Savage Sanctuary by Jacqueline Barbary
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Violence
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint
Sexy bad boy shapeshifter Michael O'Dare grew up on the streets. When government soldiers finally captured and imprisoned him, he became a lab rat and a collared slave, never again allowed to be human. His escape allowed him to return to human form and head for freedom in the Western Territories.
Robert Hamilton-Scott had lived by the code "You're careful, or you're caught" for too long to take chances now. The one risk he takes in his carefully controlled life is offering temporary shelter to shifters on the run like Michael.
Robert knows it's definitely not safe to want the sexy renegade he's giving sanctuary to—passion is dangerous for a shapeshifter. As the soldiers close in he must choose between the careful life he's built or life on the run with the man who has captured his heart.
What is it about bad boys that entices us? In "Savage Sanctuary", one particular bad boy not only entices Robert but threatens his control as well as his virginity.
Michael can tempt anyone to his dark side. The once-gangster-has-been was imprisoned so long he no longer knows who he really is. I think Michael’s personality is one that any bad boy lover would find themselves drawn to. He knows he is no longer the gangbanger he used to be and is trying to find out who the new Michael really is. But while you can take the man out of the gang, you can’t take the gang out the man. He takes what he wants and refuses to take no for an answer. He knows he will get Robert in his bed eventually - introducing the virtuous Robert to the riskier side of life is just too much of a temptation for him to ignore.
Robert and Michael are not only learning about each other but they are also learning a few things about themselves. Michael has always viewed himself as a bad guy: first when he was forced to live on the streets and join a gang for survival then once again when he was captured and tested like a lab rat. With Robert he is finally able to discover his worth and who he wants to be. Robert has lived a sheltered life to a certain extent. He was taught to control his emotions and shift at a young age so that it does not control him. I relished the development of both characters on a personal level. It was a great demonstration of what relationships should be like - two individuals helping each other grow into better people together.
The plot was unique even for a shifter story. While many stories do feature a time period when shifters' existence is known by humans, this story adds a twist since all shifters are considered fugitives of sorts and the government rounds them up and runs tests on them. This part of the plot really fascinated me since the reality is that if shifters did exist I could see something like this happening since humans tend to fear what they do not understand. I just hope the author continues this as a series and hopefully the shifters will be left alone if not accepted by the human race.
This was a very good read that I am happy I discovered. I am not sure if the author has other similar stories but when I finished this one I made sure write her name down so I could remember her. There is something refreshing about an author that can surprise you in a genre that some may feel has become overpopulated and jaded. I can genuinely say she is an author I would like to see more from.