As a laborer for a bricklayer, Nate Watson knows how miserable working during the summer can be. This year, he has decided he’ll avoid the baking outdoor heat by becoming a werewolf’s companion via the Shiftercorp Companionship Program (SCP). He’ll avoid heatstroke, earn enough for a home down payment, and get paid “to have the time of his life riding werewolf dick.” When Nate arrives for his first meeting with the winning bidder, he’s informed that because of a glitch, the winning bidder isn’t one he pre-approved. Cautious but amenable, Nate agrees to meet him, and is struck by a tidal wave of lust from just the sound of the stranger’s voice; seeing him has Nate agreeing instantly.
Though he is the CEO of SCP, Cooper Hudson never availed himself of their services, but from the moment he sees Nate’s picture, he is enraptured by him. After the winning bidder for Nate’s companionship can’t pay, Cooper uses his position to take his place. Feeling guilty, but compelled to meet Nate, Cooper prays he’ll be able to convince the man to spend his companion week with him. Upon meeting, the chemistry explodes between them, and it only takes Cooper a day to realize Nate is his true mate. Not wanting to overwhelm him or scare him off with the truth of being mates and how Cooper manipulated the system, Cooper decides to wait to tell Nate. However, with both men feeling the pull of the bond, but Nate unaware of why his feelings are so intense and afraid he’ll be irrevocably hurt when Cooper walks away, Cooper may run out of time to confess his heart.
I picked up Contractually Yours expecting a light, fun romp and the book does what it says on the tin. Had I realized that it’s part of a multi-author collection of steamy paranormal summertime sex in the city stories called Hot Bite, I may have been better prepared for the heavy sex, light plot, and scant world building. The “global werewolf reveal” happened ten years ago (I can only assume feline shifters came out then too, as they are mentioned) and the werewolves are wolf-man light. When Cooper shifts, he gets pointy fangs, pointy ears, and pointy claws. His eyes flash, but that’s about it. Cooper talks about his wolf as a separate entity, which makes more sense to me when an actual animal is involved, but it plays into the fated mates shifter trope well. Still, the SCP set-up is nice as visible, repeated, and eager consent from all parties is paramount, and the human companions control situations so they aren’t left in vulnerable positions.
The MCs are just fleshed out enough to make them likable and not simply cardboard props for wild monkey sex, but not by much. Nate gets about a sentence of backstory, Cooper not even that. Yet, there’s enough to convey that Nate is an easy-going charmer and Cooper is confident, controlled, and cares about providing a quality service and maintaining his company’s ethical standards (usually). Since Cooper realizes so quickly that Nate is his mate, there isn’t much more to his personality than being wrapped up in Nate and stressing about keeping secrets. Additionally, there is none of the ‘could he be a criminal’ tension hinted at in the blurb since Nate doesn’t actually worry about it. He’s concerned when he overhears Cooper mentioning terminating someone. Though, almost right away, sex melts his brain and he soon decides Cooper is too hot in bed good a guy to be involved in something overly shady.
The MCs do share some really sweet moments, as interspersed with the sex are a few dates, including a fun trip to the beach that showcases a bit of Nate’s cheekiness and Cooper’s responsible and protective side. The pair definitely burn up the sheets together, amuse each other, and handle Cooper’s secrets with no drama. This is a frothy, spicy and entertaining read if you’re looking for short and erotic light paranormal.