"Cupid Cats" (Multiple Authors)

Pros: lots of great humor and two great heroines.
Cons: One of the stories felt weak.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group

There is a shelter named Cupid Cats, where those who come in looking for a furry friend find not only a companion, but love where they least expect it. Each of the cats featured in these three stories has an air of magic about them, and their humans prove all too susceptible…


 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I couldn’t resist giving this book a read. It’s not specific to Valentine’s Day, but I’m an absolute sucker for cats. There are three stories in this collection, and as is usually the case in these compilations, I didn’t enjoy all three of the stories equally. There was, however, a whole lot to love here.

In Katie MacAlister’s “Unleashed”, I loved the witty back-and-forth between not only the heroine and hero (who is a vampire jaguar shapeshifter), but also the heroine’s sister. (This results in a few laugh out loud snarky comments about sparkly vampires. That alone had me loving this one.) It’s hilarious watching romance trying to develop between two people when the third is convinced that the hero needs to be staked. Ms. MacAlister is unafraid to let the personalities of her characters carry the story without cluttering it up, and watching the way that they bounce off of each other is priceless.

What fascinated me about Connie Brockway’s “Cat Scratch Fever” was Ms. Brockway’s choice of heroine. Edith is a genius (literally) but she has almost no social skills, and there are references to Asperger’s. And yet, she’s in no way a pitiful heroine. She’s a strong woman in her own way, running the Cupid Cats shelter as well as working a full time job, and this strength makes watching what happens when someone really sees who she is very rewarding. I should warn you, I needed a few tissues for this story; certain cat stories make me cry. Having a tissue handy might be a good idea. The whole story isn’t sad, but it does add to the significance of the happily ever after.

Vicki Lewis Thompson’s “A Cat’s Game” was the story that gave me the most trouble. The heroine can have a hair-trigger temper over things that really aren’t worth the temper tantrum, and I quickly found myself annoyed with her. For example, when she finds out that the hero, whom she hasn’t seen since high school, carries condoms with him so that he can have safe sex, she hits the ceiling. His reasons make perfect sense, and I just wanted to shake her. I realize that that was supposed to be the source of romantic tension, but it felt like pointless conflict that would inevitably result in makeup sex. It also spoiled their coming together for me, and therefore the rest of the story. Those who like Hollywood romances might enjoy it, but if you like sensible heroines you might be best skipping it.

I really enjoyed the first two stories in this collection, and even if you’re not inclined to read the third one, “Cupid Cats” is well worth reading just for the first two. Wit, humor, and warmth permeate the stories, letting the magic of the cats do its work. With Valentine’s Day coming up, these are some bite-sized treats that will warm your heart.

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