I think I read most of these before I went on vacation, but I did finish a couple there as well.
Treasured by Cary Z. (33 pages)
Pink Petal Books
Danny is a Ph.D. student who works in a museum, in a world where things like shifters, magic spells for security and other small paranormal events are everyday. He is startled by super hot British guy Rhys (Reece). He knows Reece is a shifter but is unsure what kind. Reese asks him out for dinner and before they know it they are in bed together and Danny’s a bit shocked that a guy like Reese would go for a nerd like him. Suddenly he’s arrested for robbing his own museum and he’s not sure who or what Reese is and if he was only a means to an end for the man. It was a cute little story with a bit of mystery and just a touch of the paranormal which made it a bit different. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t turn in Reese as they’d only been together a day and he is an antiquities scholar who you’d think feels pretty strongly about stealing artifacts. I’m not sure what the ending means exactly. It’s kind of a HFN and I’m not sure it’s sustainable in real life but I did enjoy both characters even if they are bit of a cliché.
Inhabiting the Night by Carolina Valdez (98 pages)
Martin is a white tiger shifter living in California of Native American parents. One night he rescued someone being beaten and nearly raped by some local thugs. Trent, the rescuee, is a cop recovering from an injury, who is searching for his twin brother who went missing a few weeks ago. Martin offers to help him by introducing him to people who may have seen his brother. They are very attracted and things are going along when a crisis one night with a bear means that Trent is exposed to shifters and vampires when he never knew they existed. On the whole I enjoyed it but I had a few niggles. Why Martin allowed Trent to go with him to help the bear thus exposing the shifters, I have no clue. He said “Stay here.” but when Trent said “No, I’ll go too.” He just said “okay”. He didn’t try very hard and when Trent does find his brother, he acts like he’s all cool with vampires and shifters and hey, I’ll quit my job and move here with you guys. Life’s good. Huh? It all just felt a little too easy everything wrapped up in a few hours with a pretty bow. On another totally cultural thing, Martin and some of the other shifters are referred to as Indians; Martin refers to himself as an Indian. In Canada that’s pretty much like using the n-word. It makes me cringe. They are called Aboriginal or First Nations or maybe Native Americans up here, so when I read books which use the term, even in a context which may be totally appropriate, it makes me uncomfortable. But I know this is a case of my feelings about a word and not the author’s usage, as I know that is much more common term in the US.
On the Ragged Edge of the World by Jamie Craig (243 pages)
This is the sequel to Trick of Silver. Aden and Darren are living happily in the weeks following their getting together, when Darren gets a call from an old colleague to meet. She tells him there is some kind of power play going down amongst the shifters in DC, meanwhile Darren and Aden find out an ex-lover who betrayed the pack and nearly got him killed, has been inviting powerful people to parties. Finally Aden agrees to let Darren get some information using the help of his colleague. Seems the ex is creating new wolves and trying to stir up trouble and is determined that Aden will go down. They have to work to stop him after he kills one of Aden’s pack and kidnaps another. It’s quite the action packed sequel with Darren fighting for his place in the pack (literally) and Aden having to admit that he’s not infallible and that he’s making decisions based on emotion rather than logic and lots of political maneuvering within the packs. The smexin’ in these books is very aggressive and raw with a D/s edge to it and they don’t waste a lot of money on lube. LOL I did enjoy both books though and if you’re in the mood for something a bit edgier and violent it’s a good choice.