A guest review by Jenre
A clever shifter book which uses a mix of humour and tension to tell the story of a shy academic who falls for a strange hairy, anti-social man.
When thirty-six-year-old lecturer Martin meets the mysterious Lucas at a neighbor’s midsummer party, the attraction is instant and hot. The two men soon start a relationship, but Martin is puzzled by Lucas’ behavior. He’s not like any man Martin has ever known—indeed, sometimes Lucas hardly seems human at all—and Martin wants to find out why.
But on one August night, when Martin tracks Lucas to the depths of the local park, he discovers eye-opening, fantastical realities about his new lover and the pack of strange wolves Lucas runs with than he had ever thought possible. Can Martin handle the truth?
I’ve enjoyed all the books and stories I’ve read from Anne Brooke so far and this short was no exception. The story follows Martin, a shy college lecturer who has pretty low self esteem. He goes along to a friend’s party where he is introduced to Lucas. Expecting the usual chit-chat, Martin is rather amazed when Lucas all but pounces on him and drags him into the shrubbery telling him, “I want to mate with you.” Thus begins a sort of opposites attract story where cultured Martin has to adapt to Lucas’ animal-like ways before discovering the true reason why Lucas returns home each month bruised and bloody.
There was much to like about this story, told in the first person from Martin’s point of view. It charts the explosive beginning and development of the relationship between Martin and Lucas with an eye to the ridiculous. Martin has a wry sense of humour and I found myself chuckling from time to time as he describes some of Lucas’ eccentricities as well as his growing unease about Lucas’ monthly activities. It’s pretty obvious from the start that Lucas isn’t completely human, so the reader laughs a little at Martin trying to puzzle out the mystery. Martin isn’t stupid though and it isn’t long before he figures out what’s happening, even if he is rather sceptical until he sees it with his own eyes. I liked the balance of the amusing scenes, such as Lucas waking Martin up by nipping his ear, with the more tense scenes towards to the end.
Another part I liked was the way that Martin changes as the story progresses. He’s naturally quite a submissive person with some self-esteem issues, especially to do with an ex, but as his feelings for Lucas grow, so does his confidence. It was great to see him becoming more confident, especially in the scene at the end of the book. Lucas is also a well drawn character, and different to the usual civilised shifters than can crop up in m/m books. I liked that he was willing to try to live and understand Martin, even when it was difficult for him.
I finished the book with only one niggle – I wanted more. I liked the characters and situation so much I could have quite happily read more about how they settle into their new life together and overcome any difficulties which may arise from their unique situation. It wasn’t to be though and I had to be satisfied with waving them off into their happy ending. If you like shifter books, and a blend of humour and tense drama in your m/m romance, then this book is for you. I thought it was just marvellous.