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Jay Walking (Peckers, #1)
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Book Series Discussions > Jay Walking, by Jacques N. Hoff

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Ulysses Dietz | 1588 comments Jay Walking

By Jacques N. Hoff

Four stars

“Jay Walking” is the first of what promises to be a goofy series of bird-themed romances keyed to the premise of bird-shifters (you know, like werewolves, but, um, birds).

This novella is short, it’s witty and fast-paced and cleverly written, as long as you’re not annoyed by bird puns. I liked it enough to give it four stars for what it is. I liked it enough to buy the second book, “Cockstrut.”

What is isn’t is full-bodied. I think the author(s) did themselves and the series a disservice by deciding to go short and silly, when they could easily have developed this story into a longer, more complex story, without sacrificing the absurdist sense of humor and wry banter. I liked the characters of Jay and Simon well enough that I would have welcomed a richer exploration of their courtship, their pasts, and the whole weirdly appealing notion of bird shifters.

I know from the punning pen name that the authors are just having a lark (see what I did there?); but I think they’re onto something that might deserve a little more than they give it.

Plus, the coyness of the nom-de-plume (see, I did it again) is more irritating than anything in the book. It better be two guys teaming up to do this, or my feathers will be seriously ruffled.

Ulysses Dietz | 1588 comments Cockstrut
By Jacques N. Hoff
Four stars

The second in what I hope will be a substantial series, “Cockstrut” is silly, sexy and very sweet.

I think the pseudonymous Jacques N. Hoff is having fun with these, and the whole premise of avian shifters and the insta-love “I’m your mate” notion. Maybe too twee for some readers, but I must say I’ve enjoyed both of them and really want to read the third, which will take us to Australia.

The special quirk in this one is that we have an avian shifter who’s been in captivity all his life. While Jay Azure in the first book has lived his life as a human, Louis Green has been a pet for all of his twenty-something years. He’s a yellow crested cockatoo, and has been lavishly and lovingly raised by Mrs. Green. He’s happy being her adored pet, and only needs to escape now and then to a local gay bar to dance—because we’ve all seen cockatoos dance, right?

Trouble starts when someone slips him a roofie and Louis has to be rescued by our heroes from the first book (who have started an underground website for avian shifters). His fearful owner calls in the local exotic bird expert, Sebastian Grant, and then the magic happens.

Something about the way Hoff writes these absurd fantasy romances just plucks at my heartstrings the right way. I really am looking forward to the third installment.

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