Primal Needs by Susan Sizemore

Primal Needs
Susan Sizemore
Pocket Books, 2009
370 pages

Hey, supernatural romance/fic fans–you’ll want to look at this one! If you’re sick of LKH’s Mary Sues, and are tired of LKH knockoffs that are more smut than plot, Primal Needs is a nice breath of fresh air. Admittedly, since it’s a sequel, if this is your introduction to Sizemore’s work it may take a few chapters to get caught up (as was my experience); however, there’s enough of an actual plot to give good context.

Sizemore offers a world in which there are (of course) vampires and werewolves, among others. Despite having to hide in plain sight, the various supernatural beasties interact with everyday society, as well as retaining their own unique cultures. While this book reveals more about the vampire culture in the novels than werewolves, Sizemore adds some interesting details–not the least of which being that while the vampires are matriarchal, the women actually have very little personal freedom. Of course, you know that our female vampire protagonist, Sidonie Wolf, must buck the system. What 21st century heroine would be content to sit in a guarded castle all the time birthing babies? Taking the part of rebellious youngster, she takes on the world at large, complete with heartbreak, danger, and artificial insemination. Much of the plot revolves around her reluctance to hook up once again with the werewolf who broke her heart–I’ll leave it to you to find out whether they become an item again, or whether that sexy alpha vampire that pops into the picture a few chapters in captures her interest instead.

There’s not a whole lot of sex in this book–it’s mainly of the “fade out at the end of the chapter with insinuations” variety. This leaves plenty of room for a good story. It’s still brain candy, the kind you want to take on the airplane with you–it may not be that memorable, but it’s worth a good first read. For being of the romance genre, it’s a good choice, and quite a nice surprise amid some of my recent fiction reviews.

Four pawprints out of five.

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