Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Little to no angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Spiked and Feathered by Jessica Walsh

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spiked-and-feathered-by-jessica-walsh-7166-b

spiked-and-featheredBlurb

Anthony’s had the day from hell at his call center job, and he plans to drink away the memory, so he finds the nearest club and gets started. Lucky for him there’s an attractive man in the crowd who’s willing to act without too many questions. A hot trip to the back of the bar and some heavy action is in order.
The next morning Anthony wakes in an unfamiliar bed to a hellish headache and the heavenly scent of coffee. He didn’t ask questions the night before, so why ask them now? Okay, maybe one. Why does his attractive one-night stand have feathers?

 

Category: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifter
Pages: 21

Review

So this was a bit strange. Fun, but strange.

I wasn’t quite sure how comfortable I was about the smexy times here. It didn’t feel great when the guy was so wasted he could barely stand and it definitely didn’t feel great in the morning.

Still, I enjoyed the unique shifter world created here – though most of it is still a mystery – enough that I’d look into more from this author in the future.

I guess I wasn’t sure what to make of this as a story. It ended as a HFN, didn’t tell much about the shifter himself or what the deal was between these two, and there were absolutely zero “feels”. Just two drunk guys having sex… so….if that’s what you’re in the mood for – give this a shot – it’s quite short and was interesting to say the least.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Heat Index Hockey m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Short Story: To Arizona by Meg Harding

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/to-arizona-by-meg-harding-7146-b

to-arizonaBlurb

Dustin Charleston has just been traded to the Arizona Hares hockey team. As an otter, he’s not too pleased by this. Arizona is dry, he’s leaving his home behind, and he has to move in with a stranger. Things take an even steeper plunge when he meets his roommate.

Chandler Kipling is the captain of the Hares, a least weasel, and he’s got a bit of a thing for his new teammate. Too bad that teammate seems to hate him. And Chandler’s romantic strategies leave something to be desired. Will Dustin be able to get the message he’s trying to send? With a little time, their nightmare might turn into a dream—if they can get past their differences.

 

Category: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shifter

Pages: 46

 

Review

This was an amazingly cute story about unique shfiters (otter, weasel, polar bear, hippo!) who are all on hockey teams. Dustin used to be in Michigan but he gets traded to Arizona. He’s upset because it’s his first trade and he’s worried about finding water for his Otter and finding new friends and also… being on a team with his nemsis, Chandler.

Well, Chandler ends up being his roomie, too and the two men instantly begin sniping at one another on and off the ice.

Eventually – the team helps them to realize why they fight all the time and we get a very HFN/HEA.

**

What I loved about this: It functioned well as a great, complete and solid short story. I never felt short-changed. It had super cute otter shifter play time in a pool! The shifters maintained some of their animal characteristics while human and they spent a lot of time as animals. (I hate shifter books that never shift!)

I thought it was great how the two finally got together – SO FUNNY and cute and sweet and sexy…

This stands out as being in my list of my favorites from this collection, it’s excellent and well worth the read. My only hope is that there will be more from this world in the future.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary DA Demi Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Medical Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Rock Solid Audiobook by Riley Hart Narrated by Joe Arden

 

audiobookreview

51ckww+yhuL._AA300_Blurb

Trevor Dixon has made too many mistakes to count. Sober for 13 months, he’s determined to do the right thing: rebuild his relationship with his family and help his brother get Rock Solid Construction off the ground. Failing them again isn’t an option. Too bad the first estimate Trevor goes on alone is for an uptight doctor with a superiority complex.
A hand injury took away the only important thing in Dr. Simon Malone’s life – performing heart surgery. He doesn’t do well with people and has no family, but being a damn good surgeon? He always had that. Now he doesn’t know who he is. The last thing he wants to deal with is the young construction worker who blows his shot at remodeling Simon’s home.
Trevor and Simon form an unlikely friendship. The more time they spend together, the more Trevor starts wondering if maybe Simon’s not as straight – or uptight – as he thought…and maybe Trevor’s new attraction to Simon runs both ways.
There are too many reasons they shouldn’t be together: They have little in common, their age difference, Trevor needing to focus on his sobriety…yet there’s something about each other that they just can’t shake. They don’t feel so lost when they’re together. But with their footing so unsteady, forming a relationship that’s rock solid seems impossible. There’s blow after blow, and the last one just might be powerful enough to crack their foundation for good.

