A woman on a mission to save the elephants…
An ex-convict who won’t part with his land…
When their passions and goals collide, the crash is volatile.
Sara Graham has no idea what she is getting herself into when she uses her forbidden art to protect the near-extinct elephants and their habitat in the Knysna forest, South Africa. From the minute she sets foot in the woodcutters’ bar, she endangers her life. The gift hunters who would kill for her art are not the only threat. The wood smugglers will sooner murder her than let the National Parks Board ranger stand in their way. Falling for woodcutter and ex-convict, Wayne West, only further complicates matters. Can Sara trust a man convicted of the cruelest of murders?
Danger comes to town with a green SANParks vest and a tight body. Wayne knows Sara is all kinds of trouble from the first time he lays eyes on her in the bar. Alone, she doesn't stand a chance. If he protects her, he will not only be branded as a traitor with the woodcutters, but he may also lose his job, and worse, his land. That is to say if they make it out alive. Even then, can he forgive her for taking the only thing he has left?
This book contains explicit language and consummated love scenes. Reader discretion is advised. Although this is Book 7 (ANIMAL) of the paranormal erotic Seven Forbidden Art series, the story also reads as a standalone. For best reading enjoyment and character insight it is recommended that the series be read in chronological order.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the seventh book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!
Wayne West is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot, though I thought he was a jerk at first. However, as I got to know him better I began to see why he acted the way he did at times. He is an ex-con and has lost more than most. He is determined to hold on to the last remaining piece of land that he calls home. Unfortunately, his land has been marked by the government as a reserve for the last remaining elephants of the Knysna forest. He knows that its only a matter of time before someone from the South African National Parks (SANParks) arrives, but he is unprepared for the feelings that Sara stirs in him.
Sahara (Sara) Graham is also a wonderful character. I liked her too. She is determined to do her job of tracking the Knysna elephants to see how many are remaining in the forest and relocate them to the new reserve. She did not, however, expect to run into the farmer who's land the government had appropriated. As she gets to know Wayne, she finds herself torn between her feelings for him and her job. As danger threatens, can she trust him with her secret of being a Scapulimancist, someone able to communicate with animals?
Having previously read the other books of the series, I was eager to get my hands on this book. I was contacted by the author to see if I would like a complementary copy to read, which I accepted.
This story is told through the eyes of several characters, though it is shown mostly through Wayne and Sara's point of view. I started to read the story and was quickly hooked. I found myself on a huge emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. I thought this book to be the best of the series so far. I enjoyed watching Wayne and Sara's relationship grow. The chemistry between them is hot enough to scorch the pages. However, I thought the first scene of when they met was rather harsh on Wayne's part. Granted, he is entitled to be bitter towards the SANParks for snatching his home from under him. However, it didn't endear him to me either. Having said that, he redeems himself in my eyes as the story unfolds and the reader gets to see the tortured man beneath his tough exterior.
The story introduces several interesting characters. Clive Theron is Wayne's boss and Thinus's father and Nelis's uncle. I took an instant dislike to all three of them. Then there is Bella, Wayne's only friend - I liked her a lot - and Dumile, the Nkosi (Chief) of the Xhosa tribe, who also happens to be Wayne's father-in-law. My favourite character though has to be young Khwezi, who made me smile. He's only five but definitely has an entrepreneurial edge to his character.
On more than one occasion I found myself holding my breath as the danger had me sitting on the edge of my seat. There is a lot going on, with some really intense scenes between the characters and, as I don't want to give any spoilers, I will not say much more. I will say that the paranormal task force is not as active in this story, though they do make an appearance close to the end of the book. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings - sad that it was finished, but happy at the way it concluded. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as I can.
Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.
Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read this series in order. Due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction, erotica, erotic romance or paranormal romance genres. – Lynn Worton
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Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a masters degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.