I really enjoy shapeshifters and J.M.'s writing so I had a feeling I was going to like ths story. And yeah, I liked this story. A lot! It is set durinI really enjoy shapeshifters and J.M.'s writing so I had a feeling I was going to like ths story. And yeah, I liked this story. A lot! It is set during the American Civil War and involves two men from opposite sides of the country that bond over a certain trait that they share. They are both bobcat shapeshifters and every month under the full moon they shift at night into their furry counterparts. I know!!! I mean, when was the last time you read a story like that?!? Yeah, never is the correct response.
This is the first of three novellas in the Between States series. I read this story in preparation for my review of the final story A More Perfect Union. You really do need to read this series in order and since they are relatively short it isn't hard to do. This first story is told strictly from Caleb's POV as he discovers Brance hurt in the woods and, despite the other bobcat's fierce refusals, helps clean his wound. Unfortunately upon his return the next morning Caleb is forced to reveal the location of the Yankee camp and Brance is captured. Caleb must then make a difficult decision to either remain quiet and protect himself or help Brance, who may never accept his apologies.
I really enjoyed the characters of Caleb and Brance and the details that J.M. has created around their shifting. It is an intense process that is quite painful but in their bobcat forms the men enjoy the benefits of being a cat: heightened vision, smell, sound and the ability to hunt and run quickly. The little details of how the bobcats move and interact are so very feline and make it easy to believe these characters.
What really makes these stories special is the setting, during the American Civil War. The men are both shifters yet they come from very different parts of the world. They are meant to be enemies but they are drawn to each other by their common ability. This story in particular explores the historical setting and how it affects the men. Some of my favorite lines of the story come about because of this setting.
"A row of wounded men lay on the ground just beyond the surgeon's tent, mere boys in a game of war, scattered and broken like toy soldiers."
"Covered in mud and blood, the blue and gray uniforms were the same sordid shade."
Caleb and Brance may be from different sides of the war, but they are mates in every way. Their interactions are fascinating to watch and the interactions between the men are engaging and moving.
"You may hate to admit it, and you can try to fight it if you want, but this isn't about blue and gray, or North and South, or even right and wrong. This is about you and me ~ we're cut of the same cloth; we share the same soul. You can't deny it. You can't fight it. You need me."
Under a Confederate Moon is a wonderfully engaging story about two shapeshifter that meet under the most difficult of situations. The characters are fascinating in their differences and their similarities. This is an excellent beginning to an exceptional series of stories!
This is the second of three novellas in the Between States series. I read this story in preparation for my review of the final story A More Perfect UnThis is the second of three novellas in the Between States series. I read this story in preparation for my review of the final story A More Perfect Union. You really do need to read this series in order and since they are relatively short it isn't hard to do. While the first story is told from Caleb's POV, this story is strictly from Brance's POV and that makes it my favorite of the three stories. I fell in love with Brance and all his quirks while reading this story.
Caleb is the energetic youngster that is just all over the place and always, and I mean always, ready for sex. Brance is the quiet and brooding one who puts up with Caleb's excited antics but underneath he loves deeply and completely. He doesn't always show his emotions but he is ready to protect Caleb at all cost and can't imagine living without him. He is the type of man whose exterior gives away nothing of this true feelings but his heart and soul are true and dedicated.
"Hugging Caleb closer, Brance wondered how he could've gone from having nothing in this world to holding everything in the span of his embrace."
"his lover, the tangible part of his soul and all that he held dear in this world"
Beneath a Yankee Sky is a fabulous story with well developed characters and an intriguing plot. There is a lot of develoment of the relationship between these two men and how they will need to work together to survive. I love how the men interact as bobcats and how their personalities translate into cat terms. J.M. has done a fabulous job maintaining their differences from human to cat form as well as describing their physical characteristics that are so truly feline. I found myself often comaring the descriptions I read to the behavior of my own two cats. This is a fantastic story and I highly recommend this series!
