Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book review: A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION by Vonnie Davis

Publisher:  Random House Loveswept

Date Published: August 19th

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Word Count: 85,600

In the vein of Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and Shelly Laurenstonï’s Pride Stories, Vonnie Davis introduces two wandering souls who discover that true love needs no words in this explosive, fantastical novel. Able to telepathically communicate with animals, Paisley Munro has found meaning in her so-called gifts by working as a veterinary assistant. But while traveling to Scotland for a relative’s funeral, Paisley fears that she really has lost her mind. Out in the highlands, she hears distinctly human thoughts coming from a wild bear. Terrified and desperate, she returns to the lodge and collapses in the powerful arms of its owner, a mysterious man with whom she shares a simmering attraction. Creighton Matheson and his fellow shape-shifters have been roaming this land freely for centuries. Now Paisley’s grandma may inherit his home, putting his kind in grave danger. His mistrust only deepens when he realizes Paisley can read his mind. Yet he cannot deny that this tantalizing woman makes him burn with desire and hunger for the prospect of a tender love. Now Creighton must decide which would hurt more: revealing the truth or losing Paisley forever.

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Review by Melissa Snark:  

Vonnie Davis is a modern-day bard of romance. Her mastery of writing mechanics is sublime, elevated to such a high standard that I don't have anything to say about it. I just didn't notice. All of my observations and reactions are based on the actual story itself. I'm well read in the PNR genre and A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION offers a unique take on the bear shifter genre.

The story is f*cking hilarious. There's humor throughout, but at one point mid-book, the hero slathers a sweet-smelling concoction on his private bits and nearly gets eaten alive by bugs. At the time of reading, I had a nasty head cold. (We're talking five layers of foam insulation between me and my thoughts, and nasal passages packed solid with snot the consistency of cement.) By the end of Chapter 14, I had tears running down my cheeks, snot clogging my throat, and I was clinging to my chair to stop from falling out. I kid you not, I almost drowned.

The romance is full of sweet, flowery declarations and swoon-worthy kisses. The hero and heroine share solid chemistry, and love scenes are well-appointed, somewhere in the mid-range on the content thermometer. Creighton, the hero, is hunky and heroic, although he has certain domineering and over-protective tendencies. However, Paisley is so fragile and sensitive (constantly crying), she really does require an old-fashioned, take-charge male presence in her life, so their dynamic ultimately works and works well.

Something Creighton does to Paisley during the course of the story gave me serious pause. I regarded it as a violation as severe or worse than a physical assault, and it affected my ability to enjoy parts of the book. That said, I can understand his reasons for his decision even if I don't agree with it. Paisley needs to be protected from everything, including herself, so his actions can be rationalized and forgiven. (See what I just did?)

This is an awesome read, and I recommend it without hesitation to paranormal romance fans who are looking for a bear-ish love story. You're never gonna top Vonnie Davis for her combination of storytelling mastery and comedic brilliance. Never.

The author provided an ARC of the book while a guest on my blog, but she didn't request a review. I was reading for pleasure.

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