Review

Trevor is a recovering addict working for his twin brother, Blake, doing construction when he meets Simon. Simon is a cardiac surgeon who recently lost his ability to perform surgery due to a break-in and subsequent injury.

The two form a friendship based on running at first, then watching sports and finally they find they just enjoy being around the other. Two lost souls leaning on the other.

Trevor knows he’s gay and is immediately attracted to the “straight” Simon and is shocked when the actually bi-sexual Simon kisses him.

Though their relationship isn’t easy – neither man is free from his past – they take steps to making it work until one secret from the past haunts them to the point that being together looks impossible.

**

This was a tremendously great book, made even more so by the audio. The subject matter is fairly dark, similar to Riley’s Broken Pieces stories. Both men are very well developed and three-dimensional.

The mystery/hurdle/twist that throws the couple in to separation again is (maybe) a bit predictable but no more impactful.

Audio

Joe Arden is a great new narrator (to me) and his voice is very easy to listen to. He doesn’t do a lot to make the voices different but it was easy to tell who is speaking. I thoroughly enjoyed his narration.

For both the book and the narration 5 of 5 stars, highly recommended in either form.

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Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Rock-Solid-Audiobook/B01FGC1B3G/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1465748277&sr=1-1

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book coming of age Contemporary DA Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) second chance at love Virgin

Blood & Milk by NR Walker

release day review

29825932Blurb

 

Heath Crowley is an Australian man, born with two different coloured eyes and the gift—or curse—of having premonition dreams. He also has nothing left to live for. Twelve months after having his life upended, his dreams tell him where he needs to be. So with nothing―and no one―to keep him in Sydney, he simply boards a plane for Tanzania. Not caring if he lives or dies, Heath walks into a tribe of Maasai and asks to stay. Granted permission, he leaves behind the name and heartbreak of Heath and starts over with the new Maasai name of Alé.

From the day of his birth, Damu has always been an outcast. The son of the chief and brother to the great warrior leader, Damu is reminded constantly that he’s not good enough to be considered a man in the eyes of his people. Ordered to take responsibility for Alé, Damu shares with him the ways of the Maasai, just as Alé shares with Damu the world outside the acacia thorn fence. But it’s more than just a cultural exchange. It’s about trust and acceptance, finding themselves, and a true sense of purpose.

Under the African sky on the plains of the Serengeti, Heath finds more than just a reason to live. He finds a man like no other, and a reason to love.

Review

Heath Crowley is an out and proud gay man in Australia when he is brutalized along with his lover, Jarrod, who ends up dying. Heath feels like he died right along side of Jarrod that day and mourns for a year, losing himself to his grief. Jarrod comes to Heath in his dreams and urges him to go to Tanzania (of all places) and so lost to his emotions, he pulls up and goes to live in a Maasai village.

At first Heath isn’t welcomed, but his two colored eyes (heterochromia) are a sign of “the sight” with the Maasai and he’s allowed to stay under the guidance of Damu, another “outcast”.

Damu should be a warrior but he isn’t. Instead he does the same work as the women but with grace and dignity. It becomes clear that Damu’s preference for men is the cause of his place in society.

Over the next year Damu and Heath grow ever closer and both find in themselves what it takes to heal the other. But when Damu and Heath’s relationship is found – both men have to make a decision.

**

What a brave book!

This is not a typical book by any standards. There are already people who are “upset” about an Australian woman talking about being gay in Tanzania. Well – I tell those people to read the book! Clearly NR Walker has done her research. This is an amazing look at a society that isn’t that well known (to me!) and is eons behind modern society when it comes to respect, equality and evolution of beliefs.

What made this book amazing to me (besides all that I learned about a new culture) was how beautiful an experience it was for both men. Both had so much to learn from the other. Damu makes things so simple – if you can’t change it why fight it? But Heath shows Damu that sometimes it’s worth the struggle.

Heath didn’t have anything to live for but with Damu it’s like he gets a second chance to do that which he most wished he’d been able to do.

I think the sex is handled well and is absolutely not the central focus of the story. The growth of the characters and their gradual emergence into a place where there is hope stands as the focus of this story.

If I have any complaints it’s the ending. It felt rushed in comparison to the achingly slow build up in the beginning and the slow burn of attraction in the middle. I really wanted to see more from Damu’s perspective at the end.

