Book Review: Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

Change of Heart by Mary CalmesTitle: Change of Heart
Series: Change of Heart, Book 1
Author: Mary Calmes
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Published: November 2009 by Dreamspinner Press

As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe.

Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn't want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them. But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won't give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Look past the manga-style cover and you’ll find a strong shifter romance set in a well imagined world.

The Set Up: Jin was beaten and exiled when his panther pack found out he’s gay and a special shifter. Jin and his friend Crane have managed to stay unnoticed from other were-tribes until he meets Logan. Logan is the leader of a strong were-tribe and learns Jin is special. Logan immediately knows he and Jin are mates but it will take a lot to get suspicious Jin to trust Logan.

Why I Read this Book: I’m reading through Calmes’ backlist and this one was highly recommended by a book friend.

What I Liked: The best part of this romance is Logan’s utter devotion to Jin. Logan didn’t have an issue with suddenly having a male mate in Jin but instead sees Jin as the best surprise gift ever. It’s rare that an author can pull off a gay-for-you and have it utterly believable but that’s how it was for Logan, in my opinion. Even Jin has doubts but Logan obliterates them with his love, trust and adoration for Jin. The romance between these two is perfectly erotic but also manages to be emotional too. Jin and Logan find in each other exactly what they need in a mate and it was heated fun to read.

What I Also Liked: I’m an unabashed sci-fi nerd and this book built a really good shifter world for Jin and Logan’s romance. Logan’s role as were-tribe leader isn’t all that unusual but Jin’s role was a bit and how they meld together well imagined. The lore is well conceived without being tossed in as an after-thought, which is good since so much of the plot revolves around the rules of this world.

For me successful world building requires strong secondary characters and that’s what I got here. Logan’s tribe offers plenty of interesting characters, from his brothers to his parents and his jilted fiancĂ©. Jin’s friend is a nice addition as well as Logan’s enemy.

What I Didn’t Like: This author often writes one lead as utterly irresistible to everyone in the book and yep, that’s the case here. I forgive this book where I wouldn’t a contemporary since Jin’s special shifter status sets it up. Still, it did make me smile at how often everyone loves and gushes on Jin.

IMO: This romance made me really like the book but good world building will keep me liking a series and both are the case here. On to book two!

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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