Review: Notorious (Shifter Scoundrels #1) by Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake
New Paranormal Romance from Bestselling MM Authors Charlie Cochet and Macy Blake. Modern-day Bridgerton with shifter royalty, a snarky fox, and the tiger who refuses to fall for his charms.
Caspian Drake knows what it takes to get ahead in modern-day shifter society. He is an Earl, after all, and known for his wit, style, and ability to charm the pants off of anyone he chooses. Getting his best friend Brandr, the Prince of the Dragons, in and out of trouble is only one of his many talents. When a horrible attack shakes Cas’s world, he’s forced to pair up with Saphir Vepkhia, the esteemed tiger shifter and former Captain of the Royal Guard.
Upon retirement, Saphir is granted the title of Baron Archer and, much to his dismay, becomes part of royal society. Years later, when he’s summoned to the palace, the last thing Saphir expects is for the king to request a favor that ties him to the scoundrel, Caspian Drake. Despite his misgivings, Saphir accepts the assignment, knowing it will give him the access he needs to infiltrate the wealthy and powerful while trying not to get outfoxed by the exasperating Earl.
Forced into a fake relationship by an outdated matchmaking ritual, Cas and Saphir each face the upcoming season with their own agenda. The secrets pile up as the two mates navigate the complexities of a modern world that plays by historic rules. But the closer they get to the truth, the greater the danger–and their attraction to each other–grows.
With their lives on the line and the very foundations of their society at risk, Cas and Saphir must unravel the mystery, even if it means creating a scandal more notorious than their newfound love.
Amazon recommended this book to me. I love shifters, I find a Regency-like set up fun. Add to it an m/m romance and I am so there. I got this book from Kindle Unlimited.
There is a way to get me quickly irritated when your blurb starts name dropping the names of popular books and/ or TV shows to attract the readers who may already love the names you are dropping.
I enjoyed Bridgerton a lot, but I am not a dedicated fan of it, I watched both seasons once and thank goodness this was not the main reason I decided to read the book. Shifters were the main reason. Just imagine how much *more* I would be irritated if I were a dedicated fan who was reading and wondering just what the heck this book has in common with Bridgerton. Well, unless the Regency-like set up was that connection, then every romance with a Regency setting should be compared to Bridgerton right?
The setting only bugged me more as the book progressed along. A Regency-like set up may be there, but for some reason characters have phones, use computers and modern cars. It jerked me out of the story so badly every time the characters are at the ball one page and then talking on the phone or using the computer.
But you will say, this is a fantasy, any mish mash of the world can work if done well, who cares if it is Regency and modern gadgets together in the same story? Absolutely it can work, it is just here for me it did not – at all. Their mindsets for one did not seem modern at all, so some explanation for the gadgets would have been nice.
You will tell me that there is a prologue right after the blurb and you will be right, here it is copied word by word. This is at the very beginning of the story so surely none of it should count as a spoiler. right?
Prologue “Our world was once an enchanted place brimming with magic, where mythical creatures roamed the land and dragons took to the skies. When humans arrived, chaos and conflict spread. To prevent a war, the Dragon King used his great power to hide the magical world and cast a spell over the humans, turning memory into myth. A few select humans were chosen to join the Dragon King and gifted the power to magically change into an animal, becoming the world’s first shifters. Peace flourished again.
The Dragon King fashioned his shifter society after his favorite human era. He granted the original shifters the title of Duke, and their descendants became Earls, Viscounts, and Barons. But some creatures resented the King’s actions. As their world grew, so did the dangers of the Dragon King’s rule. To combat these threats, the Dragon King recruited the most talented shifters and enhanced their gifts.
They became the Order of the Blue Dahlias, a secret group of spies loyal to the King. Sworn to protect the integrity of their world, the Dahlias operated in the shadows, their skill growing so great that, over time, they became nothing more than a legend. Centuries later, shifters continue to live by the rules of a historical society within the modern world, protected by the King’s magic, yet unaware the Dahlias walk among them.”
Let’s put aside the question as to why even selected humans were allowed to join the shifters when they decided to hide themselves and even allowed to become shifters. I am still confused about that. But if shifters live by the rules of historical society, why are they allowed to use the modern world amenities?
Also the order of Blue Dahlias, note how they are supposed to be such a great and skillful spies right?
To me by the end of the book they seemed a rather incompetent bunch. Granted we did not see much of the investigation they were conducting (death that they originally were unable to stop), but they leap to the most convenient suspect, they were of course wrong and basically the main characters had to fight off the situation they themselves had a part in creating, I think.
By the way, I liked Cas and Sapphire (typo is deliberate I kept calling him a gemstone in my head). I thought the leap from no connection to a connection between them was too fast, but I liked them as characters so there is this. I would not call them good investigators though, they were too busy dancing and having sex, but they were fun characters.
Shifters as shifters in my opinion were super underutilized.
I am not making it to the second book, nope.