26 May '12

A Nix PN Erotic review – Dark Adapted Eyes by Scarlett Parrish (4.5 Stars)

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Cat shifters are rare; so rare that Fern, Gabe and Alex have to stick together as they believe they are alone. A pack, they belong to each other and no one else. Problems only start to arise when one of those pack members start to become unstable and threatens the secrecy that they need to survive. Fern’s obsession with trying to find more of their kind has lead her to the ledge, killing and maiming humans with increasing ease. Alex and Gabe constantly have to clean up her messes, breaching their own moral codes to keep her safe. It has become tiresome and their little pack is stretched to breaking point.

One night in a crowded pub, the unthinkable happens; they discover one that could be like them. Cress has a third eye-lid, an itch under her skin but she still thinks that she is human. Having strangers tell her she could be otherwise and then change into cats in front of her does change her thoughts a little, but it isn’t until Gabe manages to elicit a distinctly feline reaction within her that she starts to agree with their way of thinking. Still, there is a lot to take in about being a cat, lack of sexual politics being one. She can’t quite believe that she can have her cake and eat it, having a relationship with two stunning men and still be free to see who else she wants to. The only fly in the ointment is Fern. Fern is unstable and she may not like that her discovery has been brought in as her replacement.
As per usual, I will be going further than 30% into the book with my thoughts; I know this may annoy some of you but the action really starts after 30%. Scarlett Parrish’s books seem to always build and build, plot twisting and turning for the first half a book, and this one is no exception. I loved it and I really hope there is a second one. I know from reading interviews that this author doesn’t agree with tying off the ending of her books with a big bow, preferring to leave it up to the reader to decide on the rest of the story, but there was more than just a relationship loose end with this one, there was a big question on how the pack copes with the changes too.
First let me begin with a warning; this is not a romance. There is no traditional path, no declarations of love and no HEA; this is all about pack dynamics and sex. These characters treat sex as the cats that they are; it is all about release with whoever takes your fancy, but pack will always remain your primary source of it, even if you don’t like them very much. The males have no issue with sleeping with other men (in fact the relationship between the men was possible the sweetest one in this very twisted tale) and then sleeping with a woman when they fancy doing so. They don’t label themselves as gay, straight or bi because they really aren’t sufficient labels for what they are. They are just part cat.  They sleep with Fern, even though they pretty much despise her, because she is female and pack. It is very hard to comprehend and it made their triumvate hard to read at points.
Fern is a very unlikeable character. I will go as far as saying I really despised her. She is jealous, bitter, bitchy and pretty horrible to both men. I didn’t want her to be part of the triumvate because she was awful. There were also a couple of violent scenes which I found hard to stomach and these all involved her. Her cat side seemed to be very close to the surface; she was a tormenter of things that she didn’t like and violent without thought. I was quite glad when the boys discovered Cress as she was by far a nicer character. I knew she wouldn’t take it well, but I honestly didn’t give a shit. They were constantly cleaning up her messes and looking out for her and all they got in return was shit on from a great height.
I loved Gabe. He was by far the standout character of this book. He is caring, generous and a bit of a tom-cat. He looked after all of them in some way and so it was only natural that he would be the one to build the primary relationship with Cress. He made me laugh with OCD’s over his clothes and possessions….I just loved the mixture of quirky and sexy. I really felt for him with the whole Fern debacle because it was in his nature to give her as many chances as he could without breaking, accepting everything she did to him and put him through. I’m not saying he was a walk-over; he made sure she knew his displeasure, but he always forgave her. She was toxic; dragging him into horrible messes and slowly corrupting his morals….I wanted him as far away from her as possible.
Alex and Gabe’s relationship was the sweetest thing in the book. They cared about each other and sacrificed for each other; Alex was never at the scene of Fern’s crimes but cleaned up her messes for Gabe. I never really felt I got to know with Alex that well, but what I knew of him was a man who pulled no punches. I got the impression that he was the Alpha of the pack because they seemed to rely on him for guidance and support and then also deferred to him. I liked him with both Gabe and Cress, but I really didn’t know what to make of him alone.
The sex scenes were awesome. There is some MM, MF, little bit of restraints and some voyeurism….I loved it!! The ones with Fern were no less erotic for her participation; Scarlett Parrish writes good sex. The first scene with Alex and Gabe was heart stoppingly erotic….*phew*. Overall, a sexy read with a paranormal edge. Recommended read J   

Nix

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