A MelanieM Release Day Review: Bitten by Mistake by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

0f988-bittenbymistake-fFrom animosity to searing passion in a lunar cycle… but can their bond survive?

Wolf shifter Nathan Kohl’s pack is his whole life. Arrogant and handsome, he avoids commitment to anything or anyone outside of his pack. He works hard, plays hard, and pursues humans as lovers because there’s little to no chance of him forming a permanent bond. However, when Jared Taylor comes into Nathan’s life, every rule is broken.

After a bad experience, Jared vowed to never get involved with another shifter, no matter how much they got under his skin. Despite being physically attracted to Nathan, who’s all kinds of hot, Jared only sees an arrogant, domineering bastard.

A disastrous case of mistaken identity throws Nathan and Jared together until the next full moon. Forced to spend the next twenty-eight days in close proximity, they can no longer ignore the powerful attraction between them. Passion ignites, and their relationship takes a turn neither of them wanted.

But when the full moon comes, everything might change again.

Shifter stories are an immediate draw for me and there are so many out there to choose from.  But the combination of the plot line of a person bitten by mistake and the author, Annabelle Jacobs, made Bitten by Mistake a book I had to read.  Turns out that I really liked what the story and the author delivered.

In Bitten by Mistake, Annabelle Jacobs gives us a different aspect of shifter culture when human Jared is bitten by wolf shifter Nathan by accident during a territory pack quarrel.   In order to lay the foundation for the fact that Nathan and Jared must spend time together until the next full moon, Jacobs weaves together a world of laws and shifter culture that was unlike anything I had found in other stories.  In addition, she unveils it through computer searches conducted by Nathan and Jared and several wolf pack conversations so we, and the couple get it in bits and pieces, a neat touch.

I don’t want to give anything away but the Bond issue here is again outside of the norm for most shifter couples, another factor that I saw as a huge plus.  The author absolutely made me believe in the power of the bond, the feelings between the two felt real, as did the ambivalence both felt about their situation and the future.

I loved all the characters here, not just the main characters of Nathan and Jared but the secondary ones as well, the ones I see Jacobs setting up for their own stories, at least I hope I’m reading this correctly.  Because not only do I see Jared’s best friend, Seb, and perhaps the Pack Doctor each getting their own story, but Luke, Nathan’s best friend getting one too.  Maybe even more.

If I had a quibble, its that Jared’s issue with his abusive ex seemed to get a light hand for a very serious problem…domestic violence.  I thought if you are going to bring this into a story, and give it plot time, then it needs to be addressed a little more deeply then it was done here.  Not that Nathan didn’t give it the thought it deserved, he did but that Jared seemingly got over it too easily.  That’s my point.  Perhaps you won’t mind it.  As I said, that’s the only thing that really bothered me.  The rest?  I absolutely adored.

Need a new shifter romance?  One with a new look at shifter culture and bonding?  Picking up Bitten by Mistake by Annabelle Jacobs.  I adored it and  am hoping it just the first in a new series from this terrific author. Its one I recommend.

Cover art by Natasha Snow does show Nathan and the font is nice but in a sea of covers that look pretty much like this you need to do something more to stand out and this doesn’t.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 233 pages
Published July 28th 2016
ASINB01IZUN1V6
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

Review: Bar None Anthology by Sean Michael, BA Tortuga, Julia Talbot, and Kiernan Kelly

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Bar None coverDo you like your bartenders hot, sexy, and maybe even artificial?  Torquere Press presents an anthology where all the stories revolve around the bars, drinks and the men who serve them.  Authors BA Tortuga, Julia Talbot, Sean Michael and Kiernan Kelly deliver four sexy and ultimately loving romps through the bars and bartenders of our dreams.

Here in the order they are found in the anthology are the stories of Bar None:

Bartender Rescue by BA Tortuga
Kind of a D.R.A.G. by Kiernan Kelly
The Blue Moon Bar By Julia Talbot
Flair, a Hammer Story By Sean Michael

I really looked forward to reading this anthology and it came through as anticipated.  I have a mini-review posted after each title.

