Friday, March 8, 2013

Lis’ Review of Taming the Bander by Summer Devon

Summer Devon
Taming the Bander
Samhain Publishing, February 26, 2013 | 213 pages

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

He thought he had nothing left to lose…until he lost his heart.
Jake will be forever grateful to the man who rescued him and brought him to an animal preserve to live. It’s the perfect home for a bander, a type of shifter known to be notoriously taciturn. Now Jake runs the place, and he’s content with the hard truth that he’ll always be alone.
Summer visitors are a necessary evil. And Vaughn Prentiss is exactly the sort of tourist that gets on Jake’s last nerve. A happy-go-lucky, carefree, trust-fund baby.

Vaughn can’t fathom why Jake seems to enjoy insulting him for no reason. Yet he’s attracted to the man’s gruff kindness with the preserve’s youthful workers. And it hasn’t escaped his notice that Jake is something special. Something not quite human.
When Vaughn discovers his financial manager has absconded with the family fortune, Jake acts on impulse to offer him a job, and wonders if he’ll live to regret it. It’s hard enough to keep his shifter nature private, much less keep his paws off his newest employee…a man Jake is coming to admire. If only he could be sure, when danger reveals the truth of what he is, if Vaughn will stay by his side—or run.

Product Warnings
Contains a sexy “pretty boy” who’s smarter than he looks and a grouchy shapeshifter who can’t resist strong hands and a wicked tongue. Prepare yourself. This book is anything but tame.

Genre & Keywords: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Alternate Worlds, Betrayal, Animals

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

Reviewed by Lis/Larissa:

Taming the Bander hooked me from the first page and became one of those books that I just couldn’t put down until I finished it. Of course, then I was mad at myself because now the nice, pretty book was all finished.

Taming the Bander features a shapeshifter with hints of others, but there is none of the usual ‘mates’, ‘mine’ or angsty stuff that most stories featuring shapeshifters usually contain. Jake isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill shifter either. He’s rare and maybe even the last of his kind. Which suits Jake just find. It’s hard to protect his dual nature and he’s been burned before. So he became the grouchy loner on a wild life preserve.

Vaughn is the happy-go-lucky trust fund baby who is very aware of what he is, but enjoys his gypsy ways of going where he likes and doing whatever he wants. That is, until a visit to his cousin Maya lands him in Jake’s backyard and Maya’s asshole husband runs off with the money. Suddenly Vaughn has to work for his money. Not that he minds if that makes Jake readily available to him.

Taming the Bander was a sweet and fun story to read. Not too serious. Not too dramatic either and free of all the usual (soul) mates drama. Jake and Vaughn actually have to work for it, though Vaughn is very sure that what he wants is Jake, secrets and ‘other’ included.

The story has a nice pacing. Not too fast, not too slow. It develops just nicely with some good story arcs as Maya’s husband who runs off with the money and Maya’s antics in trying to get it back.

There is a good cast of characters too. Jake and Vaughn are well-rounded characters who grow throughout the story into something more than they initially started out as. Vaughn realizes that having to work for his keep is not so bad and to fight for what he wants either. Jake has major trust issues, understandable, but grows into learning to trust others around him.

The support cast was solid as well, though maybe not as drawn out as Jake and Vaughn, but it doesn’t take away from the story. What did bother me though, was the role of Jake’s ex. There are hints of what he’s done in the past and what he wants from Jake (yes, I’m being deliberately vague) but as a character he never really takes off. He’s just in a convenient time and place.
My only somewhat problem with the story was the money angle and Jake’s role in it. Without giving the story away, it seemed a little far-fetched.

All in all, Taming the Bander is a good, solid, enjoyable story to read and a nice change from the many stories out there. It’s definitely a title I can recommend.


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