Review: The Shaman’s Temptation by Erin Moore turns up the heat

The Shaman’s Temptation by Erin Moore is a quick, entertaining, sexy read. It tells the story of a bank analyst, Madeleine, heading to meet with the leader of a nearby Native American tribe looking for a loan to open a casino. She’s surprised to find that his son, Tak, is the man she’s been seeing in her hot, sweaty dreams. Turns out those weren’t so much dreams but Tak visiting her in a vision state, so seeing each other in person only heightens their lust. Both have reasons not to indulge. Madeleine for professional reasons; Tak because he took a vow of celibacy to his gods/goddesses. Both connect because they are married to their jobs.

The sex scenes are smoking hot and the characters likable. However, I would have loved to see the author take better advantage of the mystical elements of the story and more fully develop the hero’s and heroine’s lives to create richer characters. Tak is a shaman, and while we see a bit of ritual, the folklore and magic is rather glossed over. Madeleine has very little back story other than her parents live in Chicago and she was drawn to Arizona. There are hints that she is somehow more than she seems but it is never clearly realized.

This novella kept my attention and drew me in but left me wishing it went deeper. I will admit I often find novellas unsatisfying for just this reason; however, not every novella makes me want to read more, and this one did. That is a testament to how engaging of a story Ms. Moore has presented.

I give this novella 3.5 stars.

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Werewolves and psilocybin and shamans. Oh, My.

Erin Moore is my guest today and she’s explaining just why we mere humans love werewolves so much.

To answer this, we have to start with drugs. Our pre-historical ancestors all stemmed from shamanic cultures, ones in which spirit journeys were regular occurrences under the influence of strong hallucinogens, of which psilocybin form mushrooms was only one. And shamans and their followers became creatures imbued with power, like hawks, eagles, bears, deer, or leopards in South America.

And wolves, of course.

These cultures celebrated (and still do) the ancient connectedness of all creatures. But with the advent of agriculture, when a more patriarchical society arose, the power of one individual shaman – not a warrior—became less pronounced. Instead, it was up to the group of warriors to gain more land for farming, and less reliance was placed on the shaman’s teachings. Even more so, the use of the hallucinogens began to be phased out: wars could not be conducted if everyone was taking mushrooms! (This is also when the consumption of mead started – a much easier intoxicant for a group.)

But something was lost when most of Western Europe took up an agricultural way of life. Gone were the days of the cave paintings of Lascauz with men with the heads of deer– no more ritual magic was practiced, no more shape-shifting.  The memory, though, remained. And in Western Europe, this became the werewolf.

As the Catholic Church gained more power, these werewolves turned into something that we all know well from the witch hunts: people who had made a pact with the devil. Magic, in all of its faces, was not to be allowed, and the werewolf became something to be feared and reviled instead of respected.

So what changed in the last couple of hundred years? What led us to where we are today – with bookshelves lined with sexy werewolves and other shifters?  As with everything, what was once taboo becomes titillating. Carl Jung would tell us that we are exploring our own shadow nature when we are drawn to these beasts, that their existences in the limens between death and life is what makes them so attractive to us. We fear our own shadow natures, the things that make us beastly, but yet we recognize ourselves in them, too.

But that cannot be everything, right? There is also something of redemption in the story of a beast who becomes man (or vice versa). In my opinion, we all want to be the one for whom the beast recognizes his humanity. We all wish to be the one for whom the beast can become man again.

And, of course, they are just so damn sexy.

 

When woman meets werewolf, the sex can drive them wild…

Morgane has problems with men. Being a werewolf, and wary of humans, it’s inevitable. But when she meets the intense and enigmatic Aelric, she falls hard. She’s never experienced feelings like this before: desperate for his touch, crazy for the feeling of his skin on hers, and ready to surrender to him heart and soul.

Aelric has never had a problem with women; he’s a master of seduction. So when his alpha orders him to seduce Morgane for information about her clan, he accepts. He’s entranced by her supple curves and soft lips, but for once, he wants more than just her body. He wants her for his mate. But he can’t reveal his true identity, or his intentions. For he’s part of a rival clan of werewolves intent on the domination of Morgane’s pack. And dark forces are gathering that might destroy their fiery relationship…

 

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Author Bio:

Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world. With two monsters and one unruly husband at home, she has to squeeze in time to write. She’s an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing.

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