by Violet Summers, paranormal (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-503-9
Have you heard of the Mating Run? It's somewhat like the Speedo Santa Run, only instead of having out-of-shape guys wearing Santa hats and red tiny banana hammocks, we have a heroine being the trophy as a bunch of randy werewolves compete to be her mate.
Claire Andrews is the human witch chosen as the latest prize in the Mating Run. She's not happy to be placed in such a spot, having pretty much been blackmailed by her Coven into "agreeing" to participate in exchange for the Packs' continuous protection of the Coven. Likewise, Nigel Rhodes is not too pleased that his Alpha daddy has forced him to babysit Claire (to keep her safe from randy werewolves who may decide to run the race before it has officially started, so to speak), especially when he's not participating and therefore forbidden to play with Claire, whom he's attracted to. Still, they end up doing the deed anyway, only to have Nigel vanish the next morning and Claire ending up mated to Nigel's brother.
Cut to two years later when Claire is a widow and Nigel is back. What will happen now?
Well, I tell you what didn't happen - Claire kicking that cowardly asshole out of her life for good. That is a pity because such a conclusion would have salvaged this story for me. The problem here is that Nigel is already an annoying character before he pulls that cowardly stunt of his - constantly calling Claire "luv" is just the beginning of a long list of things I find obnoxious about him - and this novella isn't long enough to allow Nigel to redeem himself in any way. It's just "Hey, luv, I'm back, see me wag my pee-pee at ya, ya?", some weak scolding on Claire's part, an unsatisfactory "But I didn't know!" apology on his part, the end. The whole thing is so unsatisfying.
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