Reviewed by Vicki (Tori)
SERIES: Sanctuary #1
AUTHOR: B.A. Tortuga
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 206 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 25th, 2017
A Sanctuary Novel
Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?
Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.
Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.
The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek common ground.
This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers romance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.
Sam and Gus have some family issues… Sam is a cat living in a pack of wolf shifters. Gus picked on Sam when they were children, and they pretty much hated each other. But as they grew up, they parted ways. Sam to the city to dance, Gus staying nearby and hunting for precious stones. When Sam’s adopted father dies, he goes home to mourn and help his family. He and Gus run in to each other and have a confrontation, then a reconciliation. The two are not able to have a relationship though, as they are from different species, so nothing comes of it. But of course that doesn’t keep love from happening, and mates will find each other. There is much drama that happens to these two though, before they can be together.
So I found this book a bit odd. I felt like I came in to the middle of a series, and there were rules I should know, but I didn’t know. Reading on a tablet, I didn’t really look at the cover and I didn’t know what kind of cat Sam was until the end of the book. Then I realized he’s on the cover. I didn’t understand why there is so much animosity towards him by the pack he’s been raised with. He is literally locked in a room every full moon while they all shift. But we aren’t told why. There is this big drama with Sam and the neighborhood he lives in, but we aren’t told about any of it, and it didn’t make much sense to me. Gus runs in to some serious trouble, manages to call Sam from the other side of the world, and Sam rescues him. But we are never told how. What really bothered me was… how can I say this without giving too much away… Something bad happens to Sam, I didn’t really understand why, and things are done to him that we don’t get any explanation of, and he’s helped somehow by a surprise friend, but it’s all just really vague. And dark. Really dark. I had a hard time with the writing style, it’s very choppy, especially the dialogue. And the time gaps were annoying. There is lots of sex, but no lube. Not being a guy, and never having had anal sex, but going by the excessive m/m books I’ve read, I’m pretty sure you need lubricant of some sort. That bothered me. But the sex scenes were plentiful and fun, with lots of cuddling afterward.
I liked Sam and Gus, and the family they create. Especially at the end of the book there is a little bonus story, and they end up with even more family than they expected. I liked that they are so animal-like in their human forms, although there was no mention of the shifting process. They are humans and talking, then bam! Critters. I liked the extra characters, and that they all make a big family. I liked the basic story, and it was certainly exciting. I liked the bond that forms between Sam and Gus, and I liked the enemies to lovers aspect. I did have issues with parts of it, but it wasn’t a bad book overall.