by Joely Skye, paranormal (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-975-5
Lynx is, if you can't tell from the title, another excursion into the world of gay furry love among the wilderness. We have Trey Walters, an FBI agent who hides his Team Jacob T-shirt in the closet just so that his employers won't give him a hard time. Don't ask, don't tell, after all. When the story opens, he takes a month off from work, which sees him running happily in wolf form around the Canadian wilderness.
Giant lynxes are supposed to be extinct in that area, so when he hears reports of just such a cat roaming around, he decides to stick his nose into the matter and sniff out the truth for himself. Imagine his delighted surprise when he comes across Jonah, a lynx shifter who lives in self-imposed exiles with only real wolves for company. Indeed, Jonah initially assumes that Trey is an actual wolf since that is the form Trey is in when they meet. How cute, really. These two soon embark on a passionate affair as Jonah learns to heal the wounds in his soul that drove him into his self-imposed exile, but alas, real life will soon intrudes and Trey will have to go back to the big city. What about Jonah? What about love? Indeed, a part of me wonders whether this story is inspired by Heart's What About Love? because the words to that song fit Jonah's personality and angst perfectly.
The thing about Lynx is that it is only half a great book. The first half, which chronicles Trey and Jonah slowly becoming acquainted, is pretty good. The author builds up the relationship pretty well for a romance that happens at an accelerated pace, and I like how the two characters spend ample moments interacting before jumping into bed. There is solid chemistry between the two lead characters between I get to see the developing bond between the two men.
Unfortunately, the story shifts gear in its second half, having Trey go off to take down some rogue organization that makes life hard for shifters. I normally have no problems with such a plot, but Ms Skye ends up compressing a very busy plot into too few pages. I know there is trouble when I turn the page and am abruptly told that a year and a half has passed since the previous page, and things don't get better. Events hurtle past very quickly, often narrated in huge chunks of exposition, and I feel as if I'm stuck on a train that is hurtling at insane speed. I feel more seasick than entertained by such breakneck pacing.
It's really too bad that Lynx just dissipates into mediocrity after a strong start, and just when I was starting to have fun. Oh well.
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