Hunting Kat - P.J. Schnyder
This review was originally posted at The Book Pushers. Darah is a merc who is tricked to spend some downtime at a space-station by her shipmates and commanding officer. She is not entirely happy as she doesn’t want to let her hair down and elax. Kaitlyn soon finds her relaxing time has gone out of the space-station view window when she encounters more than she expected in her down-time during a bar-room brawl. There she meets a sexy Lieutenant Christopher Rygard, who has reached the end of his tour, and sexual sparks collide amongst each other in the midst of flying fists, a breakout and angry aliens to boot.This was a fun novella which also had emotional depth and rich characters and for a short book it definitely packed a punch. I liked Kaitlyn, who is pretty crotchety and socially awkward and finds it hard to entrust people, but she is very loyal to those she chooses to trust. The reason why she’s distrustful and cautious is due to a painful past where she was raped and tortured and also experimented upon which has transformed into a cat-shifter during a mission. But when she encounters Chris Rygard, an attraction sprouts up immediately and it was fun to see Kaitlyn’s gruff and tough exterior cracking, and the vulnerable woman beneath coming out to play and flirt, which is very much like her inner cat! However, their passionate interlude is rudely interrupted when a group of feline aliens demanding revenge on Chris. The aliens who found Chris responsible who got in bit of trouble during his last mission, which involved collecting a package that turned out to be cubs taken from their planet, it is up to him and Kaitlyn — who offers to help retrieve the cubs to avoid their ire.The tension between Chris and Kaitlyn was very sweet and palpable and their love scenes which helped to reawaken her sexuality was sensitively and passionately portrayed, and hawt! I think this was highlight of the book, because Kaitlyn was such a closed off character from the beginning but after her time with Chris, there was change in her emotional outlook and I loved how she evolved from her older self.I also liked how Chris interacted with Kaitlyn, because he was really sweet and sensitive towards her, although I did get frustrated with him later on when made the wrong assumptions about her and never really made up for his arsey behavior. I also wished he was fleshed out a bit more because I felt that he wasn’t as developed as much as Kaitlyn’s character and I think the momentum in their romance towards the end kind of lost its edge. I also felt that he never really became much of a focus towards the end of the book, especially with the rescue of the cubs.Hunting Kat was an interesting and appealing novella for me, not just because its sci fi with a sexy romance, and I am such a sucker for those! But the world-building was well thought out although I wished there was more background on the captors who experimented upon Kaitlyn and the reason why there was a conflict. The supporting characters’ also added colour and depth to the story, most especially Boggle, who is the geek, with the same social skills or lack of them that Kaitlyn has – I really loved the scene when they first meet.Nonetheless Hunting Kat had some surprises that I didn’t really expect that I would like, but I did because in a lot of ways this was more than a romance. I have to warn readers who do like their traditional HEA, Hunting Kat does not have one, but I think P.J Schnyder makes it work. Because there was a HEA and it was with Kaitlyn’s character, the book ends realistically about her admitting she may not entirely get over her past, but she has hope and there is a Happy For Now with Chris or the potential of that and I really like that message.Although I would have preferred to have a HEA, but I really hope that there will be more to come with this character and world, because I think this was more of an introduction to this universe and characters and I think Kaitlyn was a great character and I think there is potential for future stories about her and her crew.I give Hunting Kat a B -