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4 months ago by Hearts on Fire in ,

 

Author: Jaxx Steele
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: M/M Paranormal
ISBN 13: 9781920502584

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Oh, the potential that this book had!  A VERY nice cover. This amazing prologue, giving the back history of Reynaud and the death of his lover, Angele.  He is being punished for failing to protect his lover (who died with Reynaud right there, asleep).  Initially, the punishment was to be severely harsh, that of removing his magical abilities, even though the Council governing the crime for the most part believed Reynaud to be incapable of committing such a crime.  They come up with an alternative punishment – Reynaud will be transformed into another form and will need to find someone who will love him as is.  While waiting for the transformation, in his prison cell, he is visited by the true murderer, Baptiste, who killed Angele and stole his magic for himself.  He does this purely to get rid of Reynaud, who does not bring this up to the Council, as he has no proof.

Fast forward to present day, where Cameron, a former victim of abuse by his partner, is opening his Bistro in New Orleans. He has escaped from his abusive past, though is still constantly watching over his shoulder and being fearful, having nightmares.  He meets a stray dog outside the bistro and falls in love.  Names the dog Mel (for caramel coloring) and a duo is born.  This could have been great.

However, it falls short in areas.  A HUGE deal for me was the fact that when Mel reveals himself to be Reynaud, I just couldn’t believe an abused man would so nonchalantly have sex with someone who just turned up in the middle of the night, in his apartment no less, but also that the man tells him that he’s actually the dog, and abused man doesn’t even question it?  Cam is so terrified for parts that Joe will return, this attitude didn’t seem at all right.  Second, the whole Baptiste issue is just left hanging.  Why bother with the whole admission thing if there was no closure to it?  It would have been better for me if we get the idea that Reynaud was framed, but skip the whole “this is why I did it” by Baptiste, since it wasn’t ever addressed again.

I really liked Cameron, and he gets the 3 star.  Reynaud really isn’t there long enough in the present to get a feel for him, it is Cam’s unconditional love that makes the story sweet.  The writing is easy to read and flows well but it was a frustrating read that felt unfulfilled.

 

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