Caleb and Brance met under the most unusual of circumstances. As soldiers on opposite sides of the war, they are meant to be enemies but they share aCaleb and Brance met under the most unusual of circumstances. As soldiers on opposite sides of the war, they are meant to be enemies but they share a common bond. They are both bobcat shapeshifters and each month when the moon is full the men spend three evenings in their other form. They share one other important detail, a desire for men, and they quickly became lovers. They are now in the “backwoods of Pennsylvania” where they have built a home far from humans and other bobcats, where they can live together in peace and isolation as their shared love continues to grow.
As bobcats their needs turn a bit primal, the need to hunt for food and have sex. Brance obliges Caleb’s excitable nature by chasing and playing around, enjoying each other and their quiet solitude. When they discover another bobcat however things get a bit tense. Especially when they discover the bobcat is female and is able to talk to them using human language. Caleb immediately becomes possessive of his lover and wants to forget that she exists, but when she shows up at their home they cannot ignore her presence. Caleb and Brance must find a way to deal with the female bobcat in order to return to their own life.
A More Perfect Union is an exceptional book about shapeshifters, surrounded by the most chaotic of times in American history, who manage to forge a gentle happiness with one another. I love the characters of Caleb and Brance, and especially Brance. I love the differences between the two and how it translates to the way they approach different situations in their lives and their interactions with one another. There is love between these men that is true and heartwarming. The two are soul mates in every way possible despite where they grew up and what side they were fighting for.
“Brance was his, Caleb knew it ~ in flesh or in fur, they were two bodies with one soul, two halves of the same coin, and they meshed like well-oiled cogs in a machine much larger than themselves. No one could challenge that.”
This story is captivating and the characters are well developed, especially after three books. The addition of the female bobcat was fascinating and I was never quite sure what was going to happen. Snyder has crafted a wonderfully detailed tale that is a visceral experience and a pleasure to read.
This book is an excellent ending to the Between States series. All three books are enjoyable and I highly recommend reading them in order. My favorite aspect of these stories is the point-of-view, or POV, used within each. The first book, Under a Confederate Moon, is told solely from Caleb’s POV while the second book, Beneath a Yankee Sky, switches to Brance’s POV. We get a chance to spend an entire story in the mind of each of the two men, and get a well developed idea of how they feel and think. The final book, A More Perfect Union, is a blending of the two POVs which is quiet appropriate given where the men are in their relationship. I highly recommend this story to anyone that likes historical stories with a twist ~ you won’t be disappointed!...more
Kenny Hawkins was a clerk at the Gold City Bank until being accused of embezzling funds. The one actually responsible for the missing funds is Kenny’sKenny Hawkins was a clerk at the Gold City Bank until being accused of embezzling funds. The one actually responsible for the missing funds is Kenny’s boss and bank owner Silas Everett. Kenny has proof that Silas is the real thief but he can’t get anyone in the town to stop chasing him long enough to listen. Complicating matters even more, Kenny is a were fox and was shot by Silas with a silver bullet and Kenny can’t get rid of the bullet without help from a doctor.
To escape from the angry town citizens and recover from his bullet wound, Kenny goes to the only place he can think of where he’ll be safe. The caves near the town where he grew up, Crystal Springs. It isn’t long before his childhood friend, Nigel Garrett, discovers Kenny in the caves and takes him hope to recover. Kenny has been in love with Nigel since they were thirteen, but even though the were tribe does not have a problem with men loving one another, humans do. Kenny can’t see any way for he and Nigel to be together, and he vows to leave as soon as he can before ruining Nigel’s reputation. But first he needs to convince the town of his innocence and deal with the were tribe.
