The Pauper Prince
Title : The Pauper Prince
Author : Sui Lynn
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : July 5, 2013
Andrew Reed is smart and educated, but as long as his people are enslaved to the vampires, his options are limited. When he discovers a strange young man in his family’s barn, he shifts forms and trails the thief, trying to decipher why he smells familiar with a hint of something more. Excited by what he discovers, he reveals himself to Lance, and they return to Lance’s camp in the forest.
When Andrew’s family takes it on themselves to “help” by investigating Lance’s past, Andrew finds something neither of them could have imagined. If they band together, they have a chance to win their freedom—and a brighter future for all the races.
1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2012.
I really like this story. Which sort of surprised me. Because I’m apt to scoff at insta-love and, more often than not, I’ve got my head hung over a bucket when two guys start declaring undying devotion to each other in flowery ‘I-can’t-face-the-dawn-without-you-at-my-side’ prose. Yuck! But it worked for this story. It really did. Okay, I skimmed some of the mushier hand-wringing parts, but Lance Fitz and Andrew Reed’s almost immediate attraction wasn’t an issue because it was established early on that these two guys were more wolf than human and let’s face it, wolves don’t play silly-assed games like humans do. So it was easy to accept that the instant they meet, they were more or less mated for life.
At first I didn’t have a clue what was going on. (Maybe I should have read the blurb first – can’t remember why I didn’t because I usually do, although I do wish they would stop giving away the ‘whoa’ bits.) Anyway, I was just thrown into the story, no build up, no exposition, just bang you’re right there and something is happening fast. The narrator – it’s written in first person and it’s sometime before we learn Lance’s name – is caught stealing some tools from a farmer, a gorgeous sexy farmer who is none too happy at being robbed. Attempting to escape, Lance flees into a nearby forest, but the farmer gives chase. Lance, while fast, can’t seem to shake his pursuer. For reasons that are slowly revealed later on Lance is terrified of capture. Panicking, he starts to feel strange and to his horror begins to painfully change into a dark-furred wolf. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened to him, and while Lance still retains his human side and is able to analyse the situation, he’s also aware of the wolf side of his nature now. When he considers he might be suffering from a multiple personality disorder and wonders if he could even find a psychiatrist that allows pets in his or her office, I was hooked – even if I hadn’t been captivated there was no chance I wasn’t going to finish reading this book, just on the off-chance I could have me another little tee-hee-hee.
Not long after Lance shifts, in a clearing with a ramshackle cabin that figures prominently in the story and is almost a character unto itself, his wolf-self encounters another wolf. A white and gray male, much larger than Lance and clearly the Alpha. There’s an immediate sense of rightness to this other wolf for Lance and, after some preliminary sniffing, together the pair set out for a run in the woods in search of prey. The next morning, Lance awakens to find himself human again, curled up with and snuggling the big white gray wolf….
‘Nuff said. There’s loads more that happens and I can’t and won’t give anything away. Half the fun in this story was seeing where it was leading. While sometimes predictable, (like I couldn’t guess who the other wolf was? Hmm, remember the blurb?), there were other elements that kept me turning the pages, like who is this vampire Stephon that Andrew keeps mentioning and why were shifters under the domain of vampires? I loved Lance’s self-depreciating sense of humour, which shows up at odd times throughout the story. Although it became clear at the end why he was the way he was, sometimes Lance’s woe is me, I’m damaged goods whinging was a bit hard to take. But Andrew’s strength and loyalty offset it; Andrew was confident in his feelings for Lance without buying into the angst. It’s a long time in coming, but when the two men finally get around to having sex it was wholly satisfying and perfectly timed; albeit anticipatory, it was right for the moment and an integral part of the story.
On the downside, it felt to me like there wasn’t a lot of character to the secondary players in the story. Andrew’s family – his parents, twin brothers and little sister were just kind of there to aid and abet without having distinctive strong personalities. Ditto on most of the other characters as well. The dialogue was a rather stilted at times, often verging on formal, but these were all minor annoyances to a good story and I really am looking forward to reading the next book in Lance and Andrew’s saga. Give this one a go, no promises but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Rated 3.5 stars by Syd