3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Fated Mates Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter Spooky! Standalone

Spooky Review: Just Like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga Narrated by Joe Formichella

Dreamspinner Presents


2nd Edition

A Sanctuary Novel

Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?

Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.

Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.

The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek common ground.

This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers romance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.

(Book reviewed here previously)

This was a lot of fun! One thing I appreciate about BA Tortuga’s shifter books is how “animal-like” the shifters are, even while in human form. They purr, growl, crave tuna, rub against one another and chase birds in the park. Sometimes the writing style reflects this – short, staccato phrases that go along with a more “simple” brain and this can be disconcerting until you get into the rhythm.

I was confused at times by the whole “mate” thing. It’s not as simple as some other shifter novels where they meet, know immediately and claim one another. It’s a bit more subtle than that, so I found myself flipping back and forth trying to figure out if I’d missed something when our MCs go from fighting to fucking to calling one another Mate.

I also didn’t fully understand the whole situation regarding Sam in the city and what happened. Maybe we’ll learn more as the series progresses? But that was not really clear. Nor was the family situation. I guess the “sanctuary” is meant to be the big adopted family but having everyone refer to one another as brother and sister (even when they hooked up) was a bit confusing and disconcerting. (I was also confused about the type of cat Sam was – the cover suggests a Jaguar but the way he acted felt more like a house cat…)

Overall, I really enjoyed this. There was a lot of sex and a lot of odd discussions but a lot of warmth and humor and sentiment as well.

I definitely recommend this to fans of shifter romances, but you might want to read a sample first if you’ve never read anything by this author before, as she has a distinct style that not everyone enjoys.
(This cover is a huge improvement over the original! Kudos!)

4 of 5 stars


Joe Formichella is a new to me narrator. Though he’s done a few audiobooks there weren’t many with reviews and though I wasn’t blown away by the sample, I wanted to give him a try.

I enjoyed this as a story and was hoping that the narrator would be able to have fun with all the humor, accents, and fun pacing BA uses in her stories. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Joe’s voice is pretty nasal. He’s got an older voice which didn’t necessarily fit the story, though he does have the “country” sound that fits the locale. He’s not a very emotional reader and doesn’t do much to add inflection to his reading, characterizations or to even differentiate between man or woman. He’s not great at “performing”, but rather reads the words.

I wouldn’t choose a book by this narrator and – honestly – I will probably avoid books if he’s the narrator because he doesn’t add anything to the story and his tendency to let sentences run on became distracting.

2 of 5 stars

Overall 3 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review


(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)



4 replies on “Spooky Review: Just Like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga Narrated by Joe Formichella”

Thanks for the reviews. Sounds like an interesting story, although I think the calling each other “brother” and “sister” might bug me . Too bad the narration was poor. I have not yet listened to anything by Joe Formichella and seems like he has some improvements to make.

Interesting concept. I had a dog and a cat that were best friends. They followed each other around and even slept in the same bed. The book sounds great.

Thank you for the book review and audio review. I read the first edition but haven’t had the chance to reread the new edition released and I haven’t given the audio a go. I haven’t listened to anything by Joe Formichella but I’m not sure i really want to at this time.

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