Ain't nothing wrong with playing human – it's the other humans that ruin the fun.
After too many weeks as a New Mexico farm hand, werecat Roan desperately needs to get out of town or he'll start eating idiots instead of ignoring them.
But he discovers an abused werewolf in the pen of a travelling circus, and even though he can't stand the „dogs“, he decides to rescue his fellow werecreature. He is unaware that Betsy, the idealistic daughter of the local Sheriff, plans to do exactly the same.
Together, they manage to fuck up a perfectly good rescue operation and Roan catches a chest full of lead. Which isn't enough to kill a werecat, but now Roan is on the run to Mexico with overeager Betsy and their crippled werewolf charge in tow.
They will have to overcome their prejudices and grow into a family if they are to outrun the police, angry parents, jealous fiancees and vengeful circus fey hot on their heels.
Sunchaser is a non-romantic road-movie about a werecat drifter, a wide-eyed human girl and a defective werewolf learning that sometimes, family really is the ones you didn’t pick.
Tags: Urban Fantasy - Adventure - Non Romance - Shifters - Roadmovie - Family - Friendship - USA - New Mexico - Mexico
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Roan has spent his life roaming all around, never staying in one place longer than necessary. He still keeps up with his family, but never allows himself to care for anyone else. When he decides to save the abused werewolf he forces himself to have a hard look at how he has been living his life.
This story is told from Roan’s point of view and we get to know Betsy and Martin through his eyes. To put it plainly Roan is quite selfish at the beginning to the story and does his best to put aside any introspection. He learns that people are not always what they seem when he is injured while rescuing the werewolf and Betsy takes care of him. As they spend more time together they grow closer as friends and we can see Betsy growing up a bit now that she has gotten from underneath her father’s thumb. I loved all three of these characters and felt horrible for Martin in what had happened to him, but at least we were able to see him getting better. I just wish we were able to learn some more about him, but maybe that will come in later books. I look forward to reading more books in this series and learning more about this family.
Cover art is great and portrays the story setting and characters nicely.
Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride Book 2) by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus What a great fantasy adventure story. “Sunchaser” isn’t at all what I expected after reading “Softpaw” (the first book of this series). Roan, a saber-toothed werepanther, is a loner and thrives in his solitary existence, drifting wherever he pleases. Most of the characters, with much story time, are strongly developed and diverse. Since this is a road trip sort of adventure the scenery is constantly changing, however, it was easy to imagine a sense of place throughout. The urgency, tension, and danger in certain scenes was also well written and easily experienced.
There is a strong theme of family and personal growth in this journey, which is examined closely. Though most of the adventure is told through Roan, it is easy to see growth in Betsy and Martin as well as Roan. Betsy seems to be a shallow, oblivious blonde at first. She is the sheriff’s daughter and engaged to deputy Pembroke. Martin is the name Betsy gives the poor abused, dim-witted werewolf she frees from the traveling circus that came to town. Of course, Betsy thinks she is rescuing a large abused wolf.
When Roan checks out the circus that afternoon he can feel the magic, but can’t identify its source. He is also enraged when he witnesses the ringmaster’s abuse of the werewolf and is baffled at the wolf’s cowering behavior. Through an act of goodwill towards shifters of all kinds and, against his better judgment, Roan decides to liberate the werewolf from his cage. The fact that Betsy was in the process of trying to talk the wolf out of his jail when he arrived irritated Roan, not that he was trying to be the hero or anything like that you understand, but he readily stepped in to assist. Then things go wrong, Roan is injured and Betsy ends up saving them all with a little help from the werewolf.
I found this story full of heart as Betsy, Martin, and Roan develop a mutual respect as they redefine the standard definition of family. Roan’s self-deprecating humor is highly entertaining, especially since he is a cat who now has a doggie. Poor Martin is slowly healing as he puts on more weight and time passes, however, he may forever be a huge good-natured dog with monster teeth. It was also fun to learn a little bit about Deirdre Moonstealer, Roan’s globe-trotting, supermodel sister. I can’t wait to hear more about her.
If you enjoy easy-going, fun, urban fantasy, shifter stories, I think you will find this one worth your time.
FYI: “Sunchaser” is book two in the Smilodon Pride series, however it can be read as a standalone. Contains adult language with several F-bombs. No sexual content. **Originally written for "BigAl’s Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** January 16, 2017 Format/Typo Issues: A small number of proofing issues, however, nothing that threw me out of the story.
