“Animal Communication is the ability we all have to make a connection with an animal through the universal language of telepathy. This means we mentally send and receive thoughts, images (clairvoyant), feelings (clairsentient) and words (clairaudient). Animal Communication can also be described as deepened intuition.” ~ Rachael Millikan (Beyond Barking Animal Communication)
All of us have the ability to communicate with animals but most people have forgotten how. It's a matter of listening with your heart instead of your head. Alex Myers, of 'Keeping Karma' by Tory Temple, is especially gifted in animal telepathy. He usually keeps his skills quiet because of the negative reaction most people have when he does tell them. Alex has a relatively mundane job at the front desk of an emergency veterinary clinic. The best part of his job is helping with the animals where his telepathy skills often come in very handy in triaging their injuries into those who are seriously in need of care and those who are not. Alex is so busy between school and work, he has little time for a social life. When Dylan Travers, animal control officer, comes in late one night with an injured fawn, Alex can't help but hope that might soon change.
Alex and Dylan feel an immediate attraction to each other and soon end up going out and head quickly for the bedroom where their passion ignites in a big way. They already know they have lots of things in common, especially with their love for animals and their welfare. Even so, Alex is afraid to share his gift with Dylan and even more so his illegally owned ferret, Karma. He hides it as long as he can, until Karma gets out of her room and comes into the bedroom where he and Dylan are burning up the sheets. Instead of being upset, Dylan thinks it's funny and tries to reassure Alex that he won't turn him in. In fact, Dylan compliments Alex about Karma's ferret-friendly room that is equipped with ramps, hammocks, towers, and toys. Even though Karma shouldn't be there, Dylan takes it all in stride.
Gordon Sheer, whose mother regularly donates to the animal hospital, comes into the center mostly to harass Alex. Gordon is a homophobic bully and he and Alex can’t stand each other. To Alex's amazement, Gordon decides he wants a job there. Alex is amazed that Gordon even wants a job, period, since he has no idea he even likes animals. From what the animals are communicating to Alex, they don't like Gordon at all! Gordon gets the job and ends up doing a lot of what Alex is doing since, technically, Alex is hired for reception. Soon Alex begins to miss his contact with the animals. Knowing he still has a key, he goes into the shelter to have his lunch break. The animals are unusually distressed and are trying to warn him that things are not as they should be there. He doesn't take them seriously at first but the more frightened they become the closer he listens. Alex can hear voices and realizes it is Gordon and someone else in the animal room. Alex knows he has to do something so he dials Dylan's number and walks into the room, scared but determined to get to the bottom of what is going on. Then the man with Gordon starts choking him and Alex falls to the floor.
This is a well written, entertaining read. I was particularly drawn to the animal telepathy aspect of the story since, as a certified animal communicator, I have several years of personal experience with animal communication. Tory's depiction of what Alex experienced when the animals communicated with him are close to what actually happens. I also know about being overwhelmed, as Alex was, with so many voices talking to you and trying to hear all of them at once. I also do animal rescue and have had many ferrets in the family over the years. Tory obviously knows a lot about ferret behavior because the way she described karma was right on the money. They are funny, wicked smart, and can be quite destructive at times, but so adorable that it's difficult to stay mad at them. I despised Gordon and thought he sounded like a spoiled rotten twelve-year-old. Alex and Dylan were super hot in and out of bed and presented me with several steamy demonstrations of that fact. It made me feel a bit like a voyeur. If you like animals, ferrets in general, hot men in uniform, even hotter sex, and suspense, you may enjoy this story. Thanks, Tory, for the giggles Karma's antics gave me, the introduction to animal telepathy, and for giving Alex and Dylan their happy ending.