Taming the Fire
Sydney Croft
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Buy *Taming the Fire* by Sydney Croft online

Taming the Fire
Sydney Croft
320 pages
April 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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In the steamy hidden underground world of London, games of dominance and submission play out. Individuals seek each other out to dramatize their desires and fantasies, even to the point of pain and torture acting as a catalyst for their pleasure. Dominating territory and men within this underground labyrinth is a murderous beast that feeds off the power of control, satisfaction, and blood to sate an unquenchable appetite.

Ulrika (“Rik”) is a wolf-shifter, at least in the spirit sense, according to the beliefs and customs of her people, a small European tribe that was kidnapped, brutally experimented upon, and swept into extinction - except for her. The abilities of her people have always been wondered about, and the object of the tests performed on them was to encourage full body transformation into the animal form with which each shared spirits. Whether the testing succeeded on Rik hasn't been determined by ACRO, but they do know that she has escaped her captors and is dangerous, deadly, and feeding off the power of Dom roles in S&M clubs. In such a transparent setting, a fake infiltrator would spook Rik in an instant. The only operative for the job could be Trance – an underground sex culture familiar as well as gifted ACRO operative with just the right talents to handle Rik in whatever form she might take.

ITOR, the ruthless and morally limited opposing agency responsible for the elimination of Rik’s people and the ultimate beast form that Rik has become, sends an operative to flush Rik out and bring her back to their facilities, or die. However, ITOR makes a fatal error in sending an operative who is a known double agent. They will soon suffer more losses of their interests as the tangled web of deceit and confusion continues to unfold.

Past wrongs, unintentional mistakes, and misguided trust sever the newly bonded emotions and relationships forming throughout the complex character storylines and overall gripping plot. Rik’s unfortunate traumatic past has led to her rather chilly welcome by many of the ACRO operatives, as well as the betrayal she suffers when she realizes Trance’s role in her capture and imprisonment. Her wolf self will protect her at any cost, and she no longer has the will or desire to fight or reign in the beast that is such a danger to the lives of anyone near. Rik’s life may very well be ended by the only daring act she has left to make: loving someone.

Croft's always-enticing spy series centers on the rare and unusual talents of the operatives working for the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives (ACRO). The storyline behind the many operatives’ lives, both personal and professional, has been developing over the series' many previous installments. In this particular novel, missing operatives are re-introduced, new ones are brought forth, and mysterious unknowns surrounding key characters are finally brought to light. Of course, the usual hot and steamy interactions are also up to par for the duration of the read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Sonia R. Polinsky, 2009

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