Toxic is an interracial paranormal romance with a fast paced and entertaining story line. Briony is a young veterinarian with her own small practice, a gift for soothing animals, a love of chocolate, and a crush on the local ranger Rico. Rico is the ranger who runs the local wildlife rescue with a true understanding of animals since he himself is quite in touch with his own "wild" side. Rico also has an unhealthy attraction to chocolate that will lead him into trouble as well as a healthy attraction to the local vet who smells like the chocolate that he unsuccessfully tries to stay away from.
For such a short read McBride has introduced a host of interesting characters. Dionne, an ex-military woman with a convoluted and complicated past, who adopts Briony and her brother Kendall under very unusual circumstances.You do not want to cross Ms. Dionne! Kendall, Briony's brother is a highly intelligent medical intern with psychic abilities that make him highly sensitive to touch. Chase, the alpha of the local rag tag shifter community that has taken in many emotionally and physically damaged shifters who have escaped or been rescued from the Abaxas organization that abused and experimented on them for years. Finally, Sage, a shifter whose only salvation has been the role of Beta to Chase and the support of the small shifter community that he has become a part of.
I do not normally read books this short because I usually find them unsatisfying, yet this little gem offers everything that a lengthier book would offer, The ending definitely leaves the door open for future stories and I am looking forward to more from Belinda McBride. This is definitely not the first or only book by McBride, however some of her other titles are M/M and all seem to be firmly in the erotica genre.This book does have steamy scenes and very light hints of BDSM, but it is by no means hard core. The sexuality of some of the characters do seem to be fluid; however there are no overtly sexual scenes between members of the same sex in this one, it is alluded to so if that is your line you've been warned. That's quite a bit packed into 141 pages!
This is a substantially expanded and revised version of the short story Sex and Chocolate: Toxic which was previously published.
There are three things that Dr. Briony Theale loves. Her job as a veterinarian, a good bar of rich, dark chocolate, and Rico, the ranger in charge of the Wildlife Rescue center. When a casual dinner with Rico turns surprisingly intimate, Briony realizes that she might just have a chance with him after all, if only she could lose a few pounds. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, but Briony goes cold turkey, and swears off chocolate forever.
Rico Montgomery fell hard for Briony the first time he set eyes on the curvy little doctor. Her rich brown hair and cocoa skin trigger cravings that he can barely control, and her fragrance is like the sweetest, richest chocolate he’s ever scented in his life. That’s a bad thing for Rico, because to a werewolf like him, chocolate is literally a toxin. After his pack warns him off the very human doctor, Rico finds himself even more drawn to Briony.
Rico can’t live with it, and Briony can’t live without it. And when a certain wandering wolf finds a bag of chocolate in the trash near Briony’s clinic, these two will find out just how toxic love can be.
This is Book 1 in the Truckee Wolves series. It follows Educating Evangeline (published in Doms of Dark Haven) and precedes Hunting Holly (published in Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Night).