My Rating: 3 stars: Liked it, but I had some issues - recommend (B)
Once again, I am drawn to the fun pleasure of a short story from Decadent Publishing’s EDGE line. As I’ve mentioned previously, these stories are “slices of life” from a bigger story and meant to be enjoyed for the intensity of the moment.
Today I bring to you three such vignettes that all take place in the same world, and are follow-up stories to Unwanted Mate by Rebecca Royce. Together, they tell the tale of how three brothers find their mates at Gunther’s Bar, home of a shifter wolf pack and owned by the pack’s Alpha, Gunther, hero of the first story. Each story can be read as a stand alone, but together they paint a richer picture - to include Unwanted Mate, which I think is the best of all four stories.
In Bar Mate, we are introduced to the first Quaid brother, Stark. He is a human, aware of the shifter world, but lives on the fringe of the shifter society. When he meets Yvette at Gunther’s bar, sparks explode. I felt at times that the dialogue between Stark and Yvette was a bit odd and awkward... He asks if her boobs are real and she replies "shifters don't get plastic surgery," and then Stark compares her lack of focus to his dog. *shakes head* However, the pair has good chemistry and although the sex has quick... no drawn out foreplay, it was hot.
Unlike in Unwanted Mate, there is no history between Stark and Yvette. They meet, have sex, and wham... are mated. I think that's why I enjoyed the first story more than this one -- the history. I would liked to see the pair again to find out more about Stark. There is innuendo of a history, and I bet it would be good.
The next story, Mate by the Music, features Scott Quaid, brother of Stark, and Nancy Elwood. She is a lone wolf. He's searching for his younger brother (Stark) who's been missing for a week. (We find out he's gotten married and apparently can't do much but have sex right now.) She's tending bar for Yvette on a rainy night and there are no customers.
Once again, the short centers around a female shifter and human male. Once again, it's sex at first site and instant mating. Now that I'm on my third story, I wish I knew more about the mating. Clearly it's for life, but ... The more I read, the more I want this to be a longer book! Plus, I want my male shifters again...
The sex in this one was pretty smoldering. But again, without the (advantage) of any back story, I don't feel like the mating is important or even necessary.
In the fourth vignette of Ms. Royce’s Shifters and Biker’s Series, we meet eldest brother, Sean Quaid. Sean is justifiably upset with his younger brothers who have gone off and gotten married without telling the family. Not only have they abandoned their jobs (the trio own a very lucrative business), but he is worried the females may only be out for money. When Sean meets up with his brothers and their mates at Gunther’s he meets Victoria, who was hired to take over for Yvette.
Right away I like chemistry between Tori and Sean. They are thinking and not just doing. *snicker* Maybe it's because he's an engineer and planner like me ... So I related. I was right with him wondering how could his brothers just run off and let the company fall apart?
Yet he soon gives in to his desires for Tori, and they are quickly in the back room doing exactly what he had given his brothers a hard time over. I liked the story line in this one better than the previous two. Once again, there isn’t a lot of foreplay, but still very sexy.
In the end, I’d say that the bundle of stories together is better than reading just one. However, I feel that a short-length story can excel as a romance, and not just an erotic scene, only when there is indication of history, as in Unwanted Mate. While the three stories highlighted in this review are sexy and fun, the one-night-stand into mating/marriage didn't give me the satisfaction of a romance. These are fun slices of life and ideal to fit in between the tough parts of your day.