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The rating will most likely depend on whether you read this story as a stand alone or withing the series. As a part of the series, it might easily fetch 5 stars.
The book starts in a humorous fairy tale fashion, pulling you right in: the characters are somewhat familiar, the setting is typical, the story is easy to follow. You know this set-up, you move along, quite sure of yourself and the boys in the tale.
However, just as you begin to think "oh, I know where it's going!", the unusual (especially where the puzzled Prince is concerned) turn of events shifts the story line and you find yourself as puzzled as the Prince himself. Series of hot, steamy and very passionate almost - but not quite! - dub-con scenes follow, with still enough plot and humor to go around.
In the end, all parties get what they deserve and want.
No kittens, tigers or babies were actually hurt (much) during the production of this book :D
Took some notes while reading. Reporting back:
- The first 10% of the book is all about child birth. Not sure what's with refusing painkillers during 14+ hours of painful misery. I would rather be ready and alert for my babies and enjoy the experience. But to each its own. Not judging, just saying those 10% did feel like 14 hours.
- What I wanted when I started this installment was the evil doctor to come back. What I got was a hormonal gamma. like uber hormonal.
However, Paul hinted that there is hope yet! Abuse and torture and not a drop of epidural in sight! =)
- The second case of TSTL kicks in around 40%. I am disappointed. It takes away from pain and torture because - honestly - it's self inflicted :/ Someone needs to put a leash on Aden and lock him in a cage for his own safety. Oh, wait! The good doctor, it seems, is the one with the right ideas!
- Nate is "innocent"! Hahaha, good one! Almost killed one person, and intentionally at that, then shot and killed another, conspired with the worst most evil doctor evah, not to mention that shady business with his own mother, and yet he is "innocent". I am about to die laughing here!
The first chapter, maybe part of the second too, was great. I thought the book was promising, but as soon as the prince (why was he a prince and not a king? @.o) took Amory into his chambers for a talk, that was it. Insta-love with myriads of kisses from there and on.
Nothing's happening in the first part of the book, while the second is full of drama: "don't do it, you'll die!!!" and "no I have to do it or you will die!!!" and "I can't stand to see you die!!!" and "I have to do it, even if I die, cause no one else is here to help!!!" with slight variations. The MCs are constantly injured and spend weeks in bed suffering their suffers and doing nothing.
The world building is non-existent.
The cat-shifter element is close to non-existent.
The MPREG element is minimal. Amory got pregnant, he had some morning sickness(we were told), he was uncomfortable, he had a baby - painlessly, no less.
If you are a fan of male pregnancy, let me refer you toBlack Snow. Not only it has world-building, real adventures and characters with personality, but the significant portion of the book is devoted to Snow being pregnant. Descriptions are vivid, details are plentiful and very close to the real non-male thing. Just a little warning: the medical tools are somewhat modern ;)
PS The Cover! Love the Cover ♥
Another rec: if you want a book matching it's cover (and the other way around), read Queer Magick