Author: M.A. Church
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 234 Pages
At a Glance: I picked very well this time, I loved this book
Blurb: 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.
Review: How do you pick a new book to read? There are a few things I do when trying out a new to me author to get a sense of what I can expect from the book. I love a title that creates questions: what trouble, where, with whom? The cover: Paul Richmond artwork, cute, with cats. Check the blurb: a paranormal m/m/m, okay, should be fun. I picked very well this time, I loved this book.
Dolf and Tal are an established werecat couple who happen across their mate in a hardware store. Their third mate, who is human. Dolf is the alpha’s son, next in line to lead their clowder, which is rampant with a dislike of humans. I enjoyed the way that the author dealt with establishing “realness” to the shifters. Layering their beliefs with the natural dislike of others, and showing the respect that mates garner and deserve, while showing the scope of the world we are now in. By the time we really meet Kirk, in chapter three, Dolf and Tal are well fleshed out characters, and I had a really good sense of who and what they are.
M.A.Church uses an alternating POV technique that is clearly identified and adds balance to the story and the characters. There is great humor in having Kirk deal with two strange cats during a snowstorm, and it is an effective tool to create sympathy for Kirk, to show his loneliness and need for acceptance.
I loved the fact there was no insta-love going on. The facts about mates, bonds and claiming are clearly laid out for Kirk, and the decision to go forward, to try, is discussed between the three men. When they decide to move in together, realistic problems are addressed.
Trouble Comes in Threes is a well plotted book, with credible characters that I became invested in. The subplots and underlying mystery were full of detail, secondary characters were strong and well balanced in relation to the MCs. It is a fast paced book, easy to read due to its smooth flow, but you never feel that you are missing anything along the way. The author builds the world and characters and lets them grow their romance at their own pace. I was delighted with the conclusion of the book, hints of future stories left to play in my imagination. There is nothing better for a reader than wanting more of an author. M.A. Church has a voice and a style that I appreciated and enjoyed. She has been added to my read again list, and I will look forward to reading more of her work.
You can buy Trouble Comes in Threes here: