Mitch is a caracal shifter. He doesn’t fit in with his family or with humans. On the recommendation of some other shifters, Mitch heads to the Bluebird Valley Preserve, a wildlife preserve where shifters live and work and socialize without any prejudice or shame. It’s a culture shock for him because, among your traditional cats and wolves, there are some rather…ahem…exotic species as well.
Calix is a cat shifter and the preserve’s vet/doctor. He’s still grieving the loss of his partner and he’s determined to shut himself off from the idea of meeting and falling in love with anyone else. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, Calix saves Mitch and a little fox from a disastrous flood.
Due to a change in living situation, Mitch and Calix wind up spending a lot of time together and gradually Calix’s wall begins to crumble. Now, the two of them, along with their friends, have to come together to save the preserve and each other.
Oh my goodness, did I enjoy this book! Shifters are kind of my thing and when I find a unique story with characters that make me laugh as well as swoon, genuine laughs, and interesting situations, I get so excited. Mitch is all of this…and more…for me. I read this one on my vacation and it was so good, I actually stayed up all night reading it after an exhausting day on the Vegas Strip.
Let me start with the main characters. Mitch is a good guy, but he doesn’t really fit in anywhere. His family doesn’t necessarily approve of his sexuality. They didn’t kick him out, per se. However, they did send him off to boarding schools and “encourage” him to travel, rather than return home. The human world wasn’t really for him either, so he is sort of lost. I really enjoyed reading about his transformation from a loner to a heroic friend to many.
My heart goes out to Calix. He lost his partner and was still grieving. He’s completely cut himself off emotionally from everyone. He’s a vet and physician who can diagnose, but can’t heal. He’s a very sympathetic character. Like Mitch, I enjoyed reading how Calix warmed up to Mitch and the rest of the preserve’s residents. It’s almost as if he fought it, but lost…and was happy about it.
I really like the author’s style. It’s tight without reading like a textbook. It flows naturally from scene to scene. There is no choppy dialogue and the descriptions of the preserve’s residents and scenery have the perfect amount of detail. The images are clear without being overwhelming. All of this contributed to my enjoyable reading experiences.
One of the most important parts of the story are the background characters. As I mentioned, there are some unique and interesting shifters. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll give you a little tease. The guardian of the preserve is a winged lion. There. That’s all I’m sharing. I love how everyone is written. There’s love, and caring, and humor. Each character is well fleshed out without taking attention away from Mitch and Calix. They’re interesting, unpredictable, and charming, and bring pure joy.
There is quite a bit of action in Mitch. It never drags and kept my interest throughout. I’ll tell you it involves a catastrophic weather event and Mitch and Calix (and everyone else) must pull together to save the preserve and each other.
The romance between Mitch and Calix is a treat. The men begin thinking of each other rather soon, but their fall into love is a nice slow burn. Mitch is not a very long book, but it feels as though time is passing naturally. The smexytimes don’t begin until later in the story, but they’re well and truly worth the wait. They’re sweet and sexy and passionate with a touch of the humor that makes this book so great.
The ending was neat and tidy and perfect. The HEA was nicely written, and the set up for the next book in the series was perfectly executed. I am highly recommending this book. If you’re into shifter stories, it’s a lovely addition to any collection, and if you’ve never read one, this is a great way to dip your toes into the pool. I am so excited to see what comes next in the series.