Title: Gentleman Takes a Chance
Author: Sarah Hoyt
Series: Shifters #2
Kyrie Smith has finally made a home for herself. She’s part-owner of a diner (along with her boyfriend), has friends and a boyfriend who are, like her, shapeshifters, and all the ruckus from the previous spate of shifter-murders has finally died down. Except it seems those murders caught the attention of other, older shifters. Shifters with laws against killing other shifters, and who might not be too particular about seeking vengeance for those deaths. Not to mention it looks like another murderer is on the loose, and more shifters may be involved . . .
This takes the fascinating world built in the first book, Draw One in the Dark, and expands more to the wider shifter world. Kyrie, a panther-shifter who grew up in the foster system, never knew her family, while most of the others she knows, like Tom (dragon, and her boyfriend) and Rafiel (lion), have normal families. But this book digs into some of the shifters who are far older than that. Dante Dire, a dire wolf, comes as a representative of the Ancient Ones—the executioner determined to discover (and possibly dispatch) the person responsible for the previous book’s shifter murders.
If anything, my only complaint is that this book isn’t as focused as the previous. With so many plot threads going on, not all of them resolve, and some, like the Rodent Liberation Front, seem pointless (though admittedly funny). Although I would have made an exception for the unicorn, if he’d worked his way in, simply because it would be fascinating to see if his horn had abilities the same way dragons breathe fire. And although the murder plot helps to drive the tension, the ultimate motive escapes me. In the previous book, the murders had a gruesome point . . . in this one I’m left wondering why.
I did like what Tom did at the end. Tom and Kyrie’s relationship continues to grow and develop. I like how adult the both of them are: running a business together, working on a home, focusing on the important things in their relationship and not sniping at each other. Maybe it’s because I read so many teen-oriented books but it’s very refreshing to see people who aren’t blinded by lust or angst, understand real-world problems, and focus on real-world solutions.
It’s also, much like the first book, very funny. I found myself laughing at so many things, big and small . . . from the kitten who earned himself the name Not Dinner to Tom’s father’s wildly inappropriate remarks to Anthony’s increasing discomfort with the amount of food Tom can pack away after he’s shifted . . . Oh yes, and Conan. Absolutely Conan, former triad-member, now-spy for the Great Sky Dragon who ends up working at the diner because Tom figures if he’s going to be there anyway he might as well help out with the dinner rush.
This also seemed a bit more adult than the first book (and not just because of the sex part of the murder plot), but still manages to be a fairly clean adventure. Its focus on the core cast solidifies them as great characters, although I was a bit disappointed the Ancient Ones really only show up in the person of Dire. All in all, if you enjoyed the first book you should enjoy this one as well. I rate this book Recommended.