Author: L.J. Hamlin
Title: Velvet Claw
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Two Petals
On the Author's Website:
Evan Kidd journeys to a small town to solve the mystery of what's making children sick—but only cat people are allowed in the town without permission, and Evan's permission is granted on the condition he be constantly escorted by a guard.
Rene is assigned to be Evan's guard, and he doesn't like humans, and he especially doesn't like doctors. But Rene is also lonely, and despite his best efforts, hating Evan is not as easy he'd assumed it would be.
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Evan is a doctor that specializes in solving health mysteries, but when he's called in to investigate an illness sickening cat children he knows he has to tread carefully. Rene, who hates humans, is assigned as his guard, but hating Evan isn't nearly as easy as Rene had thought. Instead, he's distracted by the budding relationship growing between them, which might just get them both killed.
I wanted so badly to like this story. The premise of cat people from Atlantis and the political balance of how they're treated in the modern world was so interesting. Yet, like most of the story, that premise was never given enough detail or depth to properly ground the story. Every single aspect of this book started out as a great idea, but was never actually finished properly.
The best example of this is the relationship between Evan and Rene. It's basically insta-love with very little building attraction between them before they suddenly fall into bed together. The author mentioned the word 'mate' offhand one or two times, but kept dismissing it instead of going into more detail. While it wouldn't have solved the insta-love, it would have provided a reason that they had been instantly attracted and thereby given the relationship a touch more realism. An entire book of almost getting the full depth and explanation left me frustrated and an unhappy with it at the end.
I really liked the premise of cat people from Atlantis having to interact in the modern world, but nothing in the book was fully realized. Leaving out that last bit of necessary depth made this book frustrating to read and that is why I do not recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.