Review: R. Cooper – Being(s) in Love Bundle

511gfktenklAuthor: R. Cooper
Reviewer: Diane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Anthology

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary:

Beings fall in love, too.

In a world where magical creatures came out of the closet after the First World War, romance still pops up in unexpected places. Police detective and werewolf Ray Branigan will have to overcome his own prejudices to find a happy ending, in Some Kind of Magic. Dragon and historian Philbert Jones has a challenge to face in A Boy and His Dragon—convincing Arthur MacArthur that his worthy of being a dragon’s treasure. In A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate, Zeki Janowitz, wizard, and Theo Greenleaf, werewolf, have a second chance at a relationship, if they can learn what love’s really about. Tim Dirus is on the run from his own kind, in Little Wolf, but werewolf and local sheriff Nathaniel Neri is determined to teach him that it’s not all about how alpha you are. And in The Firebird and Other Stories, R. Cooper takes us from the turn of the twentieth century to present day with stories that explore beings throughout history.

Review:

Dreamspinner Press started doing these bundles of authors or a book series and this is a compilation of the first five books of the Being(s) in Love series and includes Fae, Wizards, Shifters, Firebird, Trolls and Imps covered in the stories as the Beings! This is an author I have always enjoyed because of the interesting characters and what are sometimes awkward journeys to who they are and the romance that awaits them. I like that take on the story. Angst can be part of it too, but what I have really enjoyed is that the stories are usually more concerned about the relationship of the characters and how they approach their lives, although when they get to it, the scenes in the bedroom can be quite hot!

I did not rate each story individually, but I really enjoyed this series and look forward to more in the series!

Some Kind of Magic
Ray is a wolf and a detective, Cal is half fairy and a police consultant. Their attraction was immediate when they first met, but Ray did not pursue it since wolves mate for life and his knowledge of fairies was that they did not. While Ray is not a fan of people who make assumptions about wolves, not separating fact from fiction, he seems to have no problem operating on the same thing about fairies! So, while avoiding his mate and causing himself pain in the process, he is also dealing with his caseload and they seem to have a serial killer that may end up getting too close before Ray can solve the case. I liked the balance between the romance and the action/mystery, since the primary part of the story is how Ray and Cal interact and how that has been interpreted.

A Boy and his Dragon
It seems interesting to say that a story with a dragon is a slow burn, but that is exactly what this story is. Philbert Jones (who goes by Bertie!) is a dragon in need of an assistant, a University professor has recommended Arthur and in their first meeting, Bertie is in dragon form. Quite practically, he figures they should get that out of the way, he then shifts to human and Arthur’s life will never be the same! A sweet and lovely story of a slow burning attraction that Arthur thinks is one sided because his last experience with a Being did not go so well and he has not been having the greatest luck in life. Fortunately Bertie has lots of patience to wait and court his Arthur.

A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing your Mate
A funny and rather sweet story set in the town of Wolf Paw where Zeki returns to his hometown after college, even though he is “only” human and gets shunned for that as well as being a wizard in a town known for being a werewolf refuge. Theo is a wolf, a baker and dealing with the loss of his mate, when Zeki returns and turns his well-ordered world upside down!. This one is similar to the last book in that it is a bit more light hearted, although sometimes painful how clueless these two characters are about how they are meant to be together – hence the title I guess! It is funny, sweet, frustrating (watching them keep being so clueless) and a lovely read that does not take itself too seriously!

Little Wolf
This time around both characters are wolves – Tim is a small wolf who has been kept away from other wolves so he has no idea how to interact with them, no instincts that most wolves have when he first arrives in Wolf’s Paw, having escaped the uncle who had been controlling all aspects of his life. He feels drawn to Nathaniel, but fights it because he does not want to be controlled again. Nathaniel may know more about wolves than Tim, he might be the Sheriff of Wolf’s Paw, but he is still challenged to know how to help Tim get past his experiences if they are to have a future together. Again, it is sweet, but due to Tim’s past, also heart-wrenching, with action scenes as well as the tender and hot scenes between the two main characters.

The Firebird and Other Stories
While there are further books in the series, this collection of short stories was included in this series collection instead of the next full length novel. I’m not sure if that means another bundle will be happening, or if this was done for readers to really understand the world created by the author, but this is a great addition to the series set at different times in history, so an interesting bit of history for the fans of the Being(s)!
The Firebird is set in 1934 Paris with a firebird as the primary character.
The Warrior’s Sacrifice is set in 1947 Mexico with a jaguar shifter and a human.
Hyacinth on the Air takes place in 1961 America, with a fairy and a human.
A Giant Among Men happens in 1982 America, during the AIDS crisis, and features a leather-wearing troll and an elf of indeterminate heritage.
The Imp and Mr. Sunshine is set in 2005, and stars an imp and a human (and after Angel Martinez’s imp character Heckle, I do have a soft spot for them!)
The Wolf in the Garden takes place in 2014, with a human and a wolf and has a reappearance of a character from The Firebird.
The Dragon’s Egg, takes you back into the world of ‘A Boy and His Dragon!

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