Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am soooo happy to read and review another book from EJ Russell set in the universe of the “supes” – the supernatural, from all realms. And as a bonus, this book had cameos from David and Alun of Cutie and the Beast, as well as Mal from The Druid Next Door. The dedication is to the readers “who fell in love with the Kendrick brothers and wanted more stories in their world”, and all I can say to that is YES! And MORE!
This is the story of Ted Farnsworth – your average lumberjack kinda guy, who also happens to be a bear shifter. But unlike most bears, he’s generous and actually enjoys being social and interacting with humans, and that desire has gotten him into trouble with the shifter councils and the secrecy pact. He also seems to have a bit of ADHD, with impulse control and difficulty thinking through to the natural consequences of his actions. He’s staged a few “sightings” while mid-shift, because the photographer is his friend and down on his luck, and Bigfoot photos pay well. When the council started threatening him with more severe consequences if he didn’t settle down and act more like a bear, he decided the best way to behave was to get married to a solid, steady kind of guy. So he contacted the matchmaking service Supernatural Selection which guaranteed marriage to a perfect partner. Rusty, a beaver shifter with his own construction company, was ideal.
This is also the story of Quentin Bertrand-Harrington, an incubus with a conscience who didn’t want to ever take a lover again after feeding off a boyfriend to the point of near death. His family was pushing him to marry a human, and he figured the best way to make sure that never happened was to choose a husband from the undead – zombies are gross, but Supernatural Selection found his perfect match with a vampire. He’d been taking suppressants to tamp down his urges to feed on humans for decades, and they left him weak, and unfortunately, a little bit mentally fuzzy – too impaired to truly pay attention…
With the contracts sealed in blood, all Ted and Quentin had to do was meet their fiancees – but that is when the comedy of errors began. Turns out they both didn’t pay enough attention to the final drafts of the contracts, and neither noticed that the names were changed in the final contract, and it matched the two of them. They were married! And when you sign a contract in blood with the witches council, getting out of it isn’t easy.
There was a delicious slow burn to their romance. Not quite enemies to lovers, but they both had to overcome a lot of preconceived notions before they were able to really and truly see each other. And it turned out that a clumsy but good hearted bear was actually a perfect foil to a jaded and withdrawn sex demon. How they got to that point was the majority of the book, and it was funny, well written, and made me fall in love with both of them. Both men learned to see their strengths and weaknesses in a different way, and learn that they were indeed valuable and worthy of love. Their unlikely pairing really brought out the best in each other.
I took off half a star because the final part of the book was a bit rushed, confused, left a lot of strings hanging, and I felt was a little too easily resolved. The mystery to be solved in the rest of the books in the series was introduced (just who was that sneaky AI and why was he smirking?), but it seemed a bit sudden, and I thought everyone should have been questioning how Ted and Quentin’s first contracts had different names on them in the first place….
Cover art by L.C. Chase is great – clearly defines the book as a comedy, and the bear paw was a great representation of Ted.
Published October 20th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleSingle White Incubus
Edition Language English
Series Supernatural Selection