Shifter Scoundrels: Dangerous – Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake
New Paranormal Romance from Bestselling MM Authors Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake.
A grumpy lion shifter duke with secrets, a sassy human who knows nothing of the shifter world, and a fiery arrangement neither of them expected.
Cormac Donegan, Duke of Everard, is all too familiar with the perils of his shifter world, especially as a Dahlia, one of the dragon king’s elite spies. After a mission nearly costs him his life, Cormac is sidelined, healing and grieving his heavy losses. Then a different kind of trouble shows up on his doorstep, a human claiming to be his fiancé.
When Jason Reaves is nearly killed in a house fire, it becomes clear that someone is trying to murder him. With his already fragile health deteriorating, Jason’s only hope is to call in the debt a stranger owes his father– a favor that promises safety, protection… and marriage.
Jason’s escape leads him and his service dog, Mouse, to an impressive country estate. He’s expecting the older man who’d made the promise, not his ruggedly handsome son–who happens to be a Duke, as in rich and royal.
Will this Cinderfella find his happily ever after in the arms of a dashing–if somewhat irritable–duke? Or will Cormac’s secrets prove to be more dangerous than the shifters hunting him?
Dangerous is the second installment of Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake‘s highly entertaining paranormal series, Shifter Scoundrels. After shocking the ton by bringing a human to the ball in Book 1, Notorious, the Duke of Everard, Cormac Donegan, and his fiance, Jason Reaves, set expectations high.
And they delivered!
The plot is an arranged marriage trope between the shifter duke and a human after a pledge by the old duke to Jason’s father years before. I have yet to experience the charms of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, but if comparisons between him and Cormac made Jason blush, well, I have to meet the guy ASAP.
Duke Everard is a black lion shifter whose bite is deadlier than his growl, and boy, does he love to growl. He’s secretly working as a spy, a member of the Dahlias, the king’s eyes, ears, and claws in the kingdom. He’s an honorable man and a stickler to duty. So much so that when a complete stranger showed up his doorstep claiming to be his fiance, with the old duke’s letter in hand promising protection, he was immediately determined to see it through.
Sad to say, Jason was my least favorite thing here. The man has to learn to shut up. His brand of sunshine and babble failed to charm me. His service dog Mouse, on the other hand, was adorable! Jason has Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and throughout the story, when his illness manifests, he requires Mouse’s aid as well as the duke’s and his staff.
But our boy is no damsel in distress. A very admirable thing about Jason is that he’s very good at keeping his head even under extreme pressure. He might hyperventilate and be hypertensive, but our boy can still strategize, helping Cormac in the key parts of his mission. And he won the hearts of the two deadliest Dahlias, Lady Alia and Lady Marmont(?), as well as the rest of society.
The book delves deeper into shifter world, looking at it through human eyes via the Cinder-fella trope. Cormac is the type who would spoil his beloved Jason rotten, so I wished the authors laid on the luxury and opulence thick. Also, the leap from friends to lovers happened too quickly. We are just told they spent some time together before taking the leap. I wished we were shown these scenes more.
My gripes aside, Dangerous is another one-sitter. The romance was sweet and heartwarming enough, but like Notorious, it’s the rest of the story and the cast that really made my day. And with storytelling that kept me glued to the book, this sequel is a worthy addition to the magical alt-Regency paranormal world.
The series over-arching thread overlaps with some events from Book 1. This is a very intriguing mystery of who is behind the murder of the prince. The crimes keep coming, but we barely have clues. I have sworn to see this through the end.
The supporting cast was a riot, and I loved seeing familiar faces helped saved the day. The plot had most of the action at the last part, and this was full on mayhem and chaos! Thrilling car chases, explosions, and Cormac with the swag of Colin Firth in suit and umbrella.
Overall, this story of dangerous dukes, sassy humans, and royal shenanigans is well-written, fast-paced, snarky, and super fun! Definitely the talk of the town!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Beau’s book is next!
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Shifter Scoundrels: Notorious – Charlie Cochet & Macy Blake
New Paranormal Romance from Bestselling MM Authors Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake. Modern-day Bridgerton with shifter royalty, a snarky fox, and the tiger who refuses to fall for his charms.
Caspian Drake knows what it takes to get ahead in modern-day shifter society. He is an Earl, after all, and known for his wit, style, and ability to charm the pants off of anyone he chooses. Getting his best friend Brandr, the Prince of the Dragons, in and out of trouble is only one of his many talents. When a horrible attack shakes Cas’s world, he’s forced to pair up with Saphir Vepkhia, the esteemed tiger shifter and former Captain of the Royal Guard.
Upon retirement, Saphir is granted the title of Baron Archer and, much to his dismay, becomes part of royal society. Years later, when he’s summoned to the palace, the last thing Saphir expects is for the king to request a favor that ties him to the scoundrel, Caspian Drake. Despite his misgivings, Saphir accepts the assignment, knowing it will give him the access he needs to infiltrate the wealthy and powerful while trying not to get outfoxed by the exasperating Earl.
Forced into a fake relationship by an outdated matchmaking ritual, Cas and Saphir each face the upcoming season with their own agenda. The secrets pile up as the two mates navigate the complexities of a modern world that plays by historic rules. But the closer they get to the truth, the greater the danger–and their attraction to each other–grows.
With their lives on the line and the very foundations of their society at risk, Cas and Saphir must unravel the mystery, even if it means creating a scandal more notorious than their newfound love.
Notorious is Book 1 of Shifter Scoundrels, an alt-universe ruled by a dragon king who created their world based on his favorite human era. As a fan of Bridgerton, I reveled in all the ton intrigue, the ridiculously expensive finery, the amusing rules of etiquette, and of course, the endless balls.
I initially expected the anachronisms to be cheesy or jarring, but the blending of modern-day Bridgerton and shifter lore was beautifully seamless. Even the fashion was a fabulous mix of historical and contemporary, something I would really love to see on screen. While they behave with Regency manners, they also possess cell phones, cars, and other technology.
An interesting twist is the outdated ritual where eligible shifters are matched, and a hunt ensues. If they catch their match, the couple is together for the duration of the season. If not, the hunted has the right to turn down their pairing.
The story opens with a murder, and the king tasked the crown prince’s best friend, Caspian Drake, Earl of Brus. to find the killer. Unknown to the Earl, the king also tasked his trusted friend and former Captain of the Guard, Baron Archer Saphir Vepkhia, to keep him safe.
The rakish earl and the gruff baron want nothing to do with each other, but they are paired by the matchmakers. Cocky Cas boasts no one has caught him yet. To which Saphir smugly responds, we’ll see about that…
The romance is enjoyable, but it’s just what could be expected of an enemies-to-lovers + fake relationship story. It’s the rest of the plot and the very entertaining supporting cast that had me hooked. The series is peopled with sharp-witted matrons with deadly tongues and even deadlier secret skills, as well as charming young lords and ladies, both naïve and worldly.
The first chapter saddened me because the short time he appeared on page, I already liked the murder victim’s character. The first half slowly established the setting and plot. Then it picked up pace with the latter half sweeping me into a whirlwind of antagonistic shenanigans, espionage, murder mystery, action, and adventure. One complaint is how Cas and Saphir missed the very obviously villainous bad guy and instead latched on to the very obviously clueless side character.
Three interesting characters I’m keeping my eye on are the scarred and mysterious Lord Everard, spacey scientific genius Lord Quentin, and purveyor of gossip and dandy extraordinaire Lord Beaumont. Lord Everard’s book is next. Now this man knows how to make an entrance!
Notorious is my first Macy Blake, but I’ve read many Charlie Cochet books. One thing’s guaranteed, it’s always going to be fun! This series opener is no exception. It has a plot that takes you on a wild ride, characters you’ll fall for, and deftly executed writing that captures the best of both worlds! It’s definitely quite a catch!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
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