Author: Kim Dare
Publication Date: August 12, 2015
Page Length: 255 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
For what it is, I enjoyed this book. I liked Ori and I liked how the reveal + aftermath was handled. I guess my biggest issue with this book is the lack of world-building? I just have SO MANY QUESTIONS. Coming off from reading Axel’s Pup, I just feel like I’m missing so much backstory as to how this world works and how it exists with humans.
This story is about Ori Jones, an avian shifter who doesn’t know which avian species he belongs to. He has partially shifted in front of the council, but until he comes of age (21 here, since this is by a British writer and I think set in Britain), he is at the bottom of the hierarchy and forced to take orders from any avian who crosses paths with him. He lives and works at a gentleman’s club of sorts and forced to wash dishes, and basically do whatever anyone wants. It isn’t until Raynard comes into Ori’s life that Ori’s entire life changes.
Raynard is a hawk, and among the avian species in the area, the highest ranking among them. Ori is both terrified and excited when Raynard decides to take Ori as a servant. Ori lacks self confidence. Even though he’s only grown up with humans up until six months of finding out he’s an avian shifter, he seems to just accept whatever comes his way. He’s not a fighter, and he just wants to be taken care of. Raynard wants to take care of Ori and I guess i do like the way their relationship develops? I’ve mentioned this before, but in a human context, a 24/7 D/s relationship just isn’t my thing, or something I necessarily like reading about, but when it comes to Kim Dare, she manages to make it work in a shifter-type setting. I liked that Raynard isn’t some alpha Dominant who forces Ori into anything he’s not ready for. Ori only knows to take orders, but Raynard doesn’t take advantage and listens to Ori’s wants and needs.
For anyone familiar with fairy tales, the blurb and the title of this book kind of give away the reveal. But only half of it? I definitely thought I knew where this story was going, but there’s a slight twist to how everything unfolds after that was unexpected.
Ori is adorable and precious, and Raynard is a darling. I was totally taken by surprise that this book made me cry. The relationship works and it’s so tender and respectful. The story is an addictive read. The last third of this book is the best. I have many, MANY questions about everything leading up to this book, like how Ori even realize he was a shifter, Raynard’s life before Ori came into it, and if there’s this entire hierarchy of avian shifters, does that mean all the shifters from the other series technically exist in the same world as this one? I would still recommend this book for fans of M/M BDSM books, because the relationship between Ori and Raynard is definitely a great read. I look forward to reading more stories in this series!