Sunday, July 10, 2016

Otter Chaos by P.D. Singer

Title: Otter Chaos (includes Tail Slide)
Author: P.D. Singer
Purchase at Amazon 
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
Genre: Paranormal, shifter
Length: 235 pages 84,500 words
Formats Mobi, Epub, pdf, print

Lon Ewing snowboarded in and turned economist Corey Levigne’s life upside down, introducing him to a world he didn’t know existed. Corey’s still adjusting to a boyfriend who shifts into an otter and raids the koi pond—and now Lon says Corey’s department chair is a werewolf?

Wolves at the university, wolves in the bank—across Lon’s desk sits Professor Melvin Vadas and his hench-wolves, demanding a construction loan for the pack’s new lodge in the mountains. There’s just one little problem: the proposed building site is home to a breeding population of rare fish.

What do wolves care for stupid human rules, an otter who’d barely make a good snack, or one pesky man determined to protect the environment? Once they’re snout to snout with Corey and Lon there’s more than silverscale dace on the Endangered Species list.

Includes Tail Slide

Fresh powder snow and running water in the Colorado back country call Lon like the moon calls the wolves. Belly-sliding to a good time on the weekends makes up for a workweek at a desk, and meeting Corey adds a whole new level of fun to snowboarding.

It’s easy to slip away for time alone in the woods without raising suspicion, but how’s Lon to entertain himself when bad snow and a worse spill force them off the mountain too early?

Never give an otter a box of Cheerios.

Talk about a wild ride! Lon and Corey burst onto the scene and into our hearts with the short Tail Slide. How can a human have as much fun as an otter? By going snowboarding, of course! Corey meets Lon out on the slopes, and romance blooms, all is well, until… Lon’s gotta shift. “My boyfriend is an otter” is enough to make Corey’s head swim. Funny, and with a punch line that sets up the main novel and shows us just how far apart their worldviews are.

All the clues for the novel are in the story, from Pumpkin the kitty to Melvin Vadas, Corey’s department chair and alpha werewolf. Lon’s terrified of Professor Vadas, and when Vadas and Corey butt heads over maps and population studies, you know the werewolves are going to be formidable adversaries. There’s a twist here, and if the werewolves are possibly a little less bloodthirsty than they’re so often portrayed, it’s because they feel the hot breath of extinction on their own necks.

Corey’s remarkably inept for a romance hero, which is both lovable and a little strange, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that he’s devoted to Lon. If he doesn’t manage his objectives one way, he’ll find a different path until he succeeds. Their visit to the aquarium was funny and demonstrative—Lon gets so excited about the fish he shifts, and Corey loses him to a meddling aquarium volunteer who throws him in with the other otters. Corey gets him back, and soothes the after effects with hamburgers and hot smexing. A PhD in economics never prepared Corey to go toe to paw with werewolves, and actually, he doesn’t do too badly.

There’s a lot Corey doesn’t understand about Lon as an otter, and it feels like Lon doesn’t understand entirely either—he can’t think about things the same way when he’s shifted. He risks being caught forever in his otter form, and it’s heartbreaking to watch the slow recovery. Might have been a bit too slow of a recovery, I was ready for him to be himself again a little sooner than the story allowed. The style is smooth and the external plot shows this author’s trademark attention to details.

This is fun, triumphant, good wins, evil is vanquished, love prevails, and Corey, poor Corey, gets to meet the parents and their barrage of meddling questions. The koi pond is both a running joke and a bone of contention, and it just could be the focus of dinner sometime if they have the otter-parents over for a barbecue. Much love, much fun! And there really are cormorants in Colorado, we just saw one Friday. 4.75 marbles

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