Rhys Ortiz is struggling to adequately prepare for the upcoming winter. A wolf is stealing his kills and, with them, the meat Rhys will need to survive. But when Rhys decides to set out traps, it isn’t a wolf he catches, but a young man by the name of Everett. Rhys feels guilty since Everett was wounded in the animal trap, but the addition of another mouth to feed doesn’t make their overall situation any better.
Everett is eager to learn how to hunt and he can’t help wanting to impress Rhys. Having been isolated from the rest of the world for so much of his life, Everett finds that Rhys is kind and caring and everything Everett has been looking for in a mate. But the winter is setting up to be difficult in more ways than one and their chance at survival seems to worsen every day. If they can make through the snow and freezing temperatures, and if Rhys can accept Everett’s true nature, they might just have a shot at a happily every after.
Frustrating. That pretty much sums up Pest Control for me. From a less than believable plot, to characters that never read as fully developed, there just wasn’t much to like about this particular book. As a general rule, I try to be kinder in my reviews because I appreciate how hard authors work to create their works and get them published. But with Pest Control, there were just too many issues to confront.
The overall plot to Pest Control never makes much sense. Man finds guy in a wolf trap, takes him home to heal. Fine. But then the story tacks on a seemingly endless winter, huge time jumps, and glaring plot devices and everything falls apart. For example: when Rhys is confronted by an illness/injury, there’s only a vague suggestion he might go to the hospital. He nearly dies and requires a three-month recuperation period and never goes for medical care? Really? I realize there’s a snow storm, but the whole set up strains credibility. Not to mention the constant threat of starvation seems excessive; I realize Door Dash may not deliver everywhere, but these two have options beyond hunting.
Neither of the main characters is particularly well rendered. Everett often comes off as immature and rather obnoxious. While he has something of a shadowed past, we never learn a tremendous amount about him. He and Rhys would have been more interesting had they been given fuller backstories and a chance to grow and develop more completely. Also the romance that blossoms between them feels awkward. Initially, there’s a lot of lust and longing and that works quite well. But once Everett and Rhys decide to take the plunge, they go from zero to fisting in about a paragraph. I mean, you’d think they’d want a few surprises along the way, but nope!
I didn’t enjoy Pest Control. It didn’t work me on any level. The characters fell flat and the the storyline toppled into the realm of the ridiculous. I’m generally a fan of shifter romances, but the mixture here never gelled. I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.