Tooth & Nail
Dreamspinner Press, 2010
Tooth & Nail is book #2 in the Warder series. It's not necessary to read the first book in this series - His Hearth - but it'll give you a better comprehension of the world building and some of the other characters in this second book (especially Ryan and Julian from book #1 who reappear in this book).
*This review may contain spoilers for His Hearth.*
Nineteen-year-old Dylan Shaw is possibly the most beautiful thing Malic Sunden has ever seen. After Malic rescues Dylan from an attack, Dylan makes it very clear that he is more than interested, but Malic won’t even consider sleeping with Dylan because of his age. Malic is sure he’s not good enough for Dylan, who has his whole life ahead of him, and can’t conceive of burdening Dylan with his secrets.
But the darkness in Malic’s life won’t be denied, and soon Dylan is drawn into the dangerous paranormal world that is Malic’s reality. Malic fights tooth and nail to push Dylan away, to keep him safe… no matter that Dylan is the key to Malic’s strength and the only hope for his future.
Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Paranormal, Demon Hunting, Destiny, Action
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
*I received a review copy from the publisher*
The leading man of Tooth & Nail, Malic, already played a very small part in the previous book His Hearth. Now he's the narrator of this own story. He's a big grumpy badass alpha warrior and he doesn't 'believe' in love or finding his 'hearth' as Ryan has with Julian (in book #1). That's not meant for him he thinks. In fact, it gives him the creeps: "The very idea made me crave lots and lots of air and wide open spaces. Love, in all its many forms, seemed more about control to me than anything else. I would fight to make sure it never got a hold of me."
But then he meets Dylan, a cute little twink, with big brown anime eyes and adorable curly hair, dressed as an angel. The circumstance under which they first meet, makes Dylan fall head over heels in love with Malic, and he tries to seduce him. But Malic thinks Dylan is way too young and he's afraid he might hurt Dylan badly by sleeping with him, literally. Because he’s a warder, which means he can only sleep with a few people who won't get hurt physically, most others will age five years or even die from the energetic contact. So, he rejects Dylan.
But Dylan is quite the pushy little twink and he doesn't give up. I admit that I thought he is a great character, I loved him in all his cuteness and my heart went out to him. He is unrelenting in his pursue but Malic keeps resisting his advances (for all the wrong reasons of course). This goes on for quite a while and meanwhile we also follow Malic on a few of his fights, each of which is quite vividly described and compelling in itself. Especially a scene with a little girl who got kidnapped by a demon was written well and had me engrossed very much.
When Malic finally gives in and kisses his angel Dylan there's no going back and we are treated to a very hot scene with scorching smexing and some more cuteness.
Until the end Malic tries to maintain his grumpiness but he realizes he’s failing: ““Yeah,” I said, trying to sound irritable and annoyed but failing miserably. I was too damn happy.” And I couldn’t help but chuckle when he thinks: “Oh yeah, the whole Everett clan was there to witness my fall from badass warder to big romantic sap.”, because, of course, everyone else (including the reader) already knew, except him.
The playful banter between the insistent, cute hero and the irritable, grumpy hero was definitely one of the enjoyable parts of this story. Maybe some might find these heroes too stereotypical, but I just loved them! And the author’s choice to tell this story in first person from Malic’s point of view is in my opinion a perfect one. This way we could witness not only his downfall from ‘badass warder to big romantic sap’ very closely, but also enjoy some of the suspenseful demon hunting action as if we were on the first row of the theater.
The books in the Warder series (so far) are not full-length novels but a little longer than a novella. This makes them easy to pick up while they still give you more than enough satisfaction when it comes to plot development and character depth. Especially when you enjoy a little paranormal twist to your reading material without it being too overwhelming, I can highly recommend this series.
Mary Calmes’s weblog | on Goodreads
Buy Tooth & Nail here