First a warning for my mm loving friends; there really is no mm or no romance in this book like the first one. This is totally different ball game so remember that if you pick this one up. =)
I was in love with this book since the start. Both Roan and Betsy were very interesting characters and really grew and changed during the story. We could see how the journey effected them all and how they responded to the different situations. And how everyone has things that they just refuse to give up, no matter how the circumstances change. Even the werewolf evolved and had a personality, even if he was the quiet sort. =P
Over all great story about a road trip of a sort and how sometimes pure luck picks the people that will be closest to you in the end.
It's not a fluffy book by no means but it is happy one that will leave you with feeling all cuddly. <3
Roen is a loner, a weresmilodon who doesn’t like to spend too long in the same place. He wanders as the mood takes him, alone and working as little as he has to
He certainly doesn’t rescue imprisoned and abused werewolves or go on the run with said werewolf and a local woman from a small town in New Mexico
And so began the weirdest road trip he never asked for - with a dangerous unknown supernatural chasing them and some very angry cops looking for her
This book is so much fun
What I love above all else is Betsy. Amazing, awesome, human Betsy. Throughout this book Roan makes assumption after assumption about Betsy. He assumes she’ll be weak, vapid, shallow, selfish, self-absorbed, whiny - and every single time she awesomely challenges him.
But at the same time she doesn’t subvert and shatter (because she does way more than challenge his assumptions) his assumptions by being an action girl underneath the dye and make up (and it is a sad trope that is so common in Urban Fantasy that for a woman to be kickarse and awesome she most run screaming from anything reminiscent of traditional femininity) - she is just awesome complete with the dye and make up. She’s kind and compassionate, she’s smart and she’s tough. She isn’t a dangerous fighter or lethal nor is she filled with rage or jaded or cynical (other so very common tropes for the Appropriate Urban Fantasy Female). She’s hopeful and positive and pro-active, she wants to change her life and she will.
She makes some pretty silly and sheltered assumptions largely because her connection to the supernatural has been entirely through fiction (and there’s some really subtle but quite snarky poking of tropes there, and I do love a good trope poking), but she doesn’t cling onto these ideas past them being proven wrong or disputed. She thinks in stories, some of them very twee indeed, but she deals with reality - whether that’s a brutal firefight with drug dealers or stealing a car or handling the reality of wereanimals around her. Above all she tries - completely out of her element, having to learn really quickly, she keeps moving, she isn’t stunned, or incapable - she learns, she tries, she keeps on plugging and not with even the slightest sense of martyrdom. She doesn’t persevere and learn and try while being suffering and noble - she does it because she’s got this and she can do this. She’s the gem of this book.
This book does a good job of challenging a lot of Roan’s assumptions which I really quite like since he has a - justly - bitter and cynical world view in many ways and he is shown several times, not just through Betsy, that there are good people out there. But at the same time it’s not done in a way that invalidates the racism that makes him assume the worst, it’s acknowledged that many of these acts of kindness are the exception. There are excellent calls outs of both subtle racism and the more overt hostility he both faces and expects
Roan is mixed race, part Native American and part Brazilian (not clear racially, but he is described as “darker” than most Native americans). He grew up on a reservation, but it’s clear his woo-woo - his ability to turn into a werecat, isn’t actually anything to do with his father’s Native American heritage (and nor did his mother chose his father because of woo-woo but because of the fact he lived more off the grid). However, while his experiences are shaped by racism, I don’t think he carries much of his Native American upbringing: more than anything, Roan is a feline by nature and culture (same as his mother) than a human being which does rather erase cultural markers. The description of his preferred type of women also feels fetishistic of Black women (he isn’t into Betsy because “ebony skin” turns him on - which feels reductive)
Seeing the cat challenge the werewolf is fun, because he is so very cat like. There’s this constant sense of superiority, arrogance and “I’m-just-doing-this-because-I-want-to” sense that any cat owner will know.
I also quite like the idea of a werewolf who doesn’t really know how to be a werewolf. And a werewolf that’s a big lazy dog that keeps pancaking whenever he can and would much rather take the car.
When I was offered a review copy of this book I jumped at it. I love good paranormal, have a weakness for shifters, and like to read a mix of genres, and so it not being a romance was part of the appeal.
The book didn’t disappoint—in fact, it’s on my list as one of the best books I’ve read this year. Some books I read and enjoy, others suck me in completely and I can’t put them down. This was one of the latter.
