Title: Feral Dust Bunnies (Off Beat Crimes #4)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Page Count: 115
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
An orphaned kitten may be the only witness to romance and the impossible.
Officer Alex Wolf responds to a lot of ‘paranormal’ calls that aren’t. Exotic pet birds aren’t monsters and unusual dog breeds aren’t aliens. It’s a good thing he likes the animal control officers, but he both yearns for and dreads those calls where he runs into ACO Jason Shen. Jason’s scent is so delicious that Wolf has a difficult time humaning around him.
Animal control calls take a disturbing turn, though, when Wolf and his lizard-man partner, Krisk, discover the impossibly mummified bodies of rats and an unfortunate mother cat. The rescue of the cat’s sole surviving kitten not only gives Wolf more time with Jason, which is both perplexing and wonderful, but also leads to dangerous discoveries. Something inconceivable stalks the city and its officers of the law. Wolf has to figure out what it is before it can attack and drain the life from the people and the kitten he loves.
Forth in the Offbeat Crimes Series – I do recommend reading the previous books in the series first. They provide the background for the characters and setting.
Angel Martinez’s plots are short, sweet and pack a lot between the pages. I love that I can gobble down her stories in a day or two and go back and enjoy the re-read just as much as the first time through. Off Beat Crimes series is that enjoyable.
Premise of the book is Alex Wolf is a wolf turned human – not a werewolf. At 28 years old, employed by Precinct 77, he’s still learning how to be human, something he learns even humans still struggle with.
When he and Krisk, a lizard, are called to a scene involving Animal Control, Wolf rescues a tiny kitten and discovers the grizzly, desiccated remains of her mother. The kitten bonds with Wolf, Wolf finds himself drawn to the Animal Control officer, and now everything is even more confusing because something is roaming the streets killing animals.
Warning – this book contains massive amounts of kitten cuteness!
I really enjoyed Wolf’s character: his uncertainty, his mannerisms, and his loyalty to those around him made for a well- rounded character. It was the little things like knowing he became possessive, wanting to lick people but knowing people didn’t like to be licked, his empathy with Kitten. All these little canine mannerisms in human form – just delightful!
I thought Wolf’s interaction with Krisk was perfect – two non-humans trying to understand humans, when humans don’t understand themselves. Krisk’s non-verbal mannerisms were well written and complimented the lizards use of texting. It would have been so easy to for an author to fall back on the use of texting for a non-speaking character, but to incorporate tail thumps, hissing, snorts to facilitate communication was spot on.
Wolf’s interaction with Animal Control Officer Jason was sweet. There was the awkwardness of first dates, first time to an apartment, and meeting parents. There was a small amount of added tension when Jason declined to go to a gay wedding engagement party because of personal reasons. This was maybe my only complaint with the book. I can understand the attitude, but mostly he came across as just selfish. A cut off your nose to spite your face situation.
And mixed in with the hugely adorable kitten, understanding parents, new boyfriend, there was a paranormal entity roaming the streets. Ah, my second small issue with the book (and I might have missed something while reading) but I didn’t understand how or why “it” showed up at the party.
I continue to adore this series. For me, the books are like buttered popcorn: yummy and over with much too soon.