Rating: 4 stars out of 5
On a vacation for the first time in ages, Rick Barton is reflecting over his past and wondering what to do next with his life. Rick is just gotten out of a long abusive relationship with a man who was not only his lover but boss and owner of the house they lived in. With one punch (long over due) all that was gone, and although Rick is glad, he’s shaky about his future.
Then a gorgeous man approaches him on the beach, A flirtation leads to a romantic encounter in the water which leads to….a bite? Late Rick wakes up in the hospital to find the same man who bit him sitting in the room next to his bed. The man? Not a man, a lycan with a proposal he wants Rick to accept. Become a lycan like him and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. All it will take is another bite. Or stay the way he is and suffer the consequences. Not much of a deal, then again Rick doesn’t have much of a life and he accepts the bite and the job. Then it turns out the lycan who bit him is also his boss and partner. Has Rick exchanged one controlling lover for another?
Lycan Detective Travis Chandler is looking for that one person who could be his mate as well as investigative partner. One look at Rick Barton on the beach, and Travis knew that Rick was the perfect person for all the jobs he has in mind. But Travis didn’t count on Rick’s pain filled background or the growing number of bodies that he and Rick are called ti investigate even before Rick’s training is over.
Someone is killing the leaders of the paranormal world. It will take everything Travis and Rick have to track down the killer or killers, stop them from murdering more beings, and bring them all to justice, paranormal style. All while adjusting to each other, and for Rick, learning exactly what it means to be a lycan. There’s no time for romance, is love in the air? And can Rick sniff it out in time?
A new shifter novel and new author? Heck yeah! And A Tooth for a Fang appears to the the first in a new series called Leader Murders from Liv Olteano. At first I approached this story with a bit of trepidation, even with the shifter element. Rick Barton has been in a long term abusive relationship. His lover controlled him in almost every way becoming his lover, his boss, and yes, landlord. Then he is supposed to be forced by a lycan into a similarly controlling relationship? Hmmm, not sure how that was going to play out. But Liv Olteano takes those assumptions or perhaps expectations and delivers something entirely different.
I loved Olteano’s paranormal world that exists alongside ours. It’s ruled by The Council, whose Special Work Forces, like the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation insures the security of their society, investigates all wrong doings, and acts as law enforcement for all beings of which lycans are just the start. Lycans and werewolves (not the same here), vampires, trolls, and much, much more comprise this society, each with its own set of governing rules to follow as well. Get get a taste of vampire, werewolf, and lycan group structures as well as an overall feel to how the paranormal society is run as a whole. Turns out its pretty autocratic which goes along with how Rick is recruited to begin with.
I love the sequnce of bites that establishes a lycan and its relationship to others, including the one who bit it. First bite? Makes a recruit with options. Second bite? Makes a lycan. Third bite? Well, that’s one you will have to find out yourself. I love that Liv Olteano doesn’t exactly follow common lore here but adds her own twists to make it distinctive and inventive.
There are ghastly murders to investigate and here the sense of smell becomes both an ultimate investigative tool and powerful component to this story. Aromas of all sorts come into play here from the delightful to the nauseating and Olteano’s descriptives almost enable us to smell them all. The reveal of the culprit might not surprise you but the motive will. Loved that too.
The heart of this story is the evolving relationship between Rick and Travis. It’s sweeter than expected yet still contains enough sarcasm and snark to give it some bite. And best of all, no instant love to be found here. Instant lust? Assuredly. A slow growing friendship and trust? That comes along too. But it has to be earned, especially when you have someone as emotionally wounded as Rick is. That aspect of their relationship and this story really pulled me in and kept me involved.
I absolutely recommend this story. What a great universe Liv Olteano has built and what fascinating characters she has created that inhabit it. There’s a troll who is also the Morgue Examiner, and a werewolf nurse caught in mid-shift. They are all as delightful and intriguing as the main characters we get involved in. Olteano’s writing is smotth, the plot well conceived and the romance? Wonderful. This book exceeded all my expectations and then some. I can’t wait for more.
Cover artist: AngstyG. Love that cover, all dark and sexy! Perfect.
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press All Romance eBooks Amazon A Tooth for a Fang
Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Published September 3rd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press