Author: A.C. Katt
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 173 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: To write an erotic romance with one of the main characters having been raped at the onset of the story can go either way in terms of reader reaction. I believe Ms. Katt handled this challenge with sensitivity, but I wonder if the same level of tension and angst could have been infused into the story without having the rape included at all.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Returning from his territory in Atlanta, Gabriel Martin stumbles across a man in an alleyway who has been gang raped – his mate.
Gabriel Martin has hope. Three of the Alphas on the council have found mates in the past few years. Returning to New York from Atlanta, he comes across a human who has been raped in an alleyway. The human is his mate, Kane Brady.
Kane has been teaching at the local high school and refuses to rubberstamp the education of their star basketball players’ almost paying the price with his life. He’s unusual as he’s a Human Omega but he can’t be intimate with Gabriel because of his horrific experience.
Review: Marking Kane is book four of the Werewolves of Manhattan series, and stands alone on its own. In fact, I’m feeling particularly interested in going back to reading the first three books to learn about the histories of the other characters. The intensity of the love between the two protagonists was magnetic. Add to that the structure of the world Ms. Katt has created, and we’ve got a recipe for strong family connection, lasting friendships, and a built in support system for alphas, betas, and omegas alike.
The author chose to tackle the hard issue of a character suffering the brutality of rape at the beginning of the story. She then allowed events to unfold in a way that remained sensitive to the trauma and emotional damage of that character; a brave choice and one Ms. Katt handled well. The main love interest was extraordinarily compassionate at every stage, as were all of the supporting characters.
Luckily, in a world building situation, the author can create a construct to help move the story forward, and therefore, she helped Kane overcome the physical and emotional damage caused by the rape through the help of the Gods. I found myself wondering how actual victims of brutality might feel about this easy fix, but even after the healing, the characters still remained sensitive to the fact that an act of brutality never disappears from a person’s life. They learn to move on over time…if they’re lucky. The second portion of the book focuses on seeking retribution against those who committed the horrid act against Kane— or, rather, the main antagonist who instigated the event—and the pace picked up considerably.
In terms of the love interest, I know that in shifter stories the mate bond is fast, but in this story, the bond led to immediate love between the two protagonists, which kind of threw me. Add to that the circumstances under which the two characters met, and there was an interesting dynamic going on, one I found myself a little wary of.
To write an erotic romance with one of the main characters having been raped at the onset of the story can go either way in terms of reader reaction. I believe Ms. Katt handled this challenge with sensitivity, but I wonder if the same level of tension and angst could have been infused into the story without having the rape included at all. But that is an opinion readers will have to form themselves. We all have different histories and levels of comfort, so for some, this story may dredge up painful memories and ring too far from true. For others, the story may hit the right chord, handling a tough issue and managing to still write a steamy love story with action and resolution.
You can buy Marking Kane here: