Feral
by Joely Skye, paranormal (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-520-7


If you have ever wondered whether dogs and cats can go gay together, wonder no more, because Joely Skye has answered the question that has plagued homosexual furries ever since Al Gore invented the Internet. The answer is, of course, found in her latest effort, Feral.

Ethan is a shapeshifting cougar is on the run from the mean and nasty werewolves who are hunting him for reasons even he is unsure of. Alas, he is malnourished, tired, and such, so it doesn't take much for him to go down. Somewhat fortunately for him, he has an ally in Bram, an omega wolf who is attracted to him. If Ethan seduces him, Bram can surely help Ethan escape his captors, right? Not everything is what they seem to be in this situation, however, and if Ethan can learn to trust Bram, he may find his way from his angst-ridden private emo hell back to the light, or something like that.

If you love your gay romances to be full of chest-thumping, heart-pounding, anguish-soaked, howl-at-the-moon Momma, I just killed a man! bohemian rhapsody melodrama, I have this feeling that you will adore the level of angst in this story. Poor Ethan, for example, he spent eight years in cougar form because, as he puts it, a cougar doesn't care if it lacks intimacy and companionship.

Alas, during the last quarter or so of the story, I find that this story takes a wrong turn to become very mundane and even boring compared to the breathtakingly stormy and melodramatic "I don't wanna die; sometimes I wish I hadn't been born!" kind of angst that is present when Ethan and Bram are all torn up about their initial situation. Once the author removes her two characters from the cage, so to speak, these two guys become... shockingly boring and stereotypical whiny gay guys, sigh. Ethan was a beautifully drawn dark and tormented hero, but when he's loose, he's boring. Bram has a spine despite his inherent submissiveness being bred into his self due to his low-level pack position, but once Ethan is free and Bram tags along, Bram becomes yet another submissive foil to the other main gay character.

The pay-off in this story isn't too good where I am concerned, which causes me to deduct some points from the final score, but still, if you like your gay romances to be all stormy and thunderous with angst and all, you may want to take a look at this one.

Rating: 78


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