Another Cari Z. winner for me! Aw yeah!
Carter is on borrowed time.
The human cowboy has to try to salvage what is left of his inheritance, thanks to his sister's recent marriage to Percy, an idiotic businessman who knows nothing about ranching. Anyone with half a brain can see what Percy is about but Carter's sister has a personality transplant and lets this d-bag run amok. Carter has to sell cattle quickly and must travel through deadly shifter territory.
In the alternate universe paranormal historical, America is broken up into territories. Humans and shifters don't get along for the most part. But Carter has to trust shifter Rani as his guide through the rough terrain of Oklahoma Territory since he has no other choice. Rani has his own agenda as son of the nearest shifter tribe's chief.
I enjoyed the main characters (though I wished we got to learn more about Rani). The relationship between the men starts off slow since Rani is quiet and seems to be contemptuous. But you know the sort: quiet, scornful but underneath the sarcastic, biting exterior, lives a hot, possessive interior who notices everything. My kind of guy that shifter Rani. I was practically drooling from the moment he entered the scene. Carter is fighting his feelings for men (which even in the alternate universe is still against the law) but is drawn to the persnickety Rani. The chemistry is there. :D
I thought the premise was interesting. The kind of slow build between Rani and Carter (how slow could it be in 56 pages) I mean, they are forced on a road trip (is this a Cari Z. theme?) with a common goal of saving Carter's inheritance for about two weeks and they don't immediately jump in the sack...er...tent...erm, plain? This is an alternate historical western.
And trust Cari Z. to make it interesting as fuck. The storytelling is good. Seriously, I read about venomous snakes and didn't get creeped out. I read with bated breath for when they were going to attack or when Rani was going to attack them. Of course, Rani being an unusual shifter was an added bonus, with demon like features. *squee* I really thought the shifter set up was different and dope. Wouldn't mind returning to this world again or maybe reading a sequel *cough*hint*cough*
What I wished we could had seen? The aftermath especially to the sister and the "scheming bastard" husband, Percy. (I never liked that name, so it made it even worst for that guy). I'm a lusty sort. I like to read revenge when it's due. And for those two, it's overdue.
The story ends with a HFN walking toward the HEA if Rani has anything to do about it. I like that there are possibilities with the ending but I still wouldn't have minded a little more.
I'm greedy that way when the story holds my attention. ;)
And the entire story, how it all came together? That was the best part.
Recommended for unusual shifter lovers such as myself who enjoy biting.
A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.