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How to (Not) Train a Firecat

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  527 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The firecats of Dua are giant beasts with red-gold fur and lashing tails. They are also loving and loyal companions to the few they choose to serve. Every member of the royal House of Durii has a personal guard and a firecat to serve as a reminder of the greatness of their rule. After all, only the truly extraordinary would walk alongside a firecat. Only the truly ...more
ebook, 89 pages
Published December 26th 2018 by R. Cooper (first published December 26th 2016)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Shin Mon Thway
Considering this is only a 60 pages short story, I was amazed and very pleasantly surprised by how it was able to provoke so many tender feelings in my heart. I think this is undoubtedly one of my very favorite R. Cooper books. Usually she’s such a hit or miss for me but my god, I am head over heels in love with this story.

River works as a beastminder for the firecats of Dua. He’s small, mouthy and definitely very defiant, all the necessary qualities to be regularly picked up and bullied by
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story could have gone wrong so easily. For a fantasy book it's too short to have much of world building. Having a plot where a underdog working at the lowest level in the stables is in love with a probably noble wizard, it's clear quite early which kind of HEA we'll get. So in the hands of an unskilled writer, of an author who cares more about story effects than characters the best outcome would have been a nice distraction before the next hopefully more fulfilling book - but it's R. Cooper ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, b-2018-read


Good enjoyable afternoons read. I liked River with his prickly nature. Gav was a good match for him and River brought Gav out of his shell. The different customs created confusion between the characters as Gavin was more reserved in his flirting where River understood more obvious things. I’m not sure how River didn’t know who Gavin was when everyone else did, but it was good to see them get past it, I understood River’s reservations. I loved the fire cats and how they chose the
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance, novella, lgbt, m-m
I was so sure that I read it last year already ...I am still sure but obviously I forgot to write a review, which is strange as I think I read it for a challenge.

neverthless, I did enjoy this book immensely. Ryder was an interesting character and Gavin his perfect addition.
I would love to read another book with these two, want to know how Cari develops ;)
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An intriguing idea I wished had more inspired execution.
Leaf of Absence
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
For me, the first half of this was quite messy. There wasn't build up, we were straight in this world. And also straight into Gav and River's friends-with-benefits yet totally in love with each other's relationship. And then the world itself; Firecat's, soldiers and guards, royalty and beast minders.

This is a novella so I guess the first half was trying to do the character and world building as much as possible but I felt like I was running after the story, trying to keep up and put it all
Honestly, this just did not work for me. Even though this was under 100 pages I still struggled to finish it. I am also pretty sure I had no idea what was going on most of the time. Everything was pretty much just a big understanding because no one used words to explain things and the whole point of the story just depended on all those misunderstanding being spoken out loud and everyone having that “Ah Ha” moment....
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

The relationship between River and Gav was a little muddy at first and if the story were just a little longer with a bit more time reading about the two together or maybe a view into Gav's thoughts would have added another star for me. I loved both characters and the setting was fascinating. A full novel of this story would be a treat.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I do prefer R. Cooper's contemporary tales the most, but this was still quite enjoyable. I really loved River, though I did find Gav a little flat in comparison. A really good amount of world building, especially considering how short this is.

I did notice a few editing issues - a sentence missing a word, an entire line of dialogue missing.
Courtney Bassett
I was blown away by how much I actually enjoyed this. Though short, you get a feel of a bigger world, and yet aren't left floundering in confusion by the mention of different kingdoms and races. The protagonist is fierce and prickly and yet sweetly longing underneath it all for the apprentice wizard he thinks is far above his station. It's just FUN.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novellas
This one was adorable! I am glad I read it; the ending dragged a tiny bit, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
Dee Wy
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, short-story
Short story nicely fleshed out so I felt nothing was rushed or missing. Rewarding romance - really enjoyed it!
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! I really loved this book I’ve previously read R. Cooper’s Beings in Love series but for some reason never read more of her work. I feel very remiss at the moment because I have read a few now and they have all been so amazing!

The main character, River, absolutely made this book for me. The angst and self doubt of him just made me yearn for a happily ever after and Cooper did not disappoint. While the story is quite short, I never the less fell in love with the world and characters of How
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so, so SO sweetly funny... Spoiler aleet...

The humor comes and goes, resting entirely upon River's perspectives, perceptions, reactions, and innate sense of self-preservation that is, for being only twenty-two years old, remarkably mature and developed. River has had it rough, and being partial to boys, then men had quite an influence on his maturity (fifteen and pretty, he'd been susceptible until wising up), so Gavin got the full force of River's scowling defensiveness and sharp
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pride and misunderstanding, love and fear. 3.6 Amazon; 3.1 Goodreads.

This M/M fantasy novella is emotional and well-written, set in an interesting world. River's job reminded me a bit of Mercedes Lackey's Dragon Jousters, though the firecats' role is not the same as that of Lackey's dragons. Also, this isn't a good-guy[s]-vs.-bad-guy[s] or nation-vs.-nation sort of plot, simply a character-driven romance.

