Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rec'd m/m romances: 'Control,' 'Wolf in Gucci Loafers'

by Jessie Potts)

This week we have three authors with awesome shifter releases (yum!). Here are my reviews of Control by Mary Calmes and Cardeno C and Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain. And bonus! The authors are sharing their takes on each other's books.

(Photo: DreamSpinner)

Control by Mary Calmes and Cardeno C.

My take: This was an interesting book to read. As most people know, I'm a die-hard Mary Calmes fan, and I adored Cardeno C's Wake Me Up Inside. I was so curious to see how a meshing of two different authors could work. Every other chapter? Different characters? How do you discuss the steamy scenes?? The final result was Control. Something I love about shifter books (well, good shifter books) is the backstory and the detailed pride/pack/flock. I love the rich, complex hierarchy and wasn't disappointed with Vy's. I did miss the snark and humor apparent in all of Mary's books, though fans of either or will love Control and use it as a gateway drug!

Vy is the Kuar of a flock of Hawk shifters and is knocked off his feet when he meets his mate Robert who is a bear shifter who never shifts. What ensues is a romance with a push and pull between Robert's deeply human nature and Vy's own animal instincts. Watching the two come together and pull apart had me cheering and cringing and wanting to shake each. Robert was so sweet, but my heart belongs to Vy. He's such a wild, yet strong alpha. He wants to dominate, yet release control to his mate. And I've decided he's next in my book harem (what's that? 30 now?).

Bottom line: If you're new to either author, this is a great bridge, and also a fantastic love story between two drastically different shifters.

Tara Lain's take: You know how we spent our youth trying to get an A? Well, I'm here to tell you that in romance — gay romance, in particular — the best grade you can get is — a C! C as in Calmes. C as in Cardeno C. And C as in their great new book just released from Dreamspinner, Control. I'm reading it now. A Hawk shifter right off gets my attention. Add a bear shifter who likes being human, and you've got power mixed with power — and I'm anticipating that special sweetness that puts the C in "Can't keep from reading their books!" I'll bet you agree.

(Photo: DreamSpinner)

Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain

My take: Lindsey had my eye the moment I saw (well, read) him in The Pack or the Panther, which was Tara's first foray into the paranormal. You have to read the first to truly adore Lindsey, but, oh, man will you fall for Seth. Seth is a cop (the leather-wearing type of cop) and has a "type." This type definitely isn't the beautiful wolf wearing the designer clothes and with the flamboyant attitude. However, Seth's libido has, well, other ideas. When Lindsey's friend's daughter is kidnapped, Seth is brought on to help, and when the two meet, sparks (and fur) fly. : )

What I loved about Lindsey was that he is all contradictions. On one hand, he embodies the gay stereotype and tends to utilize drama. Threaten those he loves, and his dominant alpha side rises to the surface and comes out, claws bared. Seth, though, is tall, dark, dominant and rides a motorcycle. His confession about his feelings for Lindsey just makes me adore him more. My only problem was that I felt this could have used another 50 pages to really pull out more of their romance and, of course, more of the pack dynamics.

Bottom line: If you are a Tara fan (or new to her style) and like gay men with dual sides, cops with hot dominant personalities and a whole lot of romance and steam, check out Wolf in Gucci Loafers.

Cardeno C and Mary Calmes' take: Take a strong half-werewolf and a stubborn human police officer, add in smoking sex and a fun cast of secondary characters, and then mix them together with an interesting mystery, and you get a very enjoyable read. Between the humor, the heat, and the romance, we couldn't put this book down.

Jessie Potts, also known as Book Taster, adores books in all forms. She also does reviews for Bitten by Books and RT Book Reviews and is an intern at Entangled Publishing. You can follow her on Twitter (@BookTaster).

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