The characters were a big part of that. They’re interesting, fun, and the banter, and Roan’s narrative is great. Roan’s a werecat, werepanther to be precise, and his attitude is very catlike, right down to his nickname of Sunchaser. I also loved Betsy and her love for urban fantasy stories, which lead to her asking Roan all sorts of questions, adding to the fun. But it’s not all fun and games for these characters. Martin’s story is tragic—he’s far more than just a sick werewolf, but trying to avoid spoilers so won’t say anymore. Just that he’s an important part of this trio of characters, and I loved him as much as Roan and Betsy. I sat up late two nights running devouring this story as I had to find out what happened next—the plot had me on the edge of my seat, especially the last few chapters.
I need to mention the German tourists, and other side characters who appear in this story. They’re fully developed characters in their own right, and they really add to the story. I must admit I especially loved the tourists as I’ve just done a lot of research about Germany and got a kick out of recognising places they referred to etc.
The world building is subtle, but that’s the reason I think it works so well. It’s firmly set in our world but references the supernatural world that is a big part of it, but that most humans are unaware of. It feels natural, rather than forced and is very believable. There’s no romance but I liked that it was more about family and friendship.
Although this story is book 2 of a series, it stands alone well and has hints of the previous story which is Roan’s brother Connor’s. I’m looking forward to reading Softpaw which is book 1, and I was happy to find out there’s another book coming out soon.
I’d highly recommend Sunchaser to readers who love well written paranormal with great characterisation, a fast paced plot with a few twists and turns, and believable world building.
Wonderful feel-good book! Don’t miss it!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bazRZ... That was sooo fun to read!! A grumpy werecat, Roan, meets an apparently stupid bimbo, Betsy, then decides to be good for once and rescue an apparently dumb and injured circus werewolf, Martin. But Betsy has the same idea at the same time, and the rescue goes all wrong! So they are all forced to flee together, chased by the police, Betsy’s father, her fiancé – Pembroke - and the mysterious and dangerous circus master of the werewolf. I already so much loved the first installment of the Smilodon Pride series, Softpaw, that was a surprise for me as I don’t usually go for shifter stories. I still had doubts on this sequel, knowing that there were no romance.. Yeah I know it’s stupid but one likes romance ;) I nevertheless fell in love with this book. It’s so refreshing to read a book that manages to constantly surprise and entertain you just with its wonderful and warm storytelling and elegant style. The road trip of the three main characters was so fun, being also a wonderful lesson of accepting our differences: “Constantly getting his carefully maintained prejudice proven wrong was slowly getting exhausting. Betsy being smart and nice instead of a braindead bimbo, Martin being a pleasant companion instead of a slobbering mutt, Lt. Kellum being a helpful cop instead of a supremacist asshole and now these Germans being kind and caring instead of dumb and annoying. At least Pembroke was living up to Roan’s expectations.” I laughed many times at the dialogs: Betsy to Roan: “Have you killed many people?.. A few.. Did you eat them?.. A few.. Do they really taste like chicken?..” And just melted at the sense of humor and warmth on numerous sections like this: “Martin followed her and turned into a pancake again as soon as he was inside. Maybe that was his other shape. Roan almost said it loud, but Betsy surely would have given him one of those reproachful looks again”. I’m now completely in love with this series and hope to read about all characters of the first 2 installments in the next ones! Thanks very much to the Brackhauses ;)
Werecat Roan has found that he can manage to live among humans on his own as long as he doesn't stick around too long. It's not that they'll figure him out; it's that he can only put up with certain people for so long. And he's well past the time he should be moving on from his current living situation. But when he discovers a traveling circus has captured a werewolf and is subjecting him to torture to entertain the masses, he decides he has one last thing to do before he leaves town. Not that he's a fan of werewolves or anything. It's just that no one deserves to be treated like that. But Roan isn't the only one who wants to set the wolf free, and after the rescue attempt goes wrong he finds himself on the run with none other than the sheriff's daughter. And as a lone cat, Roan has to quickly adjust to being part of a crowd--and figure out what to do about the circus ringmaster who is hot on their trail (and is some sort of supernatural creature himself). Will they manage to keep themselves and the werewolf safe? And will Roan be able to set his loner nature aside while they continue to run together?
There are more than a few unexpected turns in this book, which is something I am always a fan of. Roan is a character that you simultaneously love and grumble at a bit while reading. He's gruff and a bit jaded while kind and caring at the same time. And it's not so much that he tries to reject the caring part of his nature, just that he doesn't want all of the trouble and fuss that seems to go along with it. His arch is indeed an interesting one, and it's as much of a journey itself as is the cross-country road trip that the group undertakes as part of their getaway. This is a fun and entertaining read that I can't help but recommend.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]