1.  “Bartender Rescue”by BA Tortuga – 4.75 stars out of 5

Shane and Galen from the Stormy Weather series return in this short story of burnout and escape.  As the story starts long term lovers Shane and Galen have almost switched place as far as occupations go.  Now it is Shane who is the Owner and CEO of a number of successful bars, heading out each morning in a 3-piece suit, micro managing his bars and neglecting his lover, Galen.  The stress is mounting and Shane is turning to pharmaceuticals to stay awake and energized, none of which makes Galen happy.  Shane knows things aren’t working but doesn’t know how to step off and out of the business treadmill.

When the answer pops up in the form of an old would be boyfriend of Shane’s, Galen is more than ready to take advantage of the situation.  Now if only he can get  Shane to agree.

I love this couple having been with them through all sorts of angst and misadventures, including hurricanes and miscommunications.  Now we get to see a different dynamic with this couple, with beach bum Shane being the uber responsible business owner and Galen ending up the laid back part of their relationship.  Tortuga writes this couple so realistically you can practically watch them walk off the page.  They are settled in their relationship, with bone deep knowledge of each other and their needs telegraphing with each bit of dialog and loving touch.  And it is painful to watch when each person realizes that the relationship and each other is being neglected.  Wonderful writing, great characters and a realistic situation make this story of the best.

I loved every part of this story and the only thing that kept it from a 5 star rating is a lack of backstory for those readers new to Shane and Galen.  Even without going into enormous detail,, even a little past history would have been enlightening for those new to this couple.

2. “Kind of a D.R.A.G.” by Kiernan Kelly. Rating 4 stars out of 5

Kiernan Kelly takes bartenders intergalactic with this story of a bar with a captive audience as it is located on a prisoner planet somewhere in space.  Inhabited by prisoners, a few free humans and tons of androids who handle  almost every job possible, Kelly’s story contains a lot of humor, a few nice twists, and a far reaching ( yep, went there) ending.

Max, bartender and really only of human in residence at Club Grinder, a dive and strip club on Sirius 7.  It is in fact the only bar on Sirius 7, “a penitentiary rock located among a fistful of tiny, uninhabited planetoids at the ass end of the galaxy”.  Other than The Boss who is the  owner of the club, Max is the only human around, the rest of the employees, strippers, Drag Queens Betty Boob and Ivana Hump, every one is an android. In a funny, Lucille Ball twist, Kelly starts off her story with the two Drag Queens breaking an android stripper in the most awkward and humorous way possible. Soon the Drag Queens are using The Bosses D.R.A.G machine to create a new one.  Of course, everything starts to go wrong immediately and the plot takes flight.

I enjoyed this story and found parts of it hilarious. While the plot was predictable, the characters and the charm and endearing personalities make this story outshine its plot structure.  Funny, charming, just a lovely way to spend some time.  I could really see this group coming back for an encore.

3. “The Blue Moon Bar” By Julia Talbot.  Rating 3.5 stars out of 5

Werewolf Hugh Dailin is crazy about his bear shifter bartender Seamus Deane but his wolf pack and family disapprove of homosexuality, wanting him to find a female mate and have a bunch of pups.  But Hugh is sure that his mate is the burly guy with all that great hair and muscles that just happens to work for him.  The tension is getting to them both, with each snarling at the others in frustration and rage.  Something has to give and it does when a lion comes into the bar and demands the return of his cub, a cub that’s gone missing. Then one of their own goes missing too and both must scramble to find the person responsible before more vanish.

I liked this story, especially since shifters, any type of shifter from sloth to owl, are favorites of mine.  But this story needed a little bit more of plot, characterization, background, and exposition. We never really find out who, what and why is behind the mystery. And everything is resolved almost in seconds.  It just feels lacking which is a shame as the bones of this story are wonderful.  Still, I enjoyed Hugh and Seamus and wished I had more of their relationship.

