Book Reviews

Burning Bright (Chicagoland Shifters 1) by Rachel Wilder and A. Catherine Noon at Zen Garden Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Menage MMMM / Polyamory / Erotic Romance / BDSM
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 09-June-2021

Book Blurb

Curiosity never killed this cat, but love could have deadly consequences.

Sasha Soskoff has two reasons for moving to Chicago: secure a tenured position in veterinary research medicine, and widen his horizons. After a night at the city’s hottest new club, though, a wrong turn down a dark alley narrows his focus to surviving three muggers. As consciousness fades, he catches a glimpse of his rescuer, whose mere appearance is enough to chase the attackers off.

Neal Harrison doesn’t often have to call on his skills as an ex-Marine to maintain control at his club. But with Sasha, he can’t seem to keep his hands to himself. Yet there’s danger in allowing any close relationships, particularly with a naïve young newcomer. The safety of his business depends on the iron-clad secret he and his ex-Marine buddies all hide.

While Neal seems happy to satisfy Sasha’s insatiable curiosity about the erotic scenes played out in the club’s private rooms, Sasha senses his new lover is holding something back.

When the truth claws its way out amid a night of tribal blood and violence, Neal discovers his lover has a secret of his own. And that the forces arrayed against them all could make a mugging look like a walk in the park…



First edition published by Samhain Publishing, September 2011.


Book Review

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - I'm pretty crazy over shifter stories. What could be better? Hot, sexy men, who transform into strong, sexy animals. Yum. The description of this story grabbed my interest immediately and that's also because I like bratty bottoms and Sasha seemed like he might fill that requirement. This also is a story world where lycanthropes are a known and accepted part of society which can lead to a more interesting story. These are new authors to me but I was excited to jump into their story.

Sasha is a twink with attitude - yep he's a little bratty, but not snarky, although I think he would describe himself as able to take care of himself and maybe a little stubborn. He has recently relocated to Chicago from a smaller town in hopes of landing a position at Northwestern. Sasha is a veterinary trauma surgeon specializing in large animals and exotics. He's also just a little bit more than he lets on, at least at first. After he gets brutalized in an attack outside the club, he is rescued by the very hot club owner whom, coincidentally, Sasha had been eyeing all night.

Neal is the leader of a group of men who all served together in Marine Force Recon. Yep, just saying that is pretty hot! These men all stayed together after they left the Corp and they've opened a restaurant/club called The Factory. They've taken on the gangbangers of all sorts since moving into the neighborhood and now they've got trouble with the Russian mob. Of course Neal and his men aren't your average guys, they're Marines and shifters with great big claws and a whole lot of attitude.

All of a sudden, in the space of a few days, Sasha is in the middle of the turf war between Neal and the Russians. It seems a few of the Russians from the attack on Sasha weren't very happy that Sasha fought back as well as he did and caused some of them injuries before they subdued him. Now the excitement, action, and plain fighting has all been cranked way up high making the sex between Neal, Sasha and, oh did I forget to mention, Steve and Carlos, too, insanely hot.

I liked this book and the story very much. It did a really good job of working with the BDSM elements at the club and within their own relationship. The point of view all came from Sasha and it might have been nice to get another but overall the way it's written really worked well. These men were all very strong characters, even Sasha the twink, and it was a lot of fun seeing them all learn how to have a caring relationship together without anyone feeling left out. The camaraderie among these men was intense and I look forward to seeing more of them.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 232 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-June-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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