Fangs and Catnip (Kristin’s Review)

Title: Fangs and Catnip (Dead and Breakfast #1)
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal (Shifters, vampires)
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A romance worth fighting for—tooth and claw.

Solitary vampire Fallon Underwood gets all the social interaction he needs being the silent partner at the Dead and Breakfast B and B high in the Colorado mountains. Change is hard for Fallon, so when his business partner, Tanner, suggests hiring a new manager for the inn, he’s adamant that they don’t need help, especially not in the form of bouncy werecat Carter Hughes.

Carter is a happy-go-lucky kitty, and he loves the hospitality industry, so the D and B ought to be a great place for him. He falls for Fallon as soon as he picks up one of Fallon’s novels and begins to woo the vamp with gifts. When Fallon finally succumbs to Carter’s feline charms, the results are unexpected, to say the least. Their mating will have irreversible consequences—for their bodies and their hearts.

I greatly enjoyed this book – it had me laughing, chuckling and chortling the entire way through. It had a great blend of sweetness, a tiny bit of uncertainty and a fun cast of characters. For me, this is a total decompress, tune out the world, curl up in my fuzzy blanket and read kinda book. I’m NOT looking for serious heart to hearts, I want mindless shifter fun. Julia Talbot’s Dead and Breakfast #1 give that in spades.

OMG! I just realized that Carter is a cougar/puma and his name starts with a “C”. Connor in the Sanctuary series by BA Tortuga is a bobcat and HIS name starts with a “C”. “C” for cat! On purpose, dear authors? Fun!

Carter is a mountain lion and his degree is in Hospitality. He would love to work at the Dead and Breakfast Inn even though it’s not a more traditional hotel in a big city. Tanner (bear shifter) co-owns the Dead and Breakfast with Fallon (a vampire). They have a long-standing friendship: Fallon doesn’t like change and he wants to be left alone in his gabled loft. Tanner runs the D&B needs help, especially during the winter months when his bear need to hibernate. They hire Carter, with some reluctance on Fallon’s part. Until he starts to get to know the kitty.

The relationship dance is partially why I enjoyed this story so much -too many shifter books end up in an instantaneous mashing of lips and shouted cries of “mine!”, and there’s no underlying foundation of compatibility beyond sex. I liked how the author built a relationship between the vampire and cat, and continued to build it. Carter worked on woo-ing Fallon only as a kitty shifter could.

I also liked the underlying cause for the slight angst that caused a good deal of upset and unhappiness (trying not to give spoilers here). It was refreshingly different and very plot appropriate. How everyone pulled together to help Fallon and Carter was so sweet, and a great way to display character traits.

Speaking of characters, D&B has a great line-up: including Tanner the bear shifter, there is a Gorgon on cleaning staff, another vampire on night shift, a newly turned werewolf, and a gargoyle that makes an appearance. I love how all the staff and guests have quirks unique to them.

Ultimately, this is light, quirky, and fun. Julia Talbot’s books are what I turn to when I need some serious mental “zone-out” time, complete with blankets and hot cocoa. Or wine. Sometimes I need serious zoning out.

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I have been a voracious reader from the time I learned how to read. My Motto: "Never leave home without a book (or two or three)." Though once I learned how to knit that became "Never leave home without a book (or two or three) AND a knitting project." A long-time fan of science fiction, I've since discovered mystery/suspense/thrillers and m/m romance. I love stories that span the universe, paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery, comedy; stories with veterinarian's (yay! animals!) or a men in uniform, a splash of BDSM or a threesome can be fun, and of course, happy ever afters. IF that's not a run-on sentence, I don't know what is... I'm not a fan of historical, horror, sports, plots with children, and New Adult/Young Adult. Thanks for reading my reviews! No two persons ever read the same book Edmund Wilson