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Jacks Dowd is trying to get his life back together after killing Benoit, his lover and the man who turned him into a werecat shifter. Although it was hard taking Benoit’s life, the man was out of control and Jacks had to do it to protect the safety of others, including Farzan, the bodega clerk Jacks had befriended. Now Jacks is living with Farzan, working three jobs to make ends meet, and trying to put his life back together after the chaos of being turned and living with Benoit.
But things are not smooth sailing for Jacks. The police were already suspicious about Benoit’s death and reports of a large cat in the city. So when Farzan’s family store is robbed and Jacks defends against the gun toting thieves by turning into his cat, he once again draws their attention. On top of that, even though Jacks knows killing Benoit was a necessity, not everyone agrees. Killing and dominating humans are part of a werecat’s nature, and there are other cats out there that are not happy that Jacks killed Benoit to save Farzan. A strange group of werecats called The Glaring has gotten interested in Jacks and what they want doesn’t seem good.
Jacks and Farzan have been slowly falling for one another and Farzan has admitted how much he cares about Jacks. But Farzan is in a bit of denial about the creature Jacks really is. Jacks has developed feelings for Farzan as well, but the timing couldn’t be worse with the police breathing down his neck and the other werecats after him. The men are hoping for some kind of future together, but Jacks must get his life straightened out first.
The Glaring is the second book in Andrew J. Peters’ Werecat series and it follows directly from the first, The Rearing. The first book takes us through the development of the relationship between Jacks and Benoit, Jacks’ turning, and ultimately to Benoit’s death. Now in The Glaring we are seeing the aftermath as Jacks tries to put his life back together. When he ran off with Benoit, Jacks pretty much gave up his old life and can’t return to it. No one would understand where he was or what happened to him. So now he is living off the books, working under the table jobs and living with Farzan and trying to figure out what to do next.
This story focuses on two main conflicts. The first is the police’s suspicion of Jacks after he is involved in two crimes where big cats were spotted. The store robbery kicks off the book, but honestly this plot doesn’t really go too far. It does set up the idea that Jacks needs to watch his step, and makes his problems from later events in the book more extreme. But overall this subplot doesn’t carry much of the book.
The larger issue develops as the story goes on, and that is with The Glaring. We don’t learn too much yet about the group and exactly what they want. But Peters gives us some really interesting world building into the way the various cats can interact. We know that Jacks and Benoit could communicate with each other and with their cat Bella telepathically. And in this story we learn about the much larger network of interconnectedness and how that puts Jacks in even more danger. I found it a fascinating development and it sets up a lot of further conflict for Jacks and interesting potential for the series.
That brings me to my biggest issue with the story in that this book really is just a piece of the series and doesn’t stand alone in any way. It almost has the feel of a serial in that you need to read the book before, as well as books after for this one to work. Typically when you have a series with an overarching large plot arc like this one, individual books have their own discrete start and stop even as the larger story continues throughout. But even though we don’t have a cliff hanger, this one really felt much more like a piece of the story than anything that works on its own. We don’t learn much about what is going on with The Glaring or what they want from Jacks, we just set up the next book. That said, I was totally caught up in the latter half of the book and am so invested in what happens next. So this story definitely did its job in capturing my attention and getting me excited for where the series is going.
Another issue is that I wished for more between Farzan and Jacks. It is not so much that there isn’t any resolution for them here, because I am fine with seeing how the story develops and clearly they are not in the place for a major relationship right now. But the story sort of jumps from friendship and mild attraction in the first book to suddenly they love each other by the end of this one. We don’t see them much together or get any sense of things developing between them, they are just suddenly in love. I guess if they were going to be serious about each other by the end here, I wanted to see more of it develop.
So this one started off a little slow for me, but the ending definitely made up for it. Peters is really taking this series in an interesting direction and I can’t wait for more. You will for sure want to read The Rearing first for this to work. But I think once you have read the first two books, you will be as hooked as I am on this series. Things are getting exciting and I am definitely looking forward to more.