I have very little “steamy” material in my TBR. I don’t buy a lot of erotic romance, and almost no straight erotica, but what I buy, I usually read right away. Much of the romance I read is “steamy,” but for this month I wanted to pick something that I’d put off because it pushed my comfort zone a bit. This novella has been sitting unread because it is spicy werewolf romance, and frankly I worried that might push too many buttons for me, given that the animal element of sex in shifter romance is often too squicky for my taste.
“Wild Card” is the first of three novellas that comprise the Down and Dirty trilogy. The heroine, Ginny is a female “lone wolf”; she doesn’t want to be part of the local pack, even though she finds the pack leader, Jack, very attractive. Jack has wanted Ginny for some time, but he has done the best that an alpha male can to respect her boundaries, physical and emotional. I liked that about him right away, and I liked that the characters were mature, without the use of the “I don’t know how to control my wolf” complication.
Ginny’s independence from the pack has made her a target for vandals and thieves, and she has finally decided that she has to ask Jack for help, even though that means giving up some of her solitude and freedom. Jack sees this as an opportunity to show her that they could be good together, and he hopes to persuade her that she’d actually be a good mate. Working that out between them, while working together against the thugs, made for a satisfying short read. I immediately bought the other two novellas in the series and read them within a few days; it was good to complete the story arcs started in this novella, and it reassured me that while a Moira Rogers book may come right up to the edge of my comfort zone with shifter sex, it doesn’t necessarily cross a line I can’t handle.
This is also an “author behaving well” story; like Liz at Something More, I want to do a better job of pointing out that effective use of social media can cause me to try an author’s work, just as the author behaving badly phenomenon (which gets a lot more discussion) lands an author on my “never buy” list. Since I’m not a big PNR reader, especially shifter romance, I hadn’t read anything by Moira Rogers until recently. But I had encountered Bree (half of the Moira Rogers writing duo) on Twitter, and I’ve found her to be funny, smart, and sensible, which of course translates at least partially into “she sees the world the way I do.” She has a particularly healthy attitude about publishing; she wants data and information before coming to conclusions, and I admire that. So when paging through the older files on my Kindle for something steamy to review, my positive feeling about her helped her novella to jump out at me. And I now own and have read this trilogy and the first book in two other series, and I’ll be shopping for more. (Which will amuse my good friend Richard, a slightly stuffy Englishman in the field of telecommunications, who has Moira Rogers on his auto-buy list for business trips all over the world.)