Reviewed by Joy
Romantic Science Fiction Mystery
Vivianne is recovering from an auto accident in which she lost her lover and her unborn baby. House-sitting her brother Davis’s apartment while he is away should give her plenty of quiet privacy. But no, suddenly Vivianne is attracting all kinds of interest. Her own uncharacteristic behavior has allowed the mesmerizing, possibly sinister Max into her life. Worse, though Vivianne doesn’t know it yet, one of her many nosy neighbors longs to detach her head and add it to a private collection.
Anthropology is the key. Vivianne’s whole family is fascinated with it. Her brother Davis is an author who specializes in Neanderthal Man. His writing partner Claude has come into possession of a Neanderthal skull that he probably shouldn’t have, and he asks Vivianne to hide it for him. It could revolutionize current thinking about Neanderthals. Max and his special friends are not about to let that happen.
Max isn’t just the hunk Vivianne thinks he is. He isn’t the desperate character Vivianne’s brother Donovan thinks he is, either. Max is on a mission, a mission in which Vivianne should have no place: protecting his beleaguered people. By the time Max’s mission is done, Max is the only person who thinks he and Vivianne belong together.
Author Susanne Marie Knight has done a convincing job of making the exotic Max as hypnotic and flat-out irresistible as he needs to be, to accomplish everything he is called upon to do. Max isn’t only a sex hunk, he is smooth, educated, and well traveled. He can communicate mentally, and his sense of smell gives new definition to the word “intimate.” Knight will have readers knocking on her door asking where they can get their own Neanderthals.
In addition to Max, Vivianne has a flock of friends to turn to in her tough times. Vivianne’s identical-twin brothers, her husband-hunting friend Fran, and Max’s cat Eins with his divided loyalties all contribute to the workings of fate – fate being the saving of Vivianne so she can be with Max. Her associates are amusing, even at their most irritating. Max’s friends, on the other hand, are Very Serious People. It isn’t easy for Max to have a personal life when The Mission is All. It keeps the other Neanderthals from having as much dimension as Max does.
COMPETITORS! is well thought out. Knight has more than a superficial knowledge about Neanderthals, and she has used it to shape her what-if into a fun, original plot.
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