Review: Submitting To The Clan

Submitting To The Clan Submitting To The Clan by Caitlin Ricci
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

Behavioural conditioning is difficult to break and recondition. Sometimes it is a necessity because the conditioning is detrimental to one's health.

Avery is a young dragon shifter who only knows pain, degradation and abuse. As the least powerful shifter, he is at the bottom of the pecking order which means he is always the whore. Whores are abused and treated poorly. When they are no longer attractive, they are discarded like yesterday's garbage. Cast out again, Avery has nowhere to go and may die from starvation, cold and exhaustion.

I am going to be pedantic here. Avery is not a whore. Whores are paid at least a little money. Avery is a sexual slave. He isn't even a slut in my book because he doesn't want to give the sex away for free. This little pet peeve aside, the story is depressing. The first in the series, this dragon world is bleak, cruel and antagonistic. There also seems to be only male dragons which is a little odd as it begs the question, where do they come from? How does one become a dragon shifter if there are no females? How do they procreate? Speaking of procreating, let's discuss the sex scenes. From an erotic scene perspective, there is a hint of kink. None of it is arousing for me because Avery is so bloody damaged. Donovan is noble and trying to do the right thing. Poor bugger is stuck with blue balls.

The characters are simplistic and easy to understand. A reader only feels pity for Avery. He is like an abused dog. He flinches in response to sudden movements. He cowers into himself. It just about breaks a reader's heart how demoralized and defiled he has been. As with all abused animals and humans, it takes a long time to break free of this mentality. Lucky for Avery, he found a clan with a strong and gentle leader--Donovan. This relationship-driven storyline is sweet if a bit frustrating. Ms. Ricci does a nice job of showing Avery's confusion and demonstrating Donovan's patience.

This short story moves at a nice, easy pace. There is an odd tangent regarding Avery's dislike of flying in the cold rain. Not sure if there is supposed to be more tie-in about this point or if it is to once again demonstrate that Avery will put everyone's needs above his own. Still, the happily ever after is a sweet ending for a potential better future. Recommended to m/m paranormal readers who enjoy angst and a loving alpha male.


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