Title: Feral (Shelter #1)
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Page Count: 177
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Noah Reed has his life planned out. There was that one glitch, years ago, but he’s back on track now and determined to reach his goal of becoming a veterinarian and building his own practice.
Shane Black’s hard life has taught him there’s no point in looking forward and even less in looking back. He takes life as it comes, and his only real need is medical care for his young pup, Dodger.
When Shane stumbles into the clinic where Noah volunteers, Noah’s instincts tell him to run away from the dangerous, unpredictable ruffian. But the puppy needs help, and maybe Shane does, too.
The young men soon discover that Dodger was poisoned, and so were several street people Shane knows. As they search for the source of the poison, Noah learns about the dark underside of the city where he’s spent his whole life, and Shane learns that there is light in the world, even when he’s stuck in the shadows.
But when their relationship begins to grow from a partnership to a romance, new challenges appear. Their worlds are so different—can they ever make sense together? Is there any room in Noah’s carefully planned life for someone as unpredictable as Shane?
OK, right off the bat I have to tell you. There is NO sex in this book.
The main characters are attracted to one another (“attracted” might be a strong word where Shane is concerned) but other than a few kisses toward the end of the book. That’s it.
Now, I know my friends who read M/M romance and this is not going to sit very well with some of you.
But I am asking you, despite the lack of sex, to give this book a try. There’s no sex in How to Be a Normal Person and you loved it, and there is hardly and sex in Carry the Ocean and you loved that one too. So, please don’t let the lack of sex be the only reason you skip this book.
Noah Reed is young, a bit naive and quite content in his volunteer job at an animal hospital. His ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian and is currently in school working towards his degree. Shane Black is a drifter, living on the street and crashing on friend’s couches when they are available. He eats out of dumpsters and has no worldly possessions, save a puppy that he names Dodger that he rescued from a garbage bag.
When Dodger falls ill, he finds himself at the animal hospital where Noah volunteers. The two men have nothing in common, except for their love of animals, but find themselves working together on a side project to encourage the homeless to seek free medical care for their pets. While working together they land themselves in the middle of a murder investigation which brings the two even closer.
Noah has had some bumps in the road with his sexuality but Shane is a mystery. We’re not sure of his sexual orientation or his sexual history. He alludes to abuse, but we never know for certain. We know he bounced around foster homes but also don’t know exactly how he currently survives on the street. You’ll have to read the book to see how the mutual attraction finally comes to fruition and how they handle it.
While I did enjoy this book and loved the dog and hospital scenes along with the mystery of the murder(s), I didn’t like the ending. It’s not exactly a cliffhanger, but it ends before many questions about Noah and Shane’s relationship are answered. The book is the first in a series, so the sequel, titled Lap Dog (Shelter #2) featuring Shane’s prostitute friend Tristan (You can read chapter one at the end of Feral) will pick up where this one left off. I would love for it to include lots of Noah and Shane because I really liked these boys and would love to know what happens with them.
I can recommend this book and urge you to give it a try, even with its lack of sex. It’s Kate Sherwood, author of the wildly popular Dark Horse series and a compelling mystery with fascinating characters and a cute puppy. Bonus points for the puppy!
Oh, and I have to say I absolutely LOVE this cover! Click here for the full size version. Pretty, huh?