Title: To Have A Human
Author: Amber Kell
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Buy Link: Buy Link To Have a Human (Banded Brothers)
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Rating: 2.5 stars
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: The case of a story that had a promising beginning only to lose its focus along the way.
Blurb: Sometimes it’s the family you choose that loves you the most.
Carey Gale always knew about shifters. It was difficult not to know when your best friends could turn into some of the deadliest beasts. When he gets a daytime job to support his band working at a shifter owned business, he doesn’t expect to fall hopelessly in lust with Broden Lyall, the company’s alpha. Sadly, Broden thinks little of humans. He considers them helpless and weak. But when hunters come after Carey’s friends, Broden learns that not all humans are alike, and he will do anything to have one slim, blond human.
Review: If I could dictate this review aloud you would hear me sighing. I love a good paranormal story and I can list so many for you. Unfortunately this novella, To Have A Human by Amber Kell would not make that list. It was clear from the start of this story that the author was establishing a new series. Cryptic hints and potential relationship clues abounded amidst the main story line that included one human, Carey and one shifter–jaguar and an alpha to boot–Broden and their immediate attraction to one another.
Carey has many secrets, not the least of which is that his father is paramilitary and Carey is nearly a lethal weapon in his own right. Broden, of course, has the same wrong thinking that many shifters have–that humans are weak and need to be guarded lest they break a nail or some such nonsense. Had this plot line been developed in an interesting and humorous way, this review would be very different.
Unfortunately, the same theme–that Carey was angry because Broden underestimated him kept playing over an over again until it became less than palatable. The conversations that happened between the two main characters nearly all ended with either sex or Carey storming off. Along the way, the author revealed more and more about this character who was not only a brilliant computer hacker but also a trained soldier of sorts.
During his short life, Carey has picked up three close friends–all shifters who also happened to be musically inclined and they make their living together by playing in a band. It is alluded to that they all have had rough patches from which Carey has saved them but the details are left I assume for subsequent novellas.
I wish I could say that these three secondary characters tweaked my interest to the point that I would suggest reading on as this series developed, but sadly–no–they did not. Instead I just had to shake my head at this rather motley crew who all worked so well as a paramilitary unit that the concerns Carey sometimes showed for them often rang false.
For instance, at one point in the story, a dead body is left outside the home of the band members and is found by Carey’s father (who let me tell you is a bit of a strange character). Carey is immediately concerned that one particular band member will see the body and be upset. Yet in the next chapter they are all gun-toting cowboys who don’t even blink an eye when the sniper (Carey’s Dad, again) takes out one of the wolves trying to kidnap Carey. So why was Carey concerned exactly?
This story just did not hang together well at all. In trying to establish the foundation for the series, the main story–Carey and Broden falling in love and being mated, got lost and shuffled about till quite frankly I did not really care if they got together or not. An underdeveloped plot, a rambling set up of further novellas, and a weak love story left me convinced that this story suffered from poor editing and not enough attention to detail.
As always dear reader, I leave the decision to pursue To Have A Human by Amber Kell in your hands. As for me, I think I will have to take a pass on recommending this particular story to you. This author has many other fine novels under her belt but this one was a decided miss for me.