4. “Flair, a Hammer Story”  By Sean Michael. 5 stars out of 5

Author and consultant to bars on drinks, specialty recipes and Flair, Nathan Edwards is wary when he approaches the location of his next client, a man named Xavier who owns an establishment called The Hammer. The exterior is nondescript but what Nathan finds inside is anything but ordinary.

Nathan is intelligent, handsome and OCD which makes for an intriguing combination to Master Jarrod, a Dom who just walked into The Hammer for lunch and a place to check emails.   Nathan is there to train the club’s bartenders in Flair and to give them new recipes to try out for their clientele.  He has no idea as to the type of place The Hammer is or the people who are members.

Artist Jarrod stopped by the Hammer on impulse for lunch and to check on his emails from clients.  But he stays to watch Nathan train the staff, pulled in by the young man’s magnetism, looks, and intelligence.  An invitation to lunch goes well until the Dom in Jerrod comes out to play to Nathan’s consternation.  When Jarrod pursues the relationship, can Nathan accept Jarrod’s lifestyle or will Jarrod’s feelings for Nathan force Jerrod to leave the lifestyle behind?

This is my favorite story of the collection.  It’s just masterful (yes, went there as well)!  Sean Michael gives us two completely authentic, layered characters and then creates a believable and charming slow buildup to a wonderful romance that all readers will love and root for.

Nathan is an especially unusual character.  He has OCD but uses it to his  advantage in his business.  He makes no apologies, sure of himself and easy in his skin.  And while he is startled as to the true nature of the club he is consulting for, it doesn’t bother him even though he is uneducated about the lifestyle.  Then he meets Jarrod, strong, handsome and artistic and Nathan is charmed.  But a stray comment and too strong attitude naturally finds Nathan pulling away.

I really liked that Michael introduced us to a character unfamiliar with bdsm and D/s relationships.  By doing so, the author can educate Nathan and the reader at the same time about the lifestyle and the most common misconceptions.  And Sean Michael does so in a manner that doesn’t feel forced or academic.

This is also the beginning of a relationship so we aren’t sure exactly what compromises each man is going to make for the other. Our only certainty being that these men do belong together.  Books containing elements of bdsm are a minority in the type of books I normally review but Flair, a Hammer story is so well done, from the marvelous characters to the realistic and intelligent relationship between Nathan and Jerrod that it makes me want to read the rest of the stories in the Hammer series to see if they match the promise and the happiness I felt after reading this tale of love found amongst the cocktail glasses, shakers and bottles of a bar and its bartender.   Great job and a wonderful way in which to end this collection.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these authors, Bar None is a great way to familiarize yourself with their style of writing and the characters they like to play with.  I enjoyed them all and think you will too.  Consider this definitely recommended.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 223 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Torquere Press
ISBN 1610405811 (ISBN13: 9781610405812)
edition language English

Review Repost: Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1) by Kendall McKenna

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Strength of the PackAt a time when tales of the Human Dominant and his True Alpha Shifter have been consigned to myth, along comes human Marine Lt. Lucas Young.  As he readies his command of mixed human and shifters for their deployment to Afghanistan,  he is assigned True Alpha pack leader Sargent Noah Hammond to his platoon. From the beginning, Lucas and Noah circle around each other, Noah pressing for dominance and control while Lucas is equally determined that his authority and rank be recognized and respected by the True Alpha. Small skirmishes and exercises bring human and shifter together in an ever strengthening bond as Lucas learns to dominate Noah and understand the ways of the Pack.

Once their platoon has landed in Afghanistan, they find themselves under fire, and the wartime stresses find their bond deepening and getting stronger with each trial and success. Soon the pair are mirroring the legendary bonding of Dominant and True Alpha from ancient lore. But the bonding is incomplete and when one is wounded, can misunderstandings and military regulations be overcome in time to save them both?

