I have been a fan of Gail Carriger for YEARS. Her series The Parasol Protectorate has been one of my favorites since reading it for the first time like six years ago. I’ve read some of her short stories as well which have a distinguishable cheek. I love just about everything she puts out.
I haven’t read a lot of LGBTQ books, in fact I think the only one I have read was also by Carriger. It’s not really a genre that I readily pick up to read, but Carriger has such fantastic writing skills that I am always eager to read her latest book or story! Not to mention her mainstream novels like The Parasol Protectorate series, feature many LGBTQ characters so it’s a theme that I have come to anticipate in her writing.
When this one came up for review, I was eager to read it because it’s set in the same world as her other books so much of the world is familiar so it sounded like a good read even if I am not into M/M romance novels (or werewolves for that matter).
Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.
Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.) (Summary from Goodreads).
Carriger has such a knack for creating solid paranormal romance novels with steampunk elements. Personally, I prefer vampires over werewolves or shifters when it comes to paranormal romance or just paranormal reading, but this book made me really enjoy werewolves and shifters. I still prefer vampires but this wasn’t bad for my first foray into werewolf/shifter lit. I loved the setting and how the supernatural characters evolved and how they worked within the novel itself.
But what I think I liked most about this (surprisingly so) was the relationship dynamics between Bryan and Max. I love when characters are complete opposites. I wasn’t sure how or even if their relationship was going to work but somehow it did. For me, a couple with chemistry (whether same sex or opposite) is what a romance novel is all about. When you have an exciting combination of drastically different characters coming together in a relationship, and this layer for sexual tension, it’s hard to deny a certain level of intrigue.
The characters themselves were funny and quirky but that added a lot for me. I also thought the characters were relateable even if you aren’t an LGBTQ individual, as I said before good characters and romance to me is all the same, it’s undeniable that the characters in this book had a dynamic and loving relationship and why should that be any different because it’s an M/M book? The characters made m laugh, I felt invested in them and the story had Carriger’s hallmark quirkyness which I loved.
The only thing I would note though was I always expect Carriger’s books to be in the Victorian era and this one was more modern…..same world, different time period. I think I would have to say, I prefer the Victorian era setting rather than the more modern setting that this book takes on. But that said, it was a minor detail and well worth the read if you enjoy well written, quirky romances.
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Steampunk, romance, pararomance, urban fantasy, fantasy, LGBTQ, M/M, erotica