Author: Charlie Richards
Cover Artist: Carmen Waters
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
On the Road: We always find what we’re looking for in the last place we look.
At nearly three centuries old, Diego Tamang decides to take a more proactive approach to finding his mate. He walks away from leading his pack, so he can travel with Kontra Belikov and his shifter motorcycle gang. His decision pays off when he walks into a backwater town’s diner and scents his mate, Zachary Young. Quickly making his intentions clear, Diego wonders what will be harder to overcome—Zachary’s young age, or his mother’s clearly displeased attitude. It turns out, neither, for soon Diego discovers that witches may have caused Zachary’s injury, which forces him to use a cane…and Zachary doesn’t know he’s a shifter. Can Diego ease his young lover into the paranormal world while keeping him safe from those that would do him harm?
So with any long running series, an author runs the chance of making several errors that will cause readers to either give up on said series or never start in the first place. The main thing that turns off existing readers is trite, redundant, or boring storylines. After so many installments, an author needs to find new ways to keep things fresh. Ms. Richards does well with Soothing the Zebra’s Fears. She sticks to her normal formula where mating is concerned, but she has introduced a new paranormal type with the witches and with that, she is able to introduce a worry that the shifters must overcome. By introducing the witches, she was also able to give the reader a visual show. The battle has great imagery with the spells being thrown around and with the angry shifters fighting to stay sane. It was a nice treat for my imagination.
With long standing series, there is also the risk of running out of new characters to keep the series going. Ms. Richards always seems to find new and seemingly casual ways to bring in fresh blood. In this case, the witches just happen to have some they were keeping as pets. Ms. Richards does not need to force new shifters into the mix. She is great at weaving it into her stories so that they naturally appear into the storyline and universe.
Finally, there is the risk of alienating new readers if they should pick up a story somewhere in the middle of the series. Ms. Richards is pretty good at avoiding that as well. In this story, she revisits shifter behavior, matings, laws, etc as Zac has to learn everything being a new shifter. By doing this, a new reader will not be lost. At the same time, she has just enough references to previous matings that a new reader will most likely want to go back and pick up her previous works. Its very smart on her part.
Overall, I enjoyed this read. It was fun, sexy, tense, stressful, mysterious, and loving. All the things that I have come to attribute to Ms. Richards’ works. I will note that this is an insta-love type thing as is normal for this series. I enjoyed it and think Ms. Richards makes it work well. However, if you are not one for instant anything, this may not be for you.
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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