Review: The Pack or the Panther

The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1)The Pack or the Panther by Tara Lain

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

  The Romance Review

An exotic male stripper who commands a no-touch policy and he's a feline shifter? Where is this club and how does one get in the door? This is a fun erotic m/m story from the talented Ms. Lain, which rates 3.5 stars for me.

Cole is a dutiful and loyal son. He's dreamy alpha material. His power over his shifting is stronger than most. He's sexy. He's strong. He is a lawyer who doesn't litigate, yet he directs behind the scene to win cases with his strategic skills. He is a sexy shifted wolf. Hello! Where are the women draped all over his hunky body? He's gay. NO! Say it ain't so! Yes, this prime piece of alpha male bats for the other team. Too bad his parents and pack refuse to accept it. They force Cole into a marriage to cement an alliance.

This story is pretty predictable from a plot perspective. Are there any surprises? No. Still, it's told in a smooth manner with good character development and emotional tugging. Cole is stood up by not only his intended, but her half-brother, Paris.

Paris is the exotic stripper who is half-wolf and half-panther. He's outside of the pack for various reasons. Coming home to his sister's wedding and then ending up as the bride-to-be is not in his life plan. Yet, Cole is something Paris desperately wants to take a bite out of.

From a character perspective, this story is engaging. Cole is the white knight who is dumped on and taken for granted. Despite all he has to offer, he's still rejected. One of the more painful lines is when Cole tells both sets of alpha parents, "Apparently marrying me is the worst possible thing any Marketo would ever have to do." (p. 88-89)

Ouch! To be honest, Ms. Lain creates some pretty childish and selfish characters in the Marketo pack. The pack alpha doesn't listen. His daughter is a cowardly oath breaker. His son is a flighty spoiled cock tease. Due to the entire cast of characters, the reader feels sympathy and outrage on Cole's behalf. This kind of emotion generated makes for a more pleasurable reader experience. It makes the story that much more fun to cuss at when angry at a dumbass move by a character, specifically Paris.

Ms. Lain delivers yet another sweet romantic tale with flawed characters, funny dialog and hot sex. Let's discuss the sex. Wow, does she crank up the erotic heat between Paris and Cole! They go at it like animals. She even slips in a little hint of shifter sex near the end. While Paris may want his freedom and break Cole's heart in the process, when the two physically meet, there are no misunderstandings. They ignite the page with their domination play. Which animal will be on top? Kitty or Puppy? It's fun to see the two perform the horizontal tango in the woods, in a room and just about everywhere.

This erotic m/m romance is recommended to paranormal lovers who love a good happily ever after.

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      The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1)




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