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Hearts On Fire Reviews

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Tara Lain – The Pack or the Panther

The Pack or the Panther - Tara Lain

Reviewed by: SheReadsAlot




Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.


When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.




Cole Harker is the alphanta of the Harker werewolf pack. What does that mean? He's next in line to lead. He's 6'5", a lawyer, gay and doesn't like to speak in front of crowds - stuttering and nerves all around. But his pack ignores that he is gay because there's a myth werewolves can't be gay. So when an impending attack from gangster werewolf pack is to be expected, Cole must marry the female alphanta of the neighboring Marketo pack, him being gay be damned.


Problem is she runs away but her sexy, seductive exotic dancer of a half brother, Paris. Paris is also gay and knows what he wants. And what he wants is a major piece of Cole up his...I'm getting ahead of myself. :D Paris also has a stalker who is tired of watching from the sidelines and wants a piece of Paris.


This is not my first Tara Lain story. She writes light stories from what I have read from her, humor infused sexy camp with a fluff feel. This story is sort of a mixed bag where the good slightly outweighs the not-so-good.


What worked: I liked both main characters. Cole is a gentle giant who was self sacrificing till the end, a tangle tongue (I'm saying this with affection) who was on the shier side who just wanted someone to love and be loved back. And Paris? He's a stripper hello! He's seductive, stubborn and sly. His characterization was not a deal breaker for me. I liked both guys the entire time. They fit together.


The dirty talking was pretty hot.

"I'll be happy to drop these Armani trousers right here, bend myself over that available tree branch, and show that cock of yours where it was meant to be."


How could that line not capture my attention?


The humor when it was on, it could be pretty funny. I smiled.


What didn't work as much: The humor. Tara Lain can come off campy and fun when the one liners hit their mark. And then not as funny when they don't. I've yet to read a solid funny book from this author. It comes and goes with sprinkles of cheesiness.

Both packs answer to Cole's betrothed running off...really? After ignoring Cole being gay, they just readily accept him. Then why make a fuss in the first place? Why not give Cole wanted he wanted from the get go?


The sex was good but repetitive. You could change the scene (which the story did) and they were all reminiscent. Even the near rape scene followed the formula. The sex scenes all starts out the same, two finger lubed salute in the bunghole, insert, thrust and finish. Not saying it wasn't hot at time because for the first two sex scenes, it was steamy.


What gave me pause: Nikel Eliazer is the name of the bad guy of the story. He was creepy sort of sinister in the beginning. Beginning Nikel I liked. For a villain to grab my attention, you need to be thoroughly bad. You don't have to kick puppies for a living but make me believe it. Towards the middle he just was a weak portly man with a weird obsession that I sort of got but I couldn't understand Nikel towards the end. He lost his steam.


I mean imagine you're Baddy McBad-Guy, the baddest man in town and you want something really bad, like so bad you would kill for it kind of bad...you finally get it and you let it get away to save your own skin? If you where that pressed to kill for it, you'd never let go. He sort of wanted power but he came off more resigned to be a villain as opposed to being a believable villain.


Also, the "war" that was hyped to be a war but really was limp fight if anything. The two packs (Marketo and Harker) had to form an alliance to ward off Eliazer's bad guys but knew next to nothing about him. WHAT?! How are you prepping for a war with no intel? If I'm going to war, you can believe I'd know what Baddy McBad-Guy had for breakfast and his meal plan for the next frigging year, that's how far up the other side's ass I'd be. I'd know likes, dislikes, how he started, his bank pin #, his organization, names...every...thing. Nothing would be up for question or late minute surveillance like the main character did in the story. It's almost 50% of the book and they barely know the bad guy's name or his plans. I was disappointed with the war turn out.


And after the fiancee runs away, no one did anything to find out where she was or tried to get her back. If it was so important that she be forced into marriage wouldn't someone try to bring her back. Why did Cole always have to sacrifice himself? It was like the fiancee (who was painted with a bitchy tone) was an afterthought once she exited stage right.


In summary: This was a light story with a predictable plot and some funny moments. Erotic? Yes but also repetitive. It's still not a bad story. The action/suspense was tamer than I thought it would be. And sometimes came off lame. I wished that angle was sharper than what was delivered. Sometimes the talking became a bit much. And some plot points fell off to the wayside. There were interesting secondary characters who I hope star in the next book. *cough*Lindsey*cough* The saving grace for me were the main characters. I liked them, faults and all.


I would read the more of this series.

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=24808