Title: Jackalopes and Woofen-Poofs (Off Beat Crimes #5)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Page Count: 115
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Hoax animals and a consulting vampire on the prowl—Jason never thought having a cop boyfriend would be this hard.
All Animal Control Officer Jason Shen ever wanted was a quiet life of rescuing lost kittens and helping animals in need. Having a paranormal cop boyfriend guarantees an end to the quiet part. What at first seems a random encounter with jackalopes in the park might be more than chance and when State Paranormal sends a handsome, charming vampire to consult with the Seventy-Seventh, he finds his relationship with Alex on shaky ground.
Officer Alex Wolf hoped his humaning skills were improving but now he can’t unravel the strange politics at State Paranormal or why Jason’s family seems to hate him. There’s no time to puzzle things out either. Bizarre animals are loose in the city, Jason’s acting strange, and is the vampire captain from State flirting with him? Wolf’s going to have to keep his head in the game if he’s going to have any chance of putting the pieces together and keeping the city safe from the strange critters terrorizing its streets.
Fifth in the Offbeat Crimes Series – not a stand-alone book. You do need to read the rest of the series first as they provide the background for the characters and setting.
Angel Martinez’s plots are short, sweet and pack a lot between the pages. I love that I can gobble down her stories in a day or two and go back and enjoy the re-read just as much as the first time through. Off Beat Crimes series is that enjoyable.
Jackalopes and Woofen-Poof’s picks up right on the heels of book number four, Feral Dust Bunnies, with Alex Wolf navigating his new relationship with Animal Control Officer Jason Shen. At 28 years old, assigned to Precinct 77, Alex continues to struggle with being human – he is a wolf turned human – not a werewolf.
Jason is of Asian descent (I apologize, I don’t know which ethnicity exactly…), coping with cultural expectations of getting a good job, getting married, and having kids. Jason enjoys working with animals, he’s told his family he’s gay, but when he introduces Alex to the mix, the doubts start to creep in. Jason’s Grandmother calls Alex a demon to his face, his father and brother denigrate him, his Mother tells Alex to find someone else, and to add insult to injury, the brother comes back and says choose: family or Alex.
What’s a guy to do?
Meanwhile, after the Feral Dust Bunny incident, the 77th is under investigation for destroying an arcane laboratory without permission from higher-ups. Now a Consulting Vampire is in residence to investigate just how effective the “freaks” are, and he has his eyes and libido on one Alex Wolf.
I continue to enjoy Wolf’s character: his uncertainty, his mannerisms, and his loyalty to those around him still made for a well- rounded character. All these little canine mannerisms in human form – just wonderful!
This time, instead of Wolf being balanced against Krisk, we get to see him interact more with Jason. Wolf doesn’t understand humans, and now he’s trying to cope with a family – a “pack” – that doesn’t like HIM but who are important to Jason. This balance was so well written, not overly angsty, a perfect amount of nerves, and the usual emotional ping-pong that we all go through.
The hoax animals and our hedge witch (not sure what else to call her) was just brilliant! Despite how the little creatures turned out, the ending still made me a bit sad.
My only small issue with this book was the Consulting Vampire from State (I’m totally blanking his name…). He starts out aloof, snarky, tough – he’s totally trying to poach Alex from Jason, then Bing! He’s all accepting, apologizes for his behavior, and everything is right in the world. This about face was just a little too pat, a little too fast for my tastes.
Warning – massive amounts of kitten cuteness continues! Yes, Audacity is back!
I continue to ADORE this series. For me, the books are like a bag kettle popcorn: sweet, salty, and gone way too fast.