Author: Caitlin Ricci & AJ Marcus
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/01/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal
Watchers aren’t supposed to get attached to the shifters they protect, but this mountain lion is getting tired of playing by the rules.
Watchers never get attached. Kenai has heard that rule all his life. He started his training as a small child and his mentor became his world. Now, at nineteen, he’s handling the shifters in the Pacific Northwest on his own. He only interferes with them when he has to—otherwise his life is spent alone. As a mountain lion shifter he doesn’t mind the solitude, but in his visions he sees shifters going off and having adventures, and he desperately wants one for himself. When he meets a bear shifter walking through the woods near his cabin, he’s all in and ready for whatever the bear wants to do.
Derek finds the overly energetic mountain lion annoying. He won’t stop bouncing around, and eventually he has to put Kenai in his place, which sends Kenai darting off. He does want some company though, so he follows Kenai’s trail back to his cabin and invites him to the salmon pools for a feast. He thought everyone knew what went on at those pools, so he’s surprised when Kenai reveals he’s a virgin. That isn’t the only secret this mountain lion is hiding, though, and when Derek finds out Kenai is a Watcher and practically a god to the shifters despite his young age, it might be more than he’s able to handle.
Being a Watcher is a dangerous life, as Yuri knows, but he never expected to be kidnapped, and especially not to find his mate there with him.
As a Watcher, Yuri has always known he has to be careful around strangers. So few people understand what Watchers actually do, and most think that they have some kind of mystical abilities. When a ram kidnaps him and throws him into a basement with a raven named Regi, Yuri knows he’s in trouble. The ram is looking for Watchers, and he’s getting desperate. When Yuri realizes that Regi is his mate, he knows that he needs to protect the raven. But with no way out, they’re left with only one choice—to fight their way out of there, or die together in misery.
Lex’s life as a Watcher is about to get a lot more complicated when he decides to take on an apprentice, and her protective single father.
As the Watcher for the Northeast, Lex loves lobster, being in the woods, and sex. That last part, though, he keeps hidden from the other Watchers, because they’re supposed to be above those kinds of desires. He gets his fill of men from the local shifter clubs whenever he’s out doing his Watcher duties, and this one is no different. A hot guy, a night of fast sex, and he’s out the door again without anyone knowing more than his name.
But this time it is different, because that one night hook-up is Tucker, and his daughter is Lex’s first apprentice. Addie is headstrong, demanding, and more than Lex can handle. He never thought a seven year old little girl would be a match for him, but she is, and worse than that is how her father drives Lex nuts one minute and makes him think about the impossibilities of forever in the next.
When a drug lord risks exposing all shifters, Manuel, a Watcher, knows he has to step in to stop him.
Manuel doesn’t much care about what humans do to each other, but when a shifter drug lord risks exposing all of them, he knows he has to step in. While trying to find the man’s weaknesses, Manuel runs across Sydney, the drug lord’s son.
Sydney has always lived under his father’s control. He’s seen too much, and he only wants a chance to have his own life. It isn’t what his father wants for him at all, though, and Sydney has been looking for a way out.
Their attraction is instant, but before they can make sense of the pull between them, Sydney’s home is attacked by a rival drug lord. Sydney is taken and Manuel will need the help of the other Watchers to mount a rescue operation.
Running down the Florida beaches to stay ahead of trouble, Robert and Lance find a connection Robert never desired, but doesn’t want to let go of.
Robert isn’t sure how he feels about all the changes happening to the other Watchers. He has always believed in Watchers staying detached from the shifters they oversee, but that was before he had a little too much sushi and way too much sake and woke up married to Lance, a really sexy raccoon shifter.
Before he can sort out exactly what happened, the two find themselves mixed up in a mess with a tiger shifter who is part of a group of Russian shifters up to no good. While Robert tries to sort out the situation, Lance is focused on diverting Robert’s attention to him in the most sexual way possible.
Running down the Florida beaches to stay ahead of trouble, Robert and Lance find a connection Robert never envisioned, but doesn’t want to let go of.
There are five stories in AJ Marcus and Caitlyn Ricci’s Watchers series. Though strictly speaking it isn’t part of their Patching Up series, they are certainly spin-offs of that series. You don’t have to read one to enjoy the other, but if you do, I suggest reading Patching Up first so you can fully fall for Kenai before reading the Watcher books. Of course, I did things backward.
Each story in the Watchers series follows a different Watcher — Kenai, Yuri, Lex, Manuel, and Robert — as they find their mate. I am not going to go into what a “Watcher” is. You will have to read the stories to find that out. They each have very different personalities and different obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is that Watchers aren’t supposed to have mates. They are in a changing world, and they have to adapt.
As with most titles from eXtasy, I would classify these stories as shifter crack. They are short and not terribly deep. However, they are entertaining for an afternoon (which is how long it will probably take to read all five stories). As long as you can get past the typos and lack of proofreading, as well as suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours, you could enjoy these titles.
The Watcher series are the kind of stories I read when I don’t want angst or to really have to think too hard. Take them for what they are and enjoy.
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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