Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
Always the lone wolf, never the mate…
Blurb from ARe: Alpha Jack Herman used to have a pack, but he’s been alone for a long time. When he catches a whiff of another shifter encroaching on his preferred hunting grounds, he’s determined to put a stop to that immediately. There’s only room for one wolf in Jack’s territory—Jack.
Captured as a pup, Malakai is a shifter, but he’s neither wolf nor alpha. What he is, is scared, exhausted, starving, and close to giving up. Hunted by a predator, Malakai fears his newly found freedom is about to come to a violent and abrupt end.
Instead, he finds himself in the arms of a man strong enough to do whatever he must to take care of Malakai.
For the want of an editor a book was lost, along with continuity, and any semblance of logic and order. Color me amazed and totally perplexed. Rarely have I come across so many mistakes and lack of attention to details and storyline as I encountered here. Midnight Run by Bailey Bradford is part of the Alpha collection of stories published by All Romance/OmniLit Books. Or is it self-published by authors through All Romance, not sure how that works? No matter, I’m just not sure where it or this story or the blame falls because its issues are many.
I’m not even going to bother with my own synopsis. Why bother when so little care and effort was put into publishing this story? Instead of going on and on about all the issues I found in this story, I’m just going to list a few of them, that should be telling enough.
Here goes with a little bit of set up. Malakai is an artic fox captured as a young shifter (a pup) in animal form while out on a run with his family in the wilds of Alaska. So far so good. He spends years in that animal form in a cage as a couple’s sort of “show-n-tell” wild animal pet. He escapes after years of being confined as a fox in a cage (he should be close to feral) and is hunted/found by a wolf shifter. Now let the errors begin:
Malakai has never really been outside his cage in years yet he is able to:
1. Claw his way out of a concrete and heavily fenced cage even though he is starving and in poor condition.
2. On the run in a park, Malakai is able to work the restroom stall door latches (so he can hide from a wolf in a stall) in the men’s room in a park lavatory. I known adults who find those latches confusing or broken to the point of not being able to use them. Plus how is a stall going to hide him? Rarely are those restroom stalls totally enclosed or have sides that go to the ground. That costs money that park systems don’t have. Just saying.
3. Malakai informs Jack that he has never worn clothes before and yet he puts on and buttons a shirt, zip up pants (both without help) and ties a shoe with only one rapid demonstration of how the laces go together. No learning curve here with buttons or zippers, no fumbling or figuring things out. Uh. No, that doesn’t reason out any way you look at it. And don’t get me started on putting on shoes and wearing them for the first time if you have never done it before.
4. Malakai has no problem walking around in human form even though most of his years have been spent as a fox. I’m pretty sure he might have some issues with balance, muscles and muscle tone, etc but no.
5. Malakai is emaciated to the point of starving, his bones are clearly visible. So what does Jack feed him? Tons of bacon and pancakes and more bacon. If Malakai had really been a fox or dog, you’d be cleaning up the rooms for weeks to come after feeding a starved animal all that rich food. I have read similar scenes in other stories and the authors take care to show that characters in such condition are eased back into eating and not cooked multiple breakfasts ala Burger King. They made the situation feel authentic. Clearly that didn’t happen here.
6. Malakai informs Jack he’s a virgin (well, yes, he’s been caged most of his life) and knows nothing about sexuality (including whether he’s gay or not) so of course Jack has sex with him immediately and starts to talk about BDSM and spanking. A sort of “I’m Jack, we’re going to have sex” fast tracked sex component that is definitely not sexy.
7. It’s especially not sexy given that Malakai is emaciated, ignorant of human lifestyles and customs, and basically a kid mentally. Oh, and he is also traumatized because of the situation he escaped from. *shakes head*
I could keep going on but why? The whole story is like this. There is also no continuity in back history and as it is part of an ongoing series, no effort has been made to pull in any details or history to the other couples and characters that come and go throughout the story. I think you’re supposed to know who they are and how they fit in with Jack, but that lack of knowledge is probably one of this story’s lesser problems.
And finally, although an editor with an enormous red pencil could fix some of these mistakes, that fact that there is no connection, no electricity between Jack and Malakai dooms this story from the start. On every level, Midnight Run is a pass.
I am familiar with Bailey Bradford and, generally, her stories are imaginative, her characters compelling, and, actions and events make a sort of sense, even with the supernatural elements involved. None of that happens here and I’m at a loss as to why. If you are a Bailey Bradford fan, I leave the decision to read this story up to you, but for the rest of the readers, look elsewhere for your shifters in love and HEA.
Cover art is not credited, probably a blessing.
Sales Link: Available only at All Romance (ARe)
ebook, 50 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC