Synopsis from Goodreads: Unleashing your inner tigress isn't easy when you're a doormat by nature! Still, after escaping a wretched marriage to a cheating SOB, Dallas party planner Naomi Delacroix isn't about to let another man sweet-talk her into sheathing her protective claws. Not even hunky millionaire Royce Powell, who's hired her to arrange his mother's surprise party. Even if he does make her purr like a kitten with one heated glance...
Royce claims he's been in love with her ever since she threw a party for one of his friends six months ago. But if that's true, why is this incredibly eligible CEO currently taking applications for a wife? Despite herself, Naomi is tempted to fill one out. But can her inner tigress believe a man might change his stripes?
Stats for my copy: Trade paperback, Harlequin Enterprises, Limited, 2006.
How acquired: Bought.
My thoughts: Naomi has been burned by a cheating husband, and now that she's divorced she's determined to never trust another man. No dating, no falling in love, and definitely no getting married again. Royce saw Naomi across the room at an event she planned for his friend's sister, and six months later he still can't get her off his mind. He arranges for his mother to contact her to plan her “surprise” birthday party, and from the minute he gets her into his life he's determined to keep her there permanently.
I felt for Naomi. I empathized with her, I was right there beside her, agreeing with all her internal thoughts and reasonings. Neither of my exes (one marriage, one long-term relationship) cheated on me (that I know of anyway!), but cheating isn't the only way a jerk of a man can screw you over.
Naomi narrates the story, so we are privy to all of her thoughts and emotions. Watching her deal with Royce, put up walls only to have him knock them down, was incredibly entertaining. She's fun, and funny. She's embarking on a career that she loves, and is good at, but in her personal life she's unsure of herself. She's reading a self-help book, about unleashing your inner tigress, which causes her to have some funny internal conversations with her own tigress. I really liked Naomi.
There's a subplot about Naomi and her mother believing her step-father is cheating and Naomi trying to get proof that was also pretty funny, especially when Royce unwittingly inserted himself into her investigation.
Ah, Royce. What can I say about him besides, Yummy. He's cool and sexy, wickedly charming, and sweet all at the same time. He's pretty perfect and I was in love with him almost immediately after meeting him. Naomi's interactions with Royce's assistant are hilarious. Actually much of the book is hilarious, and I laughed out loud a lot. All of the secondary characters are wonderfully written.
I'll admit I'm not that crazy about the cover, and if it'd been written by some author I was unfamiliar with or wasn't a huge fan of I may have passed it up. I've only read one other book by Gena Showalter, but I loved it (THE STONE PRINCE), and ever since I've been snatching up anything I come across with her name on it.
ANIMAL INSTINCTS is a bit on the chick lit side, which may not appeal to everyone, but don't let that put you off if chick lit isn't your thing. It's a genre I used to read a lot of in my 30's, but as I've aged I began to feel I'd outgrown it. But you never outgrow fun, breezy writing with fantastic and believable characters and a story that keeps you up way past your bedtime two nights in a row!