Running with the Moon (Kristin’s Review)

Title: Running with the Moon
Author: Kiernan Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal, Shifters
Page Count: 140
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Blurb:

2nd Edition
Heart of the Wolf</b?
What happens when a veterinarian ends up a patient in his own animal clinic?

Dr. Dae Anderson needs to lose the deadbeat boyfriend who is holding him back, but Jack is determined to hang on to Dae—even if he has to resort to violence.

Dae has worked hard to fit in among humans, and if his secret gets out, he’ll lose everything. His veterinary assistant, Sean, might be just the man to stand with Dae… against Jack and the world.

Courage of the Wolf
The most painful changes don’t involve the shape of the body, but of the heart….

Just as Dae and Sean are settling in to life as a couple, Dae is contacted by his brother, who still lives with his former pack and who exiled him for being gay.

If he refuses to return to Wyoming, a sociopathic alpha will slaughter Dae’s family one member at a time. And deep down, Dae knows he must confront his past before he can truly have a loving future with Sean. First, they have to stay alive.

First Edition of Heart of the Wolf published as Change of Heart by Torquere Press, 2007.
First Edition of Courage of the Wolf published as Change in Attitude by Torquere Press, 2011.

I was not aware these were 2nd Editions until I started writing my review, so I can’t say how it compares to the 1st Edition.

These are both short and sweet, and together make the perfect length read.

Heart of the Wolf
Premise of the story is: Dae has kicked his boyfriend Jack to the curb after one to many indiscretions. In an attempt to get Jack out of his mind and heart, Dae heads out for a run, shifts, and gets hit by a truck which brings him back to his own veterinary clinic and his co-worker. While working solo and late, Sean is confronted by a druggie, and Dae takes two bullets chasing the man out. When Dae reveals his true nature to Sean in order to help Sean remove the bullets. This opens a flood of feelings from both men, and Jack, pissed at being cut out of Dae’s life and wallet, takes it out on Sean.

This would have been a more engaging story but the author violated one of my “thou shalt nots”: during the process of Jack exacting revenge, Jack killed innocent animals. I know the author was going going for emotional engagement, but no. You don’t kill puppies. Period.

Other than that disturbing aspect, I thought this was a fairly decent shifter book. Simple and engaging brain candy.

Courage of the Wolf,/b>
A nice compliment to Heart of the Wolf. With a new practice up and running in Florida, Jack receives a letter asking him to come home, that his little sister has been raped and the Alpha of the pack isn’t doing anything about it. Sean refuses to be left behind, and they head to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Dae discovers his sister in labor and a pack cowed and broken.

When things finally boil to a head, Dae is forced to confront the packs Alpha, and this is something Sean can’t help with.

Again, what’s with the killing of innocents? I don’t think irritation is the response the author was looking for from me. As in book one, I just didn’t care for it.

My quirk noted, this short story fell into more of the shifter clichés – the isolated pack, protect the “mate”, Sean’s refusal to let Dae meet the Alpha alone (um…hello? Remember big nasty teeth? A bit of an obvious disconnect from a Vet Assistant), then Alpha goes after said mate. I also didn’t find it plausible that two smaller werewolves would be so easily knocked out in one blow right after their fighting prowess was praised.

What I liked in this second one was Dae’s coming home, and finding many of his assumptions were incorrect. A bittersweet reunion that engaged me more than the aforementioned killing did. And while I liked the ending-ending, I would have liked to have seen a reappearance by Dae’s brothers more.

Overall, I liked that both stories were combined into one “book”. I think it made for a more complete read.


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