Author: A.J. Marcus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/28/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, M/M Romance, Paranormal
The lion, the jaguar, and the owl against the werewolf. Who will prevail?
Phillip Twohands is a thief and a weremountain lion. When he takes a job stealing an ugly kachina, he never realizes it will change his life forever. Daniel Hernandez is a werejaguar who is hired to steal the same kachina by the same werewolf who hired Phillip. When their paths cross, it becomes clear the tension between them is not all about rivalry.
The local sheriff, Shannon O’Flaherty, catches them in the act and has no choice but to take the two into his personal custody, which quickly ends up with the three of them in bed together.
When they learn the kachina has an ancient wolf spirit trapped inside, they rally to prevent it from transferring its power to the werewolf who hired them, but it will take all the strength in their new bond to succeed.
The blurb and the cover for this book excited me from the get-go. I’m not usually a big fan of shifters but the idea of a menage relationship between owl, mountain lion and jaguar shifters sounded fascinating. Unfortunately the story did not deliver any of my expectations.
First of all it’s written in omniscient third person point of view which is difficult to do and still maintain a deep POV. I never really got to know the main characters or their motivations beyond surface needs. There’s a lot of head hopping in the book without specific section breaks for the different characters. Instead italics are used for the individual’s personal thoughts. It made for a clunky read at times that constantly pulled me out of the story.
The plot revolves around two thieves, Phillip and Daniel, hired by the same werewolf to retrieve a kachina. I’m not sure why Mendoza, the evil werewolf gang leader couldn’t send his own men in. Phillip, a were mountain lion, and Daniel, a werejaguar, happen to attempt the theft on the same night and are caught by the local sheriff, Shannon O’Flaherty, who happens to be a wereowl. They hand over the kachina to Mendoza but Shannon insists Daniel and Phillip stay close.
The first night Daniel joins Shannon in bed despite there not being a clear signal that he was interested. I didn’t understand why Shannon so willingly slept with Daniel, especially since Daniel is a thief. The whole idea of him trusting Daniel and Phillip seemed odd to me especially when he made the following to comment to them.
“Do you know how many times I’ve criminals tell me to trust them and it came back to bite me?”
I suppose Shannon was relying on his gut here but it wasn’t adequately explained. However, Daniel and Shannon’s one night together must’ve been pretty powerful because Daniel quickly worries about Shannon being in danger and what it would mean for their future. At that point I didn’t feel like Daniel and Shannon had any kind of connection, in fact I didn’t feel it even by the end of the book.
There’s a fairly intense and somewhat convoluted plot regarding Shannon wanting to retrieve the wolf kachina from Mendoza, although he could’ve just stopped him from getting it in the first place. The story involves mages and witches and animal spirits. For some reason animal spirits are killing members of Mendoza’s wolf pack and Mendoza wants to harness the power of the wolf spirit so he can control all shifters. There was a lot of action but I was never truly invested. Instead I was more confused than anything because certain things just didn’t make sense.
The menage relationship, the aspect of the story I was most looking forward too, was severely disappointing. Daniel and Phillip sleep together because their animals called out to each other and soon all three men were in bed. The scenes were fairly erotic, but weren’t romantic in anyway. Instead it felt more like I was watching a porn scene than three men with a strong bond.
I’m glad the author avoided the usual cliché of shifters recognizing their mate on first scent but there was still insta-love at least between Daniel and Shannon.
The story left a lot to be desired though it’s obvious the author has a vivid imagination. I’d say he need to spend time mastering his craft. He could be a top notch author with just a little work. I’d recommend he read River Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. More than a surface POV would’ve helped a great deal with this one.
Even though I didn’t love this book I will check out the author’s future works with the hopes he will get better. There’s no doubt he’s got the talent to improve.
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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