Author: Liza Kay
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/01/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal
When the woman you’ve been waiting for all your life turns out to be a man, will you be brave enough to open your heart for the possibility of love?
Viggo Cavanaugh leads an easy life. The European wildcat shifter loves his work as a climbing coach and travel guide, and he’s looking forward to meeting his mate and raising a passel of kittens with her. His life spins out of control when he returns home from a business trip to find his mate already waiting for him. His male mate.
Jaxon’s life has been in upheaval since he’s defied his alpha and risked his life to rescue a shifter held captive by his herd. Luckily, the deer shifter has found shelter with a pride of cats. Jaxon is overjoyed when he scents his mate in beta Alan’s home, even if his mate’s gender takes him by surprise.
Too bad Jaxon’s past soon catches up with him. His ex-alpha kidnaps Xander, the Wildcat Hills Pride’s leader, in order to get his hands on Jaxon.
Between rescue missions, new friends, a dubious ambassador for the shifter Council, and Viggo’s erratic behavior, Jaxon wonders if he and Viggo will ever have a chance at a relationship.
After I had finished the first book in the Wildcat Hills series, I was interested to see where Kay was going to take this rag-tag group of shifters. Well, I did know some of where things were going to happen, and I was interested to see which mate pairing would be the next to fall. In this case, we got an interesting “Gay for You” style plot.
You can debate the validity of the “Gay for You” trope all you want, but you have to admit it can make for some compelling fiction with ready-built tension. The Deer Surprise is no exception. In this case, we have a double GFY situation. One mate is a bit more open to the change than the other. We also have one mate’s private nature warring with the other’s need to exhibit his claim.
We have to watch Viggo accept himself and his mate. We have to watch him come to terms with the life he has versus the one he though he was destined for. We have to see him watch the fine line between being himself and hurting his mate (emotionally folks, emotionally). We get to see Jaxson having the opposite battles, internal and external.
Viggo and Jaxson are interesting together. They are opposites in many ways, which just makes their story that much more compelling. Unlike the first installment in the series, they love/mating story is front and center the entire time, even as they launch a rescue mission.
I will be continuing the series as it is available.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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