John Tillman has been raising his sister for the past 12 years, but Cora has almost graduated high school and John is looking forward to finally being able to do what he wants. But in the meantime, John is taking every run he can, squirreling away as much as possible for Cora’s college fund. As a bush pilot in the Alaskan wilds, he’s got ample opportunity to book cargo flights. And since he’s an eagle shifter, he knows the terrain incredibly well. When Logan Maddox show up with his son looking to book a week-long hunting excursion in the Alaskan wilderness, John is quick to take him up on the job, and not just because John finds Logan attractive.
Logan served his country, but after losing both his legs—one below the knee, one just above—in the war, he’s determined to live his life to the fullest. Home from his deployment, he worked hard in rehab to get back in shape, admitted the truth about his sexuality to his wife, and began life anew. He’s never been with a man before, but John pushes all of his buttons. And while hunting and camping, they find a few opportunities to get to know each other better.
When an emergency causes John to have to reveal his shifter nature, Logan is shocked, but he cannot deny the truth. And neither man can deny the connection between them. Logan has to take his son back home, but the instant he does, he realizes he wants nothing more than to be back in Alaska with John. Logan takes a chance and returns, but never expects John to offer him the greatest gift: the chance to soar and a deep commitment.
Mia West is another new-to-me author, and one I hadn’t heard of until my recommendation fairy brought her to my attention. When I started looking through the author’s backlist, I immediately zeroed in on this story. A military man and a non-traditional shifter? Pushes my buttons hard. So I was excited to pick this one up, and see how West handled the story. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed at all and really enjoyed this book.
Right off the bat, we are given a great sense of John. He loves his sister fiercely, and would do anything for her, but he’s also looking forward to a time when he can live his life a little apart from her. Having been just 18 when their parents died, John hasn’t had much of a life outside of raising his sister. He’s done a fantastic job, as Cora is feisty and smart and has a good head on her shoulders. I loved their camaraderie, and it really gave John an extra layer that fleshed out his character. I loved that he was unsure and timid sometimes, and I loved seeing his big heart. John was the entire package.
Logan was equally well drawn. He had his own baggage to carrying, but I loved how resilient this guy was. He’s never been with a man before, but he had no trouble going after John once he was sure his interest was returned. He’s also had a few years to get used to his new existence and I loved that he had adjusted to his prosthetics. What the author did really well was allow us to see Logan’s occasional frustration, his slight insecurities, while still showing us that he had recovered and healed. It was really well done.
The attraction between the MCs was palpable, and it really gave us a love at first sight sense. These guys were attracted to each other from that first moment, though it took them a little time to act on it, but they fit so perfectly that everything about them made sense. I was swept up in their romance and totally believed they were ready, willing, and able to make a full commitment to each other even after having known each other for such a short time.
If there was anything I wanted more of, it was a little bit more development of the shifter side of things, the culture and lore, but it wasn’t a big detriment. I really loved that we got to see John in his shifted form several times, and then got to experience Logan’s first shift with him.
Really, this book worked for me on just about every level. There are two more in the series, books that feature secondary characters we’ve already met. I really liked the author’s smooth style and the pacing and development were perfect. I will absolutely be checking out the rest of the series, and other works by this author.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for New-to-Me Author Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from Interlude Press. One lucky winner will receive a selection of signed print books, as well as a variety of ebooks by authors new to Interlude Press this year. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on New-to-Me Author Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!