The Animal Under the Fur by E. J. Mellow

Posted March 29, 2017 in Book Review / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
The Animal Under the Fur by E. J. MellowThe Animal Under The Fur by E.J. Mellow
Published by Four Eyed Owl on March 30th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science fiction
Format: eARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.
The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.
Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.
The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.
But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.
The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

Main points

I particularly enjoyed this one. Action romance indeed. I usually enjoy these kinds of stories, especially the hate-to-love sort of thing. I think it’s hard for most people to resist that.

I guess that’s as good a place to start as any. The important thing to note is that it wasn’t too fast. Too often, authors know that we really just want them to get into it already, so maybe by around halfway (if not sooner) things start changing. But not here. No, things didn’t really pick up until well into the three-quarter mark. It was a definite slow-burn, and even then it wasn’t a flipped-switch kind of thing. There was still uncertainty. It isn’t easy to shed your past, and that was very clear here. It was a good blend of all the personalities that collided when they (Carter and Nashville) did. The ending wasn’t too cookie-cutter either, which is great for a standalone. Of course you want it to be wrapped up in a nice bow, but you don’t want it to be too easy, because life isn’t easy. (Unless you’re a glutton for fairy-tale happily-ever-afters, which I totally am, but this story was far from that.) But let’s back up, and start (or re-start) with the basics.

Nashville. 3. Whatever you want to call her. She was one cool cat. I mean, who wouldn’t envy her? Genetically superior and gorgeous. I really liked the natural circumstances or her existence. She was born, not created. Just so happened to be superior in a few ways. A few ways that made her almost impossible to get the better of, but still, it wasn’t like she was some super-soldier created in a lab for that very purpose. Naturally she ended up being used for typical purposes, but without that, where would our story be? She was understandably closed-off, but it wasn’t off-putting. She generated respect from me more than anything else. Of course I liked her, but would we have gotten along? Probably not easily. She and I are a bit too similar in some respects. I’m not Ceci. I may not be A+, but I’m definitely a type A personality and I would not like feeling inferior. Somehow a lot of men seem to find that a challenge they’d be happy to take on. Carter certainly did, whether he knew it or not for a long time. As for him, I also like how normal his existence was. He was human. A skilled human, but still pretty normal. It was interesting to see them contrasted side-by-side. A superhuman and a normal human, both dealing with difficult pasts and new feelings. And each other. It was neat. I guess I liked him too. He does seem the type of man I’d like, but it just didn’t click with me the way it clicked with Nashville, so I’m happy to let her have him. I think it’s because it was hard to see him as her equal. There were too many ways in which he was not. And why did he have such a better handle on his emotions? Why was he so much better at expressing things? That was another nice twist to the story—for once, the man is more eloquent with such things and the woman is better at physical communication. I appreciated that.

The plot was good as well, though there was that lagging middle section where nothing much seemed to get done. I mean Carter and Nashville could figure themselves out a tiny bit more, but the time didn’t seem like it was being used for that (which would have been cliché anyway). I can forgive that since there was enough action at the beginning and end. It was still a page-turner. There was one kinda-unsurprising plot twist that did actually make things a bit interesting. But I was glad things wrapped up how they did. It could have ended a multitude of ways, but for a standalone I think this was best. A couple things were convenient, but the important stuff was handled well (in a nuanced manner).

All in all, I really enjoyed this. It reminded me why I love standalones, because it had everything it needed to make a good and memorable story. Not too short and not too sweet, but just a very satisfying book. Oh, and it was funny, too. And filled with little details designed to bring normalcy into the chaos, like pleasant descriptions of places and Nashville’s Scrabble obsession. A very well-rounded tale.

  reaction upon finishing


this book in one word


About E.J. Mellow

I’m the author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. When I’m not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, I can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.

Overall: five-stars


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