Jackson Dark is a wolf shifter on the run. After being wounded by a hit man, Jackson breaks into a closed cafe hoping to find safety. But when he spies on the hunky, half-naked owner, he finds something more, his future mate. Jackson plans on revisiting the cafe once it opens to search for his necklace he lost that his mother gave him. He also plans on formally introducing himself to Dane Ferguson, the cafe owner. After meeting his sexy, mysterious new customer Jackson Dark, Dane Ferguson is not only intrigued, he’s enamored. There’s something familiar, peculiar, and extremely fascinating about Jackson. Dane can’t quite put his finger on it, but he’s seen Jackson before. As these two grow closer, so does the danger lurking outside. The hit man is still out there searching for the wolf shifter that got away. He won’t stop until he kills Jackson and anyone who gets in his way. Can Jackson protect Dane, the man he loves, from the very peril he brought right to his door?
Dane has moved for a fresh start, tired of being stuck in the cycle of grief for his dead finace. He decides to follow his dream, opening a small café and cooking for his new customers and friends. Jackson is caught unaware and shot by Joel, an Assassin of wolf shifters. Seeking refuge in Dane’s café, Jackson hides for just long enough to gather the strength to shift before escaping. But after that first meeting, neither Dane nor Jackson can get their minds off the other, even if that means they both fall into even more danger…
I enjoyed this story. I found it to be equal parts spicy romance, hot paranormal and laugh aloud funny. To be fair I’m not certain the author’s intent was to make parts of this funny, but I, personally, found humour in quite a few parts of the story – like where Dane’s pet cat decides that Jackson’s necklace is its new trophy or when Dane manages to wield the fireplace poker as a deadly weapon. These moments gave the story a lighter feel to me, and I enjoyed the fact the book didn’t take itself too seriously.
There were a few parts of the plot I really wish had been gone into more depth. The Assassin group – a network of people who felt all shifters should be obliterated and only “full” humans should exist – seemed like an excellent plot for this series, and Joel was singled out as a massive threat, but the author didn’t go into a lot of detail around this. I felt a little like because this story the first book in the series we’re only given a small taste of this plot and the rest has been purposely left hanging for future stories. The way this was handled made me feel a little short-changed. I ended feeling as if the story should have either focused purely on Jackson and Dane’s relationship – which I personally would have been fine with – or it should have spent more time devoted to details and description about the Assassins and Joel in particular. At the start of the story Joel is made out to be the big-bad hitman, yet at the end I feel that Joel is shown to be completely oblivious and (I personally feel like he’s shown to be) incompetent. I didn’t particularly like this ending and felt it quite an injustice to Joel’s having any sort of skill or professionalism. I felt this was a huge shame, because the plot around Joel and the Assassin group greatly intrigued me and I would have loved to see both more detail and a better working of this part of the story.
The relationship between Jackson and Dane was the real hero of this story and to my mind was completely its saving grace. I loved watching them come together and the sex between the two men was smoking hot. I loved the M/M pacing and intimacy. These two men were both excellent characters and Jackson’s brothers and Dane’s bff Sam all show great potential for future stories.
A good M/M and what might be a decent start to a new shifter series.