“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get” ― W.P. Kinsella
Author: Jackie Nacht
Publisher: MLR Press
Pages/Word Count: 14000 Words
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: The sexy chipmunk shifter isn’t afraid of the dentist; he’s in love with him.
Phillip has the best job working at the Paranormal Dentistry for the Fanged and Friendly. As a chipmunk shifter, Phillip has seen handsome men walk through the door but none so gorgeous as his boss and wolf shifter, Dr. Gunner Samuels. When he finds himself being manipulated by his best friend to ask the big bad wolf over for dinner, Phillip realizes his biggest dilemma, he’s never cooked a day in his life, let alone meat. Can Phillip pull off a fabulous dinner for two? And has Gunner had his eye on the sexy shifter all this time?
Review: I’ll admit I chose this book because I didn’t believe it could possibly be any good. Though the blurb did not give this happy little charmer credit, the book certainly shut me up. Having never really connected with MLR as a publisher, I decided to branch out and see what they had to offer, my mind already made up that it was going to be smutty and lacking in solid plot. Again, BJ, get off your soap box and try something with an open mind. Jackie Nacht cracked my mind wide open with a hammer and chisel of well worded, heart-warming prose that surprised me.
Phillip, the swollen cheeked chipmunk shifter has a crush on his boss, the big sexy wolf shifter Gunner. In a town reserved for shifters, both MC’s narrate the arrival of the young administrator, and both sides of that fateful coin known as dating. Phillip was cute and nervous, a beta male caving under the glaring masculinity of the man he was crazy about. The range of shifters he catered for in his job was a great take on the shifter genre, and the dispelling of the myth that all shifters could heal during the change gave the story a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek feel as well as making the characters all the more vulnerable and loveable. When we started to see the butch and sexy Gunner’s perspective, that vulnerability was back in full force. He was just a sheep in wolf’s clothing, every bit as nervous and shy as the adorable young Phillip, but with the predators need to claim his mate. Yes. It was brilliant.
The lack of being able to cook really humanized an otherwise supernaturally tinged story. It was like a boy meets boy story in the world of all things funky, and the comparison made it both humorous and enjoyable. I loved the way Nacht made all the little quirks of the shaper culture seem so commonplace, as if their world were simply the real world with all the struggles and mishaps a normal human would face. It was also very well written, with comedic dialogue and supporting characters that lent to drive the pair of trepid lovers into each other’s arms, with a mouthful of dating mishaps and a PB&J sandwich without the crusts.
Before reading this book, I had a very different idea of what I would read. I thought it was just a love story, that the shifter culture was irrelevant within, and that the author made them shifters just to be different. But it was actually a beautiful change, seeing shifters in a light and everyday setting dealing with things from a place of humour. Jackie Nacht has changed my mind about a lot of things with this book, namely that I should shut up and do my research before casting my ever-wrong ideas into the arena. This book is a charmer for sure; a sexy little comedy romp into the less-than-supernatural world that will leave you wanting more. It comes complete with an epilogue made entirely of cuteness, and for that, I award this book a happy four stars. Fine, fantastic, fun.