A MelanieM Review: David’s Dilemma by Rae Brewer

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

“Two shifters walk into a bar…”

Jaguar Bk 4Panthera Agency Operative Johnny Walking Bear is in San Francisco for a case. A head cold is making him miserable but with the job not starting until Monday, Johnny wants to take advantage of the city and a free weekend to enjoy eating out, drinking and having lots of sex.  Especially the sex now that he is away from his family home and siblings.  Johnny wants a mate but while he’s looking some honey and mead would make this bear shifter very happy.

Cat shifter David Kern is very unhappy at the moment.  Another confrontation with his ex has David depressed and looking for a diversion.  When his friends call to invite him for a night out at the bars, not even his nasty cold can deter David from a night of clubbing and the chance for a hookup.

So two shifters walk into a bar, in this case David and Johnny.  Their attraction to each other is immediate and intense. No wonder that they end up in bed together at the end of the night.  Their night together is memorable and sexy.  Neither wants the night to be over but Johnny has a job to do. He  leaves David’s house without leaving his name or contact  information.  What neither shifter is aware of is that they are mates.  Between David’s cold blocking his senses and Johnny’s drunken state and cold, neither could sniff out the truth before they parted.

What is a shifter to do when a chance encounter brings him the very mate he has always wanted but he doesn’t realize it at the time?  Through a series of mishaps, miscommunications and wrong assumptions, David and Johnny have  a rocky road to love and HEA, one that also comes with a secret organization  with evil plans who might just be the biggest obstacle of them all.

Rae Brewer’s David’s Dilemma has some terrific elements to it.  One of my favorites is the premise.  Two shifters unable to use their senses, one because of a head cold, the other because he’s drunk, meet, connect, have great sex and then part.  What they miss is that they are a mated pair because neither could smell out the truth at the moment.  That’s funny, a great use of natural history and kind of poignant.  I only wish Brewer has used this element to its fullest promise, instead it gets a temporary treatment and then its gone.

Another great aspect of this story is the bear shifter clan that Johnny belongs to.  Here bear natural history and behavior comes across beautifully.  Large, lumbering, that Johnny is a bear  shifter is evident from his actions to his physiology.  Throw in a terrific family unit of healers and other gifts, and the package is complete.  Again, this book could have focused on the Walking Bear  clan alone and made me a happy reader.  That was a fully realized group of characters and their household was one I could have spent much more time in.

But most of this story deals with other elements.  There is the David/Johnny hookup and mishaps to follow.  That was kind of charming even though I never felt that Brewer made her panther/bear pairing believable.  Also this is the fourth story in the Panthera Agency series and the only one that I have read.  They seem to be a lesser part of this story until the ending.  I couldn’t get a real feel for what they do other than they are run by a group of shifters who help locate and return missing shifters to their families.

That agency and Johnny’s job felt less solid and less an integral part of this story than perhaps Brewer had planned.  It needed more background into the agency  and its operatives to make sense of the events that followed and to understand who all the characters mentioned fit into the story and series.  Brewer also throws in a twist that comes off as more contrived than believable.  Someone realizes they have been drugged and their reaction is almost nonchalant?  This part of the story alone called for a suspension of belief that it was never going to get, as did all the events that stemmed from that act that followed.

I wish Brewer has almost made this into a shifter romcom.  That premise just begged for a lighter treatment and narrative.  That is was bogged down in a less than stellar sort of espionage  plot towards the end made little sense  while making those elements of the story that were well done stand out starkly in contrast.  Which is did by bringing in the Walking Bear family to reintroduce a semblance of a well achieved characterizations to that chaotic ending.

So David’s Dilemma is a bit of a mixed bag here.  Some elements were wonderful, others did not achieve the same level of believability and completeness.  The decision is yours.

Cover art: Jess Buffetf.  Loved this cover.  Great job.

Sales Links:          All Romance         Amazon         David’s Dilemma

 

Book Details:
ebook
Published August 26th 2014 by Smashwords Edition, JK Publishing
ISBN139781311637376

GRL Blog Tour: Meet Deanna Wadsworth Talking Books, Eggplants and Reindeer!

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Today ScatteredThoughts welcomes Deanna Wadsworth as part of the GRL Blog Tour maginifying glass with Take a Lookfor authors.

