Group Review: Marc's the Spot by Meg Harding

Marcus “Marc” Lacroix, a red panda shifter, knows who Lucas Grayson is, and up until playing with him during the world cup of hockey, didn’t much care for him. But when he finds out the jaguar shifter with the hot body has a personality to match, he’s a bit blown away. A night of celebration leads the two of them to the bedroom, and they discover that one night might not be enough to finish this thing between them.

Passion grows to love and more than a little kink, and the two make things work despite the obstacles standing in their way. Lucas plays for the Aces and Marc for the Hares, the distance and crazy schedules of a pro-hockey player keeping them apart. Lucas discovers it's harder to let go of things than he'd thought. When ill-fate strikes, Lucas spirals and Marc has to try and hold them together. It's one match Marc doesn't know if he'll win.

Average of 4.3333

Sara - 4.5 Hearts

Call me biased. Call me a fangirl. Call me whatever you will but I simply adore Meg Harding’s work.

I remember reading To Arizona and falling in love with a league of shifter hockey players. Not only was the couple – Dustin and Chandler – adorable but the entire team of Arizona Hares stole my heart with their shifter ways. I clearly remember how much I loved Marc when he would shift into his Red Panda form and cuddle with his teammates, so I was beyond excited when I learned Marc was getting a book and he was gonna fall in love with a Jaguar on an opposing team.

Oh yeah. This was good.

The book starts off with Marc and Lucas, who normally play on different teams, playing side by side during the World Cup of Hockey for Team Canada. We get the game and they win and everyone goes out to celebrate. Marc has always noticed the veteran hockey defenseman Jaguar shifter that is Lucas Grayson even when playing on Marc’s biggest rival’s team. But when drinks start flowing, when Marc’s hand randomly falls on Lucas’s thigh and Lucas likes Marc’s hand there… the two leave the celebration to have a party of two. Goodness, the first night was hot and it was also all sorts of adorable because these two are simply made for one another.

The story is told in what I will call vignettes. We get the first night with Marc and Lucas and the interest of seeing one another again but they are professional hockey players on different teams living in different cities so we get pieces of them along the way. The beginning of their situation gave way to texts between the men and the few times they can be together when they are in the same city. It also gave way to teasing from Lucas’ teammates when he is late one morning and to Marc’s when they catch him smiling at his phone. I adored the time the men spent together and that they recognize what they have may have started as a one night stand but when they consume each other’s thoughts, it’s hard to think once would ever be enough.

I love the shifter time we get in the story as well though it wasn’t as much as To Arizona and yet, I was completely fine with that because while the men are shifters, the story is about more than their animal forms. That may sound odd for a book with shifters in it but it fit for me, the story was about the romance between Marc and Lucas, about both men accepting changes in their personal and professional lives. They are shifters and we do get moments between them but just like some shifter romances that focus on pack politics and less of the human side, this was a good balance of both to me. Plus, if you’ve read To Arizona, the world building kinda happens there. *shrugs* Oh and I would LOVE to see a copy of the pictures the men took IN their shifter forms for the photo shoot for NHL All-Star Weekend… because OMG HOW FREAKING CUTE!

But as I was saying the story is told through moments of time, sometimes months, before Lucas and Marc can be together yet trust me when I saw each time is so worth it. Not only are the men hot in bed, the way they start to develop and acknowledge real feelings was amazing. I felt terrible for Marc after a devastating loss with his team but how he shows up at Lucas’ and what he learns that night was so memorable and emotional, to me his loss was worth what he gained.

The story spans three years of their lives together and we get to a point where Lucas’ career goes in a direction he wasn’t ready. But the direction allowed Marc to be there for Lucas in a way he never had the opportunity before and it gave Lucas a chance to see how strong and sturdy his goalie is off the ice and in his life. The men have a few bumps along the way but with amazing teammates – loved seeing Chris again and knowing him and Dustin still float – who support them on and off the ice and this world that accepts shifters, the book was nothing short of a fantastic read.

Marc’s the Spot is a wonderful addition to the world Ms. Harding had built of shifters in the game of hockey. It’s a story where the men not only find themselves, but find new strength and vulnerability in loving one another. That end was so damn good and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Well, I could ask for more in the series but as I said, I am biased to the author.

SheReadsALot - 4.5 Hearts

"I want to take you apart," admitted Lucas, spreading Marc's cheeks, then pushing them together. "I always want to take you apart."

Did you see that quote?

Marc's the Spot backs it up and then some. Meg Harding returns to the AU world where shifters are the ones playing contact sports. In To Arizona, we met the Arizona Hares, a popular hockey team with a menagerie of animal shifters.

In Marc's the Spot, we get red panda shifter goalie, French Canadian Marcus aka Marc as a lead! Spanning about three years, the story starts at closer to the beginning of Marc's career as a goalie. (Forgive me sports people, because I will surely bungle up some sports term) Marc and a hockey rival, older jaguar shifter Lucas play together in a world cup sort of hockey game for their home country, Canada. Once the game is over, teammates go back to rivals...but not quite.

