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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Review: Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice Breaking the Ice by A.J. Marcus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

A bat shifter knocks a badger off his feet and it is love. Well, maybe not love yet, but at least hope and thankfulness. This book can be read as a standalone but is most likely better if read in order. The third book in the Hardwood Shifter series, the shifters finally catch a break.

Ben Miner is a badger shifter who wants to live in the human world. There are so many things to do and see. Going home to his parents in the magically protected town where only shifters live is not his idea of living. He wants adventure. He wants to see the world. Shifters are being hunted by crazy humans, but he doesn't believe it can happen to him. When Felix and his sister plow into Ben when trying to escape the hunters, Ben finally wakes up.

The pace of this story moves nicely with ebbs and flows. The setup of Ben in college provides a normal picture. Showing how Felix and his sister are trying to have a normal life hidden amongst the humans also gives the reader a baseline. For paranormal romance readers, this is pretty much the norm. The juxtaposition of the hunter's hatred comes across as more heinous because it shows how these human shifters are being hunted down like animals. Humans with a difference are being targeted because of their uniqueness. Sound familiar?

The dialogue between two hunters excited about killing another sentient being is revolting. It reminds me of lynch mobs for people of colour. Mr. Marcus does a good job of providing these contrasting viewpoints. What makes this story better is how Mr. Marcus shows more than just black and white villains. A surprise secondary character shows how there are shades of grey.

The romance part of this story take a back seat to the plot. I enjoyed it this way. I liked how the story moved with the main characters trying to survive and evade unreasonable killers. The sexual attraction between Ben and Felix is understandable. In times of life endangerment, it is natural for humans to seek out others and bond with them. Luckily for Ben and Felix, they found their bond to each other. After reading this book, I now want to go back and read the first two books. Not sure how I missed picking them up. This paranormal romance is recommended for m/m readers who enjoy rooting for the underdog.

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