It has been a while since a new shifter book blew me away.  Strength of the Pack has done that job and then some.  McKenna gives us an alternative world where shifters and humans have been together for millennia and throughout much of history.  But through human rewriting, their place in our history has been purposely obscured. Now, because of some unmentioned war or occurrence, shifters are now partnering with humans in all aspects of life, including the military.  McKenna gives us just enough back history to whip up a thirst for more while still making her current setting feel realistic and well thought out.  Little by little, McKenna delivers glimpses of this magical back history, reinterpreting such legends as Joan of Arc and Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

McKenna’s world building is a wonder with no element left to chance.  We are given pack hierarchy, which is folded  into Army and Marine structure in such a way as to feel utterly real and authentic in every detail.  She has a way of describing army life as lived while deployed that I wondered if she was a Reservist or active in the military.  From their packs to their guns, to the dust and heat of the land they are bivouacked on, it felt as though you were there with them, close to the insurgents and ambushes.  It just rang true, right down to how the Pack reacts after skirmishing with the enemy.

And that brings me to another aspect of this book that I loved, the natural history of the wolf.  Unlike other shifter stories, here the wolf shifters act like wolves, including their rank and status within the pack and how it regulates their behavior to one another.  While I enjoy seeing different authors take on shifters, as a park naturalist I love seeing an author who gets the science right, especially where natural history is concerned. Kudos to McKenna for that lovely take on wolf shifters and shifter society.  She also opens up for an explosion of options in the books to come.  I can’t say more without giving away some of the plot but oh my, what possibilities could be in store for us in the books ahead.

Kendall McKenna’s characters are worthy of such marvelous world building too.  I loved the reserved nature of Lt. Lucas Young.  He is brilliant, concerned about regulations and the safety of those under his command.  There are so many levels to this man and they are slowly peeled away as he  realizes that he is not prepared to handle the presence of either a True Alpha or shifters in his platoon.  The decisions he makes (and we are inside his mind as he makes them) paint a portrait of a man, honest to his true nature with the capacity to grow with the challenges before him. Lucas is matched up with the indomitable True Alpha, Noah Hammond, a nordic warrior shifter.  This is not a cardboard hero but again a being adjusting to a bond thought unheard of and having his own problems with it.  McKenna has made Hammond vulnerable, at least to Lucas, a necessary facet of his personality if we are to believe their bond to be true.  This will be one of my favorite new pairs of the year.  The needs of the wolf for taste, touch, smell and markings deliver sensual scene after sensual scene as Lucas and Noah adapt to each other and their needs.

This book is 336 pages long and felt like 90.  I got to the end and wailed because I wanted much, much more.  I have so many questions for McKenna.  Has the government been working to find this combination again?  When did the shifters come forward again?  And what happens to Tim Madison?  Consider my feet stamped in frustration.  Lucky for all of us, this is just the beginning.  I hope the series is a long one.  But either way, long or short, I can’t wait for the next installment in The Tameness of the Wolf.  Go get your copy and let’s start this journey together.  I can’t wait to see where it takes us.

Stunning cover art by  Jared Rackler

Review of Home Fires by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Home FiresHouston, Jackson’s mate, left him several years ago, sure he was ready for city life and not one lived with Jackson in the desert with cactus for neighbors. So Jackson was stunned to see Houston, or what was left of Houston dragging himself to their front door.  His mate had escaped from a government agency doing experiments on shifters, and they are after him.   But Jackson hasn’t keep the home fires burning just to let the government capture his mate again.  He will fight for his mate and for their land because no one is taking Houston away from him again, not even Houston himself.

Home Fires is a raw, rough story that BA Tortuga does so well.  Here she gives us the bare bones of a horror story.  A shifter was kidnapped along with other shifters, and taken to a secret compound where they were  experimented on, tortured and killed.  Tortuga gives us only an outline of the torture and experiments and lets our minds fill in the rest, which ratchets the terror up considerably.  What we see is the effects of his capture  upon Houston’s mind and body, including a barcode tattooed on his body of skin and bones.  He has nightmares and is confused.  The vivid descriptions of his present appearance are contrasted with Jackson’s memory of his mate before he left him.   It works beautifully to let us know just how bad a shape Houston is in now.

