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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,818 ratings  ·  258 reviews
Vy Aleknos is the leader of a hawk shifter flock. Openly gay since he was a teen, Vy is proud and self-assured on the outside, while secretly worrying he’ll be forced to spend his life alone because two males can’t be mates. When bear shifter Robert Cimino appears in Vy’s small town, Vy realizes his concerns were unfounded — he has a male mate, and a sexy, dominant one to ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 18th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 17th 2014)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,818 ratings  ·  258 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
4.5 stars

I haven't read many shifter books. They don't appeal to me in theory. But this is Cardeno C. and Mary Calmes, so I was willing to put my baggage aside.

And I'm so glad I did!

This book was funny, just angsty enough to be interesting, totally absorbing, and sweet as hell.

Vy is a hawk shifter, the kuar (leader) of his ket (clan or tribe). The ket lives in a sleepy American town with a wolf shifter pack residing nearby. Vy is 28 and still a little hung up on the power that comes with being
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gigi by: Denise H.
I decided to stop at 50%. The miscommunication and sour personalities of the MC's just isn't doing it for me right now. I know this ends in a HEA and things will turn up rosy, but I just can't right now. I plan to finish it later.

I took a Valium and feel a million times less crabby. I'm at 75% now and am particularly enjoying the bear/hawk sex!

Review: There was a lot I liked about this book (rough, hot sex. Sweet emotions) and a lot I didn't (Vy's abrasive personality and tendency to jump to con
Emma Sea
Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Look, everyone has an off day. Mary Calmes has given me some of the greatest m/m reading experiences of my life; there is literally no other author I love more for floofy soppy height-imbalanced possessive love stories. So I'm not going to rip apart this book. (I am still going to wonder why she named her MC after mineral water, but what the hell, why not.)

I would like to point you to this lovely review, or this more measured one.

I would also like to suggest you don't judge Mary by this story. B
I honestly don't know how to rate this book. I stayed annoyed with one or both the mc's for 85% of the book. I never really warmed up to either very much both for different reasons.

Robert is a bear who doesn't shift. Due to a trauma in his childhood, he believes his animal is dangerous. Because of this, he doesn't recognize Vy as his mate. This hurts Vy. But Robert wants Vy to love the man and doesn't believe in being thrown together because of fate. And while I understand that he wanted the man
Jenni Lea
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: growl-and-howl

So I started writing my review about halfway in and it was going to be long and detailed about my woes but by the time I finished the book I had to scrap the whole thing. Why? Because by the end... I liked the book.

It was definitely different from what I'm used to reading, at least from Mary Calmes. I did not like Vy AT ALL for the first half but by the end he had grown on me.

So, I'll leave it at that and give it 3.25 stars.
Rosa, really

Update 5/16/14: When rating this book originally, I decided that since I didn't hate this book with the same passion as that shit pile Floodgates (which I gave 2 stars to) I should give it 3 stars. But, no, I really didn't like Control either, so, fuck it, 2.5 stars for you Mr. MC who I can't be arsed to remember!

Well, the good news is this is considerably better than Floodgates. But, honestly, would that be so hard?

The even better news is that there is no douchebag ex-boyfriend. There is no 200
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.5 stars

Well that was awkward.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just not made out for audiobooks. Or maybe, more specifically, I’m not made out for erotic audiobooks.

To start, this audiobook experience was only my 2nd. My first, I quite enjoyed. It was more of a romantic suspense/mystery. This one, well, it’s Cardeno C and Mary Calmes. And all the sweet & smut that I enjoy from them in ebook didn’t work for me on audio. It was just…squeeeeeeky…to listen to the sex scenes and the endearments. I felt…u
BWT (Belen)
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Basically this boils down to a typical Cardeno C "I want to take care of you!" hero (Robert) and a not-so-typical Calmes "I've got baggage and drama" character ("Vy").

Personally, Vy was pretty hard for me to like for more than half the book. Vy is so screechy (get it - he's a hawk!) with his key phrase so constant that I have actually suffered a kind of PTSD where I literally cannot see this title, or read someone's review, without screeching out loud (no matter where I am) "I AM
Update: I did love the audio even more. Damn this was HOT and so well done !! So I'm gonna up my rating based on this wonderful audio :)


Going for the audio this time...hopefully I wil love Vy even more ;)

Original review 8/4/16
This was another great read, recommended to me by Susan....thanks again sweetie ;)

I love shifters and I really enjoyed this one, because I haven't read a book about bird shifters before.

