Overall Score: 8/10
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Action
Publisher: Four Eyed Owl
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.
Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.
The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.
Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.
The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.
But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.
The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.
The Animal Under The Fur is the spy thriller I never knew I needed. It’s James Bond meets the Black Widow. Even with a high-octane adventure going on, Mellow manages to ground this novel by exposing the human side of Nashville and Carter.
From the moment the reader meets Nashville Brown, I knew I was going to like her. She’s tough and leather-clad but fiercely loyal and loving. I loved seeing her character development throughout the novel. In the afterwards, the author mentions that she consulted a specialist to determine what the psychological effects of the operative lifestyle would be. Her attention to detail truly shows in the way that Nashville is portrayed.
As for Carter, I pretty much hated him at the beginning. Cool, suave, and a little too full of himself, Carter is a modern Bond. While I didn’t warm to the character until about halfway through, I always looked forward to the clashes between him and Nashville. The tension between the two of them kept me engrossed in the story. Mellow’s skill as a writer showed in the way that my feelings toward Carter changed as Nashville’s did. His somewhat deplorable outer layers are slowly peeled away to reveal a deeply damaged but overall good man.
The plot was intricate and engaging. Even though I had suspicions of what would happen, the reality was still enough of a surprise that I remained totally hooked. While the action may have been high-stakes and fantastic, the emotional core of this novel was ultimately very relatable and down to earth. I absolutely loved the detail about the spy work in this book. From stake-outs in the forest for days on end to detailed mission briefings, the details brought this story alive for me. Toward the end, the novel does take on a somewhat more science fiction/fantasy tone. I enjoyed that but I know that some readers may not. There are some more adult scenes but they can be easily skimmed or skipped without missing anything vital to the story.
I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone looking for either a good spy story or an excellent hate to love romance.
I’m excited to be able to also bring you a chance at a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and a $30 Amazon gift card!
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