“I don’t think you belong in the mafia, Dazai-san!" 

The boy, no, the young man tells him. Earnest sheen in his eyes even as his arms press stiffly against his sides and nervousness threatening to bend his back and shake his bones.

"I think,” Atsushi licks his lips and glances down at the concrete in a sudden wave of bashfulness, “I think that - I’m so sorry if I’m selfish, I have no right to be but - I believe your place is here." 

Atsushi takes a deep breath and Dazai do to. The sunset makes all the grey areas sparkle, and the yellow in Atsushi’s eyes as he looks up at him glows vigorously. "With us,” Atsushi finishes, attempting to stay calm. 

“With me." 

And, deep in that lonely hole inside his soul, Dazai yearns for that to be true.

The Animal under the Fur, E. J. Mellow

I want to thank the author for sending me an early copy of her book for review. I can’t tell you how excited and thankful I feel! Here’s a good picture of my face.

Originally posted by shawnasgonnagif

The Blurb

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

My Thoughts

Fun + Tension + Action + Romance = Perfection.

If you remember only one thing from my review, let it be that!

But truly there is so much more. The Animal under the Fur is a complex mix of spot-on writing, great characters, and original plot. Here’s me, being an exited cheerleader in the background.

I think it’s only fair that we start with the characters. Nashville has to be one of my new favourites:she’s very down to Earth and three dimensional, and truly, she’s quite the woman, tough, brave, fiery, electric and strong. I could go on forever! But Carter is not left for nothing either: he’s an ass (and I love these) and a great narrator, too! The fact that we get to read the story from both their points of view is a great element for me, and I usually really love it - I did, once again.

Taken separately, they’re great. Together, they’re perfect. They’re violent (in different ways), snappy, witty and their dialogues are written to perfection, truly! I want to be friends with both of them (from far away, though).

One thing I absolutely adored was how distinctive their voices were. Even without knowing whose narrator was speaking, I could tell it was either Carter or Nashville. This is great writing.

Another great writing aspect was the character developments. Man, these babies have come a long way by the end of the novel! As it progresses, you can truly feel that the unbreakable agents slowly start to crumble. I loved it.

One last word on characters: I loved Ceci, Akoni and Jules, and I wish I had more of them!

It was so good to be back into reading E. J. Mellow’s writing - it’s so good and addictive! But also warm, like a comfy pj. I loved the descriptions of the different settings, and I could totally feel the scenery around me. The words were great, I loved the dialogues (again), and how witty and sarcastic the characters sounded.

There were twists and turns, and I never knew where I was going, but I couldn’t put the book down for the life of me! (even at work!)

So… yeah. This book was the whole package, really. Great writing, elegant, classy and entertaining, a plot that kept me wondering, with enough frustration to make me restless and wanting more, and a beautiful cast of characters, that will definitely make my favourites’ list.

Carter is Nashville’s passport to freedom.

Nashville is Carter’s passport to trust.

Kudos Mellow, you’ve done it again!


Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.

your mobility aids aren’t ugly and they don’t make your appearance any less attractive.