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Would you listen to Fighting Instinct again? Why?
Yes - I love Linus!
What other book might you compare Fighting Instinct to and why?
Well - obviously Old Loyalty, Mary's other shifter books and All Kinds of Tied Down. It's very heartwarming and funny with only a little angst.
Have you listened to any of Tristan James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes and he's always amazing.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I loved the part where the guys make Arman the Alpha - so hysterical!
Any additional comments?
We met Arman in Old Loyalty, New Love. He was the mysterious bodyguard who helped protect Roman and Quade. Though we were led to believe he was interested in a certain jackal named Tucker, we find out quickly that this was a red-herring, serving to stir jealousy in the heart of Linus.Linus is the fastidious and cold caretaker of L’Ange. It’s clear he’s been abused in his past and we learn early on just how terrible that abuse was. Arman has been Linus’ protector and often his touchstone for years, but the time has come for that relationship to develop to its full potential and Arman isn’t waiting any longer.Arman is a man of mystery. We don’t know what he is, though we all think he must be a shifter – it isn’t until quite a bit into the story that we figure out just what he is. (I think everyone will be surprised by the reveal!)In addition to hiding who he is, he also hides what he does. We find out that he has an agenda- a vendetta really – of epic proportions. This vendetta makes him almost an anti-hero. He’s definitely not the typical perfect Alpha we have seen in other Mary Calmes’ stories. He’s got a dark side that he’s embraced fully.Surprisingly, Linus is perfectly okay with this dark side and in fact, he too embraces the vendetta and we see some pretty significant changes in his personality as a result of this.One of the things I really liked about this story was that Linus and Arman get together pretty early on. They work as a team for most of the story and it was imminently satisfying to watch their relationship grow and deepen while they worked together.Though it might seem a bit blood-thirsty, the vendetta is explained really well and at no time did I feel that there was any other possible course of action than that which Arman took.I really felt that in this “universe” the animal natures of the shifters were really well developed and “authentic”. These aren’t people who just happen to have the occasional “furry power” thrown in to explain insta-love and mating. They are truly unique beings with a different set of rules and personalities.I loved that Roman wasn’t quite on board with the vendetta. Sure, he loves Linus and despised what happened to him, but he wasn’t born a shifter and he still sees things through a human lens and judges by a different rule-book.Mary Calmes is amazing at world building and her shifter universe is unique, creative and very well developed. She isn’t afraid to stray from typical “shifter” lore and she draws us in with her own clever style.The chemistry between Arman and Linus is scorching hot. Mary writes excellent sex scenes and the sexual tension and it’s subsequent release is phenomenal in Fighting Instinct.Though it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time I say it – I love Mary Calmes’ books and I highly recommend them all.AudiobookTristan James narrates this book as well as book one and as you know he is one of my favorite narrators. His voice is delicious!In this he doesn’t do much to differentiate Linus from Arman, but the emotion and speech patterns he uses makes it evident who is talking.I LOVED the banter and devotion between Arman and Linus. Tristan does a beautiful job of playing the growly Arman off with the cool and calm Linus. One of my favorite parts is when the group wants to make Arman the Alpha and include John, the lion in the new “pack”. Hysterical!I can’t wait for the next in the series and I hope we see our lion with his mate very soon!I give this 6 of 5 hearts – Amazing!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I cannot stress how much I LOVE Armand DeSoto. He is a phenomenal beast. I'm always entertained with Mary Calmes, but this story entertained, enlightened, and engulfed me with delight. Armand is gruff, blunt, and everything I wanted in a character. I'm no soldier, but I have the same moral code, and I agreed with everything he said and did. Never have I read a story where a character went against every "hero" standard known to man. Fu#$ken phenomenal. FINALLY. I couldn't get enough. I loved the man, loved the beast he embodies, and I will never, ever, EVER find a character so invigorating. THIS is why Calmes is on top. She gives us more with each page. "Better than yours", "that's the name of my clan." Oh yeah... Calmes stories will ALWAYS be better than yours. I simply cannot get enough... and I wouldn't want to. Flawless.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful