Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Prequel to Infected: Prey
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Roan is working a frustrating stalker case, with no shortage of suspects and little solid evidence, when he comes across a startling eyewitness living in his car across the street from the scene. A tiger-strain infected, the only one Roan’s ever met, Paris Lehane is a former Canadian golden boy who suffered a breakdown after becoming infected in college.
While Roan’s ex, Diego “Dee” Cole, warns against falling for the infected Paris, a man doomed to die, Roan struggles with his attraction and the knowledge that no happily ever after is possible for them.
But is the knowledge enough to discourage him from following his heart? Roan helps Paris out of homelessness, and maybe a special hospital can help Paris with the infection, but Roan’s got his hands full with this case, and there’s no end in sight.
Before I discuss this title, I want to throw “Kudos!” out to Anne Cain, the artist for this cover. This has to be one of the most affecting portraits of a character I have ever seen. Stunning and heartbreaking, this is a perfect interpretation of Paris: open, vulnerable, and fated. I don’t think a cover has ever evoked this much emotion in me. Well done, Anne Cain.
This novella was written as a prequel to Prey, the first book in the Infected series by Andrea Speed. However, I would strongly recommend that it be read after Prey, as it serves extremely well as an extended flashback and as preparation for the second book in the series. Having read the first book prior to Paris, I was already familiar with the cat-infected world and its social structure and prejudices. Also, though not truly needed, having the details about Paris and Roan’s relationship was helpful because I had an established connection to the two men, making Paris’s story all the more meaningful and poignant.
Infected: Paris recounts how Paris and Roan meet and the circumstances surrounding the development of their relationship. Their attraction to one another is beautiful, and I loved seeing their initial connection and Roan’s immediate need to protect his new tiger-infected friend. Despite himself, the gritty, jaded Roan has a soft spot for strays, and his advocacy for Paris is beyond touching. Paris’s vulnerability and precarious health are gut wrenching. Shunned and alone in the world, he is struggling to survive when Roan finds him and basically saves his life. Thus initiates their journey together as cat-infecteds and partners. The reader is also treated to a bit more of EMT Dee, Roan’s ex. Although they are no longer together, they have maintained a solid friendship, and Dee’s staunch loyalty to and concern for Roan makes him even more admirable as a secondary character.
I love the way Andrea Speed writes. She is skilled at grabbing the reader from the first sentence in a story and keeping them riveted until the last, bringing raw honesty to her characters and the world she builds. Edgy, with a touch of noir and foreboding, her storytelling is gripping and unique, falling far outside the box of the typical m/m crime thriller and adding a compelling twist to the shifter subgenre. She effortlessly blends and balances these two while also developing a satisfying romance between her main characters. Though I know they will not be easy reads, I am looking forward to continuing with the rest of the series.
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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