Highly recommended – but with a case of Kleenex!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book coming of age DA Established Couple Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Picked Fresh (Naked Organics Book 2) by Posy Roberts

release day review

30296892Blurb

 

Is five thousand miles far enough to say I love you?

Hudson Oliva loves stability. He was a throwaway teen before finding Kaleidoscope Gardens, but has since thrived at the commune. When Jude Garrity moves in, life gets even better, but Hudson still craves more. He knows he has to be satisfied with their exclusive status being temporary and that Jude will eventually navigate his full sexual awakening with their other housemates.

Hudson has a journey of his own to make. It might only require going home to settle his grandmother’s estate, but he plans to use his time away to figure out how to temper his feelings for Jude and bury his jealousy once and for all. But when Jude joins him on his trip, Hudson falls even deeper in love, especially after Jude stands by his side when he finally confronts his mother for rejecting him.

However, it’s not all hearts and flowers while they travel. They’re over two thousand miles from home when Hudson learns a ruthless corporate farm threatens the commune they both love. In order to save their way of life, Hudson must ask his mother for help. And if he wants a chance at a stable future with Jude, he has to tell him the truth about his feelings, no matter if it ruins the harmony he’s tried so hard to preserve.

Review

I love this series and Posy Roberts’ writing. Like I felt with the first book, what makes this series so special is how “normal” everyone is and also what a unique spin she has taken on the ménage trope.

I can’t really even call it a ménage –  I don’t want to spoil what happens – because it’s more than three or more guys – it’s couples and families and more – coming together as one to support one another. And be naked and smexy sometimes 😉  (There’s this one in particular I’m thinking about between Hudson and Jude and paint…. wowza!)

Without telling the meat of the story – which is riveting and emotional – all our favorite characters have some MAJOR “soul” development here. The ending absolutely surprised me – but I was “squeeeing” with excitement afterward.

It’s almost like a happy cliff hanger and I can’t wait for the third book.

If you’re a fan of the first book you’ll have to pick this up, but I don’t recommend it as a standalone – the first was too good to miss!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Dreamspinner Established Couple Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Music/Rock Star Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Absinthe of Malice (Sinner’s Book 5) by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/absinthe-of-malice-by-rhys-ford-7175-b

absinthe-of-maliceBlurb

 

We’re getting the band back together.

Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.

Review

This is the 5th in the series and must be read in order to appreciate it.

By now all four band members are in a serious relationship with a Morgan or affiliate cousin (Sionn). Damien has decided to take the band (Crossroads Gin) on the road to dive bars to give the guys a taste of touring again and to let them gel as a band.

Each guy has a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to this trip.

Damien NEEDS the band to work and NEEDS the road and all it’s emotions to feed his soul. He knows the band can do this and he loves being on stage. Yes, he misses Sionn, but with his brother Sinjun on board, he’s fulfilled.

Rafe is fighting the battle of addiction. Quinn helps him immensely, but being on the road forces him to confront demons in a much more threatening way. He knows if he fails this tour, his life as a band-member is over.

Forest is just happy as a pig in dirt to be part of the band. He’s found a home when he never thought to have one and the fact that they get to play music is icing on the cake. Connor’s support only helps and reminds him of the riches in his life.

Miki is another story all together. He loves singing and being on stage. He DESPISES the travel. He has unresolved issues that burble to the surface and nearly paralyze him with their intensity. It’s hard to be away from his cop and his cop isn’t exactly 100% behind the tour. When things go wrong along the way, Miki seems – as usual – to be the center of it. Will the band be able to stick together? Will the Morgans let their boyfriends do this? Is Miki ready for this?

**

As usual, Rhys has blown me away with her poetry and prose. She’s given us an intense look at the relationship between Miki and Damien and the music that drives them.

This isn’t at all what I was expecting. Yes, there’s a mystery here that continues from the first book and apparently to the last – but most of this is the band and what motivates them.  It was a really deep look into what makes these guys tick and it was awesome.  Unexpected but great, nonetheless.

I don’t want to give anything away – but I was surprised at where this went and where it left us. (And a little frustrated! Rhys you better get the last book out fast!)

In any case, fans of the series won’t want to miss this intimate look at the band as an entity and the close-up on Miki and Damien.

