A fresh twist to a werewolf love story

untitledTITLE = TANTALIZE

AUTHOR = CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH

GENRE = SUPERNATURAL, FANTASY, WEREWOLVES, VAMPIRES

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9, 10

Quincie Morris has an unusual life. Despite being still in high school, she part-owns, part-runs a restaurant, one which has been in her family for years. Her parents have died so her guardian (who also helps her run the family restaurant) is her young uncle, barely out of college himself. Oh, and she is in love with Kieren, a werewolf hybrid, who seems to be keeping his distance from her. Does he not love her back??

Her life gets even more complicated when her beloved chef, Vaggio, is brutally murdered, and the prime suspect may well be her beloved Kieren. Then Quincie meets the new chef… and maybe, just maybe, she is falling for him? Is he just the person she needs to help her get over Kieren…or is her trust in him not only misplaced, but potentially dangerous??

Despite the central (forbidden) love triangle, this is not just another werewolf/vampire story. This is partly the location: Austin, Texas. It is also partly the structure – as befits a novel that is largely set inside a restaurant, the novel is divided into menu sections: antipasto, primo, secondo etc. It is also partly the inclusion of unusual supernatural shape shifters (such as werepossums and werearmadillos) as featured characters.

There are several twists and turns in the novel especially as it reaches its climax that will keep the reader eagerly turning the page, right up until the end. A fun read indeed.

And if you enjoy this novel, why not take a look at the story from a different angle: a graphic novel  which tells the story from Kieren’s point of view: “Tantalize: Kieren’s story” (written by the same author and illustrated by Mung Doyle). Read a review on The Graphic Shelf blog.

Recommended (dma) ****