EGGPLANTS, EGGPLANTS, AND MORE EGGPLANTS

By Deanna Wadsworth

Thank you for hosting me for the GRL blog tour! September is a busy, busy time for me. Not only are the hubby and me trying to squeeze in a few more boat trips to the sandbar before the weather turns, but I am also getting all my goodies ready for GRL.
Most of all, I am busy harvesting and preserving all of the yummies from my huge garden! If you are a fellow pinner, you can check out my “Canning and Preserving” board on Pinterest.

Today, I am currently knee deep in edits for my latest book EVERYBODY HATES FRUITCAKE from THE NAUGHTY NORTH POLE series from Decadent Publishing. I am also surrounded by jalapenos, tomatoes and eggplants.
Oooh, the eggplants.

I have so many eggplants that I really have no idea what to do with them. Yes, I did the eggplant parmesan thing, and even made ratatouille—it’s more than just a Disney movie folks! Now, I am going to can more ratatouille this weekend, and even roast some eggplant then freeze it with lemon for baba ganoush this winter.

But I still have eggplants!!! About eleven more on the vines to be precise.

That is A LOT of eggplant.

You may be wondering what eggplants have to do with writing books. Nothing, really. LOL, other than the story ideas in my mind are kinda like the eggplants in my garden this year. They just keep coming and I don’t have the time to get to all of them. I worry that if I don’t write them some of them may rot and I will lose them. Seriously, I don’t understand writer’s block because I could map out what books I want to finish/write for the next several years, but be interrupted by a hundred more ideas along the way.

So which one do I write? Which eggplant do I cook next?

CupidsWager[A]LGWell, my current WIP is the third and final book in my soon-to-be titled Naughty Cupid Trilogy. A CUPID’S WAGER came out from Dreamspinner Press last February. I always saw it as a longer story, broken up into three fun reads. Believe me, Lio has plenty more to say and he’s not done with that pierced dock of Ethan’s either, LOL. The sequel and conclusion should be out sometime next summer. Fingers crossed!

I’ll also be working on lots of edits for my Christmas story EVERYBODY HATES FRUITCAKE (coming Black Friday) from Decadent Publishing. Then there is also by next BIG book, an epic historical novel entitled WRECKED which will be available from Dreamspinner Press early this spring.

In the meantime, what am I gonna do with all these eggplants? Any suggestions? Please feel free to share a fave recipe here or send me a few pins on Pinterest.

In the spirit of food, I brought along an excerpt of EVERYBODY HATES FRUITCAKE, Book Five in THE NAUGHTY NORTH POLE series. It is currently in edits, but this excerpt shares the general feel of the story, and please ignore any typos! LOL If you are new to the series, might I suggest picking up A GIFT FOR SANTA, which is currently only .99 on Amazon. There you will learn that Santa runs a different kinda North Pole and his elves are more than just toymakers…and they all have candy-flavored cum!!!

One commenter will win one of the previous four Naughty North Pole books of their choice! Hopefully, they leave a good eggplant recipe in the comment section along with their email!
~Deanna

Everyone Hates Fruitcake Blurb:DW_A gift for Santa_SM

Ivan is a new reindeer handler at the North Pole with the unfortunate luck to have fruitcake flavored cum. When fellow elf Jimmy hits on him, Ivan fears revealing his secret and losing a chance to have a real relationship with Jimmy. 
After all, everybody hates fruitcake!
Danni’s wife Sheila is the Head Chef at the North Pole. Sheila has been on the hunt for the perfect recipe for fruitcake and neglecting her wifely duties. So when Ivan tells Danni about his dilemma, she devises a plan to solve both of their problems. 
Can these two girls help Ivan realize he is perfect just the way he is? Will Danni’s wife perfect her fruitcake recipe with Ivan’s special ingredient? And more importantly, will Ivan have the courage to take Jimmy up on his offer?

Everyone Hates Fruitcake Excerpt:

As I watched Jimmy walk away I felt a pang in my guts, paired with a powerful sense of loss and longing. Part of me wanted to run after him, but the other part of me knew that the letdown would be too much to handle.

“You’ll have to see?”

I jumped, startled as a Dökkálfar girl plopped down beside me. Danni was tan and gorgeous, with long black hair and tits as big as her heart. As one of my best friends, she worked as a dispatcher in the stable office. When I’d arrived here, she’d sort of taken me under her wing until she knew I could handle all of the rough and tumble elves working in the barns. We wrangled the reindeer and Danni wrangled us.

