Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

(Change of Heart, #1)

As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe.

Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn't want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them. But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won't give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.

This is one of THOSE books - where there's the incredible paired with mediocrity.

I have a soft spot for destined mates, especially if one of them is reluctant and fighting fate. There's something so wickedly gripping about it, I can't explain it, another one of my weird draws. The author dragged it on for awhile in the beginning, too, which is a good thing since it kept the heart rate up. It took awhile for Jin to not only meet Logan, but to fret about it, have other meetings where he was discovered, and run into other alphas first. When there's something super unique about the main protagonist, it's even more of a draw. I know some get tired of there being something super-special about the MC, but sometimes it just works. Here's one of the cases.

Jin is a rare Reah, the promised mate to a Semel. Reah's are super rare in the first place, so rarely does a Semel (alpha of a pack) find their mate - but Jin is more than that, he's male, and as far as anyone has been aware, a male Reah has never existed. They are coveted creatures, so whenever there is one, they are taken to all the Semels in the area to see if they are each other's true mates. Jin doesn't care for this idea because not only has he had nasty run-ins with previous Semels, he doesn't want to find his mate at all anyway.

The best thing about this book was the first half - the build-up in Jin's life before the meeting, that anticipation, it was all done very well. I was glued to the page and kept on tip-toes until that fateful moment when the meeting finally happened. When it did, fireworks flew and it was another several chapters until the book starts calming down. I'm sorry to say once the mating took place, the book fell into the stereotype of too much dull bedroom action and not enough plot sizzle.

The end was a sweet wrap-up, but was anyone else besides me irked they invited his father in? With that history, I'd have been offended. I know he didn't tell them all the big bad details, but I think it was still a lame mood.

I do recommend this one to paranormal romance fans who don't mind the steam clouding up the story sometimes, or those who dig m/m pairings. The writing is well-done, the world is cat shifter focused, characters are sketched out enough to pass the grade, and it's a story worth reading. I'm not sure on the sequel or not yet, it seems so much has already been said in the first, and the second seems like it will be angst city. After reading the reviews and plot of the third and fourth, not interested in continuing the series, but it was good as a stand-a-lone.

   Book Quotes:

“It was surprising to hear it from his lips, my plain, ordinary name spoken as it never had been before, with awe, lite it was sacred, like treasure. Like I was treasure.”

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