Jackson too is a fierce, elemental man.  At home in the desert, he is tuned tightly as a man  can be who loves his isolation and his independence.  The only thing missing from his life has been his mate and now that he has him back, there is nothing he won’t do to bring Houston back into shape and let him become the wolf shifter he knew.  Jackson will also defend them both and keep Houston safe, not an easy thing when the government agents and others are looking for them.

Just as the men are pared down to their core beings, so are the wolves within,  Houston needs to be claimed again by his mate, and Jackson needs to possess his mate in the most primal of ways.  It’s raw, its sexy and at times heartbreaking,

My only quibble with this story is that there really isn’t an end.  Some soldiers chasing them are killed in the desert but by others looking for their kin.  We never find out what happens to the compound or really to  Jackson and Houston.  And that was frustrating because these are two memorable characters who make such a huge impact upon a reader, that they story just cries out for some closure for us and for them, otherwise this would be a 5 star story instead of 4.5 stars.

Cover illustration by BSClay.  Not sure what the helicopters have to do with anything, they don’t show up in the story. Just confusing.

Story was originally published in 2007, under the title The Call.

Review of Gregory’s Rebellion (Shifters’ Haven #6) by Lavinia Lewis

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Rating: 4.25 stars

Leopard shifter Gregory Hale has been sent by the supernatural council to pick up a young jaguar shifter in Las Vegas and bring him into Council headquarters as they have determined the young man’s loner status has made him a potential danger to the humans around him.  But Gregory has watched Hayden at a distance for days and everything about the young shifter shouts neglect and pain.  When Gregory finally contacts Hayden, he realizes that Hayden is his mate but there is no acknowledgement on Hayden’s part that the recognition is mutual.  Hayden is skinny to the point of starvation and his face is marred by a raw scar that stretches from eye to mouth on one side of his face, a scar that should have healed when Hayden shifts.  Hayden has come from a traumatized past, but he won’t confide in Gregory, not yet at least. More than ever, Gregory is determined not to let Hayden fall into the council’s hands and he pretends to his superiors that Hayden has slipped away from him, to their immediately displeasure.  Gregory is, in fact, taking Hayden to Kelan’s Crazy Horse Ranch knowing the Alpha will help him hide Hayden and keep him safe.

Gregory still has the corruption within the council to deal with and a new series of murders to investigate.  Someone is murdering the mates of council  members, as Gregory knows all too well. Now with a mate of his own to protect, Gregory needs to get to the real culprit behind the killings before its too late.

The Shifters’ Haven series is built around Wolf Creek, Texas and its pack of wolf shifters.  Wolf Creek is two thirds shifters in population, a situation that the human population is ignorant of as all shifters have worked hard to keep themselves hidden. Each book brings together a different mated pair with a continuous plot line of dissension among the Supernatural Council which is composed of shifters of all types, from hawk to cougar. From the first installment, you are made aware of the Council who governs all shifters with their rules and regulations and the possibility of corruption within that impacts Wolf Creek and beyond.  From book to book, each time a member of the Council intervenes or arrives on the scene, you become less assured as to who the “good guys” are.  Also each book widens the Wolf Creek pack with new family members and sometime new species of shifters are given haven.

