Without Reservations by J. L. Langley

Without Reservations by J.L. Langley

Blurb:

Sometimes love just catches you by the tail…

Chayton Winston is a veterinarian. He is also a werewolf. Much to his Native American parents chagrin, he has always dreamed of a fair-haired, Caucasian mate. However, he never imagined his mate would be male. As a heterosexual man, he’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but more than willing to find out.


Keaton Reynolds wakes up, in wolf form, and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not so thrilled to find out the man is straight. Having been in a relationship once before where his partner professed to be “Not gay” left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay—but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together the two work to solidify their shaky relationship and battle the prejudices against homosexuals. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s prejudices against gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men learn to depend on one another and their relationship to get them through it.

 

 

Review:

Without Reservations is a typical JL Langley book – solid story, tight writing and a very satisfying romance. It’s not my favorite of hers but it comes fairly close to the keeper shelf.

Chay is likeable and personable with his stubborn charm and charisma. He’s wanted a mate since he was four when he dreamed of his future mate as a man with white hair and blue eyes. Little did he or anyone know just how accurate that prediction would be. Instead he’s been waiting for the perfect woman to cross his path that his hormones would recognize and then complete his life. Instead, he is presented with an injured Keaton whom Chay mistakes as a female wolf until closer inspection. Yet his hormones never lie and the tiny male wolf in front of him is indeed his mate.

Chay’s ease in accepting a male wolf as a mate is almost too casual yet his easygoing mannerisms combined with werewolf mechanics allow the reader to slide over what could be too easy of a transition. The author has set up this new world so that werewolf mates recognize each other on an elemental and genetic level. Meaning not only is there no choice in the matter, but mates are inexpiably drawn and desire each other, even if they wouldn’t normally be attracted otherwise. This means the acceptance of a gay mate for an otherwise mostly straight Chay is a rather quick transition with no angst or drama. Keaton is his mate and well, he’s male but what can you do?

Although normally this would cause all sorts of character drama and angst, enough to progress the plot and relationship itself, the author offers a refreshing turn in that neither man really puts up more than a token resistance. They easily come together with a minimum of problems, either internal or external, and the only drama comes from repeated attempts on Keaton’s life from an unknown source. These attempts are realistic and not overly complicated nor is there a plethora of evil-doers who are implicated in the attempts. The twist at the end of the resolution was a bit over the top but it was humorous (although I don’t think it was supposed to be) and fitting with the story so far. It’s not perfect but it was enjoyable and easy to accept.

As is Keaton’s character whom, although small, is quite powerful as a werewolf and fiercely independent on top of an explosive personality. Keaton’s stubborn nature is tempered by Chay’s more mellow personality, although both men are certain to have head butting moments with equally recalcitrant personalities. Keaton initially tries to protect himself and his emotions from yet another “straight” guy experimenting with men, but due to Chay’s quirky and charming courtship, he gives in to the desire and attraction he can’t avoid. Together both men have warmth and depth as characters and their relationship is fun and engaging to read.

There are plenty of sex scenes in this book, powering a good portion of the relationship through their steamy and sexy love scenes without feeling either overwhelming or too few. Langley has excellent timing and pacing, able to add in enough heat to satisfy without turning the book into a long sex scene with different backgrounds. I found it especially entertaining to read Keaton’s role reversal in his first attempt to top during sex. He was likeable and charming in his eagerness and the sex was pretty hot.

Several secondary characters were introduced and a few were clearly intended for future books in this world/series. Remi and Jake are introduced and although Remi is not altogether a successful character, the pairing of the two men together is interesting enough that I look forward to the next book. Remi initially starts as an obnoxious, antagonistic and chauvinistic ass that actively tries to insult and demean those around him without much recourse from his friends. He has an acceptance of “oh that’s Remi, just ignore him” that seems to excuse and ignore poor behavior. However, towards the end of the book his actions turn around completely with a quick explanation and not much understanding. Hopefully in his story, he’ll develop as a much more complex character.

Overall this was a pretty enjoyable read with hot, sexy men who have a caring and almost adorable relationship. Chay’s nickname for Keaton is almost too cute, as is the couple themselves, yet it works as light but well-written romance with more complexity and interest than most authors are able to produce. Without Reservations is an example of a satisfying romance without copious amounts of drama or angst, delivering fun and sexy characters with a light mystery done right. 

Get it HERE!

 

 


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