Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Jackalopes & Woofen-Poofs
SERIES: Offbeat Crimes #5
AUTHOR: Angel Martinez
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 225 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 3rd, 2017
Hoax animals and a consulting vampire on the prowl—Jason never thought having a cop boyfriend would be this hard.
All Animal Control Officer Jason Shen ever wanted was a quiet life of rescuing lost kittens and helping animals in need. Having a paranormal cop boyfriend guarantees an end to the quiet part. What at first seems a random encounter with jackalopes in the park might be more than chance and when State Paranormal sends a handsome, charming vampire to consult with the Seventy-Seventh, he finds his relationship with Alex on shaky ground.
Officer Alex Wolf hoped his humaning skills were improving but now he can’t unravel the strange politics at State Paranormal or why Jason’s family seems to hate him. There’s no time to puzzle things out either. Bizarre animals are loose in the city, Jason’s acting strange, and is the vampire captain from State flirting with him? Wolf’s going to have to keep his head in the game if he’s going to have any chance of putting the pieces together and keeping the city safe from the strange critters terrorizing its streets.
Yeah! A direct sequel to Feral Dust Bunnies, and everything more we needed to see about Alex and Jason! This makes me happy.
In the last book we were given a glimpse of Alex and Jason as they begin to date. It’s a challenge for them, as Alex, also known as Wolf, is exactly that. A wolf. Not a shifter, but he was born a wolf and was turned in to a human. He is adopted by a family and raised/tamed, but he’s still not quite human. Alex is an officer with the 77th Precinct, the misfit precinct, that deals with all of the freaky shit the other cops don’t want to deal with. But all of the members of the 77th have a defect of some sort, an issue with their magic, a physical issue (a lizard and a wolf, an anemic vampire), something like that. Alex’s issue is that he’s more wolf than human at times.
Alex’s love interest is Jason, a human animal control officer. The two become acquainted while searching for the cause of some mummified critters, and end up dating. I was left wanting more after their book, I never felt that I understood or particularly liked Jason, although I loved Alex.
This time we pick up with the same characters, Alex and Jason, as they are not only navigating their relationship, but we get a new mystery. The mystery part of the plot sort of ties in to the last book, in that there may be a bigger player than the officers of the 77th are seeing. But what happens this time is odd animals are showing up around the various officers, Jackalopes, Woofen-Poofs, Drop Bears, Hoop Snakes, odd critters like that. Alex and Jason, and Alex and Krisk (Alex’s lizard partner), end up confronting the critters several times and tracking down their source. We also get a new character, who not only affects the mystery part of the plot, but the romance side as well. This new guy is a captain from a higher department than the 77th, sent down to deal with the aftermath of a bad decision made during a previous magical battle. Captain Valbuena starts out causing chaos in the department as well as chaos between Alex and Jason.
So Alex and Jason are just barely settled after the end of the last book. One of my issues with their book was I didn’t feel like I got to know Jason. This time we get a much better look at him, and his family issues, which contribute to his reluctance to commit fully to his relationship with Alex. Jason comes from a successful Asian family, who have high expectations of Jason. Being a gay dog catcher in love with a wolf is not acceptable. This becomes apparent when Jason takes Alex to meet the family a time or two… Jason becomes convinced that not only is he not good enough for Alex, no unique enough, not strong enough, just not enough, but he’s also sure that captain Valbuena is enough for Alex, and he sees that Valbuena is interested. What he doesn’t pick up on, is that Alex is NOT interested, and can’t even figure out what Jason’s drama is. Much conversation needs to happen, but they keep getting caught up in the hoax animal issue!
You’ll just have to read this one to find out what happens with the hoax animals, what happens with Alex and Jason, what happens with the awesome Officer Krisk, and how a little kitten includes herself in everything! Oh, you’ll also have to read it to see who has the fantastic wedding!
As I’ve said before, I love the creative plots Angel Martinez comes up with. I love this world, I love this group of wonderful misfits, and I love all of the weirdo critters that show up. Both as good guys and bad guys. Angel’s brain must be a strange and wonderful place to visit. Her books are creative certainly, but there is always a love story underneath. I felt a bit let down last time with Alex and Jason, but I’m totally happy with this book. It was everything I wanted, more depth to Jason, more of an emotional bond between the two men, and still a fun and wacky plot. Oh, and some sweet sex!
This is not a stand alone book, you need to know what the hell is going on in this world to understand this story. If you haven’t read the first four books, you need to do so before you read this one. If you have read them, wait until you read this one!