*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Seriously, I just adored it! I was so sure when I started reading this that it would be too cutesy and fluffy for me, but I couldn’t resist reading about a genderfluid kraken and a bisexual unicorn, and now I am eating my words because this book was just fantastic. And no, I don’t mean fantastic for a fluffy book. There are no conditional statements here. This book was just fantastic. Period.
First things first, this book was definitely easy, fun, light reading, not my usual dark, disturbing fare, but it was so much more than “fluff.” It had depth and meaning. It had real stories and developed characters. Characters acted in ways that made sense. There were relationship, family, work, and society struggles. And there was emotion written in a way that actually made me feel it.
Second, the characters were so lovable! For the first 10% or so, they seemed stereotypical, but that changed after the first story. They became much more developed and unique. I’ve always loved those surly, constantly-complaining, doesn’t-play-well-with-others characters who secretly have a heart of gold—no joke, my favorite show was Becker when I was just 10 years old—and Lynn (kraken) was basically that character (though honestly he wasn’t even a jerk unless people deserved it). He appeared to be a total hardass on the outside, but he was an adorable closet softie on the inside who surprised me and whom I really wanted to hug whenever any emotional scars from his past came up. And Anderson (unicorn) was also snarky yet sweet with his own emotional scars, and I could relate to him in some ways.
Third, their relationship gave me a total case of the warm-fuzzies! I like slow-burn romances and normally get upset when I don’t get to see that tension-filled build-up, but I was enjoying their relationship far too much to care that that part was skipped over. By 30%, when it got to the third story, I was grinning like a damn fool while reading because they were so ADORABLE and basically my new favorite fictional couple. I also loved getting to see the way they saw each other through their individual perspectives because I could so absolutely feel the love they had.
Fourth, I’m putting this in a separate point even though it relates to the above one because it’s just that important to me, they waited EIGHT MONTHS to say I love you to each other. And Lynn himself was thinking about how eight months really wasn’t a long time to be together. THANK YOU, MEGAN DERR. It’s like every character in every book, movie, and show portrays this message that you have to say I love you within a month, and if you take any longer, there’s something wrong with you. You can say it in a week if you want to, but you don’t have to. And in this book, when the characters took things at their own pace, guess what? No one thought it was crazy.
Fifth, this was the first time I had ever read sex scenes that involved tentacles, and thankfully it really wasn’t extreme. I’ve seen some other reviewers mention that this book was pretty mild, so fear not, my fellow tentacle porn newbies.
Sixth, as I mentioned above, I loved that there were genderfluid and bisexual main characters. The gender-changing was especially unique.
Seventh, the animal traits were both well-written and adorable. Anderson’s were cute, like always wanted sweets and colorful things, but I especially loved Lynn’s, like how he always wanted to wrap his tentacles around Anderson and pull him in when he got emotional or possessive and that one time when he got upset and sank to the bottom of the pool where he just curled all his tentacles around himself, because awwwwwwwwww <3
Last but not least, the plot was episodic, but that’s because it was literally a collection of stories/episodes that were once published as a serial. There were overall character and relationship arcs though, so I didn’t have any issue with it.
Honestly, nothing was a major problem, but the pronouns could get a little confusing, what with people changing genders. And sometimes it was hard to figure out what gender Lynn was in and picture him female when I was so used to picturing him male most of the time. There were also one or two M/F sex scenes, which might bother some readers. Also, the last story and the epilogue weren’t quite as strong to me as the other stories, but they were still enjoyable, and there was a sweet ending.
Overall though, this was a book I never wanted to end with lovable characters, unique paranormal creatures, a completely adorable relationship, and snarky humor, and it just filled me with so much happiness!
M/M paranormal readers who a) want something light and fun but still with depth and realism, b) like adorable relationships and snarky, surly-but-with-a-heart-of-gold, lovable characters, c) want to read about a genderfluid character who can actually change gender, and/or d) want to read about a kraken and a unicorn! Also anyone who just wants to be filled with happiness because that's how this book made me feel!
Lynn is a kraken shifter in every way: detailed, tenacious, resilient, and hard-working. Also possessive, vain, arrogant, and demanding. It makes him an excellent agent for the Federal Bureau of Paranormal Security and Investigation—and impossible to work with, as the long list of partners who have transferred away from him will attest.
His newest partner is a unicorn, possibly the worst type of paranormal for work that often turns ugly and violent. Everyone knows unicorns are too delicate for such things. Then Anderson proves to be a unicorn like no other, the kind of partner Lynn has always wanted—the kind of partner he wishes was more. But if there’s one thing he’s learned, it’s that the only thing harder to keep than a partner is a lover.
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual (Love Interest), Gay (Main Character), Genderfluid/Non-Binary
Non-Human Type: Kraken, Shifters, Unicorns
Romance Type: M-F, M-M
Romance Aspects: Tentacles
Extra Love: Adorable Relationship, Favorite Book/Series, Favorite Male Character, Healthy Relationship, Laugh Out Loud Hilarious