Splash and Elegance by Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (126 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Coreopsis
The Gathering is called. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings.
Socially awkward and practically invisible to the rest of the world, Whitley Turner wasn’t overly upset by the elders’ announcement. Either he’d find someone to claim him or he’d disappear completely. So when he finds himself mated to a sexy-as-sin orca shifter, he’s not sure whether to jump for joy or run screaming.
Jude Chambers knows exactly who the shy swan shifter is. He’s been looking for a way to get close to him for months. Using the forced mating decree and a little cunning help from a friend, landing Whitley as his mate was a piece of cake. Feeling guilty about the situation wasn’t supposed to happen. Why couldn’t Whitley be the egotistical jerk he imagined him to be?
It doesn’t take long for Whitley to realize something isn’t right. When the truth is revealed, how can Whitley forgive his mate when being invisible was far less painful?
Being forced to mate is one thing, but to be deceived by the one person you fall in love with is unforgivable, isn't it?
Whitley Turner is that lonely person in the corner praying no one notices him. He’s smart and beyond kind but has been treated poorly by his family his entire life. Pretty sad situation. He doesn’t see his attractiveness or self-worth. So when the council calls a meeting for all unmated paranormals to attend he jumps at the chance to have a reprieve from his own family. But a weekend of freedom away from his parents takes a life changing turn when he gets accidently mated to the sexiest man he’s ever seen. Whitley soon discovers looks can be deceiving and just because you want something bad enough doesn’t mean it’s meant to be.
Jude Chambers is a good guy but he’s in a race against time to save someone he loves. He sets out to use Whitley to get what he wants but after meeting the swan shifter his motivation of hate and deception changes. He’s thrown for a double loop when his feelings toward Whitley begin to grow. But with those growing feelings come his own shame, which is understandable. He did trick poor Whitley, but there was a good reason for the trickery. It was hard not to judge Jude too harshly but when his motivation becomes clear no one could blame him for his scheming.
I found myself rooting for this couple. Their problems stem from poor choices and lack of communication, not absence of love. Whitley is so used to rejection from others; he just naturally expects the same treatment from Jude. Jude wants to tear down the walls Whitley has built around himself but he doesn’t have the time, someone is counting on him and he has to move forward with the plan.
The story kicks into high gear when Whitley is abducted. Jude has to decide is what he fought so hard to save worth giving up to get his mate back. It was fast paced do or die time for the characters and this author was able to get across what was at stake. Emotions ran high and I started reading faster so see what would happen next.
The Midnight Matings Series is just fantastic and Ms. Evans brings her own spin to these forced matings. Pairing a swan with an orca whale is comical but that’s just a small piece of the story. This tale dives deeper into the characters' human emotions and what they would risk for those they love.
Splash and Elegance was pure entertainment from beginning to end. Those who follow the Midnight Matings series would definitely take a liking to this addition. As the others, Splash and Elegance can be read as a standalone, but the whole series it worth a read. I highly recommend!