Vy is a hawk shifter, he is also the Kuar (leader) of his ket (pack) and he doe
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Aww...that was just so cute. Bonus it totally broke me from my inability to read since returning from GRL. Woot! I feel like myself again. Leave it to Mary to do it. It was a toss up, I knew it was going to be her or Sterek and I'm saving Sterek for tomorrow. Oh, but back to the book.

I loved this take on shifters. I loved that they were mates but not the same species. I also totally was into one being all mate, mate, mate and the other, being friends, boyfriends, relationship. It was quite a ne
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All shifter fans
Well, well, well...a hawk and a grizzly bear shifter book. Not your normal combo for a shifter romance but I've got to say this worked really well and its all down to the chemistry of not only Vy and Robert, the hawk and the grizzly in question, but also the chemistry between two of my fave authors...Cardeno C and Mary Calmes. You've rocked it guys! Told from each of the characters points of view, I think you can see glimpses of both their distinctive styles of writing but at the same time it ju ...more
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Might contain spoilers*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

Vytautas “Vy” Aleknos (28), the leader of a hawk shifter flock/the kuar of the Elk River hawk kettle and Robert Kenneth Cimino (35), a bear shifter who never shifts, are mates. As in soulmates/fated mates. However, as a shifter who never shifts, his animalistic instincts aren't there, which means, Robert doesn't know that Vy is his mate. Vy, who says he's a hawk before man, think this is heartbreaking because he will not settle with a man who only thinks him
* A Reader Obsessed *

I think this is going to be my snarkiest review ever.

I want to preface this first with the fact that I overall liked this book. When I think about it, it has everything I could want in a shifter romance. It's got angsty desire and doubt, uncontrollable mate urges and bonding, and over the top love sprinkled with some fluff and very hot claiming sex.

But....the main character Vy was ridiculous. He had some valid concerns and complaints and there were several times my heart went out to him. However
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Greg really makes this book come alive with his amazing narration. I've listened to this audio so many times I can quote entire parts...

Original review:

4.5 stars

I love shifter books. There is something about the ‘MINE’ that I really really like. I think it is the fact that both MC’s know they belong together no matter what. It diminishes the stupid fights and excludes things like cheating. Because both can’t stand to be interested in anyone else but each other.

It’s not all rain
Re-read Dec 28-29
4.5 Amazing Stars

Mary Calmes and Cardeno C. make a wicked writing team. The heat and steam coming off these pages was so strong and intense I was panting, deep breathing and fanning myself a lot!!!

I have to admit that at first I thought Vy was a bit of a jerk. He's a hawk shifter and the leader of his flock. He keeps rubbing this in Robert's face; almost like he's insecure or needs some sort of validation. Robert, on the other hand, refuses to shift to his bear form and tries to
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shifter-mm
5 Star Shifter Story!

This is a story I had to love, first of all it is written by two authors i love, Cardeno C and Mary Calmes. Now throw in a shifter story as well, and i am one happy reader! In this story we have Vy, a hawk shifter and leader of his flock. And we have Robert, a bear shifter, who is not part of any group. He comes into town for work, doing water surveys, and is immediately attracted to Vy. Vy immediately knows Robert is is mate, the one he is destined to be with. The differen
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, borrowed
Thanks to my GR friend “R” for the loan.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I liked it but it felt really disjointed. Lots of telling not showing. Seems like it needed more substance and the scenes filled out. And why they chose to write Vy as a leader who made ridiculous assumptions and flew off the handle yet is supposedly a great leader is beyond me.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Today only (12/9/17) buy Control for $0.99 and get Floodgates for free! (Both books together = $0.99!)
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
This review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.

As an openly gay hawk shifter and the proud leader of his ket, Vy has an image to uphold. He needs to be strong for his ket and gain their respect for his authority. When he finally finds his mate, he’s ecstatic and overjoyed until he realizes that Robert doesn’t acknowledge him as his mate because of the way Robert refuses to shift, hindering his ability to see who Vy really is to him. Crushed that he can’t experience the true affects of
It was just okay. My least favorite Mary Calmes (tied with, or possibly worse than, Again).

