Audiobook Review: The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters #1) by Gail Carriger

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything - magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities? 

This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The ­­­­San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).

This book stands alone, but there is a prequel short story featuring Bryan’s brother, Alec, the Alpha. Want to know why the pack moved? Read Marine Biology.

Narrated by Kirt Graves
Listening Length: 10 hours

I find I'm having a bit of separation anxiety upon finishing this book. I keep thinking about it and that always counts for something with me.

What started as a seemingly run of the mill, opposites attract shifter romance turned into an obsession. I listened to the whole thing in one day. I know! Crazy, right?

Bryan, beta werewolf and Boston accented big un, is Cupcake book boyfriend material. If you know me, you know what tics my boxes and Bryan colored them in with permanent magic marker-gentle giant except when it counts, lover not a fighter, has that vulnerability thing happening... *sigh*

Dude is hot is all I'm saying.

Bryan's recently relocated with his newly formed pack of "misfits" to the Bay Area. As beta of the pack, he takes his caretaking responsibilities seriously, never wanting to disappoint or hurt anyone. He's closeted (briefly) and coming to grips with his sexuality. So virgin and bashful and blushing. #S.W.O.O.N. He gets volunteered to go to the local DURPS office to register the pack and meets Max. Max is a sumage and a little abrasive. He tends to use humor and sass to mask his feelings of inadequacy. Childhood was a nightmare, he's generally a loner and feels inferior in most all ways, and has some truly awful body image issues, so he's in need of some TLC in a bad way.

Sparks fly between them and the dating and sexytimes occur pretty quickly. The sex is ON FIYAH!!!!!! (to me). Thorough and messy. Rimming, marking, biting, big guy bottoming, manhandling, toys, hands free orgasm and a little bossiness. Cupcake might've danced a jig.


The Sumage Solution definitely meets criteria for the hurt/comfort trope and is rife with mis/non-communication. Almost immediately there is conflict which even though I thought was somewhat overblown and dramatic on Max's part, I understood why he would do what he did. However, the conflict at the end employed the dreaded martyr plot device. I really hate that one and I was ultimately dissatisfied with how it played out.

Despite my quibbles the romanciness of this first love story will stick with me for the foreseeable future. I do love a mates story and Carriger takes us along for the journey of them falling in love and getting their hard fought HEA.

It was like the werewolf filled all his empty, broken, lonely parts with liquid fire. Scary and exhilarating. 
Biff felt odd, floaty but tethered, anchored to Max. A shard of toffee, sharp and sweet, was being melted inside him into hot liquid caramel. The taste and smell of Max.

The pack and other various sassy and endearing secondary characters rounded out this story. I do love a chosen family and this has all the hallmarks of adding countless "misfits" to an already adorable pack. This world that Carriger has created will make it impossible for me not to proceed with the series. Admittedly, there were times where I felt like I was missing something and wishing like crazy for a prologue or glossary of terms or something! But the cleverness of this interpretation of an urban fantasy with all sorts of shifters and paranormal beings won me over. The action plot takes a backseat to the romance, though.

As far as the narration, this is my first Kirt Graves and he's going to get listened to again. Each character got their own voice, though all the women were variations on Southern which was confusing for a book set in the Bay Area. Other than that his Boston accent for Bryan and Alec had me swooning all over the place. I ❤️ me a Boston accent. I forgot how much until I heard Bryan speak. Reminded me of that time I legit recorded the vendor hawking CHOWDAH HEYYYAH at Fenway. Good times.

Yeah, I did it.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, recommending this book! Smartly written, droolworthy likable characters, sexytimes, romancey first love romance with mates, entertaining plot and fantastic narration. What's not to like? If you like urban fantasy or romance this should be a win for you.

A review copy was provided.

Trivia Question: When Perry & Rory go out to rescue Fiona in Romancing the Ugly Duckling what was she out in a storm looking for? 15 pts

Random winner will be chosen 11/23. I'll be traveling all will so I will try to have winners notified no later than 6 pm EST.

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