Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wild Retaliation by Ethan Stone

Chief of Police John Dakota is in a world of trouble. His peaceful town of Seaside, Oregon, has been rocked by a wave of unsolved murders. The bloody deaths are eerily reminiscent of ones that occurred in Seaside years ago. Back then John worked hard to make sure the truth about the killer was never revealed. Now he’s afraid the past is coming back to haunt him.

Trevor English, the nosy reporter who occasionally shares John’s bed, is demanding information about the crimes. He also wants more of John’s affections. But John can’t afford to give in to either demand without risking the revelation of Seaside’s biggest secret: the town is a haven for shifters, and John is one of them.

To solve the crime—and prevent more victims—John must delve into the past. Many members of Seaside’s shifter community are involved, but it’s becoming harder and harder to tell which residents can be trusted. Even John’s family isn’t above suspicion. The body count is rising, and it looks like John is the killer’s next target.

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Book 1
Buy Links

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This story combines elements of a classic detective story with more modern shifter lore to create an exciting murder mystery. As Chief of Police in Seaside, Oregon, bear shifter John Dakota is a fantastic character – he is a little bit fierce, a tiny bit tubby, and he has dark secrets he needs to keep hidden.

I loved the murder mystery elements of the story – it was difficult to guess the murderer and I found myself suspecting everyone. I enjoyed the shifter element of the story, though I would have liked a bit more world building to explain the nature of the shifters in more detail. My only annoyance was the mention of male pregnancy late in the story (fortunately only a mention), which is always a complete turnoff for me. Hopefully later books won’t explore this idea any further.

The townsfolk in Seaside (Really? Not even an attempt at a town name?) are an interesting mix of humans and shifters and I’m hoping we see more of them in later books. Even in a short book, all the characters manage to be interesting and colourful. Trevor worked better for me as a hookup than a mate – I wasn’t too sold on the romance element of the story, though the sex between John and Trevor is very hot. The mate concept felt forced and I’m not too sure why a murder mystery has to have a happily ever after in 2016.

There are several possible characters who can carry this series further. I’m hoping to see more of Jenna, Titus, or Tyson but there are several possible ways this series can go and I’m already looking forward to the next story.

ETHAN STONE is an out-and-proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life—the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad as he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather three times over. A way-too-young grandfather.

Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mountain Dew and beef jerky addictions.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Wild Retaliation (Seaside Shifters #1) by Ethan Stone to read and review.

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