Mini-(ARC) Review Monday: I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta

September 30, 2013 2 Star Reviews, General, Reviews 4 ★★

**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Mini-(ARC) Review Monday:  I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van AttaI Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta
Series: Werewolves of the West #1
Published by Charles River Press on October 20, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Pages: 446
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Chloe Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.

In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd roar right back out.

Problem: He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four hours.

Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do - figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected.

Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.

Problem: She despises him.

Together, they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.

Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe.




I actually read this book at the beginning of the year.  As I was going through some old notes on books read but not reviewed, I thought I would use this for an edition of Mini-Review Monday.

On paper, this is totally my book. I love werewolves. I love the fact the story centers on a biracial heroine, Chloe Carpenter. It’s been well-documented that I hate the fact that more people of color aren’t main characters in urban fantasy and paranormal romance. That alone earns major points from me. Though I’m not religious, I really like the fact that religion and faith play a big role in Chloe’s life. It’s a nice element that isn’t too heavy handed and adds something unique to her character because, again, you don’t see it too often in UF/PNR. I also really like that Chloe has a unique ability — communicating with animals is very original.

Ironically, my biggest problem is also Chloe. She just isn’t very likeable. She has the tendency to be snappy and temperamental when she doesn’t really need to be which makes her come across as bratty. I also think there are things that could have been edited down, whole passages that feel a bit redundant and that slow down the pacing of the story. There are also some continuity issues that took me out of it though I’m not sure if this is a matter of reading an ARC and not a final copy. Finally, the main love interest in the story, Zane, bamboozles Chloe into doing something major and I don’t completely understand why. Was it to protect her? It seemed to bring her trouble not safety so maybe that rationale could have been explained and defended a bit more. 

I think there’s a lot of potential in this series.  The premise and setting are great I just don’t think this one was for me. I know this book has gotten great reviews from other readers so this could just be an issue of personal preference.  2/2.5 howls!


About Carol Van Atta

Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s chick.

Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.

She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.

4 Responses to “Mini-(ARC) Review Monday: I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta”

    • shewolfreads

      Yes, I really like the premise for this one but couldn’t get past the heroine. I’d be curious to know what you think about it so please let me know if you decide to pick it up!

  1. Carol Van Atta

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. I understand that Chloe is a love her or hate her kind of gal. Hopefully she becomes more of a “love her” character in the second book, She Kissed a Vampire, where she is back for more adventures. She’s had to do some major growing up. That’s for sure! I will make sure you receive a final copy! I love your site, by the way.