Title: Temptation Rising
Series: The Shadow Shifters, Book 1
Author: A. C. Arthur
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 2 Notes, 5 Flames
Washington D.C. police officer Kalina Harper still dreams about that night, two years ago, when a huge cat-like creature saved her from a crazed attacker. Although she kept the truth to herself, Kalina can never forget the ferocious strength of the beast’s fangs and claws—or the raw animal hunger in its eyes. Until she meets Roman Reynolds…
Muscular, magnetic, and all man, Roman is a high-powered attorney with a predatory smile and seductive charm. He is also a criminal suspect with suspicious connections to the Amazon jungle. But when Kalina discovers that Roman is linked to a secret race of shapeshifting jaguars—who hunt down maneaters—she is forced to put her trust in a man who unleashes her wildest fantasies and fears. A fierce creature of the night whose nature is to protect his female at any cost…
Temptation Rising has been on my "to-read" list for quite some time so when I found a copy at my local library, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a shot. To say I was disappointed is an understatement! There were three main reasons this book didn't work for me starting with an inability to connect with the two main characters and their "attraction" to one another. Roman and Kalina's instant attraction is very similar to the mating instincts shown in other shifter books, however the part that really turned me from the couple is Roman's abrasive approach to Kalina. On just about every encounter he implores her for sex and makes rude snide comments that are insulting and demeaning. While I understand that some of Roman's approach was associated with his desire to not mate, I also thought it disallows readers to bond with him and see him as a loving mate.
Next, I felt A.C. Arthur didn't do a good job of explaining the history of Shadow Shifters and why they were considered different that rogues. She glosses over the history and leaves so many unanswered questions. For example, why some shifters experience their first shifts during adolescents but then others can experience it later in life. How was it that Kalina had no idea what she was and therefore carried absolutely no scent.
This brings me to the main reason I really did not enjoy this book. Kalina's characters was annoying and difficult to like from the very beginning of the book. I found her insistence of "doing her job" to be annoying and overstated throughout the book. She was described as a competent cop but then frequently missed obvious clues about something not being right with her DEA handler. Really??? Further I felt like too many questions remained about her character even after the book ended. For example, Kalina was described as Roman's "companheiro" which I understand means his mate, but then we aren't really given more information about what makes their mating more special than a regular mating other than they become powerful. What????
All in all the book fell short of my expectation and even though I'm curious about Nick and how his book will go, I don't have a lot of confidence with Arthur's ability to keep me engaged. This one gets 2 Notes, and 5 Flames.