Title: Born This Way
Author: Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press July 2013
Blurb: Dayton Whitmore injures his arm playing basketball with his lion-shifter friends, and his best friend asks Dayton to check on her estranged brother Hart while he’s in Atlanta visiting a specialist. Though Dayton and Hart were never close, he grudgingly agrees.
Banishment from his pride meant Hart Sherman could never see his family again. His liger heritage—a tiger mother and lion father—was a thorn in his alpha father’s side. He always planned to go back for Dayton, the man he knows is his mate, but he uses his career as an entertainment attorney as an excuse to avoid risking Dayton’s rejection. When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him.
Knowing what it means to be a lion’s mate, Dayton isn’t in any hurry to make a lifetime commitment. To convince Dayton he’s serious, Hart must come to terms with the circumstances of his birth—and find a place in the pride for them both.
Review: Great novella. A destined mates story where they had to work for their happy ending. No falling straight into bed or insta-love, but two men who’ve known each other for years and are finally coming together as partners.
I really liked Dayton, he was smart, funny, sexy, kind, and a good person. He stood up for himself and tried to be fair to Hart and consider both sides of the situation. He made Hart work for the mating, but he was never cruel or unreasonable about it, and did his share of work as well. He had to make some adjustments to the realities of being mated to a were-liger, but seemed to really try to accept all parts of his mate. Even though he grew up in the were-lion community he was always a human and kept in the dark about a lot. I loved that he didn’t hang on to his anger or resentment, but worked through his feelings and on the relationship.
Hart was pure yummy. I felt for Hart and all that he had gone through. He had good reasons for leaving Dayton behind and even though he should have gone back for him sooner, I could see how he would be afraid to take the chance of more rejection. I loved that Hart listened to what Dayton said to him and respected his boundaries and needs, which you rarely see in Alphas’, in fiction. He valued Dayton and tried to put his mates needs and happiness before his own, which is so very sexy.
These men are a sweet and loving couple. Both had to make changes and put in some work, but neither took the other for granted or made assumptions. I loved that there was no senseless misunderstandings or forced drama. I loved that they were given time to get to know each other as adults and seemed to truly like each other. When they finally come together it’s loving and sweet and genuine and really hot.
Reviewed by Nina