Bye-Bye Birdie by Lex Chase (review)

Tagline: Jilted at the altar, parakeet shifter seeks solace on a cruise only to run into his ex and extreme danger – will the  iguana shifter’s heroics be enough to save all that is at risk?

Bye-Bye Birdie Book Cover Image

Title: Bye-Bye Birdie 
Author: Lex Chase
Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Short Story (10 k words, 39 pages)

Series: Walk on Wild Side

Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-497-0

Retail: $1.99

Also available:  Walk on Wild Side Anthology

Rating   star   star   star  (2.75 stars – It was o.k.)

Dreamspinner’s 2016 Daily Dose anthology includes 30 romantic male/male shifter stories released one a day during the month of June.

Synopsis: Christopher Robin and Dashiell Hammond couldn’t be more different. Dash is an iguana shifter who provides aid for natural disasters far and wide, but Chris is a flighty parakeet shifter who can’t find his way across town without Google Maps. To Chris, Dash is a superhero, but he spent more time saving the world than saving their relationship.

Review: An interesting and evocative exploration of a split up (basically divorced) couple thrown back together in less than ideal, indeed dangerous situations.  The heart of the story is working through the relationship issues of a broken 12-year engagement, revealed in drips and drabs sprinkled through the narrative.  On the one hand, neither of the protagonists seemed perfect or blameless, and both clearly had been hurt by the break-up. However, it’s hard to understand just what went wrong or, on the other hand, why they stayed together for so long if the two of them really wanted such different things.  In short, while it was a fascinating glimpse at a broken but at some level still deeply loving relationship, the exposition only gave small glimpses at just how this long term relationship lasted as long as it did in the face of differing priorities.

The focus of the book is clearly Christopher’s complex feelings about himself, his lost life, and his ex-fiancé. Overall this was a sometimes fascinating look at an imperfect but usually sympathetic individual, but also oddly unfulfilling for me.  While I appreciated some of the uneven qualities in the protagonist, I did not feel to drawn into his connection with his ex-fiancé, and did not really care if they got back together or not.

Part of my disconnect may be because the danger of the shipwreck and the jungle survival seemed simplistic and not particularly compelling.  As that was not the focus of the book, it’s not a large issue, but it doesn’t do much to further the main narrative.

On the positive side, it was an interesting exploration of differing expectations within a relationship, the difficulties of prioritizing one’s partner’s needs versus one’s own, and the sacrifices required to build and reinforce a loving partnership.

Recommended for fans of: Those interested into dissecting and exploring a damaged and lost but possibly recoverable relationship.

Other Comments:
The problem with reviewing anthologies is if one wants to be complete, one reads things that may be out of one’s comfort zone or just not in one’s wheelhouse.

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