Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: A Tooth for a Fang
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 216 Pages
Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated – less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
It all went to hell the last time he got shitfaced drunk and somehow decided I was fucking someone else on the side – which I wasn’t. I’m not sure how he arrived at that conclusion but when he did, he threw me through the glass divider between the bedroom and the living room.
Rick Barton has just escaped an abusive relationship, the ending of which also cost him his job as his ex-lover’s assistant. Having no clue what to do next with his life he takes off for a long overdue vacation where the only worry he has is deciding which beach hottie to ogle next. Ogle from afar, that is, because the last thing he wants to do right now is complicate his already uncertain future by meeting a new man.
I was going to search my soul or some such crap and plan my next move, not get laid by the gorgeous boys of summer.
And that plan is working out just great until Rick clamps eyes on the tanned beach god who strides out of the waves (because a beach god does not simply walk) and (again) strides directly for Rick. Faster than Rick’s mind can keep up he finds himself dragged into the ocean, seduced out of his swim trunks and bitten on the shoulder by his mystery man.
And the next thing he knows he’s waking up in hospital where hottie, aka Travis Chandler, is waiting to explain his new life to him. See, Travis is a lycan who works for the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation, or the PBI for those of us in the know, and he’s just recruited Rick to be his next partner. It’s pretty much a – you don’t really get a choice situation, but at least Travis promises that he won’t rip out Rick’s throat, the same way he did a previous partner.
The worst you can expect is me trying to hump your leg.
Rick is promised a two week training period, during which time Travis is required to stay away from him because for the two weeks that it takes Rick to settle into his new lycan-ness, the two men will be experiencing mad hormonal urges to hump like bunnies. But Travis is not really one to follow the rules and when Rick is assigned the psychotic mate of their werewolf leader as his trainer, Travis decides it’s best that he intervene. His brilliant plan? If Rick agrees to be his mate he can spring him from training and take him straight out to work as his partner. And wham bam thank you bitey lycan, Rick is out at a crime scene expected to use his new super sensitive nose to sniff out a murderer, his protective partner/mate ready to help however necessary.
When I needed breaks between batches, I sought refuge in his arms and cleansed my nostrils with his delicious scent…Being around Travis soothed my nerves and gave me an almost blissed-out state of mind.
So lets discuss all that I loved about this book. First up – the paranormal world that the author created within our own world. Not all humans are aware that paranormals exist, it’s really a need-to-know basis, but at the same time they don’t go to extreme lengths to hide themselves away. Actually, you’ve got to wonder how on earth they remain a secret but whatever, I like the way they live their lives with humans but they have their own set of rules that govern them.
There will be only one major rule. Obey the Council.
This mysteriously scary Council makes the rues and the PBI is there to enforce them. Two criminal strikes against your name means that you’ll never learn and you’re “put down” for the good of everybody else. Packs are made up of only two paranormal beings, the Council believes that this is the best way to keep order, the only exception is a tough ass scary werewolf named Weiss who is in charge of the whole PBI. What I loved most about this paranormal world is that “mates” aren’t some fated, insta-love, perfect forever after concept. Mating can be undone, much like a marriage. Trouble is when one partner in the relationship is an alpha who can control the will of their mate, it’s really only their decision to make and the defenseless mate can do nothing about it. When I say I loved this aspect of the story, I really did love it. The story was essentially a paranormal, police drama, who-done-it and then we’re presented with this human (but not human) rights issue and the bad guys are good guys and the good guys are bad guys or wait, no some of the bad guys are bad and some of the good guys are still good and I realize that all sounds confusing but it was absolutely great, though to tell the truth I’m not sure I’m happy with the ending. But still, I don’t know why but I’ve always appreciated a book that can make me feel sympathy with the villain, or even question if they really are a villain.
I liked both main characters. They’re snarky and bitchy and on the ball when it comes to smartass quips but it’s not over the top. In fact when I first began reading I had a thought that they were rather toned down, as far as snarky characters go. But after a while I appreciated that constant, full on snarkiness from both characters would definitely have gotten on my nerves. Maybe it’s a fluke or maybe the author wrote them that way on purpose but I think that the level of bitchy banter came out just right. Which means while I could have a chuckle over Rick’s view of past relationships –
While the beginning was fun, I’d much rather eat my own shit and sing its praises before going through the ending again.
my laughter was combined with plenty of “awww” moments between Rick and Travis as Travis fought to prove to Rick that staying mated was worth the effort.
(Rick speaking) “You were unlucky, huh?”
He smiled, leaned up a little, and kissed my forehead. “Yeah, but then I met you. I was very lucky to find you.”
I wrinkled my nose at him. “You so sure I won’t leave you?”
“Even if you do, I’ll be lucky to have had you.”
See! I love it when tough, crazy alphas can get all gooey when the situation calls for it. And his fangs make him lisp! Seriously, could you possibly make him any cuter?!
When it comes to reviewing books, personally, I think comparing them to specific other books is a bit of a no no. But I’m going to do just that because there is absolutely no way that this book is going to escape this comparison, at least as far as reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon go. This story is a lot like the THIRDS series – in some ways. And I don’t know if that’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing as far as readers are concerned. If I was the author of this book I’d probably be cursing that THIRDS came out first because I think A Tooth for a Fang is just as good but if readers go into it expecting it to be the same they could be disappointed. If you like the THIRDS series, then you should like this book but I think the main difference is that it’s more investigation that action. If you want a comparison I’d say THIRDS feels more like SWAT while this one feels more FBI. I know that there’s a lot of THIRDS love out there at the moment and I hope that people accept this book for the awesome story it is, rather than try to compare it. Even though I sort of just did that. But, you know, do as I say, not as I do.
Hmmm, so wow. I waffled on a bit didn’t I! There’s still so much more I could have gone on about and I just had to share some quotes. Do you remember I mentioned that I’m not so sure whether or not I liked the ending? The thing with that is there was a few threads just left hanging out there, a couple of questions I thought really needed to be cleared up. So to be perfectly honest, my 4.5 star rating really hinges on this being the first book in a series. Though there is no mention of a series anywhere that I’ve seen, the book is definitely set up to carry on into more stories. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great book but I’m left wondering just what happens next?