Gregory’s Rebellion picks up right where Nate’s Deputy leaves off, with Gregory on his way to Las Vegas on council  business. Gregory is still heartbroken over the events that happened back in Wolf Creek and unsettled because the real leader behind the shifter problems and crimes has  not been fully identified, at least not with proof he can use.  There has been a really nice development of Gregory’s character from book to book, from his first appearance as a council member somewhat rigid in demeanor to the compassionate person he is here.  But my focus was on Hayden, who was kicked out of his home at the age of 16 by his parents for being gay, an all too real occurrence.  Hayden has suffered since being thrown out of his home and family and has done what he had to in order to survive on the streets.  He has no self confidence, he is all shame and humiliation, his trauma written across his face in a scar he refuses to heal as a measure of his torment and degradation.  When Gregory comes into his life, he has just arrived at a modicum of security, with a boss who regards him as more family than employee and a job he likes.  Now all of that is gone in an instant, disrupted by a stranger who tells him the council is after him and wants his trust.  Lewis does a beautiful job in conveying Hayden’s confusion and fear.  I became invested in Hayden from the very beginning and stayed so to the end.  You will too.

Also carrying over is the issue of corruption in the council and the fact that someone is murdering the mates of council members, but to what end? Gregory gets caught up in trying to deal with his new mated status as well as his investigation into the problems of being part of a council he no longer trusts or believes in.  Again, all very credible and in keeping with the persona of an honorable man trying to do what’s right when confronted with the reality behind the supernatural council.  Lewis’ wonderful way with location and characterization is in top form here. It is becoming a saga of Wolf Creek versus the old order of council rule, a storyline that has intrigued me since the start of the series.

Once more, I felt the ending rushed and not as satisfactory as it might have felt to have the villain meet his comeuppance. Had the story lasted a little longer and with a more detailed exposition, then the end would feel more complete given the buildup.  Perhaps Lewis is doing this intentionally to keep the thread going in the next book up, Pete’s Persuasion (Shifters’ Haven #7).  I hope so, for it’s an interesting part of all of their stories  and it doesn’t feel finished yet.  So I am waiting impatiently for October and the next in the series.  Pick up the first book, read them all and meet me here for No. 7.  See you then.

Once again Posh Gosh is giving us lush, gorgeous covers for the entire series. Beautiful branding and great design for each and every book.

Here are the Shifter Haven series in the order they were written and should be read in order to fully appreciate the characters, relationships and plots.

Luke’s Surprise (Shifters’ Haven #1) . Luke Morgan and Mark Malone’s story

Cody’s Revelation (Shifters’ Haven #2) – Cody Morgan and Stefan Drake’s story

Kelan’s Pursuit (Shifters’ Haven #3) – Kelan Morgan and Jake Bradfield’s story

Aaron’s Awakening (Shifters’ Haven #4) – Aaron Drake and Cary Lewis

Nate’s Deputy (Shifters’ Haven #5) – Nate and Jared. Read my review here.

Gregory’s Rebellion (Shifters’ Haven #6) – Gregory and Hayden

Pete’s Persuasion (Shifters’ Haven #7) coming in October 2012

Review of Good Bones by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4,25 stars

Dylan Warner was quiet, shy, a milquetoast kind of guy that no one noticed.  An architect, he normally stayed home with his plans until one impulsive night out changed his life forever.  Dylan can’t believe his luck when a hot guy in leathers, Andy, picks him up and takes him home for an evening of hot sex. One evening stretches into many with Dylan hardly coming up for a breath.  Then one night he awakes to hear growling  in the living room and opens the door to see a wolf in the middle of his carpet.  Before he knows what is happening, the wolf attacks him, biting him viciously and then bounds out the door.  Dylan has been bitten by a werewolf and his life changed in an instant.

Now Dylan lives by the phases of the moon, dreading the nights he will have to lock himself away in the steel reinforced room in his condo.  Only his brother and sister in law know what has happened to him.  In an wry turnaround, Dylan now finds himself bulked up, gorgeous, and a sexual magnet as a side effect of his new status as a werewolf.   Everyone wants him and Dylan won’t let anyone close for fear of hurting them, an irony he is well aware of.  Living in the city is choking him and his wolf so when his brother suggests buying a place in the country and telecommuting, he is all over it. Dylan purchases a former Christmas tree farm and begins renovations.

