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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Roman's Gold
(Underground Heat Book 1)
by Ann Gimpel

Travel into the future where a new law dooms shifters to life on the run, or worse. Most will be captured and sent to prison, many will die along the way, and the lucky few will find their way to the underground and the promise of safety. Ann Gimpel spins a sexy tale of danger, passion, and love in Book 1 of her new paranormal shifter series, Underground Heat.

Once respected members of society, shifters are running for their lives. In a futuristic world where resources are scarce, Kate uses her human form to work as a sex surrogate. Furious at what looks a lot like genocide for her people, she joins the shifter underground.

Devon’s been a cop for a long time. He has shifter blood, but not enough to change into anything; at least not until the police department insists on a series of infusions to make him better at tracking shifters so they can be imprisoned—or killed.

Devon’s latest assignment is Kate. From the moment he sees her, he can’t get her out of his mind. The line between hunter and hunted thins, blurs, and finally disappears. Kate and Devon defy the odds. Will their passion save them or doom them forever?

Content Notes: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Dystopian, Enhanced Humans, Magic, Hot


Roman's Gold is a futuristic paranormal novel set in a dystopian North America where shape shifters have been outlawed and are being hunted by the government. The story is the first in the Underground Heat series by Ann Gimpel. The author packs action and a whole lot of sizzling hot sex into this fantastic novella.
Cat shifters in particular are a personal favorite of mine, and mountain lion Kate Roman has all the makings of a feisty leading lady.  By day, she works as a sex surrogate. By night, she acts as an operator for the shifter underground, helping persecuted shape shifters of all types escape from government prison camps. Kate is smart, courageous and resourceful. Ann Gimpel puts a new spin on shifters: human and animal are "joined" but retain separate and distinct identities.  Human and animal share a telepathic link. Kate and her cat engage in some hilarious exchanges that really brings an added layer of humor to the story.

Devon Heartshorn is a cop who hunts shifters for the government. He is half-Native American, and his mother was fifty percent shifter.  He has received blood infusions to make him a better bloodhound by enhancing his natural senses. However, the injections happen to have additional side effects that soon turn Devon from the hunter to the hunted.  Initially, Devon is something of a gray hero, because he has actively participated in helping the government round up shifters. However, he changes thanks to his attraction to Kate and tries to protect her prior to discovering the effect the injections are having on him.

Kate and Devon share great chemistry. Their emotional bond is tender and compelling, and the sex scenes are highly erotic. One scene in particular, when the shifted cats continue to have sex, left me blinking in surprise, but mostly because it's not something I've encountered before even in paranormal erotica. (More, I believe, due to reticent publishers, than authors). The love scenes are detailed and tasteful. There are sex scenes involving the hero/heroine and others.

Overall, the story doesn't delve too deeply into its futuristic setting, although, a couple things did throw me for the loop-d-loop. References to hover vehicles that seem to zoom through the sky like aircraft furrowed my brow. Likewise with the description of a concrete wall around Berkeley.  (I'm a resident of the SF east bay so I'm intimately familiar with the urban sprawl that is the Oakland-Berkeley area and I have trouble envisioning a wall containing the city.) Aside from a couple little nit-picky things, I had no trouble becoming completely engrossed in the story and following it through to the exciting ending.

Ann Gimpel has a smooth, strong writing style. Each of her characters possesses a distinct voice and she employs good pacing, mixing actions sequences with sex in a manner designed to keep things flowing. It seems like the government of Ann's world must have created a real problem for itself by injecting so many highly trained cops with shifter blood, so I'm looking forward to finding out what the future of the Underground Heat series holds!

So if you're looking for a red hot paranormal erotica novel, look no further.  Just make sure you've got a willing partner on standby... Or a really cold shower!

I purchased my copy of Roman's Gold on Amazon. The author did not request a review.

About the author:
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent, who practices in a very isolated area high in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago.

For a complete list of Ann's short stories, novellas, and novels go to her website at and click the link on the home page.

Look for Fortune's Scion, a "new adult" fantasy novel coming this July from Desert Breeze Publishing and Earth's Requiem, the kick-off volume in the Earth Reclaimed Series coming in early October from Musa Publications.

More paranormal romance from Liquid Silver Books is on the way as well. Dancing in the Flame, Alpine Attraction, Roman's Gold, and Alice's Alpha will release soon.

About the reviewer:
Melissa Snark is an erotic romance and paranormal fantasy author. To learn more about her writing, visit