“What?” I asked her.

She waved at Jimmy’s retreating form, her beautiful face pursed in irritation. “You’ll have to see?” she repeated, punching my arm. “You’re a bone head.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I rubbed my arm, refusing to admit anything. “And that hurt.”

“Don’t give me that pile of Yeti crap,” she said dismissively. “Jimmy has been hitting on you for weeks, but you never take the bait. I think you must be the first celibate elf in history.”

I swallowed down the last of my cocoa, not meeting her eye. “I am certainly not celibate.”

She arched her perfectly penciled brows at me. “Well, if you don’t stop being stupid you’re going to be.”

I frowned, disliking how close she came to hitting the nail on the head of my very real fears. “Do you have something else to say, or did you just come over here to abuse me then butt into my love live?”

“No, that was just a side bar. I was actually looking for you because Sheila is driving me crazy.”

Sheila was Danni’s wife. They’d had a little ceremony a few months ago before the busy season made time off at the Workshops nigh impossible. Santa had officiated and I got to drive the sleigh, which took them off into the sunset. The two girls had shamelessly made out as the Northern Lights danced above, completely oblivious of their driver more than enjoying the show.

“Trouble in paradise all ready?” I teased. “Why should I be taking relationship advice from you then?” I nudged her playfully at the same time she faced me so I ended up jabbing her in the boob.

She raised her brows, and didn’t seem too bothered. Danni was as curvy and buxom as I was tall and hairy. The memory of those two girls hot and heavy in the sleigh on the heels of Jimmy and that damn cookie made my blood warm just a bit.

“No,” she told me. “Not trouble. Sheila is just obsessing over some lost recipe and it’s driving me nuts. You know how she gets. Like a dog with a bone.”

I chuckled, grateful to have the conversation off me. Sheila was one focused woman, to the point of obsessive compulsive actually, but I liked her.

I took a heaping bite of the pie Jimmy had given me. It was delicious.

Not half as delicious as he probably tastes.

A soft hand caressed mine. “Seriously, why don’t you like Jimmy?”

Naturally, Danni wouldn’t let it drop. “It’s not that,” I answered honestly. “I like him a lot actually. That’s the problem.”

She shook her head, her long black ponytail swaying. “That makes absolutely no sense.”

“Of course you don’t get it,” I said, brushing a lock of silky black hair out of her eyes. She didn’t flinch from my familiarity. “You’re perfect.”

Grinning, she said, “Well, that’s obvious. But it still doesn’t explain why you say you like Jimmy, yet you ignore all this advances.”

“Because I don’t know if I should do anything about it. He’ll just end up being disappointed.”

“I’m still going to go with, that makes absolutely no sense.” She gave me a head to toe onceover. I managed a smile when she tipped back to take in my ass and give me a whistle—she was such a flirt. “You’re gorgeous, Ivan. And you’re funny. You forget that I’ve seen you take care of those pathetic earthbound reindeer.”

“They’re not pathetic.”

“See what I mean? All the other Dökkálfar in the stables prefer to work with the flyers. But not you. You’re kind and patient. A real caregiver. So I ask you, what would Jimmy have to be disappointed about?”

I squirmed in my seat unsure if I should tell her, but desperately wanting to. I had not breathed a word of it since I’d arrived, preferring to have my choice of lovers, rather than be laughed at like I had been in my hometown. But something about the sincerity, the kindness in Danni’s brown eyes made me feel like I should trust her. Like it was finally time to tell someone the truth.

“Because I taste like fruitcake,” I whispered.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

***Keep an eye out for EVERYBODY HATES FRUITCAKE coming this Christmas to digital bookshelves near you!***

Author Bio:

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

 

A Gift for Santa

The Naughty Pole Series from Deanna Wadsworth:

Ms. Claus’s List (The Naughty North Pole #1)
Pip’s Boxing Day Wish (The Naughty North Pole, #2)
A Gift for Santa (The Naughty North Pole, #3)
Fun and Games With Rudolph (The Naughty North Pole #4)

Ms. Clauss List coverPips Boxing Day WishDW_A gift for Santa_SMFun and Games with Rudolph