Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Stopping to offer help one sultry summer night, Mason James is unprepared for the change that this simple act of kindness will bring. After giving an old man a ride home, Mason discovers a new, magical, and even dangerous world he cannot hope to understand. But he also finds Luc Toussaint and is intoxicated at first sight… and even the secret Luc protects won’t be enough to keep Mason away from the truth of his heritage and their love.
Firefighter Mason James stumbles across an old man on a dark road on his way home from work one night. Sleep deprived from working extra shifts, the last thing he wants is to find the old man’s home, but being the kind-hearted soul that he is, he persists until he manages to follow the old man’s mumbled growls and barely understandable directions.
What he finds is not a sweet little old lady waiting for the man, but there is a female spokesperson for the group of tall, dark, muscular men who greet him. Never mind the fact that many of the men are naked, they are all just plain weird. He gets back on the road as quickly as he can, but when he nearly falls asleep at the wheel of his car, and the man who followed him persists in bringing him back, he willingly goes with him back to the old man’s home. And that’s when his life becomes very, very complicated.
There he meets the man, or being, or beast, who’s his soul mate. Luc Toussaint recognizes Mason for what he is—a half-breed—half-human and half of the same species as Luc. Luc is a gargoyle. Mason agrees that he feels the attraction and agrees to the bond with Luc, but instead of the usual insta-love we often see in shifter bonded mates, Mason is a bit more levelheaded and insists that they take time to get to know each other. It’s during that time of learning that Mason is attacked by rivals to Luc’s clan. Will he survive? And what happens to Luc, his destined mate?
For such a short story, this one is highly complex. It’s a new world and a new twist on shifters and the paranormal world these characters live in. There’s a whole social structure and hierarchy in their world, peppered by French terminology, which made it tougher to follow. I’m sure it would have been challenging to follow in an e-book, but it was certainly difficult to follow in the audiobook version. However, at the same time, it’s a highly creative and imaginative story and reminded me a bit of the groundwork Mary Calmes laid when she first created the world of Jin and Logan Church in Change of Heart. And Greg Tremblay’s narration wasn’t a narration at all—it was a brilliant performance. A highly talented voice actor, Greg brings the characters of Mary Calmes’s imagination to life. The two together make a knockout team.
I am really looking forward to Chevalier, book two in the Romanus series. If you enjoy fantasy, shifters, a creative storyline, or stories with fated soulmates, this one will hit the spot. And I highly recommend the audiobook version for a few hours of listening that is nothing short of pure pleasure.