Kristen Burns's Reviews > Strays

Strays by A.J.  Thomas
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4.5 Stars

I just kind of loved this! The romance was really sweet and fun. The characters were lovable. One of them was a hellhound, a supernatural I had never read about before. The other was an incubus, one of my favorite types of supernaturals. The sex was hot without being too serious. The story was good. That description doesn’t do the book justice though. It makes it sound kind of like every other paranormal romance out there, but this one really stood out to me.

This book didn’t have all the tropes I usually come across in paranormal romance. No protag who was too feisty for their own good. No brooding love interest. No overly eloquent or poorly timed love speeches. No instalove. Yeah, there was some secret-keeping that you knew was gonna blow up in one of the character’s faces, but even that was mild and quickly handled. The whole story, including the characters and the romance, felt grounded and realistic (well, realistic if there were really demons living in the world and accidentally falling for each other). Mal was a little gruff. Jory was just trying to get by and make the most of his lot in life. Both had done some questionable things, but neither was a bad person.

Another thing I loved, even though it didn’t have much impact on the story, was the hellhound portrayal! The author had a cool take on that.

I admit I was confused about all the demon stuff at the end. Who hired who. Who was in charge of who. What everyone’s motivations were. It got complicated. It was all very incidental to the story though, which means it probably didn’t need to be that complicated (unless there are going to be more books), but it also means you don’t really need to understand it to enjoy the book. And I so thoroughly enjoyed everything else that I didn’t even care.

Also, keep in mind that I listened to the audio for this, and when I’m listening to a book as opposed to reading it with my eyes, there are some things that bother me more, other things that bother me less, things I don’t notice or don’t understand as well, etc. The audio itself was great though. The narrator (Noel Harrison) did a wonderful job. Everything sounded natural. I would definitely recommend the audiobook for this one.

Most importantly, I was rooting for these two characters, both separately and together. I even developed a soft spot for some of the supporting characters too. I just really enjoyed this and kept wanting to get back to it every time I stopped. I smiled and chuckled and said “awwww” and made that little frowny throat whimper sound you make when you feel bad for someone—does anyone know what I mean?—so many times throughout the story. Ultimately, this book made me happy, and anytime a book can do that, it’s a great thing!

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes sweet M/M paranormal romance without too many tropes, books that make you smile, and lovable demons.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight


Initial Thoughts:
This was so sweet with a great realistic feel, and I loved it! It made me happy. I rec the audio. 4.5 stars.
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Reading Progress

May 2, 2019 – Started Reading
May 2, 2019 – Shelved
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019-books
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: paranormal-romance
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: paranormal-urban-fantasy
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: demons
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: incubi-succubi
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: hellhounds
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: gay-love-interest
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: gay-main-character
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: adorable-relationship
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: m-m
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: audiobook
May 11, 2019 – Shelved as: borrowed-hoopla
May 11, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed

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