Title: Rescuing Jack
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Werewolves are real. Marius enjoys the irony that everyone calls him a dog whisperer, not just because he’s a werewolf, but for his work at the local animal shelter. He has a unique talent for pairing families with their perfect pets upon first meeting them. But he’s still looking for acceptance and a forever family of his own. Then Jack comes into the rescue looking for a big, mean dog. To prevent Jack from making the wrong choice, Marius convinces him to adopt a needy spaniel mix instead. But when Marius learns Jack is tormented by horrible memories while at his apartment, he opens his home to the sweet, scared man. As their relationship grows, Jack feels comfortable telling Marius about the horrors he suffered. Marius hopes his steady presence, protection, and love can help Jack reclaim the pieces of himself broken on that terrible night.
Review: If you know me then you already know that if it has shifters in it there is a good chance I would be reading this story. I also like me some hurt/comfort and the emotional growth and development that usually occurs with those stories. There are only two shifters and they are not traditional werewolves by most of the standards we are used to in today’s fiction (packs, mates, animal instinct drives). I really enjoyed the twist they had and all the possibilities it left open for future books. The time that was spent on that aspect of Marius life was interesting, fun, and a little lonely and sad.
The men share this book and alternate perspectives, which if done well is a great way to add depth and knowledge and cement the connection to the characters. Caitlin Ricci did it very well.
Marius has had to come out of two closets, as a gay werewolf in a small town where there have been a lot of casualties on the friend front and his ability to forgive and remain open, friendly and kind, was amazing. There is an indomitable quality to Marius’ spirit that is very appealing. No matter what happens, harsh words, rejection, prejudice, what ever comes his way he hurts and he’s sad, but he keeps on believing that most people are good and life, love, and happiness are for all of us. He’s been told that he is too nice and helpful, but he likes to help and he likes people to be happy. Which makes him an excellent asset at the animal rescue/shelter/adoption agency that he runs with his partner and Jack a very lucky man.
Recent events in Jack’s life have left him shattered, a shadow afraid of everything and frozen in the grip of overwhelming terror and self loathing. There is some serious PTSD going on and he is hanging on by his fingernails. Walking in to Marius’ animal rescue in search of big guard dog was the best thing he ever did. Luckily Marius didn’t give him what he asked for, but instead helped him to find what he needed. Watching Jack and Missy help each other heal and draw strength from one another was beautiful.
This is not a light and easy read. There is a lot of pain and some recent past trauma and a lot of prejudice. These guys are complicated and hurting and there is some major healing that begins in this book, but will have to continue into their future. Things are a little easy sometimes and Marius is almost too understanding and patient to be real, but it works. The ending was a bit abrupt and had me looking for the next pages, but I am hoping that just means that we will be getting more stories set in this universe soon.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on July 20, 2014, in Nina and tagged a haunting past, Acceptance, Animal Rescue, B List, Best Friends, Career, Choices, Contemporary, Crazy Family, DSP, Family, fantasy, Finding Yourself, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Grief, Healing, Heartwarming, Homophobia, Hope, Hurt/Comfort, Love, love triumphs over all, Making a New Life, Making A New Life Together, Making Your Own Family, Nina, paranormal, Pet Adoption, PTSD, romance, Second Chances, Secrets, Shifters, Supernatural, Sweet, Trauma, Werewolves, world building. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.