Keeping the Peace: When a lion shifter finds a stranger hacking his systems, he discovers a kindred spirit in the most unlikely of places.
Thirty years before, Vincentius Goldstein agreed to join the council with the express intention of bringing their technology into the twenty-first century. After all, he’d had fun hacking into it. He’s done that, and now finds the almost daily meetings and constant infighting stretching his patience. Vincentius prefers the seclusion of his computer room. When he discovers someone hacking into his system, his excitement is stirred for the first time in decades.
After figuring out where the hacker is located, Vincentius sends a council investigator after him. To his shock, when the investigator returns with the hacker, a small guinea fowl shifter named Cho, Vincentius realizes the man is his mate. Even with the mate-pull, Cho fears him. After all, Vincentius had ordered Cho captured and taken away from the safety of his flock and friends.
Can Vincentius figure out how to win the favor of his captive, or will he lose the best thing to happen to him in over three hundred years?
Hacking the Consequences is the first book in the Shifter’s Regime series. From what I was able to find originally, it was not billed as a spinoff to Richards’ earlier Wolves of Stone Ridge series. However, when I started the book, I immediately felt that I had walked into a story already in progress and by the 50% mark, I had little idea what was going on.
Cho, one the MCs, is a guinea fowl shifter, and he has a traumatic past. He and the other shifters he lives with were kept in cages for years and experimented on and it is referenced as if the reader is already supposed to know this. Additionally, there were many characters and relationships that had been established prior to this book. Vincentius, the other MC, is a councilman and there is a story of corruption and hacking that seemed to be started in a previous book. Vincentius has Cho kidnapped (off page) for hacking and realizes he is his mate, but by halfway through the book, the MCs had not interacted much. I felt no connection between the MCs and the larger plot did not make much sense to me as it seemed too much had already happened prior to this book.
I was looking for a light, fun read with unique shifters, but walked into a book with a large backstory already in motion. If you have read the prior series, you might recognize the characters and then be able to enjoy this one more, but as a standalone, I would not suggest starting here.