Title: Marc’s the Spot
Author: Meg Harding
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 190 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: Having read other work by Meg Harding, and really enjoyed it, I was a bit disappointed with Marc’s the Spot.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Marcus “Marc” Lacroix, a red panda shifter, knows who Lucas Grayson is, and up until playing with him during the world cup of hockey, didn’t much care for him. But when he finds out the jaguar shifter with the hot body has a personality to match, he’s a bit blown away. A night of celebration leads the two of them to the bedroom, and they discover that one night might not be enough to finish this thing between them.
Passion grows to love and more than a little kink, and the two make things work despite the obstacles standing in their way. Lucas plays for the Aces and Marc for the Hares, the distance and crazy schedules of a pro-hockey player keeping them apart. Lucas discovers it’s harder to let go of things than he’d thought. When ill-fate strikes, Lucas spirals and Marc has to try and hold them together. It’s one match Marc doesn’t know if he’ll win.\
Review: Marc is a rookie hockey player, finally playing in the big leagues, and also a red panda shifter. In this unique world-setting, by author Meg Harding, there are specific leagues set up just for shifters of all shapes and sizes, and we get to meet a plethora of animals/men who play in them. When Marc is chosen to play on the World Championship team, he meets the handsome and older Lucas Grayson. Lucas has been playing for many years and is top-notch in the sport. He is also one of a handful of members on his team who is unmated and happy to stay that way—until he meets Marc.
On the ice these two men may be playing for opposite teams, but off the ice they are a match made in heaven. Struggling with long distances and months in between seeing each other is never easy, but when tragedy strikes Lucas, ending his career, those seem small in comparison to Marc helping the man he loves recover his health and, more importantly, his drive. It also might be the one obstacle that Lucas and Marc can’t overcome in the end.
While it had some flaws, the one thing Marc’s the Spot didn’t lack was sexual chemistry. The exploration of their relationship from the beginning to the eventual Dom/sub element they embraced was well done and gradual enough that you got a real sense of growth and change between the two men and their comfort level together. They slowly morphed into a couple who communicated their needs to each other, and that led to some gorgeous scenes of intimacy that reflected just how much their relationship was strengthening over time.
Little touches, like Marc’s need to cuddle, seems like it could have been cloying when, in reality, it added depth to his character and allowed us to watch Lucas’s walls fall down as he discovered he loved to hold his little panda just as much as Marc enjoyed being held. These quiet moments also marked the rare times the two men got to discuss their feelings and their desires, so they became very important as most of this novel was spent with these encounters sprinkled between traveling and hockey games being played. Unfortunately for this story, these times were too few and too often focused on steamy sex rather than dialogue exploring who these men really were. Hence, it often felt that I was reading a series of sexual encounters strung together with very little story development and character building.
I understood that the author was attempting to portray life on the road for these athletes, but I found I needed more than just sexual interludes to get a good grasp of what made Lucas and Marc tick. It wasn’t until Lucas was injured that I felt the story got on track and began to show me who I had been reading about for so much of the novel, and by then, it was a bit too late to really engage me. The idea of a team of varied species all able to shift and still get along as a team was a unique one that I really wanted to see explored further. How is it that polar bears existed next to jaguars without any sort of conflict? I felt that this was an element to the novel that really was left undeveloped and could have added so much to the story by giving us a bit more history on this unique world the author had chosen to write.
Having read other work by Meg Harding, and really enjoyed it, I was a bit disappointed with Marc’s the Spot. I know this author has the ability to give us interesting men in varied situations and write a really good story around them. Unfortunately, this one fell short of that goal for me.
You can buy Marc’s the Spot here: