I actually read this book first, before Prey and Bloodlines. While I don't recommend doing that it did allow me to get to know Dylan without having PaI actually read this book first, before Prey and Bloodlines. While I don't recommend doing that it did allow me to get to know Dylan without having Paris' ghost hanging over my shoulder (Roan's is another matter), which probably explains why I like Dylan more than Paris. (sacrilege, I know) This series is very different from most shifter series. In most shifter stories the shifter are aware of who they are when they are in their animal forms, even if they think like that animal. In this series the shifters truly shift, that is, they fully change into big cats with nothing human about them, and those cats have no memories of being human. Shifting is hideously painful, moreover, and so these big, vicious predators wake up from their shift in agony, and very, very hungry. What do you think a cougar or lion does if it's in pain and there are humans nearby? If you think such an animal is dangerous and unpredictable, you would be right.
Life After Death is broken into two different stories. The first one Roan has been house-bound for about a year, grieving after his husband's death, when he is forced out of bed by a case. A formerly grieving widow, ("formerly" because it turns out her husband is not so dead after all) hires Roan to track down her missing husband. In the process Roan finds that losing himself in work, as well as confronting the grieving process head-on, is sometimes the best way to deal with things. It's interesting watching Roan start on the road to physical (lying in a bed for a year due to severe grief doesn't do good things to you) and mental recovery, as well as building new relationships.
In the second half we meet Holden, Roan soon-to-be partner-in-crime. "Fox" Holden is a former hustler, current high-end male escort, and Roan needs his help to track down a serial hustler-beater. Holden agrees, he's protective of the street-boys after all, but only if Roan agrees to help him find his sister. They both find more than they expected.
This series often gets lumped with gblt romances, but in reality it is more like a mystery/thriller series. Roan's relationships with his friends are as deeply explored as his relationships with his romantic partners, and above all the cases he takes and the mystery of his mutating werecat virus takes center-stage. If you're just looking for another shifter romance this series might not be for you, but if you are looking for a fantastic read this is a great series.
PS: don't forget to check out Andrea's site, andreaspeed.com. New chapters of Infected are posted there first before being published....more
I rather like this book, although some might find the resolution of main problem to be anti-climatic. This book is very character-driven, the main conI rather like this book, although some might find the resolution of main problem to be anti-climatic. This book is very character-driven, the main conflict isn't so much between Ri and Seamus's ex Pete as it is between Ri's horse nature and his human nature. Horse-shifters face unique problems even among shifters--all the other types of shifters are predators whereas Ri is a prey animal. Horse-shifters must eat more, they must be vegetarian, and they tend to either run or starve themselves to death. Horses only sleep a few hours a day, contrasting with the many hours wolf and cat shifters (as well as humans) sleep. Horses are creatures of constant movement and constant feeding. Ri is constantly in a state of skittishness, his first instinct toward any threat is to run. This is not cowardice, it is instead a completely normal reaction for a prey animal. The central conflict is between Ri's horse and Ri's human, and Ri has to learn how to balance the needs of both in order to survive.
In the end Ri's human wins, allowing him to confront Pete in a logical, human way. This allows him to diffuse the situation before it results in violence. Some readers may not appreciate how the story is resolved and that's fine, but I really liked the change of pace compared to Skye's other shifter stories (mind, I really liked those too!)
Seamus provides a steadying presence for Ri, accepting his oddities completely even before he found out that Ri was a shifter. He realizes instinctively that Ri needs human socialization, and helps him with that without being patronizing or over-protective. Ri is a fully intelligent adult after all, despite his skittishness.
Pete, (view spoiler)[ Pete is a wolf who had killed his own pack to save Seamus's life. He is very obsessive and slightly unhinged, but ultimately not dangerous to either Ri or Seamus. He believes that he and Seamus are mates and doesn't understand that Seamus is done with him. I actually feel that Seamus may have provided a similar calming presence in Pete's life, which resulted in Pete eventually seeking out a nonviolence solution to get his 'mate' back. Even though it didn't work out for him I think the final solution will be much better for him in the long run. (hide spoiler)] I have a feeling that we might see Pete again in his own book, and I really hope we do.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Devin is okay, but Laine is just too ditzy for me to care about him. He doesn't really seem all that concerned about what's going on, even when the baDevin is okay, but Laine is just too ditzy for me to care about him. He doesn't really seem all that concerned about what's going on, even when the bad guys are kicking the shit out of him. And he's so klutzy it obvious that the author wants use to think he's adorable. He isn't. This is probably the weakest of the With or Without series in my opinion....more
**spoiler alert** Apparently shifter/werewolf romance is a whole sub-genre of its own! Who knew! (well, probably everyone but me lolz). Anyway, I've r**spoiler alert** Apparently shifter/werewolf romance is a whole sub-genre of its own! Who knew! (well, probably everyone but me lolz). Anyway, I've read a couple books lately, including Snuff by Terry Pratchett (which I may Have Some Thoughts on in a few days after I've had a chance to reread it). Tonight I'm reviewing Finding Forgiveness by Dana Marie Bell.
Synopsis: Ben and Dave know that they are mates, however once, long ago, Dave saw Ben holding hands with another boy. Currently Ben (who is his Pack's Marshall and therefore able to feel what everyone else is feeling, even if he doesn't know the cause) can sense Dave's horrible headaches and nausea. Ben thinks that Dave's illnesses are caused by alcoholism and therefore stays the fuck away from Dave because his father was also an alcoholic and beat the shit out of Ben. In reality Dave has severe migraines and rarely drinks. The author, perhaps not so coincidently, also has migraines so this is something of a personal story for her. Anyway, Dave ends up having a horrible one because of the stress he's under (his job as Beta for the pack,as well as his paying job) which isn't helped by the fact that his destined mate pretty much holds him in contempt, and ends up hospitalized. Ben can't quite overcome his concern for his mate, and therefore finds out from his doctor and the pack's Alpha that Dave has migraines. At that point he is guilt-wracked, because he has badly wronged his mate, adding to his stress and unhappiness and therefore ended up being a cause for his migraines. He resolves to make it up to him.
This happens within the 30 pages. And that was the major conflict of the story. There are more than 100 pages to go.
I wish I was kidding.
The rest of the ebook consists of Ben following Dave to Disney World for Gay Pride week and the two of them bonding, talking, and having sex. The End.
The story is... okay. I guess. I mean, it's not bad. There's nothing in it that'll send me into a Rage (see a couple post back, the review of Bound By Nature by Cooper Davis... omg still raging about that one). Dave and Ben sit down and talk things out. Ben was holding his straight friend's hand that night because he was trying to run away from his abusive father, not because they were about to have some teenage sex in the bushes. These guys are sensible Which makes for a boring story, to be frank, even though I definitely prefer it over the outright stupidity of Bound by Nature. I was hoping that the migraine plot could have been stretched out more (perhaps by building on other instances in which Dave has a migraine and Ben thinks it was a hangover), perhaps a slow realization that Hey, hangovers and migraines feel totally different! (I actually don't know if they do because I've never had a migraine, however I've never been hospitalized for a hangover, and Dave has been for migraines so I suppose they don't feel the same at all. But maybe filtered through telepathy they do idk) leading to the big hospitalization scene and then the Disney trip could be Epilogue. But that's not how it happened. So, meh. There just... wasn't much to the story, I guess. :\
I did find Charlie amusing and hopefully her (yes, her, sorry for the spoiler lulz) story will be more entertaining.
So, I guess if you want a non-threatening werewolf romance featuring migraines this is your bag. Otherwise this story rates a Meh to me.