Yes, Vy was annoying, no doubt. But Robert was worse--Hamleting around all wishy-washy, at least Vy was decisive.
Michelle (Sherbet Lemon)

I was a bit surprised too as at first I was hating Vy for throwing around his power all the time, "I AM THE KUAR!" and Robert for his lack of desire to pursue anything with Vy despite the fact that Vy so clearly wanted him.

Despite a rocky start, Cardeno C has proven to me yet again that if she is involved in a shifter book, I should just trust her on the journey. Vy and Robert were so lovable and so well suited towards each other! Now unfortunately ther
Ok, I admit that I had some issues with the way this was written. I didn't much like Vy at first, and the story telling style kinda bugged me at times. Mainly in Vy's POV, when the story would jump a bit, and then backtrack while Vy stood there thinking about all that had happened. What, Lou or whoever he was with at the time just stood there for ten minutes while Vy woolgathered with a blank look on his face?

But once I got to know Vy, I came to understand a bit about why he was the way he was,
My first foray into shifter books in a long time. I really liked the two main characters. They complimented each other rather well, even though their personalities were so different. And I liked how the authors addressed fate versus choice when discussing the relationship.

Thanks, CC, for offering me a copy, and thanks to you both for writing this. I thought it was awesome!

Full review on Booklikes and my blog.

Just discovered Greg Tremblay did this audio, PEOPLE!!

Review and rating to come..

- Mary Calmes, Cardeno C. and Shifters.... *panting*
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Full review at

 photo Potential-OTDU-Banner-9-Smaller2_zpsf0878d67.png

Okay. I started out fighting with my feelings on this book. Vy bugged me initially, the ket bugged me initially. I was talking rather loudly to myself and thinking about walking away, but then Vy rubbed foreheads with Laura in the restaurant. Then he gave himself to Robert, and he tried to be his friend when he felt it was not going to work...and, and, and...I fell in love with the hawk shifter. Already really cared for Robert the Bear.

If you like Cardeno C and Mary Calmes but yo
Denise H.
*** Oh, my, this is so special ! *** These authors are dynamic together !
Vytautas Aleknos is the openly gay, powerful Kuar of the Elk River Hawk Kettle. He's 5'9", blonde, golden/green eyes, a carpenter

and a strong leader. He smells his mate, no doubt, then sees him. Robert is a tall, muscled, 6'4", 210 lbs.

botanist, who takes Vy and kisses him. After the mind blowing kiss, he asks Vy to dinner, takes him home and cares for him. Robert knew he wanted Vy, but not because of the "mate" , but be
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5, This was a different twist with these authors. It was a new shifter series with a Bear and a Hawk. You can see parts of both authors in this book. These are two of my favorite M/M authors.

This book was about Vy who is head Hawk of this "flock" who finds his mate, but his mate is a bear, Robert. They develop an immediate attraction, except for that Robert, never shifts. Robert definitely is attracted to the man, not the hawk in Vy, but Vy has trouble dealing with the "mate" part or lack of
DECEMBER 2014: I already read the book and my review of the story is posted with the Kindle version.
The narration was quite good and, even though he was a bit over-dramatic at times, Mr. Tremblay made the story come alive. I liked this audio version better than the book.

RELISTEN JANUARY 2017: After listening to hundreds of audiobooks and narrators over the years, it really was a different experience this time. While Trembly is a basically a good narrator, I found his Robert to be nearly intoler
☆ Todd
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun, quirky and utterly adorable. The "Robert will *have* to shift to protect Vy" part was a bit predictable, but I really didn't care.

Definitely a must-read, as all of Cardeno's and Mary's books seem to be for me. : )
Feb 25, 2014 marked it as i-want-to-possess-this
Cardeno and Mary? Lol This is going to be...something. I don't know if it'll be really good or really bad, but I'm going to read the fuck out of it.
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Mary Calmes believes in romance, happily ever afters, and the faith it takes for her characters to get there. She bleeds coffee, thinks chocolate should be its own food group, and currently lives in Kentucky with a five-pound furry ninja that protects her from baby birds, spiders and the neighbor’s dogs. To stay up to date on her ponderings and pandemonium (as well as the adventures of the ninja) ...more
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