Witch Wolf

Witch Wolf - Winter Pennington Paranormal stories involving vampires are my least favorite form of romantic fiction. Its hard to dissociate blood and cold skin from death, Twilight notwithstanding. But this book comes highly recommended. Also, the promise of a good crime story might mitigate somewhat the less-than-appealing romance. The result is, surprisingly, the opposite of what I expected.

Kassandra is built up by the blurb to be a hotshot paranormal PI who likes to work alone. But on her very first investigative outing in the book, she drags someone armed to the teeth with her, lol. She is also built up by the book to be something of an empath--someone who can sense other people's feelings. But this gift rarely came into play, and wasn't much help at all in figuring out the good guys from the bad guys, or even, what two alluring ladies' intentions towards her were. On the other hand, her werewolf-y sense of smell is uncanny, and is undoubtedly her "secret" investigative weapon of choice. :) Which isn't to say that there was a lot of investigating going on. If I recall correctly, it was just one time. And the rest of the time, Kassandra was either called to the scene, stumbled onto it, or was dragged into it. There were no surprises in the case at all and one can pretty much guess who the guilty party might have been from the very first time the name came up. I know that even hotshot PIs make mistakes but it doesn't do the mystery justice if the reader can see through it but the main character can't. Maybe if she had actually spent more time in the field investigating the case, especially the missing person one. After all, 'Investigator' is the title of the book.

As for the romance, there isn't really any, in the traditional sense. No courtship or dating here. Its more of the one-look-and-you're-mine variety, which I suppose, is typical of non-human romances. :) Which is not to say it isn't hot, because it sizzles! I love Lenore even though she is a vampire. The book makes her bigger than life yet humanizes her at the same time. I can totally understand Kass' fascination with her. What I can't understand is what exactly does she see in Kass, other than physical attraction, because in all their encounters, Kass seems more like a helpless though promising protege than an equal lover.

As for the paranormal stuff, I was a little confused. When Kass goes into werewolf form, she retains human-like speech. She also does human-y moves like put on a seatbelt, grabs someone's wrist and twist them to the back, knees someone, etc. I had to re-read several passages to be sure I didn't miss something--maybe she changed back, only to have confirmation a few lines later that she still has a tail so...what is this, a partial-change? a were-lady? a lady-wolf? I had trouble visualizing it but Penny kindly provided a visual that helped somewhat 8-)

THere is also something I've always wondered what exactly would happen if a vampire bites a werewolf in human form? Does she turn into a vampire werewolf? ;) My aversion for vampire fics means my knowledge is limited to stereotypical tv and movie vampire lore from way back when vampires and werewolves were never spoken in the same sentence so when it actually happens in the book, I was like, Yes!, now I finally get to find out. But then nothing happens and they never even talk about it. This is lesfic--they NEED to talk about things, not put it off to the next day or even, the next book :)

While the crime/mystery part was so-so, the paranormal bits iffy, I found the character interactions very engaging. Kass and her stakeout partner, Kass and her police contact Arthur, Kass and Lenorre (of course!), and surprisingly, Kass and her wolf self. The latter are involved in a constant struggle for dominance, control and recognition--and I'd have to say these are the highlights of the book.

Overall, I did enjoy this first in a series. Not as much as I'd hoped, but enough that I just might be interested in the 2nd one...if we get more Lenorre hotness. I want to know what she's all about, what makes her tick, how she became what she is, and who turned her..stuff like that. So yes, its THE VAMPIRE I'm interested in now...

3.9 stars