Dawg Days Anthology

Dawg Days by: Julia Talbot, Jae Christopher, V.L. Locey, Winnie Jerome, Mychael Black, Cecil Wilde, M. Lee, Tray Ellis, Rob Rosen, L.J. Hamlin, Lorne Rodman
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (219 pages)
Other: M/M, Outdoor sex, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

In “Photorealism” by Julia Talbot, nature photographer July has no idea the wolf he’s obsessed with is also a man. In “Black, One Sugar” by Jae Christopher, David blurts out a secret over his morning coffee that could threaten his relationship with Aaron. Romance, fantasy, and danger are just over the next dune in “Night of the Jackal” by V.L. Locey. In “Raising Cain” by Winnie Jerome, a gamer meets a too-good-to-be-true hottie with a secret. In Mychael Black’s “Thrill of the Hunt,” wolf shifter Keeran finds more than he bargains for when he meets Saul Alliaume. In “Tea and Werewolves” by Cecil Wilde, Sev knows there’s more to his newest customer than meets the eye.

In “Packbond”by M. Lee, romance blossoms between Alex and Troy until a stranger with dangerous links to Troy’s past arrives on their doorstep. In “Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas” by Tray Ellis, TJ and Arlo are each expected to take up their respective family businesses, but for Arlo it’s a job with real bite. Rob Rosen’s “The Dingo Ate My Dildo” is mystical, magical tale of love, lust, and things that howl in the night. In “Paw Prints on My Skin” by L.J.Hamlin, sexy werewolf tattoo artist Zack, meets cute Labrador shifter Tobias. In “Search and Rescue” by Lorne Rodman, shapeshifter Clancy needs a new partner for search and rescue work.

Smoking hot werewolves, jackals, dogs, chihuahas, and other shifters to satisfy every reader’s fantasies, and then some.

Photo Realism by Julia Talbot

Now who said a man couldn’t pass out? Nature photographer July comes face to muzzle with a beautiful golden-eyed wolf, who turns into a man—and July passes out cold. When he wakes up, he has to decide what to do: Fear the wolf in the man or love the man in the beast.

This tale starts off well, tracking down animals. The writing is fluent and engaging, and both men, July and Rhys, are hotter than a sunny day in June. Their dialogue is fun and light. Unfortunately the sex is off-screen, so to speak. Nonetheless, a quirky start to the anthology. Recommended.

Black, One Sugar by Jae Christopher

Aaron and David meat through a mutual friend, on a blind date. They hit it off in a big way, compatible and easy. But David harbors a secret, and eventually it comes out, putting the two men in need of a decision.

We get this story in first person from David. The outing isn’t a pretty scene, with yelling and anger. It’s almost like prejudiced hate talk. Kinda sad. But apologies follow, and the scene is set for a real talk among adults. Progressive is the fact there’s a drug for lycanthropy, like a real disease, known in the world. David describes his condition starkly, as a full sensory experience, giving the character depth for such a short story. Still, all dialogue, no sex in this one. The funny thing is that the whole incident started with coffee….

Night of the Jackal by V.L. Locey

Jasim and Sahl are jackal shifters. This is a fantasy tale, where the two men get into trouble in the desert with the Madr Pash’s hunter caravan encampment and its chief. Jasim is caught and Sahl has to rescue him.

We get this from Sahl’s first person point of view. He describes the jackal life as a harsh one, with all kinds of enemies close to the riverbed they call home. The story is also told in present tense, which can take some getting used to. The details of how a jackal interacts and senses the world are given in great detail, which was a unique and descriptive way of writing. Plus, the change is apparently painful, so Sahl and Jasim are rarely human men. So much so that while it’s easy to engage in the plight of captured animals, as men in love… I didn’t quite get there. But of the stories in this anthology, this one most captured the essence of being an animal with a human mind.

Raising Cain by Winnie Jerome

You think combining a role-playing convention, a hot shifter, and geek is impossible? Then you’ll love this. Blake is ultimate geek who is rescued at a parking lot by a mysterious man. Then he plays against the same mysterious Cain—with whom they have explosive sex. But then he finds Cain in a ritualistic scene, changing into a huge dog, and all bets are off.

The gaming world is shown with delicious details, so I assume the author knows their stuff. In fact, it’s the role-playing game which sparks the sexual attraction to a fire. This is the first story so far with on-page sex, so enjoy the ride. But Cain needs to better his after-sex act, if he’s to avoid a punch in the face. Though the characters aren’t particularly deep, we get to know them, as the hot guy who loves games and as the geek who refuses to be put down by the word no. A cute, sweet little story.