(It’s always fun to find all the Easter Eggs too…Not sure I saw all but I found some!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Insta Love m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Short Story: Of Nuts and Men by LE Franks

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/of-nuts-and-men-by-le-franks-7144-b

of-nuts-and-menBlurb

Summer break is a time to relax and reconnect at the family cabin in the Eastern Sierras. Unfortunately for squirrel shifter Jamie, his first day back is anything but restful. When his adoptive brothers can’t resist winding Jamie up and sending him on a wild squirrel chase for last season’s buried nuts, he finds himself diverted from his mission in the best possible way.

Sawyer is a man stuck in a tree with no way down, and things are about to get a little weird when one very inquisitive squirrel turns up to save the day. At least it’s not the mountain lion who chased him there to begin with. Still it takes a while before Sawyer’s convinced he’s not seeing things. By the time he’s got his feet back on the ground, it’s Jamie who needs a little TLC—fortunately for both of them, Sawyer’s tent is close by, and Sawyer has the perfect way to heat things up.

Category: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shifter

Pages: 41

 

Review

Sawyer is a botanist who gets chased by a mountain lion up into a tree while hiking in the Sierras.

Jamie is a squirrel shifter who was adopted by a family of mountain lion shifters but whose squirrel nature is a constant source of amusement and pranking for the big cats.

When Jamie is “forced” to find his nut caches he ends up finding Sawyer instead.

**

This was a story that started off with a ton of promise then sort of just stopped. We got a load of world-building – showing us the relationship between Jamie and his squirrel half, that between him and his foster brothers and even a bit between him and Sawyer – then the two MCs – Sawyer and Jamie – end up having sex and the story ends – I’m not even sure I’d call it a HFN…

I wanted to love it and was in fact loving it right up til the end when I was left scratching my head as to why it ended the way it did.

Jamie as a squirrel is fantastic and I really wanted to know more about Kevin – the mountain lion – but I didn’t know much of anything about Sawyer and didn’t really care about he and Jamie getting together. If the story had been longer I’m sure I would have but as it stands now, there just wasn’t enough to link me to Sawyer the way I’d attached to Jamie.

All in all it’s a cute story with a lot of potential.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Fated Mates Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Shifter

Wolfsong by TJ Klune

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wolfsong-by-tj-klune-7158-b

 

wolfsongBlurb

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Review

Ox lives in a small town with his mother. His father, the drunk, leaves him as a 12 year old and tells him “he’s a man now” and Ox does his best to do right by his mother.

Years later a boy named Joe shows up in town and instantly becomes Ox’s best friend.

There is a lot of drama and eventually Ox learns that the town is not what it seems.

**

I don’t want to give anything away so my summary is purposefully vague and non-committal.

I’m also going to keep my review fairly brief.

There are many 4 and 5 star reviews for this, so I’m clearly in the minority.

But… I calls em like I sees em… and I just didn’t care for this, at all.

It was full of angst, and lots and lots of words. Sometimes the words were in sentences – sometimes they were just words.

I know what effect the author was trying for but it was more confusing than anything else – to me.

I didn’t like it when Ox was “with” other people – I know that’s my own bias – but there it is.

I didn’t like the fact that there were repeated flash backs thrown in with the current story.

I didn’t like the angst.

I almost didn’t pick this up to review. I know that I love TJ when he’s funny and am not a fan of his more angsty stuff and this absolutely reeked of angst in the blurb alone – but I adore shifters and so I thought… let’s see what happens.

It was interesting and there was some really unique world-building going on, but I just didn’t care for the love story and that’s what I like most in the world – a good love story.

This was a story about Ox and his story more than anything and it involved the love he shared with Joe – to be sure – but they spent so much time apart that it didn’t meet my needs as far as a love story goes. I know this is a big diversion from the other reviews – but I kept feeling the separateness of Ox and Joe not their togetherness.  I knew they were meant to be together and that they yearned for the other, but it always felt lop sided.  Joe wanted Ox always and Ox loved Joe – but I didn’t feel the switch from friend to lover like I wanted to.  Again – could just be me.

So there you have it. Not a bad story – I can’t say that at all. Just not to my taste.

As a result I won’t rate it – I encourage you to read the other reviews and see if it matches your tastes more, it just wasn’t my thing.

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level BDSM Book Contemporary Cowboys Enemies to Lovers Exploration Geek/Jock Heat Index Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Politics Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat Virgin

Roped In by Marie Sexton and LA Witt

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/roped-in

 

30307316Blurb

Graham and his roping partner Jackson have ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. And then there’s Jackson.