But Dylan’s new country farmhouse comes with an attractive neighbor, Chris Nock, with tons of his own baggage.  Then Andy shows up again, determined to keep Dylan a part of his pack.  Everything that Dylan worked so hard to achieve, his peace of mind, his friendship with Chris, everything is in jeopardy unless Dylan can deal with his inner wolf and  the alpha that has come to claim him.

I am a sucker for a shifter story and look forward to the details each author adds to the shifter lore and any new twists added to the werewolf genre.  Some authors go for the seamless shift from human to wolf and back.  Others get into the nitty-gritty physicalities of body transformation including vivid descriptions of bone breaking and accompanying pain.  Some authors go the whole mate route, you know “wolves mate for life” with instant mate recognition path while others go for the human romance “harum scarum” route.  In some books, the wolves shift by the moon and others shift on command.  That’s what I love about this genre, there are no hard and fast rules. I love watching each author come to a werewolf or shifter story from their own perspective and Kim Fielding is no different, giving us some new twists on a popular character in m/m fiction.

In Dylan Warner, we have a mild mannered “grey” sort of man who is transformed into a sexy “beast” after being bitten by a werewolf.  Fielding gives us a Kent Clark/Superman persona but substituting werewolf for Superman, an intriguing notion.  Then Fielding takes it one further with an ironic twist in that now a very sexy Dylan refuses to act on his new status because he fears the very thing that has made him so attractive.  Instead of becoming big man on the town, Dylan withdraws into his shell, isolating himself from others in a way he never was before his transformation.  Indeed, Dylan separates the “human” from the “wolf” inside, a duality  not as common in other shifter fiction.  Usually the human mind is aware and active inside their wolf body, not entirely so here, a problem when it comes to hunting.  Another reason Dylan barricades himself inside a fortified room. Hunt humans or hunt animals? He has seen Andy kill a person and wants to make sure he does not do the same.

Fielding’s other characters aren’t given the same amount of depth that Dylan has.  Chris Nock, the attractive neighbor next door to Dylan’s farmhouse has a troubled history that is only referred to on a couple of occasions.  As he is so much of the story here, I would have preferred to learn more about Chris’ past.  He calls himself a “whore”, mentions bouncing around the foster system and then nothing more. Chris came across as extremely judgmental in the beginning but where is the basis for that?  Especially given the events that follow?  I would have loved to have seen Chris given a better foundation for his character and his actions throughout the story.  I liked Chris, more information would have made me love him.

Andy, the werewolf who instigated all the events here engendered mixed feelings from me.  I could understand his desperation to have a pack or his need for companionship, but in a sort of throw away line, we find out Andy has become a serial killer in his attempts to recreate a Dylan to an almost absolute lack of horror from Dylan.  Why didn’t Dylan react more to that fact when he hears it? Not sure, given his reaction to an earlier kill Andy made.  In fact while I could see what Fielding was trying to achieve with the relationship dynamics between Andy and Dylan, I am not sure I ever bought it.  Dylan’s reactions to Andy fluctuate dramatically, so much so he is telling him to get lost and then having sex with him, albeit in an animalistic manner.  One such moment left an acrid taste in my mouth, considering the events that happened just prior.  I don’t want to include any spoilers but it just seems to me that the author could have gotten the same point across in another fashion.  Wolf vs human actions, how to handle the dichotomy. Got it, don’t hit me in the face with it, though.

I really enjoyed Good Bones and Kim Fielding’s take on werewolves.  I found only some minor editing errors. A “close guy” instead of closest guy but on the whole, it is very well done. This is the first book of hers I have read and it won’t be the last.  This is a wonderful addition to the werewolf genre, don’t hesitate to pick it up.  You won’t be sorry.

Cover: Christine Griffin was the cover artist and I think she did a terrific job conveying the subjects within with a darkly moody cover and great graphics.

Book available at Dreamspinner Press. All Romance Ebooks, Fictionwise and Amazon.