Spirits by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga

Spirits (Duet) by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, LGBTQ
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by: Fern

Moonshine: No one expects a werewolf to be running a moonshine still. Hell, a ridgerunner? Sure. He’s seen that coming from birth. What he didn’t inherit was lycanthropy. But life’s full of the unexpected. And now there’s David, self proclaimed expert tracker, and hunter of the bastard who turned them both. David is just the kind of trouble Jenson doesn’t need, and everything he wants.

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In “Moonshine” David and Jenson are tracking the bastard who turned them both and gave them lycanthropy, but Jenson splits his focus with his moonshine still and going about his normal business. But David is determined to hunt their attacker down and Jenson quickly realizes he wants to give David everything he can. In “Absinthe” Barthe and Rene have a complicated history together, but can circumstances finally sway in their favor before it’s too late?

I really enjoyed these two short stories. Sexy and fun they’re a lovely quick read with plenty of heat and just a dollop of humour to them. I really enjoyed the energy of Moonshine. I loved Jenson and his still – and adored how Jenson stuck to his roots and was proud of his heritage but wasn’t a hick or hillbilly. I enjoyed the sense of dichomy the story gave with Jenson knowing a lot about his lycanthropy and being a wolf and David being very new to it all. Even though David was a total rookie and Jenson helped him ease over those first few hurdles the two men felt very evenly matched. This was a “student and teacher” sort of thing but it was clear that they were equals and both had plenty to bring to their fledgling relationship. This was a great short story.

Absinthe is absolutely a stand-alone story but I enjoyed it a lot more since there are a few links between Moonshine and Absinthe so I definitely enjoyed it more reading the two together. Rene and Barthe have had a rocky time of things. When Barthe had told the much younger Rene to go out into the world, explore and live a little it had cost him a lot to offer his mate the freedom to grow up. When Rene had taken Barthe at his word and left – for years – Barthe had spent every moment regretting his actions. Even though I found this history between the two wolves to be difficult I was pleased this was all explained in a few pages right at the start of the story. The short length of the story meant we could see the ending.

Rene and Barthe have both certainly learned important lessons and the sex between them is smoking hot and slightly kinky (spankings and being bound – light BDSM mostly). Readers looking for a hot paranormal short story should find both these stories sexy and fun and enjoyable quick reads.

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