Fieldwork by Charles Payseur (review)

Tagline: Shy shifter with a secret is thrust into a dangerous, field-agent assignment with a buff partner (who just might be a “danger” in his own way)

Fieldwork Book Cover Image

Title: Fieldwork 
Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Short Story (12k words, 38 pages)

Series: Walk on Wild Side

Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-510-6

Retail:  $1.99

Also available:  Walk on Wild Side Anthology

Rating:   star star star star  (I really liked it!)

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

Synopsis: Everyone thinks Agent Ignacio Ritter, a desk agent at the Central Xenomorph Organization, is a wolf-shifter, and he is too embarrassed to reveal the truth.  When paired with tiger shifter field Agent Reed Daily, mysteries may be investigated.

Review:  Overall, this was an enjoyable, quick jaunt into the life of an accountant with a “shameful” secret being drawn out into dangerous but important situation and exposed to a big, tough, and interesting man.  I’m a sucker for the shy, quiet protagonist being drawn out by more agresssive characters around them, and this aspect of the story worked very well for me.  As a reserved anti-hero, Nacho was not too passive, but for me had a nice balance of awkwardness with a reason or two to stand forth.  Reed was not very complex, but a pleasantly tantalizing and accepting foil for the more introverted protagonist.  The Chicago mob theme added an interesting flavor, with a shifter twist, but was mostly dressing for Nacho’s personal struggle and story.

Recommended for fans of:  Awkward, smaller, less aggressive protagonists; buff men who respect and like the quiet, little guy; a nod to Chicago mob activity with a shifter twist.

Heat: fire  –   Not explicit, but the promise of more…
Passion: heart    heart  – There clearly was some attraction between the two, and a start to some chemistry.
Genre:  Adult Romance

Other Comments:

I enjoyed the plot device regarding target practice giving the two potential partners a reason to quickly expose some of their story to each other (and the reader).  “For every shot you miss, you answer one of my questions.”


Talk Turkey by Bru Baker

Tagline: the new Windy City transplant and the helpline guy (who is definitely not a turkey)

Author: Bru Baker
Publisher: Dreamspinner (Dec. 2015)
Series: Sleigh Ride

Genre: Male/male holiday romance
Format: Novella (58 pages)

Rating:  star1 star1 star1 half-star  (3.5 stars – I really liked it.)

A sweet short story that reads quickly, it centers on a recent transplant from NorCal (Sacramento) to Chicago. Carson is a likable character (and just as inept in the kitchen as I was at his age), and readers who appreciate watching a totally clueless guy flail around in the kitchen might find him extra-endearing. The setting was cute, and the phone-flirting was nicely tempting while remaining relatively low-key. The first “in-person” meeting of the two was a little low-energy for my tastes, but their banter displayed a really nice, slightly-corny sense of humor connection that worked well for these two characters.

Being a transplant from Chicago to NorCal myself (the reverse of the characters), I loved the description of my hometown, from the L to city shopping to skiing down the streets after a massive snowstorm. (I once snow-shoed down the Chicago streets from my boyfriend’s apartment – located in the same area as the story’s protagonists – to a local supermarket after a particularly strong “storm-of-the-decade” blizzard shut the roads down.)

Another enjoyable, quick escape from Dreamspinner’s 2015 Advent Calendar. (3.5 stars rounded up to 4 on Goodreads for the sentimental Chicago snowfall and how the corny sense of humor worked for the couple)

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