Jun. 6th, 2017

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Just Like Cats and Dogs, by B.A. Tortuga (Sanctuary #1)



If there’s one thing Sam knows for sure it’s that you can never go home again. As a feline shifter who grew up in a family of wolves, he’s used to being a freak. He stays in the city and tries to get his family to visit him, but when a loved one passes away, Sam has to go back to the New Mexico desert for a last goodbye.


Gus only comes back to the pack at gathering time, once in a blue moon. He’s usually a wanderer, but he’s with the pack when Sam comes home. Gus and Sam have never gotten along, but this time around Gus is surprised by the attraction he feels for this new, slinky version of his high school nemesis.


Sam and Gus may not be able to resist each other, but finding time to be together and overcome their differences might be too much for them, especially when danger lurks just around the corner, and all around the world. Can cats and dogs live to learn together, or are Gus and Sam destined to fail? 



Rating: 4 out of 5


This was a fun, goofy story that didn’t take itself too seriously. I can definitely appreciate that and it made it a very entertaining read! This falls into the enemies-to-lovers trope and while that can be get really clunky Tortuga pulls it off well here. Gus is a bit of a lunkhead who’s not very good at expressing his feelings. Sam is a bit of a prissy queen but he has had to deal with enough adversity that he has extraordinary strength of character, and is more than a match for Gus. The author relies heavily on animal stereotypes (dogs are loyal, cats are standoffish) but you’re reading a story about people who turn into animals so I think at some point you need to set aside certain complaints.


The plot turns can get a bit silly as the action bounces from New Mexico to New York to Afghanistan (!) and back again, but the slowly-developing relationship is fun to see, and I’m a complete sucker for two guys who care for each other and especially for those around them as well. It also doesn’t hurt that the sex scenes are pretty smokin’! This is the first book in the Sanctuary series, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, What the Cat Dragged In, which comes out in a few weeks.


Note that this book is actually a 160-page novel and a 40-page short story combined. I had no issue with this, though I was surprised when the story suddenly ended 80% through the book! The short story is fun though, and sets up the next book nicely. Overall, this is a light, fun read that I would recommend.

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The Biker’s Omega (Alpha and Omega #1) by Lisa Oliver



Marly Miles has been happy in his life as a lone Omega wolf, living and working among the humans of Orlando, Florida. When an attack on him and his friend brings Marly to the notice of the Sergeant of Arms of the Epitaph’s Motorcycle Club, he realizes immediately that the man carries the same scent as his attackers. Not a very good start when the same man is also his mate.


Alpha wolf, Trent Beaumont has spent a lot of years living as a human when he walked away from his home pack. Forced to live as a straight man, because of the Epitaph’s club culture, he walks away from Marly after checking the man is safe. But no wolf, not even an Alpha, can refuse the mating call from the Fates. But with his club President looking over his shoulder, and a woman panting after him to share his bed, Trent isn’t sure it will ever be the right time to claim his own Omega.


Fights, misunderstandings and a lack of communication aren’t the only problems Trent and Marly face. Trent has a history that has clouded his judgment and when Marly gets attacked again, Trent realizes he could lose his mate permanently, if he doesn’t get his head out of the sand.



Rating: 2.5 out of 5


I’ll start off by saying I had no idea that the biker club was a Thing in the m/m romance genre until a few months ago, but I guess I’m not surprised. The romantic notion of the big, tough biker with the heart of gold is fertile ground for fiction, regardless of how close it may be to reality. I think I can safely say it’s not something that’s a big attraction for me, though. This book also falls into the easy Alpha/Beta/Omega trope, replete with fated mates and insta-love. This isn’t always a deal-killer for me (see the scorching-hot Protection of the Pack series) but it’s also not something that usually wows me.


You see then that for me this had a couple of strikes going in, and there just wasn’t enough to redeem it from there. It doesn’t help that we really don’t know that much about Trent until very late in the book except that he’s an uncommunicative asshole, and even his backstory doesn’t justify his actions and attitudes that much. The one thing that saved the book for me was Marly. At least the submissive Omega trope was set aside enough for him to be a snarky, sassy man with his own life and agenda, who isn’t willing to just do what he’s told without complaining. The fact that he can stand up for himself and kick the ass of anyone who tries to push him around makes him that much more fun.


Overall though this story has a huge problem for me, that of a non-American author (Oliver is from New Zealand) attempting to set a story in the US without knowing the culture well. We get the trappings of placenames and geographic references, but the dialogue, slang, and idioms are very definitely not American. This was very much a fingernails-on-the-chalkboard thing for me.


One last thing: That cover. I…it…you know what? The less said about the cover the better. I simply cannot summon the words to do it justice.


Although this series is now up to six books, I think I’ll stop here. There are better books out there to read.


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Charlie was not really OK with this whole “swimming” thing. #bordercollie #dogsofinstagram (at Ellington, Missouri)


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A post shared by Tom B. (@duncan_husky) on





Nora is on the hunt! #bordercollie #husky #dogsofinstagram (at Lakewood Dog Exercise Area)


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