See the two guys have chemistry. And a little booze and flirting leads to a hot hook up.

What was supposed to be a one night stand, stays as one since Lucas plays for Las Vegas and Larc is in Arizona. Their teams are bitter rivals. But they never delete the other's phone number. And they never forgot about each other. It's gotta be the sex right? So if they happen to be in the same town, playing a game against each other, afterwards, they can just hook up again. No one needs to know.

Then the hooking up, when it was convenient, moves into something more. And that's the magic of this story. I found To Arizona to be more cuddlier than this one. And for good reason. Harding delved deeper into Marc and Lucas's background. The story is told through dual POV, we get to read about the important connections they have in their life, the sacrifices they've made for a sport they love.

And parallel to their relationship is the peaks and lows of each man's hockey career. The story is told in a pattern of vignettes through the most important moments for the guys and it really got the point across. It was a character driven romance and I bought it hook, line, and sinker.

There is a good amount of sex! Lucas is dominant and demanding. And Marc is eager to please.

Cum marking, spanking, D/s, rimming... Baby was happy!

Lucas loves a good ass. And I can't blame him in the least. He's obsessed with the ginger panda's ass.

Thing of beauty, I say.

I liked Marc and Lucas separate, but I loved them together. The time the reader spends with them makes their relationship believable. No insta-love here. They communicate when they're faced with problems, be it through use of mouths or bodies. (Love and lust hard) I don't think either of them were looking for a relationship but that chemistry is the glue, their love of hockey the cement.

The story is low angst, heavy of the sex and blends paranormal really well with contemporary. If I had to say I had a gripe, it would probably be the lack of in between, meaning I wouldn't have minded reading some more about couple learning each other rather than cutting to this highlight and the next. The story works. But I think it's partially from me being a greedy reader.

I think this is beginning to be a new fave trope of mine: fuck buddies to more. I am enamored with this world Harding created - it's a sports romance that this non-sports person can get behind. I wasn't lost. And I really like the ease to her shifter stories. I can easily see myself binge reading her books. I haven't been disappointed in what I've read so far. I think this was stronger than To Arizona and I really dug that, so I have to rate higher.


P.S. I hope there's a certain otter that will have his story in the future! *fingers crossed*

Optimist King's Wench - 4 Hearts

I really want to review this book properly but all I can think about are RED PANDA CUDDLES!!!!


Get directly into my pocket, please. R.T.F.N.

And squirrel...

When I was but a mini-cupcake I went to the zoo and saw my first red panda. I fell in love. I remember being perplexed as to why I couldn’t get to it-for the cuddles-and thinking my parents would quickly remedy this situation and that lil bundle would be coming home with me. Imagine my astonishment when they told me that the animals at the zoo lived at the zoo! Wut? Why would they live at the zoo? When they. Could live. With me!?!?!? I still find this logic faulty.

Anyways. There I go again. Digressing and whatnot.

So. Marc is a red panda shifter and he embodies all the things I envisioned a red panda would want. Specifically: CUDDLES! That’s right. Marc is a cuddle monster and he usually shifts to do so. He cuddles in his regular form too and usually still sleeps on top of Lucas. So cute!

He’s also an NHL goalie in the AU world Harding has created wherein all sorts of shifters live amongst humans. Marc’s the Spot is a follow up to To Arizona but can be read as a standalone if you must, but whyyyyy? Why would you do that? One word: otters. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ

Marc meets Lucas and is immediately hot for the jaguar shifter who plays for a rival team as a defensemen and is slightly older (10 yrs). He’s also BIG. YUM! And bossy in the bedroom! Double YUM! The boom boom scenes are stellar: mild D/s, begging, spanking, drooling cocks, begging, face fucking, rimming, begging. Did I mention begging? He also has a tendency to carry Marc around a little bit. #dead And someone had a hands free orgasm! #DEADISAY!!!!!!!!

Their story is told over 2 yrs with them progressing from fuck buddies to exclusive to living together. There is no instalove nor is anything contrived about their relationship. How relatable Harding’s characters are is what I like best about her writing. She crafts imperfect characters and Marc and Lucas occasionally get it wrong. After an unexpected hardship forces them to redefine their relationship, they have to work out how they’re going to fix it and sometimes that requires outside help. Where everything was easy before, everything is hard after and they traverse those ups and downs together. This is where Harding shines, in capturing those ebbs and flows while still maintaining their connection. When an author can show me unwavering devotion even through the shit times, that goes a long way towards convincing me of their longevity.

She also does hockey really well and I loved all the team stuff. The Hares shift together, piddle around in the pool and have each other’s backs. Plus there are some SUPER CUTE shifters on this team. A chipmunk! I so hope there will be more from this universe. Specifically Chris’s story, because something is amiss betwixt him and Eli and I’m hoping it might could involve some hate sex to work it out.


Recommend to red panda and shifter romance fans!

Review copies were provided.

No comments:

Post a Comment