Always Follow Your Goat by Nora Roth (review)

Tagline: Experienced camp counselor who is also a nervous fox shifter lead nicely astray by a goat

Always Follow Your Goat Book Cover Image

Title: Always Follow Your Goat 
Author: Nora Roth
Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Short Story (9 k words, 23 pages)

Series: Walk on Wild Side

Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-504-5

Also available:  Walk on Wild Side Anthology

Rating:  star star half-star  (2.5 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: Newly minted veterarian Noah Matthews is attending his shifter summer camp one last time, serving as a counselor before moving on to his first professional position.  In addition to the usual issues with a stern but well-meaning boss, teens with crushes, and camper rambunctiousness, Noah has to deal with a wandering, bleating, and meddling goat.  Of course Milly does lead him to a neighboring cabin, where a hunky neighbor is more intriguing than another round of camp politics.

Review: This story was sweet and simple. While not very complex, it does provide a nice view into the counselor’s thoughts and his mixed feelings regarding what his involvement with the camp meant to him.  The setting and the character’s changing life are evoked through Jack’s internal musings about being a camp counselor, dealing with a strong but somewhat pushy boss, and his own nervousness regarding shifting.  Milly the goat had an amusing but brief role in the story.  Shifter-human relations were barely mentioned, but just the ideas floated seemed to be potentially interesting and I would have liked to hear more (but that’s just part of the limitations of a short story). Frankly I was hoping for a bit more of the goat!

But as intriguing as I find ideas about summer camps for shifters as well as nervous and cute fox shifters to be, the story’s climax is a potential hook-up with the neighbor man.  Overall, the author painted an interesting if not overly-compelling summer camp background for what technically is an adult fling.  In reality, you could have taken the shifter element entirely out of the story and still had a nice little coming-of-age/summer camp rendezvous story, with the potential for either a happy ending or at least a fond memory.

Recommended for fans of: fox shifters; summer camp hook-ups; meddling bleaters (goats).

Explicit Heat: fire fire – One brief but explicit scene
Passion: heart  heart – a tiny bit of chemistry, present but not particularly compelling
Genre:  Adult Romance

Other Comments:
There were occasional interesting comments on the characters, the camp, and the shifter world.  I chuckled when I read the shifters referring to humans who lusted after them as “tail chasers,” in the most literal sense of the word tail. “God, he hoped Jack wasn’t a tail chaser.”

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