Vince Ito is a treasure hunter and a dolphin shifter, and he likes his life orderly and to be in control at all times. Vince has the assignment of a lifetime, to find King Arthur’s sword, but he has been told he is not the team leader on this assignment. Instead, his partner is hawk shifter, Lachlan McAlistair, the one man Vince can’t forget.
Lachlan remembers all of it. He remembers how he gave up control to Vince. He remembers how Vince’s hands felt on him both in pleasure and pain, and he remembers the moment it all fell apart. He has no intention of letting Vince have that kind of power over him ever again. But as the men travel to Scotland to search for a sword that many believe is mythical, Lachlan and Vince can’t help but be drawn together by adventure, whiskey, and a deep craving for each other.
This story features a lot of tropes. In this book you will find:
- A dolphin shifter and a hawk shifter with actual on page shifting in chapter one
- Treasure hunters
- Second chance romance
- Fake relationship
- Scenic Scotland
- Men in kilts
- Sharing a room
- Submissive tendencies
- Chemistry and spanking
Yet despite all of these tropes, the book did not feel like it relied on them too heavily in the beginning and it started out fun.
Vince and Lachlan had a thing a few years ago for six months and it ended badly. They still see each other at work sometimes, but have never cleared the air and still both clearly want the other. They are not outwardly thrilled about working together. We get caught up a little bit on their past, but I would have definitely liked more time with the two of them as that was the best part of the story for me.
Things then started to go all wrong for me. We do see each man in their shifted form, but that’s about it. There is barely any tie-in to them being shifters and how it affects their daily life. We simply see them shift, and Vince swims and Lachlan flies, and they are always solo when shifted.
The assignment they were working on didn’t work for me at all. They get put on the assignment, but it’s never clear who they are working for. Another associate, Sten, has the lead on this one and for a while I felt like it was a set-up or a joke of some kind as Sten didn’t communicate well with Vince and Lachlan and came off as so poorly prepared. He even said “oops” during a pivotal point in the mission.
Lachlan is from Scotland and his father lives there on an estate as he owns a whiskey distillery. But other than a few well placed “ayes,” it was easy to forget Lach was Scottish. The treasure hunting read as a farce, complete with a mustache twirling villain. What started as a fun adventure story with two leads with great chemistry went down a chaotic path ending with cryptic messages for the leads that seemed intended to draw intrigue for the next book, but just felt familiar and like something I’ve seen before.
The author’s note at the end of the book states that this series follows her Rogue Rescue series chronologically and that Vince, Lach, and Sten were introduced in that series. That may have helped with some backstory, as although this book is listed as the first in a series, apparently it links back to a previous one. I liked the chemistry between and Vince and Lach and the relationship they were putting together, but there wasn’t enough of that here and the larger story here didn’t work for me.