Title: Chicagoland Shifters, Book 1: Burning Bright
Authors: A. Catherine Noon & Rachel Wilder
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Characters: Sasha, Neal
Sub-Genre: Alternate World Paranormal
“Curiosity never killed this cat, but love could have deadly consequences. ”
Sasha Soskoff has two reasons for moving to Chicago: secure a tenured position in veterinary research medicine, and widen his horizons. After a night at the city’s hottest new club, though, a wrong turn down a dark alley narrows his focus to surviving three muggers. As consciousness fades, he catches a glimpse of his rescuer, whose mere appearance is enough to chase the attackers off.
Neal Harrison doesn’t often have to call on his skills as an ex-Marine to maintain control at his club. But with Sasha, he can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Yet there’s danger in allowing any close relationships, particularly with a naive young newcomer. The safety of his business depends on the iron-clad secret he and his ex-Marine buddies all hide.
While Neal seems happy to satisfy Sasha’s insatiable curiosity about the erotic scenes played out in the club’s private rooms, Sasha senses his new lover is holding something back.
When the truth claws its way out amid a night of tribal blood and violence, Neal discovers his lover has a secret of his own. And that the forces arrayed against them all could make a mugging look like a walk in the park.
Having picked “Burning Bright” up after reading “Emerald Fire” by the same authors and really enjoying it, I am glad I did. The writers have a smooth, witty writing style and a strong understanding of what drives people and the way a person’s history influences their behaviour. Set in a world very similar to contemporary Chicago, the wonderful variety of cultures, customs, and paranormal beings makes the world diverse and interesting.
I liked Sasha right from the start and was cheering for him by the end of the first chapter. He might be short and lean but he’s no walk-over; he’s a stubborn smart-ass who refuses to be pushed around. Sasha knows what he wants and is in the process of going after it. The more I learned about him, the more I fell in love with him. At times Sasha’s actions seem foolhardy but, given who he is and the fact that Neal tries to wrap him in cotton wool at times, they make sense once you know the whole story. The characters are multi-faceted and events proceed rapidly.
“Burning Bright” is perfect for anyone who enjoys great fiction with strong characters, intrigue, crime, special forces men, paranormal entities, and being kept guessing.
Reviewed by: Alison