“Natural Evil” by Thea Harrison is a novella that features Major Claudia Hunter, a rare female Green Beret who retired early from the Army, and Wyr Luis Alvaraz, a Peacekeeper with the Elder tribunal. Claudia is speeding across the desert in Nevada when she succumbs to an irresistible urge to come to the aid of an injured animal and becomes entangled in far more than she anticipated. A mysterious deck of Tarot cards that only seem to display the Major Arcana of the seven Elder gods indicates that Claudia will experience a life-altering event but the forty-year old woman is reluctant to believe the omens, struggling to overcome the scars to her psyche left from her tours of duty. A strong sense of duty and an inexplicable mutual attraction with the younger Luis govern her actions as she utilizes her combat skills to help him destroy an evil presence in the desert.
A wonderfully creative treatment of a familiar evil that has frequently been in the news. The definition of natural evil as something other than natural disasters but rather the tendency to perform actions that cause great harm is reflected by the behavior of the villains of this tale. There are wonderful interactions between the self-reliant Claudia and the ultra-protective Luis (I particularly enjoyed her method of eliciting proof that he was a Wyr) in this great tale of two warriors who join forces. The chemistry that arises between her characters is always irresistible to my romantic side and I especially enjoyed the balance in protectiveness displayed between these two. I always enjoy the author’s dexterity at creating a world that allows the fascinating Wyr to coexist with humans and look forward to future tales involving this duo.
Attempted Murder. Passion. Betrayal. It’s a dog-eat-dog world.
Claudia Hunter is on a road trip through the Nevada desert when she sees the body of a dog on the side of the highway. Pulling over to investigate, she quickly determines that the enormous animal is clinging to life. While working to save him with the help of the local vet, Claudia realizes there’s something about the creature that seems more. Other. Wyr. Which makes this case of animal cruelty attempted murder.
Too injured to shape shift, Luis Alvaraz is reluctant to tell Claudia what he knows about his attack, afraid it will only make her a target. But the sheriff is corrupt, and his attackers know Luis is alive and vulnerable. To make matters worse, a sandstorm is sweeping into town, and if they're going to survive the night, Luis will have to place all his trust in Claudia.
Warning: Take a gorgeous man temporarily stuck in the dog house, add a strong, take-no-prisoners woman, mix in encroaching enemies and a raging sandstorm and stir to combine. Enjoy with a freshly opened can of whoop-ass.