16 February 2015

Off Course by Bailey Bradford

Hey everyone,

Hopefully you all had a lovely Valentines day, regardless of whether you were all loved-up or flying solo. Today I thought it was time I got back to reviewing some actual books, for some reason it felt like ages since I’d reviewed one. Therefore I give you Off Course by Bailey Bradford an M/M paranormal romance e-book that came out late last year.

The book:
For the coyote shifters near Del Ray, hope lies in a prophecy that Miller Hudson, their would-be alpha, doesn’t believe is ever going to come true. As far as he’s concerned, their old medicine man ingested a few too many hallucinogens. Nothing the man did helped the newer generations of coyote shifters. They might as well have just called themselves regular ol’ humans.

Something has happened to them, and no one has been able to shift since long ago.

Only time and faith will hold them together.

Only a return to their true nature will save them.

Only love will fulfill them.

My thoughts:

In many ways this was the ideal book for my reading mood and it actually brought be out of a prolonged book slump, which is always a good thing. I really liked Bailey Bradford’s relaxed and witty writing style, none of the dialogue felt forced but the characters still maintained their individuality.

For me this is a book all about characters, part of the reason I chose to read it was because it played with the Dominant/Submissive stereotype. Miller the ‘dominant’ one in the relationship was physically the smaller of the two, and I don’t mean he was 6 Feet to Gideon’s 6’7! Please we all know romantic heroes are crazy tall... I wouldn’t put it past an author. Instead Miller is only 5’5 as he informs someone during the course of the book. In contrast Gideon is 6 Foot tall and a bear shifter on-top. The man is huge and yet is naturally the more submissive in the relationship.

Also before I get carried away I want to clarify that this isn’t a BDSM relationship but merely that Gideon and Miller have preferences in the bedroom that normally people would be mistaken about. Miller Tops, Gideon Bottoms and it suits them fine. In fact a lot of the obstacles in this books focus around the pre-conceived ideas based on a person’s physical appearance. I love how Bailey Bradford played with both societies preconceptions about a person but also the romance communities ideas about what an ‘alpha hero’ should look like.

I thought Miller and Gideon were well-thought out characters with fears, worries and hopes that were believable. Gideon for example has very little self-confidence due to his former ‘den’ expecting very little of him. In contrast Miller is terrified of being an official alpha to his ‘den’ because they could expect to much of him. Despite it being a paranormal romance all the characters felt incredible human and real. I gather this is the first in a series and I personally thought Bailey Bradford did a great job of introducing a world, partly the Coyote den without information dumping.

Now I only two criticism and they aren’t major, however, for me they stopped this from being a five-star book and instead reduced it too a four or three-half star M/M paranormal romance. Firstly Gideon and Miller relationship developed incredibly very quickly and I would have liked to spend more time with them as a couple away from the other drama in the book. I know they loved each other because of the support, comfort and belief they had in one another but it would have been nice to have seen it more often.

Secondly, and it is linked to the first, a lot of Gideon and Miller’s relationship developed around sex. Now this isn’t a problem per-sae but at times it felt like a sex-scene was just thrown in for the hell of it. Especially some of the kinky sex. I understand it was all character development but honestly I started to skip some of the sex-scenes because at times they felt a little redundant.

To end on a positive I love the fact that authors are branching away from the more traditional shifter animals! I mean a romance book series revolving around a den of Coyote Shifters makes me extremely happy.I love shifter romances about any other paranormal romance books and have got a little bit bored with wolf and lion shifters.

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!