Author: Shelter Somerset
Narrator: John Solo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: TL Bland
Story Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 08/15/2016
Length: 09 hours 21 minutes
Genre: Action/Adventure, Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller
For Alaska Wildlife Trooper Zanebono Fusca, it’s just another summer in Anchorage until a slew of inexplicable fatal bear attacks sets the city reeling. As far as Zane is concerned, the timing couldn’t be worse. He’s besieged with his own demons, coping with personal loss and an identity crisis that clutches him worse than a grizzly’s pickaxe-sized fangs. Ten years before, he hoped Alaska would bring him a sense of his manhood. Now the “last frontier” could put him in an early grave.
Zane’s role to protect Alaska’s teeming wildlife gets even more tangled when handsome twenty-five-year-old Joshua Gaffner arrives seeking the details of his uncle’s gruesome death. But Alaskan officials have few answers. Against his better judgment, Zane takes Joshua deep into Anchorage’s far-flung backcountry—populated with eccentric recluses and ego-driven ecologists—in search of the truth. As the bizarre attacks increase, Zane and Josh continue to push for clues to crack the mystery. Finally Zane unravels a shocking discovery that makes the pieces fall into place. The trouble is Josh stands in the perfect position to become the next victim.
OK this story just did not work for me. I never connected with Zanebono as a person. I did not like his attitudes toward gender and his own bisexuality. This in turn made me frustrated with the romance because it really wasn’t a romance. Or at least it wasn’t a romance that I ever understood based on what was given to me on the page. It really grated on my nerves that Zanebono kept referring to sex as “making love” even when he freely admitted he viewed male anal sex as nothing more than scratching an itch.
I also struggled with the way the author treated women. Every negative comment was somehow “you know, like a woman” or “don’t act like a woman” or “emotional like a woman.” I think this author secretly hates women.
The ending left me so very confused because it was like all the characters instantly change personalities so that the story could have that picture perfect ending. A son that Zanebono constantly talked about as aloof and scared of his father, suddenly appears calling Zanebono “pop” and hero worshiping him. Zanebono suddenly becomes OK with his sexuality when up to this point it was very obvious no one in the book understood bisexuality nor treated it with any respect. It did not work for me.
I will say that the mystery was a good one at first and the tense scenes were well written. But I knew the outcome at the halfway point. I kept reading HOPING that it was not really going to be the obvious over-the-top villain with a huge ego just doing his psycho thing, but I was left disappointed because that is exactly what happened. And it was rather confusing to have characters so adamant that bears cannot think or act like humans, yet the author put us in the bears’ heads several times so that the reader could see them thinking and acting just like humans. It was rather at odds with the entire point of the story.
I cannot recommend this story.
John Solo was John Solo. His voice was easy to listen to and he did the best he could with the characters and emotions.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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