Review: Eye of the Storm (Key West Shifters, #1) by Arielle Pierce

Nathan has never been in love. He's never felt the pleasure of falling in love, never felt that sense of belonging that comes with being in love. Ever since the dolphin shifter's pod was broken up by the appearance of a ruthless new leader in Key West's shifter community, Nathan has turned his back on the one aspect of his life that always gave him joy--becoming Dolphin. Now, he hides in the shadows and pretends that the life he's built for himself with a domineering, abusive boyfriend is exactly the life he wants.

Jacob has no intention of falling in love. The orca shifter has tracked Aiden, the Key West shifters' leader, halfway around the world, and all he wants is to avenge his brother. Claiming a mate is the last thing on his mind, especially a mate as damaged as Nathan.

Caught in the path of a hurricane and the boiling maelstrom of their own feelings, Nathan and Jacob soon realize that their goals align as harmoniously as their bodies. Can they work together to defeat Aiden and bring back peace to the Key West shifter community and their own damaged hearts? Or will the coming storm leaving nothing but pain and destruction in its wake?

Dolphin Shifters - 2; SRAL - 0

DNF - 40%

This is the second dolphin shifter story I've tried that just didn't work for me. It's not the shifters either, them I like. It's the plots behind the stories that I just couldn't get into.

When reading, to me, it's something like searching for the common thread and patterns. Some books are intricate tapestries, tightly woven, complex and just a marvel to behold. And sometimes I have to do some work for the find the thread but I can piece it along and come out with a handkerchief or something. But I couldn't do that with "Eye of the Storm", I'm still holding different length threads and I can't knit them together.

And I tried.

The book starts off with MC Nathan, a spotted dolphin, who shuns the Key West shifter community and leaves life like a human with a human boyfriend (Paul) who abuses and bruises him. He stays with Paul because he doesn't have to work and can focus on his art. But Nathan also cheats on his boyfriend with the shifter bullies (bottle-nosed dolphins) and has a semi dub-con menage in the beginning 2% on the beach. Nathan figures their rough treatment is deserved. Nathan's a mess inside to say the least. But we barely touch the surface with him by 40%.

However the bullies seem to be so-so in the bully department, maybe if they were the one spying on the newcomers and enforcing whatever the villain wanted, it could have read stronger. 

There are things that stick out to me: if Nathan is in abusive relationship, wouldn't it be in his best interest to make sure 1. Paul never suspects anything, 2. Keeping Paul happy by not roughly fucking two dudes because evidence? Paul is a lazy abuser too. Nathan doesn't fear him, the power dynamics are then null and void to me.  If the only reason he stays is for the money...couldn't he find another wealthy guy? I think the abused angle could have been dropped, it wasn't necessary if the abuse wasn't necessary for either man.

And another lazy character is the big bad villain who is hinted at being in charge but at 40% so far little land and air shifters are doing his spy work for him and when confronted by the other MC, he eats pizza and weakly speaks with no authority. It's a lot of talking about what he used to do, has done, could do, but isn't you see me apprehension about continuing down this path? I love a good villain and this guy is nothing but a crumb on my shoe.

I don't even know what the villain did in the past but it couldn't have been that great if he can't seem to stick to rule whatever shifter society he slugs himself into after a few years. (And this guy has moved a lot around the world in a number of years) And if he's a whale shifter who can't shift, what's the point of him being in charge? How does he get in charge with that lackluster attitude he displayed? The shifters have sub-leaders but that guy rules them all? Inconceivable.

And was this set in modern day, because a naked man strolling around Key West for over a minute in public is bound to get noticed. How is the shifter society keeping themselves that much of a secret if Michael the cat tends to walk about naked a lot in public? And why is a cat shifter working for a whale shifter anyway if  cats have their own leaders? This is another thread that I didn't get.

Which brings me to my biggest problem, the repetition.

The point is made over and over. An example, the point about the original Sloppy Joe's vs. the new restaurant, or that Hemingway ate at some famous locale. A lot of the characters repeat the same point a lot.It made it a chore to get through a number of sentences because of this.
So let me focus on the stuff I did like:

I like that there was various shifters of all sorts of animals - deer, puffer fish, orca, sharks, cats, etc. I like they there were different ethnicities represented in the shifter society as well.

Being as I read only up until 40%, maybe the story got better.
But I give up.

I have read and enjoyed this author in the past. I'm guessing this is just one I'll have to ignore.

 For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

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