Siamese cat shifter Carter Strike is well known as Tommy Tittoti’s right hand, and everyone knows you don’t mess with anything or anyone that belongs to Tommy. Carter’s true role is more than Tommy’s assistant, and he often gathers intel for Tommy through any means necessary. Even if that means sleeping with people he doesn’t exactly like. Carter doesn’t do feelings or emotions, and he certainly doesn’t get attached.
Following a lead brings Carter to Bengal Damon-Cowles’ doorstep. The Rakshasa is revered among shifters, in charge of the South-West portion of Baltimore, and annoyingly arrogant. While Carter is grateful for Bengal’s help, he never expected Tommy to hand him over to Bengal in an attempt to ferret out the truth behind who is after Poe.
The more Carter and Bengal get to know one another, the more Carter turns up the sass and the snark. Bengal pushes every one of Carter’s buttons, and Carter has to push Bengal’s right back. But underneath all that is a simmering attraction that is apparent to everyone else but them. Not to mention, Bengal is harboring a secret few know.
But the plot only thickens, and the more Carter and Bengal learn, the more questions they have. Is Poe even the real target? Who is behind the attacks and subterfuge? The closer they get, the more danger they’re in. And even though Carter and Bengal realize they are mates, there is too much keeping them apart. Lives are on the line if they can’t figure things out.
It’s been quite a while since I read The Demons in the Details, the first book in this series. But Carter is a character that stuck with me, so I was eager to his book. I definitely think these books, and any that come after it, are best read in order. While the plot of the first book was wrapped up well, this story deals with events that are directly related to what happened in the first, and I think if you haven’t read it, you’ll feel a bit lost reading this one. This book also opens the door for a sequel, and I have high hopes for what is to come.
Carter is full of sass and snark. Some of that is just his personality, which comes naturally as a Siamese cat shifter. But some of it is cultivated to hide his past trauma. Carter is a more complex character that originally shown, and I really enjoyed the way the author peeled back his layers and let the reader in. As Carter had his own revelations, so too the reader learns more. It was well done and well paced throughout the story.
This book is told in first person POV, and Carter is the narrator. This makes total sense, as this is his story. As such, we don’t get to know Bengal quite as well. From a narrative standpoint, that leaves the reader in the dark about his past and his secrets as much as Carter. But by the same token, it upped the emotional impact of the reveal.
These characters had insane chemistry from their first meeting, and it only grew the more time they spent with each other. It was easy to see just how much of a connection they had, and I was pulling for them from the start. Their relationship was plagued with communication issues, some of which made sense given the secrets being kept. But at other times, I wished they’d get out of their own way. That being said, the romance was balanced well with the action portion of the story. This is a long book, and there are a lot of things going on. But I never once felt that the pacing was too slow, as there was always something being revealed and a knew scene to move the story along.
I enjoyed this from beginning to end, especially after the first book. Maslow has the ability to blend humor, emotion, and action which gives the reader a total experience. I definitely think you should pick this one up, and I, for what, can’t wait to see what happens next.