Title: Unexpected Mate
Author: Toni Griffin
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Werewolf/ Shifter Paranormal M/M
Length: 115 pp (short novella )
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 rating points
A guest review by Raine
Summary Review: Unoriginal, and certainly cliched but with a certain warmth arising from family scenes.
Blurb: After being rejected by his parents and kicked out of his pack for being gay, Brian gets in his truck and drives. Breaking down outside a small town, Leyburn, Brian never thought he’d meet his mate , let alone have his mate reject as well because he’s straight.
Marcus is shocked by the unexpected appearance of a cute man claiming to be his mate. Marcus can’t be gay. He’s the police inspector of a small town, and those two things don’t go together well.Let alone the fact that all his brothers are gay.Someone needs to get married, settle down and have a family to continue the Holland name.
Can Marcus come to terms with the fact his mate is a man or will he risk loosing Brian forever.However, not everyone in the pack is entirely happy with his mating.
Holland Brothers Series
I understand this is a first novel by Toni Griffin in a series based around the four gay werewolf Holland brothers. I also understand first novels are a step on the ladder of improving skills.
The story is set in Australia. There is no sense of place at all. No accents, Aussie slang, or description of landscape- not even a kangaroo.
The main characters follow recognisable patterns, Brian, who becomes ‘Baby’ uncomfortably quickly, is the submissive, cute, giggly, homemaking florist. While Marcus is a police inspector, dominant, straight and hopefully father of unborn Holland cubs.
The werewolf mating compulsion kicks in as usual to get our characters together and Marcus after originally rejecting Brian and leaving him in tears by his broken down truck, very quickly comes to accept him enthusiastically. All of the usual werewolf instincts are in play here including bite marking and mind talking. The added sexual detail of penis knotting is one I’ve come across in heterosexual breed erotica. I didn’t find it added much to the proceedings.
I thought the family scenes were written with affection and the warm relationship between the brothers and their parents worked well. They all quickly accept Marcus’s changed circumstances.
The tension in the book is introduced by Stacey, an ex girlfriend of Marcus’s who refuses to accept them. She issues Brian a challenge to the right to mate with Marcus, even though the challenge is not even based on correct shifter protocol, Brian agrees to fight. Actually, even though they are both werewolves, I instinctively found guy fighting girl slightly unfair.
I found this work to be limited in originality; containing stereotypical characters and cliched language. I only found one thing ‘unexpected ‘ in this novella and that was that any writer could use this piece of dialogue,
“I said you’re beautiful. You look damn sexy when your angry……..”
with no hint of apology or humour.
The story flows along nicely, unfortunately the content is just unremarkable. However, I could see this series improving as it goes along. The next one is ” Determined Mate ” and involves Brian’s best friend Jason, and Marcus’s older brother, the pack Alpha, Alex.