Cat shifter and beta for the clowder, Remi Ginn has met his mate in the most unexpected of people. Marshell Foles is a Vetala, a blood drinking paranormal who doesn’t shift. Though they are drawn to each other, there are definite problems. Remi’s clowder may not accept a paranormal as powerful as Marshell in the group. Not to mention, both men are dominant and toppy, so even though bottoming is necessary for mating, neither is sure about taking that step. But when Marshell is hurt, Remi realizes he could lose his mate before he even has him. And both men are ready to solidify their bond.
Everything isn’t smooth sailing even when they do mate. Even if Remi’s Alpha accepts Marshell, the elders and more conservative members of the clowder will make life difficult. Change is necessary, but it’s hard won. On top of that, the stalker that targeted Lawson previously for his relationship with Marshell is still on the loose and causing trouble for the newly mated pair. Hunters are after Marshell, wanting him destroyed. And just when it all seems to get resolved, life for another member of the clowder changes completely.
This is the third book in Church’s Fur, Fangs, and Felines series and I’m really enjoying the books. While all the information you need is in this story, it definitely works best after having read the previous two. Each book builds on one another. So definitely pick them all up and jump into a nice series.
One of the things that drew me in to begin with was the nontraditional shifter aspect. I like that we get to see the characters in their shifted forms and see how they think and react. I loved the scenes from Remi’s point of view when he was shifted into his cat, and that added a whole other layer to the books. Speaking of POVs, this book is told in alternating first person, and this is a style that I’m really coming to enjoy. Church handles it particularly well, and the characters are so distinct it’s easy to know whose head we’re in, though there is a tag at the beginning of the chapter. I thought it was a great way to get into both the MCs heads and really show us the story as it unfolded.
So there’s a couple of different layers going on here: the romance and then the mystery. The mystery got its start in the previous book. And it’s woven in here over the length of the book at appropriate intervals. It takes a back seat to the romance plotline, but that worked just fine for me. There were a few moments where I would have liked for it to have a bit stronger presence, as it occasionally felt like it was getting dragged out just to fill the longer length of the book. But I really liked the twist the whole thing took, and I was satisfied with the resolution.
The romance was absolutely the big storyline here, and that made me incredibly happy. Not in the least because I’ve been waiting for Remi’s romance since I first met him. I’ve always enjoyed this character, his steady presence, his loyalty, his levelheadedness, his playfulness. Remi is absolutely a likeable and relatable character, so I was glad to see him finding his mate and then watching him work through figuring it all out. His concerns and worries were valid for his personality and his situation, and they weren’t overdone or over the top. And when he was in, he was all in. His chemistry with Marshell was off the charts, and they just worked together.
Marshell, for his part, had his own worries, but I loved that he was all in and ready to go as far as Remi was concerned. Like I said, he just fit with Remi. They made sense on every level. I liked watching the power play between them, and the way they both knew it was a game. There were times when I felt like I should know more about him, but he’s a solid character in his own right. Together he and Remi made the mate bond look real, and made me believable their connection wasn’t just a contrived one.
So yeah, I really am enjoying this series and loving watching it progress. The characters are wonderfully consistent throughout, and I love that Church manages to tell a new story with each installment that also stays true to the world she’s created. This latest installment is a great addition and I can’t wait to see what comes next.