Review: Keeping Karma by Tory Temple

Keeping KarmaRating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Alex is studying to be a veterinarian and when he’s not going to class, he works the overnight shift at the emergency animal clinic. It does come in handy that he can hear the thoughts of the animals and he’s had this ability since he was a kid. Alex’s home is filled with animals that constantly fill his thoughts, including one feisty ferret named Karma.

Dylan is an animal control officer with an injured fawn and his first stop is the clinic. His next stop is breakfast with Alex. The attraction is hot and they become close quickly. But Alex has to keep his abilities with animals to himself and he is also trying to keep Karma a secret as pet ferrets are illegal in the state of California.

Adding to the stress of Alex’s life is a devious co-worker not only threatening him, but the animals at the clinic. Alex plans to let Dylan in on his secret, but when an animal in trouble has Alex collapsing, he has to hope Dylan will believe him when he learns the truth.

I chose this book solely for the author as I have enjoyed previous books written by Temple. I was hesitant of the subject matter since it had the potential to become increasingly silly, which isn’t my taste. But while it didn’t go in that direction, this may be the first time I say that the purpose of this book escapes me.

I never felt a connection with these guys or the story itself. Their relationship was almost purely physical and I still wasn’t feeling it. They meet for breakfast and then hook up. Then, their main interaction throughout the rest of the book is that they have sex. They don’t go out on dates, they have sex. They don’t have any major conversations getting to know each other, they have sex. Alex moves in with Dylan and they have more sex. When Alex goes on a ride along with Dylan at work they talk about the next time they can have sex, only to take a work break so they can, of course, have sex.

The main point here was supposed to be that Alex could hear the thoughts of animals. The thoughts he heard were basic in the form of hungry, tired, cold.  The animals all had single thought word bursts, which didn’t really add anything for me. Then, when Alex and Dylan were having their many intimate moments, they began speaking in one word bursts as well and it all started to run together.

Alex is a veterinary student and his primary job is supposed to be to work the front desk at the clinic, but the doctors allow him to assist them as needed. The tech job is the job he wants, but he hasn’t finished school yet. The clinic then hires Gordon, who is Alex’s nemesis as he is threatening and attempting to blackmail Alex for that position, yet Gordon is not a technician either. This entire side story with Gordon didn’t add anything to this book.

Dylan doesn’t know Alex can hear animals until well into the book. When he finds out, he doesn’t believe him. We are then told that things become distant between the guys, but they never discuss it and then it’s dropped.

The title here is Keeping Karma and Karma is Alex’s pet ferret. The idea being that Alex has to hide the ferret from Dylan as he’s an animal control officer. Dylan sees Karma early on in the book and doesn’t much care that Alex has her. The main issue shown was that Alex doesn’t have the proper space or time to devote to Karma and was always trying to get her back in the cage that she escaped from as her thoughts turned to play play play. There was never an instance shown where Alex was in danger of not being able to keep Karma. Having this as a title was then perplexing and given Alex’s schedule, perhaps he really shouldn’t have kept Karma and even the guy on the cover is holding a rabbit.

Lastly here, this book is a rerelease and was originally published in 2009. There were dated references to MP3 players and CD towers and, well, if you’re going to republish a book as a new release, why not make a few changes to make it current? I have enjoyed other works by this author but this book was a disappointing miss for me.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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