Differing cultural assumptions contribute to River's persistent certainty that he can't
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
R. Cooper is just unique in every way. She has a unique romantic sensibility and a unique writing style (not without its problems), but the end result, despite some of the issues, is a story that manages to wrap your heart in warm honey and caramel and keeps you going for days. The romantic payoff is always high in a Cooper book, and you might have to work for some of them, but the rewards are great.

Although her stories are usually short, her world-building is phenomenal. She manages to paint
Barbara Cerda
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A Book Review

I’ve articled before in how this author is a master at weaving fairytales for adults. This short story is a small sample of why I enjoy R Cooper’s work. I entered in her legion of fans after reading a few of her earlier works in this genre of adult storybook of dreamlike characterizations. Scenes of drama about the throws of love are animated and delectable.

This short story is a generous offering of love between a wizard and a great cat minder. Perhaps in our time it
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm
3.8 stars.

This was a short fantasy romance.

The characters are actually quite distinguishable and unique. Another reviewer said it right when they called River “prickly”.

I read this one in one sitting and it was definitely a fun and enjoyable way to pass my evening.

I will admit that I was expecting something where the main character would bond with a big cat throughout the book (which is a trope I LOVE) but it didn’t really work out that way.

I guess I took off 1.2 stars because it was so
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. This is one of those books that was so good that I wished it was longer. Or had a sequel.

The world and its people are very interesting. I wanted to learn more about the cultures of the characters and see a more in-depth view of what life was like bonded to a firecat. The book ends well for the story it was telling, but as a reader, I was left wanting to see what would happen afterward.

Overall, it lingered with me for a while, which I think is a mark of a good story,
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tiny taste of a fantasy world

This is a gentle little bit of a fantasy world of castles and wizards, and amazing cats and of two people who inhabit that world - Gavin and River.
A noble wizard and the guy who cleans up after the cats - two different backgrounds, two different races of people, but over time both have grown to love the other, but for River, living in the stables with the firecats he tends to, a real relationship with a lord wizard is only a dream, but sometimes dreams come true.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: MM, Alternate World, Mage
R. Cooper is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, consistently providing charming characters who grow and developed as they are thrown into exciting and interesting situations in their unique worlds. The world in this story has a clear presence without boring exposition. It's charming to watch the otherwise so capable River be so naïve about this friendship with the bookish mage Gav. The author presents a fun and believable twist to stereotypes. Definitely fun short read that turns an ...more
Chancey Knowles
I am not the fondest of short stories, but I found this one to be done rather well. Both the world and characters were developed well for the time allowed. The story was intriguing with some originality. In some ways I thought the cats were the true stars of the story. It was refreshing to see parental support from a top tier noble- along with the little reveal as to why she might be so understanding. I found the m/c's sweet and appreciated the apprentices tenacity for getting through to his ...more
Ikpemesi Ogundare
Loved it!

I love the story! I loved reading about their romance. The world building was amazing, it’s really cool to read a short story that has the same level of in-depth thought and planning and execution as a full length novel, so yes very well done. This story is definitely worth reading if your interested in a fresh take on magical companions as we as the lovers from different backgrounds trope. That’s all I’m gonna say, I wouldn’t want to spoil the story.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to think

This fast read has all the feeling of being part of a bigger story. I don't know that it is; I couldn't find the "next book" that this would be part of.

There are quite a few grammatical errors that are an easy fix but still cause you to be pulled out of the story to figure out the sentence.

An amazing story that makes you feel like you are part of this world. I truly hope the author decides to turn this book into a series.
Justyna Małgorzata
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really, really struggled to finish this book. Try as I might, I couldn't like the protagonist, not even a little. He's so childish! And talks a lot about cat shit. All the characters are acting weird, talking even weirder. World building is rather poor - we don't get to know much about Dua, Horun, their culture, magic, etc. I give 2 stars only because the idea (firecats, guards, lovers of different social status) was decent, otherwise it's just a big disappointment.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute joy

I have yet to find a R Cooper book that I do not adore, and this is no exception. For such a short tale the world building is exceptional. Gav and River are fantastic main characters and the story unfolds in a strangely unhurried way, for all that it is brief. The big reveal at the end is probably only a surprise to River, but I still could not help being entirely charmed. Highly recommend.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

A short and sweet read, I loved the world building (short yet enough to get a rough idea, feels like a universe that can be expanded on). I loved the setting, the characters and the relatively straight forward plot.

My one complaint would be that there was not enough cat interactions! Wish there was more especially at the end.

Overall, an enjoyable read!
April Rock
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great fun and characters

Truly entertaining story, within a unique setting. The cultures and their people wove seamlessly to envision the world. The tale of river and gav drew me in and kept me blazing thru the story .
I recommend this adventure tale. The author always manages to touch my soul in some manner .
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I'm a somewhat absentminded, often distracted, writer of queer romance. I'm probably most known for the Being(s) in Love series and the occasional story about witches or firefighters in love. Also known as, "Ah, yes, the one with the dragons."

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