Title: Tempting the Enemy
Author: Dee Tenorio
Page Count: 236 pages (ebook)
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Copy for review obtained via netgalley.com in anticipation of an honest review
50 words or less: Police detective Pale Rysen is trying to catch a vicious serial killer who's targeting members of a secret population-shapeshifters- without outing himself as a member of that persecuted group. Jade Scarlet is a Sibile, a witch with powerful gifts and a secret of her own. If these two are going to stop the killings they're going to have to bury the hatchet and start thinking about the future, and soon.
I'm constantly amazed by how really familiar elements from a certain kind of story can be reworked and recombined to create something new and unique. Tempting the Enemy is a good example of this, and also an example of how a story can truly be more than the sum of its parts. Taken individually, these elements aren't anything that haven't been done before; working together, they yield a story that, while cumbersome in parts, is definitely intriguing and unique.
At first blush, the hero and heroine kind of seem like more of the same old same old. Pale Rysen is a snarly alpha with a hidden agenda; Jade Scarlet has tremendous powers and a secret to hide and feels like she can't trust anybody. Maybe what made this element unique for me was the sheer magnitude of the secrets each of them is keeping: Pale is trying to hide the fact that he's a shifter because there's been a genocide against shifters, and not only his life but the lives of the community of refugees he's protecting are in jeopardy if he's outed. Jade is a half shifter and her powers are tremendous; so not only would her life be in danger from shifter-haters, but from others as well. This is no lightweight conflict, and there are a ton of past issues and betrayals that have to be overcome by these two, in the face of pretty much crippling Heat and attraction that both of them would rather ignore.
I will share with you, though, my gripe about this book. While I am completing understanding and sympathetic to the fact that Pale has a lot of issues with the Sibile and with witches in general due to some horrific, the fact still stands that he was an epic douchebag to Jade for a good portion of the story, even when he was trying to be all nurturing and protective. It took away a little of the believability factor for me in terms of their relationship, as there were times that it was hard to understand why Jade would want to throw in her lot with this guy, when he can't seem to keep a civil tongue in his head. There comes a point for me with a romance plot where the characters being in love means they have to kind of act like they're in love, and I had trouble buying into that with this story. I have to say though, the last scene where he brings her to the compound where the refugees are staying was an extremely well-done ending to the story, and left the door open for a sequel in a way that didn't take away from the story here.
All issues aside, this was an entertaining story with a dystopian feel that combined familiar elements in a new way. If that sounds like something that rings your bell then I can definitely endorse giving this story a whirl.
Overall Grade: B
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