Book Reviews

Control by Mary Calmes and Cardeno C. at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 04-May-2014

Book Blurb

Vy Aleknos is the leader of a hawk shifter flock. Openly gay since he was a teen, Vy is proud and self-assured on the outside, while secretly worrying he’ll be forced to spend his life alone because two males can’t be mates. When bear shifter Robert Cimino appears in Vy’s small town, Vy realizes his concerns were unfounded — he has a male mate, and a sexy, dominant one to boot.

Robert is a bear shifter who refuses to shift. Immediately attracted to Vy, he deviates from his normal pattern and seeks more than a one off with the powerful, bristly hawk. But Robert’s affections are rooted in his human form, and when Vy discovers Robert doesn't recognize him as his mate, he pulls away. If Robert wants to stay with Vy, he must convince a man deeply ruled by his animal instincts to give their relationship as humans a chance.


Book Review

If you, in any way, shape, or form, enjoy shifter stories, especially non-traditional shifter stories, then this is a must read. I was over the moon when I found out that two of my favorite authors (I know, shocker, huh?) were collaborating on a shifter story. If you follow my reviews then you already know what I'm going to say, right? Wrong. I don't just love paranormal shifter books, they are the very air I breathe. Okay, okay. That might be taking it to the extreme, but trust me when I say I love this genre. So, the opportunity to devour 'Control' by Mary Calmes and Cardeno C. did leave me a little breathless, but no worries, I had my trusty paper bag at my side, just in case of potential hyperventilating.

Vy is something else. He's a hawk shifter and kuar, leader of his ket of hawks. He's proud, oh so proud, arrogant, stubborn, and is determined, from the moment he meets Robert, to establish his dominance. For Vy is submissive to no one. This is all frightening and new since Vy has been dreading meeting his mate, for he assumed it would be a woman, and Vy has been out and proud since he was fifteen. But once he realizes Robert is his mate, then Vy can begin to let go a little since this is the other half of his soul. Robert is the one person that Vy can give his laughter, his tenderness, his tears, and, yes, even his submission to. But Robert is a bear who doesn't shift, keeping his animal caged, and chooses to view himself as human and not animal. Robert doesn't give in to his base nature. Robert also doesn't do relationships and because he doesn't shift, he doesn't recognize Vy as his mate, which completely breaks Vy's heart, and mine too.

"Robert Cimino was my mate, and finding him was the single most important moment in my life. But he didn't know that. He had no clue I was his mate. He couldn't really see me, could not discern the other half of his heart from any other hawk on the planet. He didn't shift, so he was completely out of sync with his animal half, and because of that, the bond, the sacred, powerful, perfect bond that he shared only with me, was lost to him."

Robert is also upset when Vy drops the news that they're mates, but not for the same reason Vy is. Robert doesn't believe in the concept of mates or destined pairings. Robert is upset because Vy's hawk chose him, not the man, not Vy. As far as Robert is concerned, they may be shifters, but they're born as men and they die as men, and spending your life with someone is way too important a decision to trust to animal pheromones. The other reason is that Robert has spent most of his adult life trying to be a man not ruled by his grizzly bear instincts, i.e. not mean, and not aggressive. He does yoga, he practices serious relaxation techniques, he cares for small animals, all in his continued effort to be the man he wants to be.

Two very strong men, both used to being in control, one who believes in fate and destiny, and the other who believes in falling in love and choosing the person to spend your life with. Neither viewpoint is wrong. Now whether they can compromise and learn to respect each other's views is something I'm not spoiling by revealing. I'm also not spoiling the details about why Robert doesn't shift and why keeping control of his bear is so very vital. Buy the book. You won't regret the read, I guarantee it.

Thank you, Cardeno and Mary! I absolutely loved it.





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, print and audio
Length Novel, 220 pages/68181 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-April-2014
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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