Title: Stalking Buffalo Bill (Shifter U #1)
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond #3
Author: J. Leigh Bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 1st 2017
Genre(s): M/M Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal
Page Count: 220 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Shifter U Tale
A smitten coyote isn’t the only one stalking Buffalo Bill.
A buffalo walks into a cafe. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but for coyote shifter Donnie Granger, it’s the beginning of an obsession. Donnie is a little hyperactive and a lot distractible, except when it comes to William. He finally works up the nerve to approach William but is interrupted by a couple of violent humans.
While William—don’t call me Bill—is currently a professor, he once worked undercover against an international weapons-trafficking ring. Before he can settle into obscurity, he must find out who leaked his location and eliminate the thugs. He tries keeping his distance to protect Donnie, but the wily coyote won’t stay away.
It’ll take both Donnie’s skills as a stalker—er, hunter—and William’s super-spy expertise to neutralize the threat so they can discover if an excitable coyote and a placid-until-pissed buffalo have a future together.
This is fast, cute, sweet and still managed to grate on my nerves a bit. I don’t know if I’m losing my patience for the whole insta-love with shifters, or if it’s me becoming more discriminating with my paranormal books.
Blurb sums it up pretty good – Donnie is working as a barista at a local coffee shop with his friend Ford. Donnie’s family wants him to follow them into working on the oil fields. Donnie wants to do anything but that. Donnie is, at the moment, a bit adrift.
And in walks tall, handsome, manly man and Donnie is beyond smitten by the handsome stranger who smells like sage grass. Just when Donnie summons up the courage to talk to his manly man, things go pear-shaped and Donnie finds himself being shot at, kidnapped and running for his life.
Premise of the book was interesting; characters were not the standard wolf variety, the animal quirks came through in the people quirks, and it was a fun plot. I liked William – seriously! How cool is a buffalo shifter!?!. Ford was a fun surprise and made for a nice a counterpoint to Donnie’s excitability .
And that’s where I had my issue with the book: Donnie. He repeatedly commented on how he didn’t want to be seen as a child, that he wasn’t a child, he proved he wasn’t a child…and yet he continuously acted like an impetuous child. When Donnie went tearing out of William’s house upon hearing his nephew was kidnapped, despite William stating “it’s a trap, we need to check this out”, I just about put the book down. Donnie went from amusing to grating on my nerves. I really would like to have seen some personal development in the growing up department.
So this was a solid middle of the road for me – the author adroitly avoided the overuse of “mate!” (bless her!), I did enjoy Donnie’s use of assigning people alternate names (Balding Head Guy), and it’s a fun enough plot with a satisfactory ending.