It might be love. If they don’t kill each other first.
Siberian tiger-shifter Dominec Giroux doesn’t play well with others. Horribly scarred by the Organization scientists who killed his family and tried to turn him into their pet assassin, his sanity has been hanging by a thread ever since his escape.
His one reason for living—revenge. But when he snaps during one of the shifters’ strikes against the Organization and goes on a killing spree, it doesn’t go over so well with his pride mates.
As the only female lieutenant in Lone Pine Pride history, Grace Calaveras has a lot to prove, and a lot on her plate. The last thing she needs to deal with is Dominec’s brand of crazy, but until she can get him under control, she’s his babysitter.
It would take a miracle for these two to find common ground, but when they’re sent on a mission that could impact the future of every shifter in the world, lioness and tiger form an uneasy alliance…and unleash an attraction that could be their salvation. If it doesn’t destroy them both.
Warning: This book contains a scarred, brooding tiger with an unconventional approach to romance, a feisty, flirty lioness who doesn’t know how to quit, love triangles, secret missions, and rooftop kisses hot enough to melt the Montana snow.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
Oh, this was good. I really enjoyed this latest installment from the Lone Pine Pride series, with its fierce heroine and thoroughly haunted hero. It’s only my second book in this setting (after the novella, Unbearable Desire) but I followed along pretty well considering most of the characters and plots were new to me – so if you’re new to this shifter world but are intrigued by the setting, go for it.
Grace is a Strong Female Character in the best possible way. She’s not just a soldier in her pride, she’s a lieutenant, possibly the first female one ever, and she’s willing to work hard and do whatever she can to protect her people. Although I wasn’t sure why women hadn’t taken on such a role before – since wild African lionesses are far from passive – I did like the way Grace handled herself. She’s strong and confident and smart, and has grown used to working twice as hard as the men around her to prove herself – even though no one treats her differently because of her gender.
I loved her secure place in the pride and how she was valued by her peers – in the same way that I appreciated her troubles with her family. Her mother’s attitude to the threat… wow, just wow. I could see why Grace turned out the way she did and worked so hard to prove herself. I wasn’t always impressed by the way she handled things romantically – the Kelly situation unfolded in a predictable and slightly annoying style – but I could see why certain viewpoints got under her skin and made her confused, considering how hard she’s trying to please all people all the time. However, I was impressed with her restraint.
And then along came Dominec. Haunted, dark, unstable, more than a little crazy – and I loved him. His time with the Organization shattered him and I liked how that manifested in his trouble with memory. Sure, he’s a bit of a stalker at times and he’s definitely not a team player, but I loved how nothing about him is a quick fix. He’s a dangerous, vicious predator who has serious trust issues, has suffered severe trauma and lives for revenge. Yet he also appreciates Grace for exactly who she is and has a way with words that is completely unintentionally beautiful.
Their romance is unconventional at times, bordering on hurtful at others, full of confusion and misunderstandings, yet somehow builds an incredible team out of the pair of them. Despite all the darkness and doubt and outside stress, they make each other stronger and I loved reading about them.
Tangled up with the romance is the wider plot that’s clearly been building throughout the series so far. The sinister Organization has been stealing shifters and doing terrible things to them for a while, but now Lone Pine are getting ready to fight back. Where Dominec is all for charging in and slaughtering the lot of them, no questions asked, Grace wants to take a more cautious approach – taking prisoners in the hope of gaining more information. These two viewpoints are repeated often throughout the book with other characters as Lone Pine builds towards a full-scale attack and attempts to contact other shifter packs and prides to join the fight.
It’s dark and dangerous stuff at times, with a small amount of political maneouvering and plenty of building tension. The momentum grows steadily throughout in a good, consistent way that I couldn’t see how things could possibly be resolved by the end of the book. As such I did feel that certain things became a little too convenient and a touch rushed, when perhaps they might have been better carried over into another book. Having said that, I can see why it wasn’t since the whole attack itself was pivotal in Dominec’s storyline. I just wish certain things hadn’t popped up at the most convenient moment to make everything swifter than expected.
That little niggle aside, though, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a strong shifter romance, and although there was a distinct lack of lioness moments there was plenty of tiger time to make up for it. I loved Dominec, really liked Grace and adored how their romance played out. If you’re looking for a shifter series that blends great characters with stirring romance and an interesting wider plot, then you should give this a try. I know I’ll be catching up on the earlier three books soon, and look forward to wherever this world goes next.
Tangling With The Tiger is out August 18th!
Visit Vivi Andrews for more details.