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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Playing Catch Up! Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch U
p Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

Tantalize (Tantalize #1) by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: February 13, 2007
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Are you predator or prey?


Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy. 

Tantalize is the first book in the Tantalize series by Cynthia Leitich Smith. There were a lot of different things that made this story unique. There was the Vampire themed restaurant. Pretty much every Were-creature imaginable appeared in this book. For example: a Were-Opossum. It's true! And, I'm sorry, but that sounds like a pretty cute creature to me. There were vampires, of course. We also have hybrids. The various critters were all pretty intriguing.

Where my interest sort of started and ended was with Quincie, the main character. I liked her in the beginning, but as I got to know her, she lost much of her appeal. She's pretty naive, and she was either shallow, or maybe she just wasn't very smart. Maybe it's a maturity thing. I just didn't understand the way she thought at times, and how quickly she could lose trust for someone she's known her whole life, and put her trust in someone she's only known a short time. Whether that person turned out to be trustworthy or not, that behavior just didn't make sense to me. Regardless, she has room for some major character growth, and I really hope she does.

There was action. It flowed quickly. All in all, it was pretty good. So, I'll be reading the next book in the series.

Lousy idea, us sitting like that on the railroad tracks. If we had had to jump, it would
have been a heart-stopping drop to the lake below. But Kieren had said he could hear a
train coming from far away, in more than enough time for us to scramble from the middle
of the bridge to safety. And I trusted him. Liked him watching out for me, too.
 To the west, the fading horizontal clouds had turned a bloody tangerine color,
fuzzy and tinged with violet, like the inside of a conch shell. So, I imagined picking one
up, a curved shell, shaking it to see if the animal within had died.
 Then Kieren's fingernails began tracing the pattern on my upturned palm, and it
was hard to think about anything. I knew it bothered him, though, my laugh line, my love
line, my lifeline. Slight and severed, all of them.
 This was four years ago, so we were in middle school, past due for handholding.
I'd been staying with Kieren's family, helping with the baby, while my folks were in
Guatemala doing whatever professors with archaeology PhDs did there. Daddy anyway.
Mama had just gone along for the ride. They'd be back the day after tomorrow, I
realized. And tomorrow could be gone in a heartbeat or two.
 “It's not just a sunset,” I said, going for poetic. “It's a moonrise, too.”
 Kieren’s nostrils flared at that, which I found exceedingly manly. Besides, I'd
always loved this time of day, late evening when the world went smoky and soft. Dusk.
Twilight. Such pretty names. We owed something to the night, didn't we?
I tried pressing my newly rounded right boob against his forearm. Even though it
was well covered in a sweat-stained T-shirt, even though the temperature had to be over
ninety degrees. I had it on good authority that most boys my age were due to go boob
crazy at any time. But my hand was all he was interested in.
 As the sun melted into the horizon, I stared into the rippling water and decided to
take the lead. If Kieren backed off, I'd make like I was joking.
 It seemed to take forever, turning my palm until our fingers aligned, rested
against one another, ready to intertwine. His face was flushed, moist from the heat, and
his expression didn't tell me anything.
 Taking a shallow breath, I went for it. There. My fingertips touched the back of
his hand. His fingertips touched the back of mine. And he was letting it happen. I was
about to say something, I didn’t know what, when distant but sure I heard the train.
 “Kieren?” I whispered.
 I’d distracted him.
A cause for celebration if it hadn’t been for the penalty.
 His head snapped in the direction of the oncoming threat, the one that would
reach me first, and his eyes in the evening light looked flat and yellow. I didn't feel the
pain when I first heard the wet crunching, didn't feel it for long even, wicked hot, turning
my sweat cold. There was an instant, just one, when I looked down at my hand and felt
the blood dripping and realized his nails…claws…had extended, piercing clear through,
five crescent-shaped punctures, catching raw muscle and splintering bone.
“Oh,” I said, like that explained everything, and suddenly, the train didn’t matter
so much anymore. Then the world swirled, faded, took me floating into the darkness. 

Check out my reviews of other books in this series!

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times best-selling author of the award-winning Feral series and Tantalize series. These adventure-fantasies were published by Candlewick Press in the U.S., Walker Books in the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand, and additional publishers around the globe.

Cynthia also is the author of several award-winning children’s books, including: Jingle Dancer, Rain Is Not My Indian Name; and Indian Shoes, all published by HarperCollins.

She serves on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books.

To learn more about Cynthia Leitich Smith and her books, visit her website & blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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