Feral by Joely Skye

Feral by Joely Skye
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (156 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Cactus

Seduction is his only chance for freedom…and love is a death sentence.

Even among shifters, Ethan is a rare breed. So rare, he’s spent the last eight years in hiding from the werewolves who once captured and tortured him. Now a tranq dart has cut short his feral existence. Waking in human form in a locked room is more than a living nightmare…it’s reliving his worst one.

Yet in the troubled eyes of one of his captors, he senses a weak link. One he can use to escape—by seducing his jailer.

Bram’s life as pack omega isn’t easy. As long as he obeys his alpha he is protected. However, there are some things he just can’t bring himself to do. Keeping a precious cougar shifter prisoner is one of them, especially one who has somehow managed to capture his heart.

Setting Ethan free could be a death sentence for both of them, for Bram’s pack doesn’t take betrayal lightly. And the alpha is set on revenge.

Warning: Explicit m/m sex and violence.

In a world where cruelty is commonplace and survival is a priority, Ethan and Bram come together with a sweet hope and fragile desire. Although characters from other books slide in and out of scenes, this is a standalone book in the shifter universe of the author’s. A character driven story that focuses on the relationship between Bram and Ethan, allowing for easy resolutions to any conflict while keeping the attention on the growing connection between the men. Even if there were problems with the story, the romantic overtones and engaging characters will satisfy most romance lovers.

The plot is interesting in that the capture and eventual escape of Ethan takes the first third of the book, even though the escape is actually simple and very easy. The story focuses on Bram and Ethan’s connection and interaction, creating a strong dynamic between the men that survives their time apart after Ethan’s escape with Bram’s help. The next part of the story focuses on Ethan’s new life and finding Bram then as the two adjust to each other, while worrying about outside forces. The actual time Bram and Ethan are together is very minimal – one week while Ethan is captive and one week when Ethan finds Bram after being apart for several months. Yet the story focuses on those short times making them seem longer than they actually are.

The engaging and sympathetic characters are the highlight while the actions taking place is a distant second to the growing relationship and emotional connection. Any conflict and action that takes place is simply and easy resolved from the actual escape to Ethan’s new life and even the resolution at the very end were all neatly handled incredibly fast. These action scenes were thrown in to keep the conflict from being solely between the men, so this really isn’t an action story so much as a romance between two paranormal creatures.

The writing is thankfully concise without much exaggeration or embellishment keeping the drama and angst to a very relatable and believable level, even considering the paranormal setting. There are some secondary characters such as Trey and Doug, as well as others that are easily forgettable as they add very little to the story. No character eclipses Bram and Ethan and the other characters are not given any weight except to progress the external drama. Both men have fears, problems, unexpected strengths and weaknesses. Each had subtly and complexity to their characters which kept either man from becoming a stereotype or typical. Their connection was sweet, slightly dramatic and angst filled but never too outrageous or over the top. For fans of paranormal romance that is heavy on the romance and light on action, this will satisfy you.

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