Title: The Back Stairs (The Sundown Saga #1)
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: White Deer Enterpirses
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/Paranormal/Shifter
Length: Novella (102 pages)
Ratings: 3.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lily
A policeman who’s feeling disillusioned with life meets a young man who will open up his eyes to a whole new world.
Fallon Roxbury has a nose for trouble, and the uncanny ability for landing in the middle of it the moment he finds it. While investigating the gruesome murder of a young male prostitute in the red-light district, Fallon gets a whiff of something strange. Forensics has unidentified hairs. Very unidentified hairs, like nothing in any of the textbooks. Following a tip from a person of interest, Fallon meets Sundown, an apparent hustler who apparently knows a lot more than he will admit.
Getting personally involved with Sundown breaks every rule in the police manual, and in Fallon’s own personal code. But Sundown is like a drug, and Fallon can’t stop at taking only one hit. Yet when Sundown is forced to reveal the truth about the murder, Fallon’s world is turned upside down, and he’s left with only two options—check himself in for psychiatric evaluation, or accept a new reality with a strange shift.
Shapeshifters, that is…
Fallon Roxbury is a policeman who’s feeling a bit jaded with his life and job. Lately it’s as if something’s missing from his life and with at least another seven years before early retirement he’s not sure if things will be getting better. When he’s called to a crime scene he has no idea his life is about to change, in a big way.
When he arrives his partner and best friend Juny Mack leads him to the body of a young man who’s been horribly mutilated. While there Fallon meets a mysterious young girl and also makes friends with a stray dog. Before he leaves the girl tells him to meet her back there later on if he wants information. After spending time working on the case he heads back to the crime scene and sees the young girl, and the dog, again. She doesn’t give him much to go on other than he will find what he needs if he goes up the back stairs at a once famous but now rundown building. After assuring him that he won’t find her again she leaves, taking the dog with her.
When he gets to the building and goes up the back stairs he meets a gorgeous young man named Sundown. Fallon can’t understand why the girl sent him to see Sundown, who he assumes is a hooker. As they talk he finds himself drawn to the young man and despite his reservations has sex with him.
Fallon’s life keeps getting complicated when finds himself unable to keep away from Sundown and another gruesome murder occurs. When he sees another dog at the new scene he’s surprised but things will really get strange for him when the dog appears to be trying to help him. Before long Fallon’s conceptions of his world will be seriously challenged and his relationship with Sundown becomes much more complicated. When he’s injured while capturing the murder suspect Fallon begins to reevaluate his life and what he wants to do with it. And who he wants to share it with. The answers to these questions may not be easy for him to understand but will ultimately bring him much more than he ever thought possible.
Fallon is a well drawn character, he’s likable and believable and I found the conflict between his job and growing feelings for Sundown was presented well. Since the story is in his POV we don’t get as much of a connection with Sundown until the end when his whole story finally comes out. I liked the original concept that the author went with on this story. It’s different from many of the books out there and although there were some parts that didn’t work as well as others for me overall it was interesting.
I did have a couple of minor niggles with the book. One of them was how quickly Fallon and Sundown had sex despite the fact that Fallon, a veteran of many years, was trying to solve a crime. He does wonder about that himself and it ultimately worked in the storyline but still gave me pause. Also, while I liked the fact that it’s not the same old standard plot device I nevertheless wasn’t fully sold on Sundowns life story. If the story had been longer and more time had been spent with the protags after the big reveal I think I would have enjoyed it more.
The murder mystery was interesting although due to the length of the story it was quickly resolved. There is quite a bit of humor found throughout the story which helped to lighten the mood of the storyline. The sex scenes between Fallon and Sundown, especially at the end of the book, were well written and interesting. Overall this is an enjoyable story that is sure to please fans of the author and anyone looking to read a different take on the standard shifter storyline.