An Intrepid Trip to Love (A Little Bite of Love #1) – Charlie Cochet

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“I wouldn’t want you any other way. The fact that you wear my shirts for comfort is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard, and it just reminds me of how lucky I am to be in love with someone so amazing.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This story had a bit more fantasy and in-world mythos than I was expecting (the prologue really took me by surprise), though the main part of the story seems to take place in a contemporary setting. Trip and Boone are the two leads, a husky-shifter and a husky/wolf-shifter respectably (from what I understand). The two of them know that they are actually a pair of rare true mates, but Trip is part of the Alpha bloodline (basically clan royalty) and Boone is a member of the guard (essentially) so clan law forbids them to be bonded together (also the people in power of the clan also seem to be very homophobic, which is another reason they can’t be together). Trip and Boone have known that they were meant for each other ever since they were teenagers, and the two of them have had to jump through a lot of hoops to get to where they are currently, but their relationship is secret to most people, and they still aren’t able to be together the way they want. Having to keep their true relationship hidden causes them both a lot of pain and frustration, but they do have some very close friends and family to lean on to help keep their spirits up. While Trip, Boone, and their close circle are just trying to mind their own business and get by (it’s implied that they’re being sort of shunned by a lot of the clan higher-ups), there seems to be some worrying stuff going on behind the scenes. The clan leader has allied himself with another clan for seemingly unknown reasons, and it also looks like there are some attempted forced-marriages going on (kind of like what happened to Trip when he was younger). The story only starts getting really into clan politics and shadyness nearer to the end of the story, most of the beginning is dedicated to Trip and Boone’s tragic circumstances and their interactions with their close friends. There are a lot of lighthearted moments in the beginning, even if Trip and Boone’s circumstances throw a bit of a shadow over everything. This seems like a solid lead-in to what could be a serious and action-packed series, for all the fluff and humour that’s also here. (Note: this story has shifter characters and mates, but there’s no mpreg.)

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Tristan ‘Trip’ Hagan is a Husky shifter who was born to be the Hagan Clan’s next Alpha, a position of honor and nobility, a position he never wanted and was all too happy to pass onto his younger brother. But when they discovered his brother couldn’t have pups, the responsibility of continuing the Hagan Alpha line fell back to Trip. Under the weight of the Hagan Council’s demand to fulfill his duty, Trip settled down and produced an heir, but after years of struggling to uphold his family’s traditions, Trip found the courage to do what no other Hagan Alpha had done in the history of the clan: he came out.

Five years later, and Trip is living a happy life with his cheeky pup and their own little makeshift family. True mates within canine shifter clans are very rare, but Trip has had one since he can remember. Despite losing his heart to Boone twenty years ago, Trip holds little hope of ever getting to bond with the sexy Enforcer, as it’s against clan laws for pure-bloods to bond with half-breeds. With the call from their feral halves to seal the bond growing stronger by the day, can Trip and Boone find a way to be together without losing everything?

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

 

[available for free from M/M Romance Group]

 

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Red River (Pack #2) – Cardeno C.

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“From his first night in Red River, Wesley had realized Jobe would be a wonderful person for an Alpha to have by his side.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. For some reason, I didn’t know whether or not I was gonna like this one, but I ended up really liking it. It’s got a nice mix of angst and schmoop. Wesley and Jobe are both good characters and I got invested in their relationship right away; they’re good together. The part I liked most was the world building and the way the characters fit into the world. Wesley and Jobe were born into two different packs that had two different takes on how they fit into the grand scheme of things. I hated the way Wesley’s pack ran, and I was so happy for him that being traded to a new pack ended up being the best thing for him. Jobe’s pack is basically a utopia. Also good is that the world building wasn’t clunky exposition, even if we don’t get a sense of the whole picture, we get enough to enjoy the story as it is. Just a note that there is mpreg in this story, but not until near the end and I think it’s the most unusual mpreg lore I’ve ever heard of.

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Born This Way – Poppy Dennison

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“No one else had ever affected Hart like Dayton.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. So it’s not that I didn’t like this book or anything, but it didn’t really do anything for me. I’m mostly ‘meh’ about it, to be honest. The direction it looked like it was headed in in the beginning made me think that I was gonna hate it, but then it turned itself around and went in a different direction, thankfully, but the story after that still didn’t hold my interest as much as I thought it would. I liked the premise, but the execution was a little lacking, most likely because of the short length. The characters weren’t really fleshed out, the world wasn’t really fleshed out, and the main couple didn’t have much chemistry together. The main relationship didn’t really sit well with me anyway, as I don’t feel it was very believable. Also the way Dayton ended up deciding to be with Hart was just too convenient and probably a bit premature considering the circumstances. It’s a quick read, and it’s entertaining enough to want to read all the way through, but in the end it’s probably not something I’d read twice.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and All Romance E-Books]

 

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What No One Else Can Hear – Brynn Stein

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“Hard not to fall in love with the little imp, isn’t it?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This one was pretty fun, and weird. Also it’s less about the romance (although there is some of that in here) and more about the relationship between our narrator and main character, Jesse, and the little boy he can communicate with in his dreams, Stevie. The story is one part slice-of-life about the kids and staff of a residential clinic for autistic children, and one part courtroom thriller. Personally, my favourite parts were about life in the center (I was a TA in a past life), but the drama surrounding the court case and everything that followed had me hooked. There’s also a magical element with Jesse and Stevie’s mental connection (it’s not telepathy), which was explained just enough to have things make sense. The writing isn’t the best, but it’s not a disaster or anything, and it doesn’t really affect the story itself (although the plot probably tends to drag a bit if slice-of-life isn’t your thing). I enjoyed reading this, and there was enough cuteness and drama to keep me interested.

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Book Depository, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

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