found myself envying Aspen. Who wouldn’t envy a girl with a sexy hot cougar shifter chasing her around?

As always, Ms. Chenery has penned a sexy and exciting tale that kept me glued to the pages, eager to see what happened next. This was only book one in her cougar series; I look forward to reading what she comes up with next.

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