A Shadow of Wings by Linda Gayle (5 Stars)

Positively magnificent! Between the romantic, sensual love story and the unique shifter angle, I was in paradise reading this story.

Dylan has been living a very challenging life after being abandoned by his family. He’s barely making ends meet working for a veterinarian, but he’s trying hard to improve his place in the world. Cam Coburn is a cockatrice shifter (large bird-like creature with a tail) who is drawn to finding and helping people in danger. They meet when Cam rescues Dylan from being attacked by a group of thugs. This is the beginning of a forbidden relationship, since Cam isn’t supposed to spend a lot of time with humans.

The characters were extremely well-developed, and I loved both of them. Dylan had this sexy, tough exterior with a need to protect. I could have listened to him talk all day, especially when he was sweet talking Cam. Cam had more of a refined but naive tone to him. He was very cultured about the world, but had never really been in love before. Dylan and Cam were amazing together. They cared about each other, and truly treated each other with respect. I loved how Dylan questioned Cam’s uniqueness, but also accepted it in a way that seemed believable.

A good portion of the story was focused on their evolving relationship, with the remainder dedicated to the paranormal aspects which created a perfect dynamic. The story was sensual, romantic, and suspenseful. There was a solid epilogue, and the ending was perfect. Since there is the opportunity for the author to continue in this world or stop here, I certainly hope she continues.

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Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

Thrown out on the street by his homophobic stepfather, Dylan struggles to get his life together. Years of being used and abused have left him tough and determined to make it on his own. When he sees a dog getting beaten, his protective instincts drive him to rescue her. But as the attackers turn on Dylan, out of the shadows comes a hero. One with mysterious eyes and a shy sensuality Dylan can’t resist.

Cam Coburn can’t reveal his true identity to the man he rescues. Nor can he reveal that he’s a freak among freaks, a cockatrice shifter with an unwanted gift for seeking out conflict rather than treasure. Newly independent from his mentor, Cam sees in Dylan his first chance to test the limits of his human guise. Defying every rule, Cam succumbs to Dylan’s seduction for just one night. But Cam finds he can’t let his lover go, and Dylan breaks down every barrier. For he is the one human who can gaze in a cockatrice’s eyes without fear.

Yet even as their bond deepens, danger closes in on them from all sides, and Cam’s dark secrets may save them—or lead to their destruction.

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