Thrill of the Hunt by Mychael Black

Keeran comes home to find his male pack members dead and females missing. While tracking them down, he falls prey to a snare. He is rescued by Saul who is a dark fae who are rather like vampires. Saul is also exiled. Both species have a strict no-no rule when it comes to same-sex relationships. But lust conquers all. But Keeran must travel to the city of Losine to find his pack females or they’ll be sold to slavery.

When you find your family dead, do you have insta-sex and insta-love with your enemy on the same day? I think not. Eve with a mating bond effecting them. Also, the reasons why wolves and fae hate each other isn’t really explained. I was left in the dark. This story feels like a slice of life tale, a mere chapter in a longer novel, and I haven’t read the beginning or the end. There will be questions and eye-rolls with this one.

Tea and Werewolves by Cecil Wilde

A werewolf owning a teashop? Now I have heard it all. Sev is the owner in question, and Connor is his customer—and his mate. Hot sex ensues. But Sev has a pretty big secret too…

Though I won’t give away Sev’s secret and surprise, I must say this felt like a story of real people, who both just happened to be wolves. Sev’s secret is in fact effected by his wolf self, which gave an interesting spin to the surprise topic. There’s knotting and mating and sex half-shifted. An okay story, with a twist.

Packbond by M. Lee

Alex is an omega, as is his childhood best friend, Ethan. They formed a pack of two. Now they’re part of a bigger pack, where the alpha is Troy, who is as interested in Alex as Alex is in him. Memorial Day for a murdered pack omega. Damien, brings about a melancholy mood, and then his ex-lover, Joshua the minister’s son, appears, seeking shelter with the pack and confusing things. Death follows in his wake.

This reads like a family tale despite the paranormal twist. Themes like acceptance and loss are dealt with subtlely. The impact of death is shown well, as it effects both humans and wolves. The hunting scene as wolves and the subsequent sex and mating are written with a sensuous tone. When Joshua arrives in need of protection, the story takes a darker turn toward action, rage, murder and vengeance. What’s amazing about this story is that the human community is willing to come in defense of the wolf pack when needed. That gave the story a larger context of friendship.

Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas by Tray Ellis

Arlo’s responsible for the protection of an ancient canine talisman. At a local hardware store he meets TJ, the owner’s son. Then Arlo’s shifter secret gets out (a Chihuahua…adorable!) when TJ sees Arlo doing his guarding thing.This little tale read like a chapter in a longer story. We don’t get to see the talisman, we don’t learn why bad guys want it, and we see no real resolutions. A few kisses, no sex. When this ends, you’ll likely feel the same as me: What just happened? Is this it?

The Dingo Ate My Dildo by Rob Rosen

An American journalist goes on assignment to the Australian outback to a tiny shed in the middle of nowhere. Since no one’s around, he decides to go sunbathing naked. A dingo watches him hungrily, so the guy throws a dildo at it and runs back to the shed. At night, his prick leads outside to a gorgeous hunk—who is pleasuring himself with the dildo. What’s a guy to do but to answer to a dare and embrace a stranger?

This was funny. Humor carries the story along quite well. There’s some ABBA references too. Plus, a cock (without a frock) on a rock. A simple sexy tale that made me smile and chuckle. Nothing too serious at all. Told in first person.

Paw Prints on my Skin by LJ Hamlin

Zach is a werewolf and a tattoo artist for shifters. Along comes Tobias, a dog shifter, who wants a steampunk tattoo on his back. Once the tattooing is complete, both men find it difficult to part ways. So they spend the day together. And the night.

Told in present tense, this tale is sweet and sexy. With little bits of dialogue, both characters come through clearly. Zach’s the big bad wolf and Tobias the cute puppy. Despite being animal shifters, these men feel realistic and nice. Though not typically a fan of present tense, I liked everything about this story.

Search and Rescue by Lorn Rodman

Clancy’s a hybrid wolf and Terry’s a mind-reader. They volunteer at search and rescue, their only goal in life to help others (and make a little profit as they go). Because of their abilities and secrets, they’re both alone. When they find each other, it feels like a miracle.

It was wonderful to read about a different kind of pairing, a wolf and a psychic. Plus, they want to help others with their gift, so that made them all the more endearing. Their banter is delicious and fun, their connection pure, and their sex awesome. A great ending to the anthology. Recommended.

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