Tagline: Jilted fifty-something veterinarian discovers the beauty of small town wilderness, including a rare Lynx and a hunky neighbor
Cover: Catt Ford
Dreamspinner’s 2016 Daily Dose anthology includes 30 romantic male/male shifter stories released to me one per day during the month of June.
Synopsis: At fifty-five, Daniel had lost his wandering, cheating partner of over a decade, and needed a new start. Moving from the city to resume his veterinary practice at a remote wildlife reserve seemed just the ticket. His new home was plenty intriguing, including visiting wildlife, a rather rare lynx, and a sexy, mature new neighbor, Ronan.
Review: The author does a good job of taking some standard shifter themes and tweaking them just enough to make them a bit more interesting and believable. Even more intriguing, the story wraps these paranormal ideas around sometimes neglected romance themes, including mature men and a lover jilted by an ex going through a midlife crisis. For those looking for young, fresh, extra-heat this might not be quite the right mix. However, readers who appreciate a decent dose of sweetness woven into stories of slow recovery form deeply felt betrayal and restarting life in one’s 50’s, it’s a delightful story with just the right touch of bittersweet flavor. For a novella, the work does an excellent job at incorporating a good range of themes, including clumsy conversations, painful memories, and slow but steady recovery, while not ignoring lust or passion or sizzle.
Recommended for fans of: romance for the mature/middle-aged men; traditional shifter themes with a slightly different take; the sweetness of establishing a true connection after betrayal; rustic, small-town, wildlife friendly settings; a bit of reality (death and danger to animals) in a wildlife setting.
– Although not the center piece of the novella, the two quickly sizzling scenes, including a first-time together and make up sex, were nicely realistic, lustful, and plot-appropriate, if a bit brief.
– The attraction of the men seemed real. The physical chemistry was a bit understated but definitely present, and a friendlier, more deepset passion balancing vulnerabilities, physical attraction, and growing friendship blossomed slowly.
Other Comments (with spoilers):
I found this to be an excellent if bittersweet exposition of a mature man separating from a partner who took a different direction. After 14 years together, Daniel’s break-up with Kit wasn’t quick or easy for the mature man, which I really appreciated.
“He’d spent months in a fog. He’d kept wearing the ring long after Kit had made it clear that they were over. And no matter what Jonathan said, that really was pathetic.”
One of my favorite parts was the shifter reveal, believable enough and different enough to be nicely inventive and a good break from the most common type of shifter fare.
The lynx providing for his “family” was adorable – “Words didn’t say love the way mouse tails did.”