A Shadow of Wings by Linda Gayle

A Shadow of Wings by Linda Gayle
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (164 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Lisianthus

Thrown out on the street by his homophobic stepfather, Dylan struggles to get his life together. Years of being used and abused have left him tough and determined to make it on his own. When he sees a dog getting beaten, his protective instincts drive him to rescue her. But as the attackers turn on Dylan, out of the shadows comes a hero. One with mysterious eyes and a shy sensuality Dylan can’t resist.

Cam Coburn can’t reveal his true identity to the man he rescues. Nor can he reveal that he’s a freak among freaks, a cockatrice shifter with an unwanted gift for seeking out conflict rather than treasure. Newly independent from his mentor, Cam sees in Dylan his first chance to test the limits of his human guise. Defying every rule, Cam succumbs to Dylan’s seduction for just one night. But Cam finds he can’t let his lover go, and Dylan breaks down every barrier. For he is the one human who can gaze in a cockatrice’s eyes without fear.

Yet even as their bond deepens, danger closes in on them from all sides, and Cam’s dark secrets may save them—or lead to their destruction.

I picked up A Shadow of Wings because it mentioned a cockatrice shifter in the blurb. I had to look up what a cockatrice was and I’m really glad I gave this book a try.

Ms. Gayle writes a new paranormal world for me, that I loved. Both of the main characters are highly flawed, yet so likeable. Dylan used to be a drug addict and a rent boy who was thrown out of his house for being gay. Cam has been raised to hate humans and to stick to his own kind. Cam rescues Dylan from some gangbangers when Dylan saves a pit bull from a beating and instead gets caught in their crosshairs. It’s a plot I’ve read in a lot of other romance novels, but this one felt different. Cam had this awkward quality about him and Dylan has this self-sufficient worldly attitude.

This world is beautifully built. It has a secret order of priests who oversee the cockatrice shifters, and some interesting bad guys that are weasels. Weasels as bad guys, I definitely saw that. Throw in a twist that surprised even me and explains the history so much. The writing style was fresh, original and very sensual.

The world building was a great backdrop for the characters. This is very much a character driven story that I loved. The relationship between Cam and Dylan was my favorite part. The way that Dylan doesn’t need Cam to save him, and the way he reacts to finding out about Cam’s other form helped this plot move along.

I will definitely read Ms. Gayle’s future works. I enjoyed her writing style and I would love to visit this world again. I recommend this for fans of paranormal m/m stories who are looking for a fresh new story that they can really sink their teeth in.

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