Monday, 23 June 2008

Feral Attraction: Rachel’s Totem - Marie Harte

Cougar Falls is home to a whole host of shape shifters living in harmony under the protection of a magical totem that hides the town from everybody else - that is, until the death of the guardian of the totem….

Another guardian needs to be found for the totem as, within this supposedly perfect place, there is one group of shifter who wants to rule it all and will do anything to get there hand on the totem….

Rachel is newly divorced and very bitter about the circumstances surrounding it when she arrives in Cougar Falls after the death of her aunt. Expecting to find the same charming town from her previous visits, instead she finds a town where fisticuffs break out at the drop of a hat. Harsh words seem to be the norm and there is an unexplained pull on Rachel’s inner self that she cannot resist. She also finds that the men in Cougar Falls are very attractive with more brawn that most red blooded male.

Burke is a Catamount, one of three brothers that have the adjoining property to Rachel’s inheritance. They have set up their own clan and get on with life as best as they can. Burke is convinced he is at a comfortable place in his life and with the exception of the ownership of the totem. He is not looking for any relationship. Burke and his brothers are just about the only thing that is protecting Rachel’s inheritance from the surrounding shifters.

Ms. Harte has created a diverse set of people in Cougar Falls, which has the feel of any small town, with its lust for gossip, thirst for the worst, and an unforgiving attitude. The interaction between the four Catamount brothers are hysterically funny and well known by the people of Cougar Falls, Although Burke has a hard time dealing with them and they test his every reserve, he is sensitive enough to appreciate the fact that sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to run with it . 

I like the new take on the shifter town, a welcome change from the usual, all dominating male scenarios. Rachel and Burke are immediately attracted to each other and they get right to it with intensely hot love scenes. As much as Burke thinks he has all he wants he cannot resist the attraction he has for Rachel. Rachel on the other hand has significant trust issues and is very cagey about getting permanent with anyone else after all she has been through.

Although the Totem is a magical artifact, there is actually only one moment of magical use that is displayed in the book. If future books follow, I would expect this aspect to be revisited.  There is one episode of ménage at the end of the book between Rachel and the three brothers, known as the “Marking ceremony”……. Believe me this scene was most definitely worth the wait; I am sure fans of Marie Harte, just as myself  will be eagerly awaiting the other brothers’ chosen mates “Marking ceremonies.”

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