Graham and Jackson have been friends since they were boys. But ever since their drunken sexual encounter the year before, things have been awkward. Graham’s accepted that he might be gay, but no matter how attracted he is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. And Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

Review

(This is a re-relase from 2014.)

Graham and Jackson are best friends and on the rodeo circuit together as ropers. Graham has always had a crush on Jackson and one night they drunkenly fool around together but it’s GRAHAM that pulls away when things get intimate. It’s put their friendship in a precarious place and though they still rodeo together, things have never been the same.

Enter Kaz. Kaz is a hippy protester animal rights advocate who stumbles into Graham’s life one night at the rodeo.   Graham offers to have a one on one discussion with him about animal rights and things heat up from there.

Seeing Graham with Kaz stirs up all kinds of feelings in Jackson, but is Graham ready to give up all he’s found with Kaz?

**

As you can guess from the title and the blurb there is a “lite” element of BDSM here. Graham needs to lose control to get over his own doubts about being gay, so Kaz ties him up first. There’s more to it than that – but that’s the gist.

Jackson and Graham’s relationship isn’t as easy to simplify – but their’s is an important one throughout the book. What I didn’t like about this book was just that. I kinda felt like a bait and switch. On the one hand most of the emotional angst is worked out between Jackson and Graham – very little happens between Graham and Kaz but sex.

The ending felt super rushed to me – and I think way too much page space was devoted to sex versus relationship building.

The writing was fine and I think this book had a lot of potential – Kaz and Graham could be a fascinating couple and finding out what happens to Jackson would be fantastic! – but as it stands I was very dissatisfied with both relationships and how things ended. I didn’t get the feeling that Kaz and Graham would make it in the long run – they’re just so different and Kaz was pretty much a judgmental jerk even still at the end.

If you’re in a mood for some interesting tied up gay virgin cowboy sex – this is the book for you – and it’s hot! – but if you want a deep – emotional – story – you might be disappointed.

(Love the new cover though!)

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Opposites attract Paranormal Politics Riptide Publishing Shifter

Wet Heat by RD Hero

release day review

Riptide Presents  

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/wet-heat

WetHeat_600x900Blurb

Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.

After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.

Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

Review

Lee is an aging omega wolf shifter. In his world only young, fertile omegas gain the attention of alphas. Lee has never wanted to settle down and actually mate any of the alphas, he just likes the chase. Now that he doesn’t make his own pheromones, he uses an artificial pheromone to attract the alphas.

When he loses his job he goes to the factory itself for the fake pheromones, Wet Heat, and gets samples as part of a mated couple tester. Though he never brings in his other half, he continues to fake the research for two years. When Cain, his research leader, finally finds out he’s been cheating all this time, the stuff really hits the fan.

**

Oh, how I wanted to like this. It was so unique and had such an opportunity to create a new shifter world, to give us this new chemical addition to spice up the traditional alpha/omega storyline, it had some very charismatic characters…

But it was just all over the place and I felt like it never found it’s footing.

First, Lee is not likable. That’s romance 101 – make your MCs (at least ultimately) likable. He’s just a whiny, bratty, slut who uses people to get what he wants. I didn’t care if he found happiness.

Second, I loved Cain but he confused me. I’d see these odd bursts of Alpha in him followed by what – is he secretly submissive? I wasn’t sure. If the story had been longer then we could have explored this further. Where it was left was just confusing.

Third, we get a little sub plot with Lee’s nephew and the maker of Wet Heat. This, too, could have really been a fascinating part of the story. It started to make a statement about stereotypes and societal expectations and the almost dystopian idea of manipulating that chemically – but then stopped before anything really happened. As a result it just drew attention away from the already rather anemic relationship storyline between Cain and Lee.

So… all in all I just can’t really say I recommend this. The romantic in me was absolutely horrified by Lee – I can’t really say if this was even an HFN based on how it ended. The shifter-story-lover in me loved the unique spin and found the possibilities in this world endless – but inchoate here.

One other thing that drives me crazy is when shifter stories have shifters who never shift.  This is one of those.  The alpha/omega thing was utilized excessively but never did anybody ever become a wolf.

So I give this a mixed bag of 2.75 of 5 stars but with a warning to the romantics in the room that it might be more like a 2.

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review