Rating: 3.5 stars
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When Quinn was asked to visit an animation studio with his favorite lion, Aseem, he was excited for the opportunity to share more about the large cat reserve with others, as well as for the donation the film would bring to the foundation. What he doesn’t expect is his attraction to the quiet artist in the corner. As the class concludes, Quinn takes the opportunity to introduce himself to Charlie. Discovering a drawing that Charlie created of Quinn and Assem is a plus, so Quinn invites him to the reserve.
Charlie lives a quiet, boring life in the house he grew up in, with his sister and her children. He’s played it safe his entire life. When he decides to accept Quinn’s invitation, he doesn’t expect one amazing, passionate weekend to change his life, but it does. Returning to his hum-drum job, Charlie sees the opportunity for a future he could only dream of in the form of a job offer from Quinn.
Moving to the country is a bit of a leap for Charlie. He doesn’t know much about non-profit marketing, but he works to make his place at Quinn’s side and the reserve profitable. Flipping his life upside down for a man he just met is a risk, but Charlie is willing to take it and charge forward alongside his lion tamer.
This book is sugary sweet. I’ve got to say, I’ve read this author before and I’m not surprised by the amount of oohing and awing I experienced throughout this story. Especially since there is also a big cuddly lion involved. Seriously, in another world (where big cats were safe) I’d totally want Aseem. Ooh… maybe if I could find an Asiatic Lion shifter… but I digress. His Lion Tamer is a story of unexpected and true love. It’s about the challenges of finding the right person and the compromises and little things that make it work. And yeah, it’s super sweet.
I loved the addition of Aseem and the rest of the reserve. I’ll be honest, domesticated cats are not my forte. I’m a dog girl. But big cats, that’s a different story. In this genre, we see a lot of cat shifters, but not enough stories set in the world of big cats. Not only does this story open eyes to the beauty of the beasts, but also the very real, very charitable rescues all over not only this country, but others, for several different reasons. The story also brings to light the very real danger of attempting to domesticate wild cats. And Aseem… well, he’s a character of his own. He’s so vibrant and cuddly. He’s a member of Quinn’s family and his best friend.
I really liked Charlie and Quinn, but there’s not much that is very complex between them. Both Charlie and Quinn are very cut and dry. Charlie is an artist/marketing specialist who has had one bad relationship in the past with his closeted boss. He lives at home with his sister and nieces. He’s a good guy. Quinn loves his job, loves his life, and loves his animals. He also loves talking about the cats, which is what puts him in Charlie’s path. He’s a gay man who has never really lived openly because he never had reason to.
I hoped for a little more from this relationship. I wanted something that may have made it not so easy for these two, but it was just that… easy. There wasn’t much that was difficult for Charlie and Quinn. Everything falls into place so predictably. I hoped for something to make me crave the relationship. I wanted that thing that kept me glued to the page, so much so that I wouldn’t have wanted the story to end. But it wasn’t to be. Don’t get me wrong—at the risk of sounding redundant—it was sweet. But that’s all it was.
So yes, I liked the story. I loved the cats. I really liked the guys. But when the book was over, it was over and I wasn’t necessarily upset about not having more of these characters and this story. If you like a sweet, angst-free story, you will probably like this one.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.