Rating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Sid’s boss is standing in front of him naked. Which isn’t the unusual part. The unusual part is that, seconds ago, he was a giant wolf. Dixon, Sid’s boss, aside from wanting to show off his, ah, shifting, also wants to marry Sid, because marrying him will make Dixon more powerful, thus allowing him to keep claim of his land and leadership of the pack he leads. And he needs to do all of that before the full moon, tomorrow night. Needless to say, this is a lot to take in.
And then the shooting starts.
This is not so much a story with an intricate plot and world building as it is a story with a lot of sex. The characters go from Dixon flashing his employee and telling him he needs to marry him, to Sid and Dixon having sex. Lots of it. And then it ends. What little plot there is serves as window dressing to give the characters an excuse to do what it is they’re doing. Which is fine, or would be if the window dressing in question actually worked.
Dixon, a half-shifter, says such lines as “I know it’s a lot to expect and I understand if you don’t want to, but you will be mine,” with neither humor nor self-awareness. He and his wolf want to mark, own, possess, and dress up Sid in fancy clothes, have him waiting at home like a proper alpha’s partner, and fuck him. Dixon is also a billionaire and firmly believes he can do anything he wants because he’s rich. After all, to quote Dixon, everyone can be bought if the money is right.
Dixon feels absolutely entitled where it comes to Sid, his employee, because Sid is his fated mate, and thus, his property. While this trope and this character archetype can work … here, it didn’t. Perhaps because this was a novella, there was no time taken to flesh Dixon out as a person. His traits, his opinions, his backstory, all of it was told through exposition or other characters saying this is so rather than having Dixon show any of these traits or personality.
Much the same, Sid is wide-eyed and ready to be marked by a wolf. From moderate discomfort at seeing his boss naked to enthusiastic delight at the sex, he feels like he has only the personality the scene requires. Dixon says that Sid has a generous heart, that he’s a hard worker, but because none of this is shown in the story itself and no time is taken to showcase these traits, they’re not worth much. Other than being very sex positive and the spouse of a wolf shifter, I have no idea who Sid is.
It could have been fine that the story’s primary focus is the sex, but the plot makes zero sense. Dixon has bought, with his own money, land and lots of it. It is legally his land. His half brother is going to challenge Dixon unless he’s married in order to gain rights to the land. In fact, his brother is already making deals with loggers and real estate developers … on land he does not legally own? And it’s not like, once he kills Dixon, the deed to the land will suddenly be in his hands. Shifters are unknown to humans, so I don’t see how shifter law is going to hold water in a court of law and somehow award the land to Dixon’s brother.
Then it gets worse. Dixon’s brother comes to challenge him for leadership of the pack. During his rant about how he has sons and Dixon doesn’t, how it takes smarts and children to be a true alpha, he confesses that <spoiler><end spoiler> Dixon has him dragged away to be arrested. Problem solved and now it’s time to go back to fucking Sid … but it makes no sense! If the human courts work on this charge, why don’t they work on the other charges, such as attempted murder, or trying to steal Dixon’s land? Why did Dixon need to marry Sid if all he had to do was take his brother to court and get a restraining order?
The nonsensical plot and the undeveloped characters did not work for me in the least. The writing is stiff, with an emphasis on telling and exposition rather than showing, with the characters taking so much for granted without any of it really mattering to the story, or showing up in the story. I’m sorry, but even if you’re just looking for some spicy sex scenes between a shifter and his fated mates, this is a solid pass, from me.