“Heroes make us smile because they not only rescue us outwardly, but inwardly too.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Werewolves are real. Marius enjoys the irony that everyone calls him a dog whisperer, not just because he’s a werewolf, but for his work at the local animal shelter. He has a unique talent for pairing families with their perfect pets upon first meeting them. But he’s still looking for acceptance and a forever family of his own. Then Jack comes into the rescue looking for a big, mean dog. To prevent Jack from making the wrong choice, Marius convinces him to adopt a needy spaniel mix instead. But when Marius learns Jack is tormented by horrible memories while at his apartment, he opens his home to the sweet, scared man. As their relationship grows, Jack feels comfortable telling Marius about the horrors he suffered. Marius hopes his steady presence, protection, and love can help Jack reclaim the pieces of himself broken on that terrible night.
Review: I am a huge fan of the paranormal genre. I love to read about magic users, vampires, shifters, elves and just about anything an author can dream up to entertain me. Another thing I love is animals. Especially rescue animals. This book luckily had BOTH!
In this new universe Caitlin Ricci created, werewolves are “out” to the humans, and Marius is a shifter that is out in a very small town, the town he grew up in. He and his best friend Cara have been successfully running an animal rescue for a while. Marius has a special knack for being able to match people with their forever animal, and when Jack comes into the shelter, Marius is very intrigued by the man.
Jack is looking for a large dog to adopt, for protection. Recently Jack has been through a very traumatic experience, and he doesn’t feel safe anymore. Jack isn’t able to make eye contact, let alone any other kind of contact, with Marius on their first meeting. As much as Jack wants a large dog, Marius is sure his perfect match is a smaller, previously abused dog. He just has to convince Jack of this.
Before Marius is going to be able to convince Jack of anything, he is going to have to start slowly earning the man’s trust. Which is exactly what Marius does. Marius slowly invades Jack’s life and not only gives Jack the physical space he needs but nudges Jack out of his protective shell at the same time.
When Marius finds out what happened to make Jack so fearful of everything, he takes actions to right the wrongs committed against Jack. Then he sets out to help Jack heal also. Slowly, with the help of his new rescue dog, Jack opens up to Marius and they become close. Eventually, Marius breaks through Jack’s defenses, and the two men become more than friends.
With the help of Marius’ brother, Jack is assured that the men who assaulted him will be dealt with, and this seems to open him up to the possibility of a real future with Marius.
The last bit of the book seemed a bit rushed, but overall I loved the book itself. Even though the story ends without answering every question I had about where this was going, I was happy to learn that this is just the first book of a series. I know I will be reading the next books in the series, and I highly recommend this one. I believe Caitlin Ricci has the beginnings of a wonderful series here.