Book Reviews

Cataclysmic Shift (The Aloysius Tales 3) by Tara Lain at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Shifters / Magic / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 13-September-2017

Book Blurb

Aloysius, the magical black cat and powerful witch’s familiar, isn’t afraid to go into battle to protect his master, but the outcome of the fight turns his feline world upside down. A direct hit of magic steals not only his memories and power, but even the body he’s lived in for several centuries. When he wakes up naked on the floor of a veterinarian’s office, it isn’t as the cat Aloysius, but as the sixteenth-century French gentleman Alain Bellarose. And when Alain sees sexy and enigmatic veterinarian Luke Elliott, he decides he’ll make the best of his time as a human.

 

Luke is a man with secrets who generally prefers the company of animals—though the flamboyant boy who washes his face with the side of his hand and tries to lick his own privates might prove an exception.

 

Meanwhile, Witch Master Killian Barth and his secret weapon, Sammy, struggle without Aloysius’s power to draw on. Two evil females are circling, and seeing the coven’s weakness, they’re about to move in for the kill. When Alain’s memories return, he’s faced with the ultimate dilemma: protect his community or stay with the man he loves.

 

 

 

 

First Edition published by Loose Id, 2013.


Book Review

Making important decisions is never an easy task, but when it seems that either way you go, someone will be hurt, it becomes harder. As you weigh each side, both seem equally important, but you know that you can only choose one; the internal battle threatens to tear you apart. Ultimately, whatever you decide must be the decision that makes you the happiest, or no one will benefit. Aloysius has always been very clear in his purpose and satisfied with his life. He's always put defending Killian and the witch community ahead of everything else in his life. Alain, on the other hand, knows only that he's happy with Luke and can't imagine anyone or anything being more important than being with him, but when he remembers who he actually is, he knows he has to make a choice.

Alain is so different from what I expected considering that he's Al in human form. I didn't expect him to be so sweet and innocent, since Al is a real sophistiCATed feline and definitely knows his way around town. Tara has created some wonderful characters in the past, but I think Alain is one of the most endearing. His gentleness and compassion are above reproach and he is wise, considerate, and contentious. His naiveté is so refreshing as is his pure joy and openness with all things, especially sexual, before mentioning that he's drop-dead gorgeous and doesn't even seem to notice it. I loved his compassion for the animals and their love for him. Working at a vet's and being a liaison between them and the humans is an ideal job for him. If he'd been a selfish person, the choice of a life free of the responsibilities he'd had in the past would have been clear cut. He would have chosen to have a life of his own; but that's not who Alain is. When he becomes aware of his position as protector, familiar to Killian and the the others, he is immediately thrown into a quandary which seems unsolvable without someone having to lose. Alain agonizes over this choice, not wanting to hurt anyone or see them hurt. I'm not sure whether it makes it easier or harder that everyone involved is so understanding about it.

Luke is an interesting character; he has a shady past which he's ashamed of. He's trying to run away from it, but it means hiding all the time. His sense of self-esteem is not good. When he meets Alain he's immediately conflicted, but has this almost overwhelming sense of wanting to protect him. Even though he's powerfully drawn to this beautiful young man, he does not want to take advantage of him and goes to great lengths to see that that doesn't happen. It's a futile effort though because Alain is determined to learn about this 'gay' as he calls it. Sex with Alain is new and exciting and amazing because it's been so long that the man has almost forgotten the incredible sensations of being intimate with another man. Luke becomes so involved with Alain that he'd do anything to protect him, including making himself vulnerable to help him. The thing is, Luke has no idea that his lover doesn't need to be protected as much as he thinks. In fact, Alain is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. When the truth comes out, Luke becomes physically ill at the prospect of losing Alain, but he's also not greedy enough to keep him from what seems to be a higher calling. In a way, this makes Alain's choice easier.

Under the circumstances, seeing all of the other witchy characters was bittersweet, knowing that the choice Alain is being forced to make will affect them all and nothing will ever be the same. Even so, I admire the way they stick together when danger is near and, even though it will alter their circumstances, what they want most is for Alain to be happy. The story is well-developed as are the characters. Luke being a fugitive of sorts instead of just a regular vet created more depth to the storyline. Most of all, I enjoyed the solution to Alain's dilemma allowing everyone, especially Luke and Alain, to have a happy ending. It also leaves room for future adventures. Right, Tara?

I'd recommend this book, especially to fans of Al and the other witchy gang, and to new readers as well who enjoy a fast-paced, supernatural, exciting, thoughtful love story with a happy ending. Thank you, Tara, for giving us a charming tale of love and loyalty.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/59329 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-September-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cataclysmic-shift-by-tara-lain-8841-b