Shifting Gears by Petra LynnRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Kenton is driving in the rain in the middle of the night when he spots an injured dog on the side of the road and takes the poor doggy to Will, the local vet. Will turns out to be a hottie who is interested in Kenton. The dog turns out to be a wolf, who Kenton takes home to recuperate and names Rain. But the wolf is actually a shifter, Gray, who takes to his rescuer, Kenton, like a wolf on a mission—but also begins to suspect Will is up to no good. But how can Gray show Kenton his feelings or suspicions if he’s stuck in wolf form?

This story had some problems. First, Kenton and Gray are together but apart through more than half the book, as Gray is stuck in wolf form. Because of that, and the length of the story, the two men, as men, didn’t really get a chance to know each other very well. Plus, the ending felt rushed. I got the sense this would be the first in a series with the same protagonists, in which case I hope the sequel comes out soon. If not, then the ending is far too abrupt, spoiling the novella’s strong start. The connection between Kenton and Gray-the-man wasn’t formed IMHO, and the instant attraction… well, I wasn’t buying it.

Second, Kenton and Will, the sexy, aggressive vet with an obvious villain sign tattooed on his forehead, have sex numerous times. Though sleeping with several men is not something I object to in romance stories if it’s well founded.  However, here it just reinforced how evil Will was and justified Gray’s hatred of him. One scene would have been enough to show how bad Will really was, as these scenes took away large chunks that should have been used for the true romance between Kenton and Gray. Some of you will undoubtedly consider this cheating on the building romance, and will veer away.

The plot revolves around Gray-the-wolf recuperating at Kenton’s place and Kenton dreaming of a man with Gray’s eyes, yet he never makes the connection. Plus in the background, individual wolves are going missing around the area, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on. There’s suspense and action, plenty of tense situations, but also frustrating ones. Kenton’s naïvete bugged me at times, and he’s the kind of hero who goes around all blue-eyed and then when he finally acts, naturally he ends up in trouble. Clearly, Gray’s the alpha male in this relationship.

For a paranormal novella, this isn’t bad, but it has some obvious flaws. The novella builds tension well, but then leads to nothing. There’s chemistry between Kenton and Gray, but it’s not explored through emotions, just sex. Also, no real background information is given about the shifters and how they fit in the world. In that sense, this is like a slice of life piece, belonging to a series—but doesn’t. I simply wanted and needed more than this tale gave.

If you like tension and action in your paranormal stories and an intriguing start with a wolf shifter unable to shift, then this will work for you. If you seek to immerse yourself into a rich paranormal world and fully fleshed-out characters, you may want to seek elsewhere.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

susan sig

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