Reviewed by Susan
SERIES: Smilodon Pride #1
AUTHOR: Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 219 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 14, 2016
Connor’s life could have been the dream of any cultured werecat. He is spending his days in Paris’ gay quarter with comfortably little real work, playing the piano, surrounded by art, fine food and good friends. It could have been, if not for a feral vampire preying on the prostitutes of ‘his’ quarter, killing the boys of the Marais one by one.
When Connor invites a newly arrived hooker to stay on his houseboat, the last thing he expects is Michel to be a member of the Brigade Criminelle – a troubled, hunky rookie cop sent undercover to explore Connor’s connection to the murders, picked mostly because he had been a boy of the Marais himself, not so long ago.
Hiding their true nature becomes a problem for both when they realize there maybe is more to their initial attraction. But in order to bring down the serial killer and maybe have a chance at making their relationship work out, one of them will have to take the first, critical leap…
This story grabbed me by the throat (no pun intended) and did not let me go. The writing is both engaging and comfortable and the suspense that builds as the story evolves was well done.
Michel is not your typical hero. He grew up on the streets as a prostitute with addictions. The friendship of a policeman helps him turn his life around and he is now a policeman himself. But he still has a lot of the same attitudes and reactions that helped him survive on the streets. His new assignment to go undercover back in the life he left behind leaves him unnerved but determined to be successful. He did not count on his growing feelings for their main suspect and the complications that his secret brings.
Connor is happy in his bubble that he has created for himself in Marais. He has good friends, a good job and enjoys looking out for the boys who are working the streets. All this is shattered by the vampire who is hunting the prostitutes. He is spending his nights hunting the killer as only he can as a large cat shifter. Meeting Michel changes all his perceptions about how he is happy being solitary in the middle of one of the most romantic cities in the world. He does not want the complication of a relationship, but Michel gets under his skin and he can’t resist his attraction and instincts.
I really enjoyed the supporting characters as well. Chantal, the owner of the bar that Connor works at is over the top in a completely enjoyable way. Said, Michel’s police contact was funny and important in helping us understand Michel more.
This could have been the typical relationship with secrets story, except for the way that the characters react to those secrets. The same can be said of the shifter aspect of the story. I believe readers would truly be missing out if they were to dismiss this book as more of the same. It clearly is not and I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series due in the fall.