chasing his cottontailRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Peter is out hopping in his bunny form when he smells werewolves. He successfully hides from them, but he is caught in his bunny form by a well-meaning neighbor. Fortunately, Peter’s longtime crush stumbles upon him and decides it’s time for a pet. Peter has long loved his best friend’s older brother, Luke, but he never thought he could do anything about it. Now that Luke takes him home, even though he’s a bunny, Peter thinks he’s found a safe place to hide.

But when the wolves come back, Peter shifts and Luke is faced with the fact that his best friend’s little brother, and the man he’s been crushing on for years, is actually a bunny shifter. He vows then and there to do anything to keep Peter safe. Even if he doesn’t understand exactly why Peter is still keeping things from him. But the werewolves aren’t done searching for the bunny and they take Luke. Now Peter is the one doing the saving, but finally they sort out what’s between them and act on their feelings.

A.R. Barley is a new to me author, but I took a chance on this book considering it had some of my favorite things. A non-traditional shifter, in love with the best friend’s brother trope, and mating. While there were definitely places where the story could have been improved, it was a fun little romp.

I really liked that both Peter and Luke had feelings for one another, though they both had things standing in their way. For Peter, he thought Luke, who is gorgeous and eight years older than him, could never want a chubby younger man. Especially not with the big secret of his shifting abilities between them. Luke, for his part, thought he was too old for Peter, and more importantly, that Peter was in love with his brother. These guys were adorable in their longing for one another and I was rooting for them to get together. The characters weren’t overly developed, and I felt I was missing a little bit as to their feelings and emotions, but they each had something about them that made me like them. And they worked together, though the chemistry could have used a bit more spark.

The story itself is pretty straight forward. The wolves want Peter for one very good reason, though I won’t tell you what it is, and they are going to stop at nothing to get him. Luke sees the threat to the man he cares about and will do everything in his power to protect Peter. And Peter finds a little backbone and is willing to do whatever he has to in order to keep Luke safe. A little craziness ensues, and it ends with an HEA. I wasn’t expecting for this story to be ground breaking. But I would have liked a little more development. Things move a very fast pace and each plot point isn’t given enough time to grow. I think if there had been a little less going on, then perhaps I would have enjoyed it a little more as things would have been drawn out and more fully explained. I think the face pace was also a bit of a detriment. As much as I enjoyed the misunderstandings and conflicts not being drawn out for far too long, had they been given a little more time, I would have been more invested in the story.

So the world building here is a bit lack luster. Basically, it relies on the reader having prior knowledge, or at least an understanding, of how standard shifter worlds work. That isn’t wholly bad, as anyone who reads shifter books knows the repetitive explanation can get tiresome. But I still needed a bit more here to be really grounded in the world. Tidbits of info were thrown out and the characters, and reader, just had to go with it. More fleshing out of the world would not have gone amiss here.

But it was still an enjoyable read. Silly at times, and sweet, with a little bit of drama thrown in for heft. The MCs make this story work, even if I wanted a bit more from them and the plot. Anyone who is a fan of non-traditional shifters should consider picking this one up.

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