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March 8th, 2009
Themed Reading: Rare Breed by Connie Hall

This is the first book I’ve read in my themed reading challenge. It’s taken me a while to get started because I judged two published author contests. I’m all done now and ready to face my challenges.

Rare Breed is about Wynne Sperling who is a park ranger in Zambia, Africa. There’s a poaching operation in her park and Wynne is determined to catch the poachers and toss them in jail. She’s not sure of the poaching leader’s identity, but suspects it’s Englishman Noah Hellstrom who owns a safari tour operation. Then there’s Texan Jack MacKay who is loaded with charm but raises Wynne’s suspicions. There are also rumors of a feline, said to be an ancient breed, and if the stories are true, Noah Hellstrom is determined to profit from them.

I chose this book from my to-read pile because it’s been there a long time and it fit my theme of heroes and heroines who wear uniforms. It was part of the now defunct Harlequin Bombshell line, which will give you an idea of how long it’s been sitting in my pile.

What I liked:

1. The unusual setting of Zambia and a game park. (I’ve visited Zambia and it was lovely revisiting the country)
2. The heroine’s occupation –a woman park ranger in Africa.
3. Wynne’s weapon of choice is a slingshot, and she’s very proficient with it.
4. The distinct African flavor of the story. I could see the setting so clearly, feel the heat and the sounds of the animals.
5. Snow, the leopard raised by Wynne, and the fact Wynne allowed Snow to return to the wild.

What I didn’t like:

1. This wasn’t really a romance.
2. Although we were left hanging about the identity of the poachers, it was pretty easy to guess the identity of the poacher and the good guy undercover.

Would I read another book by Connie Hall? Yes, definitely. I had no problem with the writing style.

7 comments to “Themed Reading: Rare Breed by Connie Hall”

  1. Sounds like an interesting book.

  2. Good review!
    Enjoy the rest of your day, Shel.

  3. Enjoyed reading the comments. I think some authors are trying to get away from writing romance books. The premise of this one sounds interesting.

  4. It sounds like a nice premise. But I wonder about these books sometimes– why isn’t the romance really there?

  5. I like the premise and that it takes place in Africa. If the romance isn’t in the book, why did Harlequin publish it?

  6. Interesting-sounding book.


  7. I think part of the reason the Harlequin Bombshell line failed was that some of the books weren’t romances. Readers are used to a traditional romance from a Harlequin line and therefore the line wasn’t a popular one.

    Although last year I read a lot of urban fantasy I’ve slowed a little because so much of it is light on the romance and doesn’t appeal as much to me. The ones I do enjoy have a distinct romance thread.

    With this particular book, the slight romance thread didn’t really pick up until the last chapter, which was a bit late for me. I really did enjoy the African setting though. I wish there were more settings outside of America and England. New Zealand for instance. :mrgreen: