Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In this novella, 94 pages on my iPad, we have Jake, a 12-year-old boy who has been abused by his stepfather and his mother. While on a camping trip Jake runs away, knowing that to stay would be tantamount to worsening abuse. His stepfather sounds like a pedophile and has been watching Jake a little too much, between all the verbal and physical abuse. “He’d had to struggle to move out of Brad’s spidery touches when they were just a little too much to the left of weird as he gripped Jake and yanked him close…” Jake is lucky enough to run to the circus, where a lovely circus couple, Colleen and Leonardo, realize the abuse and take him in as their own. They become the mom and dad Jake should have had. I loved that immediately, when Jake’s biological mother and stepfather come looking for him, Colleen asks if Jake’s family had come. “No, amore mio. Not his family. A woman and a man.” He knows right away there’s something not right.
Fast forward ten years and Jake is now 22 and a knife thrower in the circus. He has been in love with Blaine, the lion tamer, since he was young but Blaine has never shown any interest in him. We are told this has happened but we don’t see it, we don’t see their history. Jake says Blaine treats him like a child but again, we aren’t shown that. Since Blaine doesn’t want Jake, Jake tries to soothe himself by sleeping around.
What I loved were Jake’s parents, especially Colleen. She is the catalyst for Blaine getting his head out of his butt. “Now, we can continue this conversation, or you can intercede before he’s found another vapid fool to dip his cock in.” She pulls no punches and she wants her boy happy.
There were things that just didn’t work for me. Blaine not bothering to even attempt to mention the shifter aspect until after he’s done something permanent, the whole dream aspect, and the fact that Blaine says “I wondered what to do because I couldn’t envision leaving you…” yet that was exactly what he had planned to do, so that was confusing.
All in all, it was probably just too short to make the story rich. I needed more backstory of the Pride, to be shown more instead of just told, and even more of Jake’s biological parents. They just drop out of the picture. I wish the book had been longer with more detail, I would have connected with it more.
The cover art, a headless very muscled torso, must be a stock cover because I just read another book, Lush Lunches, with the exact same cover.
ebook, 34 pages
Published June 14th 2018 by Extasy Books