Thomas Bright spends most of his life protected by a glamor. It’s the only way a faun can live in the mortal world. But for one night, he decides to let his true form shine — after all, at The Wild Hunt costumes abound. It’s somewhere Thomas can hide in plain sight. At least until he captures the attention of Kern, The Stag. Kern, a Celtic fertility god, recognizes in Thomas a fellow magical being and the man destined to be his mate. Their courtship is a whirlwind, but Thomas discovers that dating Kern comes with a price. Because of Kern’s power and the power of the Master he serves, they are frequently under threat from those who would bring harm to the city. As long as he remains unmated, Thomas is at risk. And as Thomas struggles to decide what kind of future he wants with Kern, an enemy’s waits in the shadows.
So The Stag, the first in the Wild Hunt series, is ridiculous. I mean, just silly beyond belief. But that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable, at least on some level. The story isn’t particularly well developed and I wouldn’t say there’s much depth on display. But the interactions between Thomas and Kern are charming and flirtatious and they give the characters some life.
We don’t know much about Thomas and Kern, at least with regards to their backgrounds, and their relationship is both insta-love and insta-sex and not much else. But they do have some banter that elevates then above the banal. And while they don’t exactly have a believable romance, they’re a hot, fun couple and work well in that regard.
The Stag borders on being porn without plot. When it does try to offer up some scaffolding, it arrives as an info-dump and tends to slow down the overall pacing. It doesn’t last long, but it would have worked better had the information been more smoothly incorporated. The threat to Thomas is rushed and feels sort of tacked on. I should mention that The Stag ends on a cliffhanger, so there’s no resolution to either the main story, or the evolving one regarding Thomas’s friend Marshal. I think this is one of the reasons events throughout the book feel somewhat abrupt. The cliffhanger happens without much build up or explanation. And while I’m sure it’s resolved in the next series installment, this just added to the book’s lack of overall direction and tendency to rush through situations.
The Stag doesn’t have a lot to offer, but it has some moments of fun between the main characters. The plot is pretty weak and the entire book struggles to make much of an impression. It moves too quickly and doesn’t have the world-building to support the information readers are given. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but if you enjoy mythical paranormals there might be something here for you.