27 December 2014

Trouble Comes in Threes by MA Church

 A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.

Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.
Having read quite a few of Ms. Church’s other books, I had a feeling that I was going to enjoy this one once I started it.  Granted, I was a bit unsure because I’m not usually a fan of ménage stories because they just don’t work for me for some reason, but I am glad that I gave this book a shot because I did end up enjoying it a bit more than I thought I would.

I did like the twist that Ms. Church added with Dolf and Tal who can shift into housecats, I thought that was just awesome because it’s what makes this a different paranormal/shifter book than what is out there right now.  I also liked how there was a lot of action and suspense in the story as well.  It had just the right amount to keep me on my toes and wondering just what exactly was going to happen next.

Now, what I didn’t really enjoy.  I did feel as though Tal’s character was lost in the shuffle a lot during the story.  I do get that he was the submissive and quiet type, but we didn’t really get to know that much about him.  Dolf’s character seemed to overtake a lot of the book, which made sense because he is very dominate and outspoken.  Krik was a character that while I liked him, I didn’t love him exactly.  I’m not really sure what it was about him that I couldn’t really connect with.

Even considering this, I would love to read more into the series and hopefully out more about Tal and to see how the ménage ends up working in the long run.
This was a hard book for me to figure out the review for. Why?  Because I both liked and disliked it. When I was first offered the opportunity to review this book, I said no. I didn’t even read the blurb because the cover turned me off. I’m not a fan of Dreamspinner’s illustrated covers because the characters never look quite ‘right’. For instance, in the cover of Trouble Comes in Threes, I think Kirk rather resembles pre-Gollum Schmiegel from the LOtR movies. That was just a bit weird for me. I kept imagining him taking a bite out of the kitties.

But then the opportunity again came and this time, I read the blurb. It interested me enough that I said yes. And I instantly liked it…until the three of them met. In a paranormal book, the creatures an author creates need to make sense within the universe of the story. I had a real issue with men over six feet tall becoming house cats once they turned. There were a few instances where poor Kirk had to listen to bones break and sinews tear as Dolf and Tal shrunk into their kitty forms. It stretched incredulity.

But even with that issue, I couldn’t stop reading, because I really wanted to like Dolf, Tal, and Kirk. As it turned out, for house cats, these shifters could eviscerate someone quite easily. So that saved the shifter thing… sort of. And I was caught up in the story – thus the 3 stars. But the fact was, every character was too light. There wasn’t a lot of depth in any of them. I’m not sure if that was because the story was from 3 points of view and a large section of the interaction between the three was sexual, or if for another reason. But the fact was, when all was said and done, I really didn’t know any of the three. About all I can really say about them is they were horny.

BUT – even with all those negatives, I was left with the feeling of wanting more. Remi needs a mate and so does Heller. I’m hoping that if Ms. Church writes their stories that with them being only 2 points of view (unless she decides for them to find two mates) that we will get to know the characters better –including Dolf and Tal.

Even with only giving this story 3 stars because of its issues, I am hoping the author will write more about their clowder. Because this book looks like it could be a great series…it just needs more depth.

One more thing – there was a scene in the book where Dolf spanked Kirk. He gave him 10 swats – only 10 – and Tal was worried at how red his rear end looked. Um, after only 10 swats? I can imagine pink, not bright red. And if Dolf hit as hard as it sounded, it would be pink with bruising – still not red. But then maybe to Tal, any pink is red since he isn’t into kink.

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