Title: Trouble Comes in Threes
Author: M.A. Church
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 26, 2014
Genre(s): Paranormal, Contemporary, Menage
Page Count: 234
Reviewed by: Brooklyn
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.
Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.
Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.
I’m a total sucker for shifter stories. Especially the fated mates kind. So this book appealed to me right away. I liked that while Kirk was a bit freaked out to learn the stray cats he found are actually shifters and his mates, he also feels inexplicably drawn to them. So his acceptance of the paranormal world he’s just been thrown into is pretty quick.
Some of my favorite scenes are the ones where Kirk watches Tal and Dolf play as cats. I haven’t read too many books where you see the simple joy of the animal side at play in a shifter. Maybe because most of what I’ve read is wolves – predators, and not house animals, but they were such happy scenes. I smiled the most while reading them. Ms. Church really captured the essence of cats at play, yet at the same time allowed their human side to peek through in their interactions with Kirk.
Some authors get caught up in building their paranormal or fantasy world. Others don’t explain anything and expect readers to just get it. Ms. Church gives us just enough to carry the story forward and let us understand the characters’ actions and motives. In this world of cat shifters, humans are not welcome. They are not trusted. It is a pretty strong prejudice against the species. So when Dolf and Tal realize they have another mate and he is human, they don’t get the reception they expected when they tell the clowder they want to claim their human mate.
Kirk carries a recessive gene that gains him some of his mates’ paranormal abilities. But although once claimed he is no longer a pure human, he still isn’t a shifter and many of his new Clowder do not completely accept him as one of them. Even if he is mated to the next Alpha. So herein lies the trouble. Someone is after Kirk, because he’s human, or because he’s mated to the next Alpha. That’s what they must figure out before it’s too late.
This book had just enough action and mystery to keep me curious. I wasn’t expecting the outcome and I liked that it wasn’t so obvious. And as I mentioned, I loved the scenes where Tal and Dolf were cats.
The one thing I didn’t care for was the amount of sex in this story. I felt there was just a tad too much. There really is a lot of sex here. And while it is explained that shifter libido is high, I’m not sure I needed to see it as much. I enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong. But I enjoyed the actual shifter parts of the story just as much and would have like to see more of that and less time in the bedroom.