Dominant Predator by S.A. McAuley ~ Review by Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰

Informal Poll:  How many of you read that title and thought, “something kinky’s about to go down”? Me too! Major chain yankage there.

2319-210x336Title:  Dominant Predator (Border Wars #2)

Author:  S.A. McAuley

Publisher:  Totally Bound

Rating:  3.5ish out of 5 Stars

From the Publisher

A relationship is the least of Merq and Armise’s concerns…

With one bullet Merq Grayson set the wealthiest citizens of the world on a collision course with the poorest—with those fighting for their freedom. As the Borders War reignites, the Revolution faces heavy losses. They scramble to maintain their advantage, to strike at the Opposition and crumble their power structure before they are able to rally.

But Merq is in the midst of an internal battle that shakes him to the core. For the first time in his life Merq will have to reconcile the inherent tragedy of war and decide just how much vengeance can be justified by spilt blood. How much can he trust the men and women around him? The President, Neveed, his former soldiers, his parents…and Armise.

Merq and Armise find themselves off grid and on the hunt for Committee members. Merq is just as unsettled with Armise at his side as he was with Armise as an enemy, but they will have to learn how to fight together—or they may just die together.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence.

My View

Dominant Predator picks up where One Breath One Bullet ended without any time jumps. Actually, this one is linear time-wise which was one of my quibbles about book one. We get a considerable amount of character development with Merq and overall this struck me as a better told story than One Breath One Bullet.

Something I neglected to mention in my review of One Breath One Bullet is Ms. McAuley’s skill with a story arc. We’re barreling towards an inevitable and what’s sure to be an epic clash between “good” and “evil” a.k.a. between the Opposition and the Revolution, the only question is how will Merq and Armise fit into that clash. Dominant Predator focuses more on the move/countermove between the two sides than on Merq and Armise’s relationship. This one also seemed more violent than One Breath One Bullet.

As much as I like a good story and am starting to like sci-fi/cyberpunk, the relationship development between Merq and Armise took a turn towards old-married-couples-ville. They’re together throughout but… I WANT MY ANGRY SEX BACK! I got one quasi angry oral sex scene and that was it. *pouts* Ms. McAuley did cushion the lack of angry sex blow by having Merq get another piercing and a tattoo. That scene had so much potential… Building a bridge and Moving. On.

I like the story arc in Dominant Predator and if this were strictly a sci-fi book I’d be pleased as punch, but it’s a M/M romance and I think that storyline took a back seat to the battle-against-the-forces-of-evil storyline. I think Ms. McAuley’s going for relationship development via becoming partners and relying upon one another, which oftentimes works but here I think it missed the mark. My 2¢ as to what makes that approach work is having POVs of both protags, showing how they both are moving away from being enemies to being friends/lovers. Here it’s more telling rather than showing. Both of the first two books of this series are told from Merq’s perspective so we get a peek into his inner musings on Armise, but there’s insufficient dialogue between them to show the reader the building of that trust.

Armise is still a mystery. Ms. McAuley’s doing an excellent job of keeping him in the dark so to speak. Better story but less relationship development again has me wavering in the 3.5ish Star range.

Where to Buy

Totally Bound



I would like to thank Totally Bound for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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