Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I really enjoyed this story. An unusual shifter tale, in this one Veier (rhymes with bear) has been chained to a king’s throne and kept in his bear shifter form for five years. He’s freed when the kingdom is overthrown, but the new king wants him executed and it’s his brother, Elrid, who saves Veier’s life. Elrid is a powerful mage and he rightly points out that the chain indicates Veier was not necessarily loyal to the previous rulers.
But it takes patience and trial and error before Veier is trusted enough to be let outside the room where Elrid works and sleeps with him as the two begin to build trust. He has brief moments of freedom but always seems to be in the wrong place when trouble occurs. He and Elrid become close as he slowly starts to trust that this human may really not wish him harm.
When Elrid is severely injured in an attack by the previous king’s followers, it’s Veier who risks not only his freedom, but his life, to go to Elrid and use his own life force to help Elrid recover and regain his strength.
I liked the way the author created Veier’s character as a very rough, gruff, hard to get to know man, yet one who we definitely want to get to know and cheer for as he slowly grows from the bear who reacts before thinking to the man who feels all levels of emotion. Elrid was the strong, silent type—the kind of man with enough patience to wait out Veier’s slow buildup of trust.
The narrator did a good job with unique vocalizations for each man. If I had one peeve it would be that the MC’s name, Veier, rhymed with bear and he’s a bear shifter. Perhaps the narrator mispronounced it. Or perhaps the author never read the book out loud. In either event, it caused confusion on several occasions when I was listening as I wasn’t quite sure which word was being used. And at some points in the story, when it was important to know Veier was in bear or in human form, it was frustrating.
Other than that, this is a definite recommendation to my fellow MM romance readers. Most definitely not insta-love, this is a slow burn, enemies to friends to lovers story with a unique shifter slant.
The cover by Shayne Leighton features a close-up of a bearded man, hand under chin, and a bear paw print with the title of the story superimposed over it. Very nicely done.
Audio Book Details:
Published October 24th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 9th 2018)
Original Title Magic Runs Deep
Edition Language English