Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
American release date: July 27, 2018
Format/Genre/Length: eBook/m/m/paranormal/181 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
In a world in which humans and shifters have learned to live together in comparative harmony, there are still some shifters who find themselves subjected to an assortment of restrictions. Namely, small shifters and baby shifters. Small shifters are looked down upon as unequal to their larger counterparts. Baby shifters are those who, unlike the majority of shifters, become the immature version of their animals, even though as humans they are adults. Baby shifters are forced to endure having their spouses as their legal guardians, and they are forbidden from doing anything too difficult or too dangerous. Such —as police work.
Nicholas Reed has just joined a combo human/shifter unit in New York City known as Alpha Unit One, which specializes in drug crimes. However Nick has a secret – he isn’t the human he pretends to be, he’s a shifter. Not just any shifter, but a baby shifter, becoming a snow leopard cub in his animal form. To keep his secret, he douses himself with cologne to cover the faint trace of shifter he bears. He doesn’t feel as though he is any less than any of his team members. As far as he is concerned, he’s doing what he has to do.
Sam Black is the head of Alpha Unit One, and a lion shifter. Burned by a previous relationship by a guy who pretended to love him but only wanted to use him, he is leery of new entanglements, and of humans posing as shifters. Complications arise when he finds himself attracted to the new hire, Nick. The attraction is mutual and strong. Nicky is fearful of his secret coming out, but he can’t withstand the pull of his mate. Can he trust Sam with his secret, and trust that Sam will allow him to continue to do the job that he loves? Or is he putting his future as a cop in jeopardy?
Alpha Unit One is hopefully the first in a new series by Chris T. Kat. I am a huge fan of Ms. Kat’s books, and love to read them. She especially excels in m/m romances, and one of her specialties is dealing with shifter stories. This book is no exception to that rule. It’s obvious to me that she understand humans and animals, and I love the way she draws her characters, especially the wise-cracking seme (bottom or catcher) who engages in witty repartee with the more mature, solid seme (top or pitcher). With this book, she is delving into territory I’ve not seen before. Namely having shifters who become the baby form of their animals. It’s an original idea and very imaginative.
Besides Sam and Nick, the unit is populated with some very memorable characters. One of my favorites is Roland, a wolf shifter who is still suffering from the death of his wife, and Annie, the feisty tough shifter who is married to a human, Jake, whom she madly loves.
Ms. Kat does characters very well, and brings them to life as being imperfect and human. The story is about a group of cops, and it does delve into their work, but mostly it is about the cops themselves. The police procedural part of the story is interesting, and will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how they are going to make it out alive sometimes.
As far as the heat goes, there is a lot of it, and a lot of love and romance. If graphic romance is not your thing, I would suggest a pass on this book. But if you like hot guys who love each other and appreciate each other’s bodies, if you like to read about shifters and especially shifters who are different, and if you enjoy a feel-good romance, then this might just be the book for you. I know there is a second book in this series, and I eagerly await its publication.