Title: Just Like Cats and Dogs (Sanctuary #1)
Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal, Shifters
Page Count: 206
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Sanctuary Novel
Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?
Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.
Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.
The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek common ground.
This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers romance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.
Ah blurbs…love them, hate them.
Premise of the story is after a decade, rock-hound Gus reconnects with the City-boy, dance choreographer, Sam at Sam’s father’s funeral. Quite literally, when Sam kicks Gus in the face from years of pent-up resentment and bullying when they were kids growing-up a pack-mates. But later, when the two start to talk, they discover they have more in common than not and attraction becomes more than skin deep.
I liked Sam and Gus: their cat/wolf personalities showing through in the men. We meet the men as adults, and learn though the characters that the two grew up in the same pack, Sam was picked on and reviled for being a jaguar shifter, that Sam was part of a very large group of adopted kids. …I think – sometimes I wasn’t sure if the whole clan was a conglomeration of misfits or just some of them.
I always love seeing the animal personalities personified: cats can’t taste sweet, so Sam likes savory foods. The love of tuna and milk. Gus gravitates toward steaks. Sam’s apartment full of shiny things, toys and soft pillows. Gus’s bolt holes a couple of blankets on the floor. Loved the comments about the wolves being “lick-y”.
Overall I enjoyed the plot because there was one and it moved the relationship forward and introduced new characters. That being said, there were some issues with Gus and Sam; such as the happenstance meeting in LA just didn’t work for me. The premise of Sam being and attacked, tortured with a mysterious devise stuck in his back, by a group of psychotic cats in NYC, also didn’t work for me.
I also didn’t quite follow why Sam would have been locked up during the full moon. Yeah, there’s the whole “cats and dogs” thing going on, but that on its own didn’t hold water and I would have liked a stronger explanation. Or some justification/past event that warranted the action.
What I totally didn’t care for – and this is my quirk – was the dialog, lots of one word or minimal word sentences: “Need.” “Want.” “Fuck!” “Ung…” “There!” “More!”
I also struggled with the speaker or POV changes, and frequently I found myself re-reading pages to figure who said what and who was speaking currently. A few more “Sam said,” or “Gus commented” or anything to note who the heck was talking would have been greatly appreciated.
At the end of the day, this is pure brain-candy bliss and I would read more in the series. I love the desert south west, I love shifters, and Sam and Gus are a lot of fun.