Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Unleashing the Storm-Sydney Croft

Unleashing the Storm
Sydney Croft
Delta, Mar., 336 pp., $13.00
ISBN: 9780385340816

The Agency for Covert Rare Operatives (ACRO) send their best Ender to “bumble-fuck” Idaho to either bring in or kill animal psychic Kira Donovan. Using his former identity before he joined ACRO, Tom Knight cases Rainbow Ridge Sanctuary unaware that his target has been telepathically talking to Cheech the goat about “Peeping Tom”. She also has hired Derek as her two farmhands vanished; Tom assumes they are dead as he and Derek know each other as enemies.

As Ender struggles to understand the tree hugging vegan, ACRO chiefs argue over whose division gets her while Derek’s gang ITOR want her too. He does not want to kill her but begins to think he will have to. Then he learns she is in heat and needs sex to survive. In between making love, Tom kills Derek, but ITOR is on top of them. Tom persuades Kira they must flee to the safety of his people. They do with the enemy in pursuit, but must stop every few hours to relive her of her heat even as she fears her soulmate will desert her when they reach ACRO.

Normally, I have issues about a couple on the run stopping for sex, but UNLEASHING THE STORM uses the concept of a special human in animal heat as its underlying premise so that in this case the premise works. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as Kira’s sexual needs forces the pair to stop when escape is critical. Fans will root for the lead protagonists while appreciating this cleverly done romantic suspense erotic fantasy and seek the previous ACRO saga RIDING THE STORM.

Harriet Klausner

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