Man and the Beast by J. Ashburn
Series: The Beast Within, Book 1
Published by: J. Ashburn on March 22, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
When Alec Ashcroft begins having vivid dreams and blackouts, he’s afraid. Those dreams involve him attacking people–most notably his boyfriend. It’s not even that they’re just dreams. They manifest as desires. Unsure if he can control himself, Alec decides his only option is to run away. The pain of leaving people behind is less than having to live with the knowledge that he harmed them should it come to that.
Alec winds up in Redfern, a quiet little town that seems like the perfect place to disappear. He’s lucky enough to find a job and a place to stay without much effort. And his boss’s attempts to fix him up with the bartender at least reassure him that he may not have to hide being gay in his new home. But he’s still wary of relationships until he can get whatever his urges are under control. When the mysterious Luca shows up, Alec thinks he may have an answer. Luca is like him. And he lives with a group of guys who are the same. The two quickly fall into an intense and passionate relationship. But there’s a dark side to Luca that Alec isn’t sure he can live with. And he’s not sure he can fit the image Luca has of what they need to do with their “gift”. But when Alec doesn’t know where to turn, he’s surprised once again by the little town of Redfern and everything it has to offer.
This is a little different take on the shifter story than I’ve read before. There are some interesting layers to the mythology here that I really liked. And the character relationships are interesting. And Max–you have to just love Max. I didn’t really like the way Alec’s boyfriend at the beginning of the story was just sort of dropped, but I understand that’s part of how Alec gets to where he needs to be. It just would have been nice to see some closure there. Maybe it will come in one of the later books?
Definitely give this a recommend for a quick and fun read. It’s not deep or heavy–it’s almost more of an action book. There is some violence, so take note of that before you read.