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Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
I decided to go for this book for two reasons. One, it’s a shifter story. Yep, despite the fact that I usually have issues with how M/M handles shifter (and mating) stories, I am simply like a moth to a flame whenever I see a summary for a shifter book. Plus the summary of this book promises DEAD BODIES (yes, I am also a huge mystery fan, especially serial murders). Second, uhm, the reason might be silly, okay … but the two guys on the cover look like adult Stiles and Derek (from the TV series Teen Wolf). While I don’t watch that series at all, I see photos and I’ve read a few fan-fictions. So yeah, those reasons, haha!
Did I enjoy this book, by the way?
Yes, I did. I thought the strength of this book came from the first narrator, Rick Barton. Despite coming out of an abusive relationship, he didn’t felt like a victim to me. I mean, he wasn’t doused in self-pity and angst … even later on, he showed that he wasn’t unaffected by it. Plus with all the sudden changes in his life, being roped into the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation (PBI) with minimum training, and dealing with serial killers, Rick was still able to work through it. The banter between he and Travis felt good and enjoyable.
I was also quite intrigued with secondary characters, like the doctor Tail, and it was fun to have a real TROLL in an urban fantasy book (haha!). Travis came to me at first as an ass – but at the same time he was (borrowing a friend’s term) a touchy-feely kind of ass, and Travis actually amused me with his “I don’t give a sh*t about what people think of me” brash attitude.
The mystery itself was decent – and I would like to applaud the author for being able to present complex motivation that drove the villain. It wasn’t simply black and white; in fact, I was quite sympathetic with the villain. It was a refreshing take for a murder-mystery fan like myself.
I did have issues with a few things. The way Rick was brought into PBI, the way that Travis just bit him like so and then gave Rick only two options: “join me as lycan or live forever in discomfort due to the lycan virus” screamed non-consensual. Travis’ power with his ‘Alpha Voice’ that could simply made Rick do ANYTHING also prone to power-abuse. It made me feel uneasy. Then the whole issue about the motive behind the villain’s action – it wasn’t properly addressed. I can’t say anything more because it would become a spoiler, but let’s just say that I was disappointed with how THAT issue was handled.
However, despite my personal issues, I still thought this book was entertaining. Heck, I even tolerated Travis calling Rick pet names (including my hated word ‘baby’) because it was said in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way, to make Rick annoyed. Bottom line, it was fun to read. I checked the author’s website and this book was listed as the first in a series called “Leaders Murder”. I assume there will be more to this world coming from this author and I would gladly read the sequel.