by Cathryn Fox†
(Berkley Heat, $14.00, NC-17) †ISBN 9780451227942†
Jaclyn Vasenty is making some big changes in her life. The privileged Chicago socialite is giving up all vices, which mainly includes kinky sex, and turning over a new life. She owes so much to her adopted parents who rescued her from foster care. Now itís time for Jaclyn to turn her back on her deep sexual nature and take over as the head of her familyís company, Vasenty Cosmetics, and save one of their stores from closing in the small town of Serene, New Hampshire.

Things in Serene are not what they seem because the rustic town is full of supernatural creatures such as vampires, witches and shapeshifters. The community there doesnít take kindly to outsiders, especially humans, and will do whatever they can to chase Jaclyn out. If she doesnít, then they will change her into one of them. Slyck, the owner of the only nightclub in Serene, isnít too happy about Jaclyn either, but doesnít want to take such drastic steps to keep her in line. As a panther guide, Slyck is an Overseer who must keep his brethren in line and keep order, as well as making sure their existence is kept a secret from the rest of the world. He is also worried that Vall, the lycan (werewolf) Sguide for the Eastern Chapter, which is the East Coast, will go after Jaclyn. Slyck takes it upon himself to watch over Jaclyn.

When Jaclyn and Slyck first meet, there are major sparks between them. Jaclyn is worried because she wants to be a good girl, but whenever Slyck is around, he makes her throw all her inhibitions out the window. Slyck becomes so obsessed with Jaclyn that he decides she may just be the woman he has been waiting for all his life. And when he and Jaclyn act on their desires for one another, he knows that Jaclyn is his true mate. He comes to the conclusion that she is the offspring of a panther who left Serene years ago. If the townspeople figure out what Jaclyn really is, they will eliminate her because of her father who went rogue and left the community. Slyck wants a future with Jaclyn but she thinks heís crazy with his talk of men and woman who change into animals. Then Vall decides heíll turn Jaclyn into a lycan by biting her and itís up to Slyck to put his life on the line for Jaclyn, who tries to ignore her true nature and what Slyck really means to her.

Instinctive is a hot and sexy book even though I found humor in the heroís name being Slyck. When I was able to get past that bit of funny, I found Instinctive to be an enjoyable read for the majority of the story. I really liked how Cathryn Fox created a sexually assured woman who enjoys sex and wonít apologize for her wants and desire. The passion and lust between Jaclyn and Slyck oozes off the pages. These two do everything and anything together and it really works, even though some of the passages seem a bit purple in their description with mention of certain fluids leaking and dirty talk.

Serene has a nice small-town feel to it with some interesting characters. Vall is your typical egocentric villain who wants power and prestige and will do whatever he can to get it. Also Jaclynís new friend, Sunray, a lycan, is a great support for Jaclyn. I was a bit turned off when Ms. Fox decided to have Sunray join Jaclyn and Slyck in their bed as a way to comfort Sunray. Up to this point, Jaclyn is only interested in men and never gives an inclination that she would be attracted to another woman. That came out of left field and it left me scratching my head because I really didnít see the point of it.

Cathryn Fox can sure write some kinky hot sex and I definitely found that in Instinctive. The underlying suspense plot was a bit lacking because of all the emphasis on the sex between Slyck and Jaclyn, but for what itís worth, Instinctive left me satisfied.†

--Catherine Anne

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