Shadows in the Night by M.A. Church
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was one of MA Church's stories that I didn't read before it went to publication. I have the benefit of being friends with the lovely author, and I do get a few sneak peeks. Sometimes, though, it is refreshing to read a story without any prior knowledge of the plot.
Jason's character was much as I expected him to be. He didn't feel as old as he was, though, in the number of years he'd been alive. That made him feel more contemporary to the other main character, Chip. Since they're a romantic couple in the story, that was good because the element of Jason knowing Chip as a child could have been creepy later on with the added element of age. I also enjoyed the distinct personalities between Jason and his cougar. The quips, which I expect and love in MA Church's writing, were definite highlights throughout the storyline.
The distance, when Jason 'went away' so Chip could grow up was good as well. Definitely reduced the squick factor. However, the whole introduction of Jason and Chip's history made for the main events in the plot very transparent. I knew what was going on with Hawk and Simon which led me to know that Jason was back and things would start happening. The foreshadowing of all the backstory derailed the connection I could have had with Chip as he discovered who Jason really was and the history between him and his family.
I adore shifter stories, and alpha males, so I did like the romance between Chip and Jason. It wasn't instant: Oh, I'm a human guy that this creature says is his. Okay let me fall right into this fantastical new relationship model that comes from fantasy... on Chip's part. I believe in instant lust, even instant connection. Love takes work and getting to know a person. That wasn't ignored here, even when dealing with a somewhat pre-ordained type of romance that goes along with shifter plots in a lot of MM stories.
Overall, Shadows in the Night earned my 4 stars. I'm not quite unbiased, but I try to review with an eye to fairness on what I like and don't like regardless. I would encourage you to try out this eBook if you like shifter stories with a lot of plot. I, for one, can't wait to see if Simon and Hawk have a story coming out in this series next.
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