Tagline: Traumatized fox shifter too cute for the gruff, homophobic Cop
While this series would seem to be right up my alley, the first two installments were not well reviewed, so I skipped them. However, based on recommendations from friends, I took the plunge on this one and I’m glad I did.
For those who like cute shifter animals, this book has this “cuteness” in spades. The traumatized little fox at the center of the story had such an “awww” factor for me it made the entire book. The story itself was fine, and the characters interesting enough, with a homophobic cop being a nice foil for the emotionally wounded and very gay fox shifter. The result is a Gay for You tale wrapped into the “Shifters and Partners” world, neither of which are my favorite themes, but Joey the gruff cop’s protectiveness worked nicely with the adorable, hyperactive fox. There was just enough conflict to be interesting without overwhelming.
The weakest part of the book for me involved the other characters in the Shifters and Partner’s series. The couples from the first two books seemed interesting yet contradictory and not always well-written, on the one hand piquing my curiosity a bit but not enough to put them at the top of my “to read” list. But Dylan the red-head/red fox was an uber-adorable hyper-ness that worked very well for me.
The Pack Mates series include some of my favorite shifter romances. The initial scenes between Declan and Quinn in Pack Mates are among my most memorable recent reading sessions, and the climax of Wolf’s Tiger kept me on the edge of my seat.
Interestingly, the author was originally a writer of erotica, and I was originally a reader of erotica, and the initial heated scenes in the first book (Called to Mate) worked beautifully for me as an extremely emotional and cathartic moment where an Alpha wolf demonstrates care, protectiveness, and support for an abused Omega. Readers of romances found the scene to move much too quickly, portraying unrealistic physical intimacy between a new/strange and powerful Alpha moving in on an Omega with a history of horrific abuse. In other words, compared to erotica, this scene was slow-moving, careful, and came across as extremely comforting. For romance readers, the scene was too jarring.
The author revised the work, stretching out the physical encounters so the intimacy evolved at a much more temperate pace. I understand this makes sense from a story perspective, but I am still keeping my copy of the first edition, as that scene works so incredibly well as an emotional escape for me.
Also, the relationship building in Wolf’s Tiger (Pack Mates #3) worked incredibly well for me, vaulting it into my “favorites” list.
Genres: Male/Male Romance