Unjustly Accused is a fast paced story about love and courage. It starts out running at the very beginning and doesn’t slow down until the very end. The most fascinating part about this story is the twining of genres. Based in 1873 Arizona, this is a historical story but with were creatures it is also very much a paranormal story. This is a combination that is not often used and makes for an interesting story. The characters are engaging and the interactions between Kenny and Nigel are enjoyable. I especially liked the scenes where Kenny is in his fox form, and the descriptions provided are detailed and engaging. Readers who enjoy either historical or paranormal stories are sure to enjoy this one....more
A Slow Fuzzy Screw is an enjoyable story which focuses on two men, who could not be more different, that find an unexpected commonality. Shayne has aA Slow Fuzzy Screw is an enjoyable story which focuses on two men, who could not be more different, that find an unexpected commonality. Shayne has a past filled with abusive relationships, as he struggles to find a partner with both a dominant nature and inability to truly hurt him. Leon is capable of causing great harm, with a violent past that he fights to overcome. As the two men spend time together, they are surprised to discover that their desires and needs are met by one another.
The story focuses on two interesting characters, with equally complex backgrounds. Especially enjoyable are the flashbacks to Leon’s past, how they are interspersed throughout the story and provide insight to a complex character. The story concentrates greatly on the senses, in particular smell and touch. The descriptions provided for both Shayne and Leon create a powerful experience for the reader.
The Del Fantasma series is filled with fun and interesting stories, and this is another wonderful addition. Although it doesn’t have a happily ever after ending, the future will definitely be full of interesting possibilities for these two characters. If you enjoy shapeshifter stories, and want to read one that doesn’t include a wolf, definitely pick up this story. You will not be disappointed!...more
Jack is in quite a bit of trouble when he is thrown into a cage with a cat. A huge white tiger, and Jack is to be the cat's new chew toy. He is in forJack is in quite a bit of trouble when he is thrown into a cage with a cat. A huge white tiger, and Jack is to be the cat's new chew toy. He is in for a real surprise when he turns around after hearing someone speak and finds he is instead sharing the cage with another man with cat-like features. Pasha and Jack will need to work together in order to escape from their captors.
Chew Toy is a good story that utilizes some interesting elements. I always enjoy a story that utilizes a shapeshifter other than a wolf and a tiger is a fun alternative. There were some aspects of the story that integrated the unique traits that Pasha gains with his cat form, but I would have liked a bit more. The main part of this story is the interaction between the characters while in the cage and trying to escape, both their differences and similarities. They are both appealing characters, ones that would have benefited from a slightly longer story. The ending came up before I was ready to leave the characters.
Overall this is a story with some good characters and an intriguing setup that opened up well but didn't hold my attention through to the end....more
Dan has been looking for Matt for nearly five months after the man disappeared suddenly. He has had no luck, and is shocked to discover the man behindDan has been looking for Matt for nearly five months after the man disappeared suddenly. He has had no luck, and is shocked to discover the man behind the bar at Donovan’s, the very place where they first met a year previous. Dan was interested in Matt from the first time he saw the man, but now all he can think about is the lies Matt told him. Despite everything that has happened, Dan still loves Matt and when they are together again he can’t resist their physical desires.
Dan and Matt fall back into an easy relationship, and Matt moves in with Dan despite the misgivings of his friends. They have turned the missing months into a bit of a joke, but Dan is acutely aware that he still doesn’t have any answers, and nothing is resolved. But when Matt has a disturbing episode, he realizes that he needs to tell Dan where he’s was and who he really is.
Sleeping Bears Lie is interesting story about two men that are trying to maintain a relationship without knowing the full truth about one another. The story was enjoyable and everything drives toward the ending, which is quite different.
There were a few things with the story that I struggled with. Dan has been searching for Matt for so long, uncovering the lies he was told, yet he falls back into an intimate relationship with Matt very quickly. Even though he loves the man, I felt he should have wanted some answers before going back to the way things were five months previous. There were also some areas of the story where I felt that more detail was needed, where the story needed to be fleshed out a bit more.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and the characters as they deal with the secret that is always between them. It is definitely an interesting approach to a shapeshifter story....more