A Shadow of Wings, Linda Gayle

A Shadow of WingsRating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Linda Gayle

Genre: Gay Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Mystery, Paranormal – Shifters

Length: 164 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: amazon.com



Not your average shifter story.



Dylan, now twenty-three, was thrown out of his home as a teen by a homophobic stepfather. The day Dylan told his parents that he was gay he, along with all of his belongings, were tossed out into the street.  His mother cried as it was happening but did nothing to stop it.  After years of getting mixed up in bad relationships and being forced to do anything to survive, he is offered a job as a part time worker in a veterinarian clinic.  The position was offered after Dylan rescued abandoned kittens and took them to the clinic for care.  As a result of his part time job, Dylan is able to find a cheap apartment in a bad part of town.  It’s dangerous but at least he has a roof over his head.  While walking home from work one night, Dylan stumbles on gangbangers beating and kicking a pit bull.  He jumps in to save the animal with little thought of what he is jumping into.  All he cares about is saving the helpless animal.  The bangers immediately forget the dog and attack Dylan.  Just when he is convinced that he will die in a dark alley the men are pulled off of Dylan and dealt with by a stranger.  Once the danger is over, Dylan gets a good look at his rescuer and there is an instant attraction to the mysterious man.

Cam Coburn lives a life of secrets.  He has the body of a 21-year-old man but in reality he is a cockatrice with the unwanted gift of being able to seek out those who need help.  He is able to jump in and save the day and then disappear again without a second thought.  Until he rescues Dylan.  There is something about Dylan that calls to him unlike anyone… or anything… before.  Breaking his own rules and those set by others of his kind, he allows Dylan to walk with him to his home after he rescues the man and the pit bull.  Cam is not supposed to mingle with or get close to humans.  It is against the rules of his kind.  Getting too close can have horrific consequences not just for Cam but for the human as well.  But there is something there with Dylan.  When Dylan makes an advance it is impossible for Cam to say no.  He wants Dylan more than he’s ever wanted anything in his life.  They play around a little that first night (the first intimacy of any kind for Cam) and continue to meet up over a period of days eventually having sex for the first time.  This leads to more and more sex between the two and it doesn’t take long before the two men are in love though neither voices it at the time.

Cam must keep Dylan secret from his mentor, Tash, and others in order to keep him safe.  Cam wears a special gold chain that keeps him in human form.  If the chain is removed he will immediately go back to his true form with eyes that will kill with one look.  Dylan knows there is something different about Cam.  He sees wings in shadows behind him that appear depending on Cam’s mood, his eyes are different, his speech is much too formal for a twenty-one-year old man and he is still a virgin with almost zero knowledge of anything sexual.  Only later in the book does he find out just how different Cam is.

Toward the end, there is drama and violence and then something out there happens with Cam.  Up until that point of the book, I didn’t think it could get more strange.  I’m not saying that in a bad way as I found myself totally engrossed in the story and eager to see what happened next.  I just did not expect what happened toward the end though I should have as the signs were all there had I paid attention earlier in the book.  The way everything came together in that regard was written well.  However, I felt that the ending was quite rushed considering what had just occurred in the story.  The author threw in an epilogue and this helped some.  However, I wanted to see what happened in the months after the last chapter.  

This is not your typical shifter book and for that I am grateful.  I admit to being confused quite a bit in regards to who Cam was and the history behind his kind. I will not lay all of that out here as that would only serve to confuse anyone reading this review.  Suffice it to say that Cam’s history goes way back to mythical times of dragons and other beings.  There are different parties and groups who fight against and with each other in order to preserve an agreement made thousands of years earlier.

Overall, an entertaining read though like I said, quite confusing in some parts.  There are some major editing issues throughout.  I managed to overlook that for the most part with the exception of names being in the wrong place many times.  With those, I had to reread the same sentence sometimes two or three times to figure out what I was reading.  I got it eventually.

This was interesting enough for me to want to seek out more by this author.  It was definitely not more of the same.

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