Title: Forest of Thorns and Claws
Author: J. T. Hall
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 247 Pages
At a Glance: Sweet, short, and simple—an easy weretiger romance.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: Donovan McGinnis, a veterinarian and conservationist at a research center in Sumatra, is fighting to save the rainforest from poachers and politicians alike. One day he discovers a tigress trapped by a snare, and while treating her injuries, she bites him. He becomes ill with strange symptoms that leave him feverish and dreaming of the jungle and blood.
Kersen and his family are part of the Harimau jadian, a clan of tiger shifters hidden away in a secret village near the rainforest. When Kersen’s sister is caught, he knows he must free her before she infects someone with their magic and reveals their secret.
But Donovan has already been turned, and only time will tell if he can control the tiger within. Kersen must help him, but will the fierce attraction between the pair bring ruin to them all? With the rainforest under threat from outside forces, they may be doomed anyway, unless Kersen and Donovan can find a way to defeat the danger from inside and out.
Review: I enjoy paranormal romance and this was a pretty classic setup for the genre. A guy gets bit and infected by a werecat, enters a new world, and then falls in love with another werecat, while also trying to save the day. It’s sweet, short, and simple, while not being overly dramatic or suspenseful or vulgar. Which, I have to admit, made it a bit boring of a read for me, but if you enjoy an easy romance, I would full-heartedly recommend this book to you.
My favorite parts of the book were the beginning, after Donovan, our protagonist, gets bit by the werecat. I love origin stories, and this seemed sort of like his superhero (super weretiger) origin story, where he truly comes alive and discovers his life’s purpose. I also liked how we were able to experience the symptoms of his infection. Too many authors neglect those and, to me, those are some of the best parts of this type of fiction, like what happens to Peter Parker right after he gets bit by the spider. Call it a medical fetish, or call it what you will, but I loved how Donovan at first rejects his symptoms as anything abnormal, and then slowly comes to the realization he may be in a lot of trouble, right before he turns into a weretiger and jumps out a window. Fantastic!
There was a bit of insta-love going on, and quite a few of the characters relied on shallow descriptions. I got a really good sense of who Donovan was, but I’m still, even after reading, a bit unclear on who Kersen is, and who is sister is, and I’m murky on the inner workings of one of Donovan’s close friends. Considering this story is told in third person and from two points of view, I probably should have had a better idea of all of that. Perhaps one of the troubles with insta-love is that missing connection piece, that force that pulls two people together. I dunno. I was missing something.
As far as I can recall, the sexy times were plentiful and fun, another enjoyable aspect of this story. All in all, this was a lovely romance, but it may have been a bit too lovely for me, if that makes any sense. I’d recommend this for paranormal romance lovers and those who like big sexy redheads who can also turn into big sexy cats. Meow!
You can buy Forest of Thorns and Claws here: