A great wolf shifter story …
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Joe Jacek loves his life for the most part. All he ever wanted to do was be a rancher, and that’s what he’s doing. He feels bad that his father didn’t leave the ranch to him and his brother Trent both, but Joe would never short his brother out of his inheritance. Lucky for them, they’re close brothers. They like to hang out in the evenings, get stupid then get on with work the next day.
But it can be a lonely life. While Trent is a great brother, he can’t be everything for Joe, and vice versa. Joe would like to get laid sometimes, and living where he does, that’s a rare occurrence. So he drinks and does a little something else now and then. It’s all good—he’s just relaxing.
He knows the road between his house and Trent’s trailer like he knows his own soul. Turning off the headlights one night just to make the drive more exciting isn’t a big deal.
Until a werewolf jumps on his truck. Then the rules for everything change.
Before I review Bailey Bradford’s Dark Nights & Headlights, I must say that the blurb hints at some sort of hanky-panky between brothers Joe and Trent taking place on their Texas ranch. This couldn’t be further from the truth – there is no sort of an incestuous relationship between the two brothers, and the story is entirely about the relationship of Joe and wolf shifter Diego – Joe’s brother does play a purely brotherly role in the story, but there’s definitely nothing untoward about his and Joe’s relationship.
Now that I have that off my chest …
Lately I have grown weary of formulaic shifter stories – shifter meets human, instincts scream “My mate!”, toss in some requisite angst and/or action, plentiful aggressive sex, there’s usually a mating bite so they can communicate telepathically, the angst/action is resolved, and they live happily ever after in a blissful sexual haze. Rinse and repeat.
So, I was a perhaps a bit jaded when I began reading Bailey Bradford’s Dark Nights & Headlights. What I found is a delightfully fresh take on the shifter trope. Diego is an Omega who has experienced a lifetime of abuse at the hands of his pack. He’s uneducated, unworldly, and fearful. He’s drawn to ruggedly handsome Joe, and can’t resist the temptation to be with him just once as a man before again resuming his life on the run. There is no “mating,” no mind-speak, no freaky animalistic sex stuff (but there is hot, hot, hot love making!), and no super strong shifter sweeping in to rescue their weak human in distress.
Unlike many shifter stories, the human in the relationship (Joe) is at least an equal partner to Diego, and Joe is the partner with the most sexual (and sensual) experience (Diego’s past sexual abuse does not count). Joe provides Diego stability and strength, and he and his brother Trent stand equally with Diego when Diego’s past shows up to cause problems. Also, through Joe’s love and support, Diego finally recognizes his own inner strength. Diego makes Joe happy – he loves him, he craves making love with him, and he can’t imagine his life and future without him.
The story isn’t perfect – there are a few loose ends left hanging in the story. I’m hopeful that these will be addressed in the sequel. The greatest of which is the discovery of a bone that may belong to Joe and Trent’s missing mother.
I recommend this delightfully emotional, sexy, and exciting shifter story. You will be glad that you took a walk on the “non-formulaic side” and discover Joe and Diego’s refreshingly wonderful love story. Now I want Trent’s story …
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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