Audiobook Review: Stalking Buffalo Bill (Shifter U #1) by j. leigh bailey

A smitten coyote isn’t the only one stalking Buffalo Bill.

A buffalo walks into a cafe. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but for coyote shifter Donnie Granger, it’s the beginning of an obsession. Donnie is a little hyperactive and a lot distractible, except when it comes to William. He finally works up the nerve to approach William but is interrupted by a couple of violent humans.

While William—don’t call me Bill—is currently a professor, he once worked undercover against an international weapons-trafficking ring. Before he can settle into obscurity, he must find out who leaked his location and eliminate the thugs. He tries keeping his distance to protect Donnie, but the wily coyote won’t stay away.

It’ll take both Donnie’s skills as a stalker—er, hunter—and William’s super-spy expertise to neutralize the threat so they can discover if an excitable coyote and a placid-until-pissed buffalo have a future together.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 30 minutes
Narrator: Finn Sterling

2.5 Hedging Hearts

I’ve got to say that half the time I liked this story while the other half drove me to frustration.

Donny works in the local coffee shop and has been crushing hard on the enigmatic and reticent new professor William, who teaches at the nearby shifter university these last few months. One day, out of nowhere he’s asked by sinister strangers if he knows the quiet customer, and Donny’s first instinct is to protect William despite the fact that he hardly knows the man.

What ensues is kinda a comedy of errors as Donny finds himself wittingly and unwittingly embroiled in a revenge scheme where bad guys want to kill William, a retired undercover agent who brought down a notorious weapons dealer. The charm of this is pretty much all on Donny who is fiercely independent with some foibles that include being overly chatty, clumsy, and sarcastic but always with a heart of gold. He surely seems to find himself in absurd situations as he tries to help William who never wants his assistance in the first place. Donny’s bumbling nature was mostly endearing, but I do admit he had a temper and acted stupidly impulsive one too many times.

There also seems to be a lot of reader frustration with William’s lack of communication. Granted, he does come clean around the 45% mark, but he still holds his cards close to the vest and is very reluctant to part with any extra information if he doesn’t have to. I admit, his mysterious badass nature was appealing and who doesn’t like to see a gruff stoic guy fall in love?? Many a time though, his slow to reveal crucial information was just the impetus for Donny to go off half cocked which added to the above mentioned frustration.

Note to self. Narrator Finn Sterling and I just don’t get along. I’m still scratching my head at how he basically makes Donny sound like a girl most of the time. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. I’ll give credit that his voice for William was a dream and he does character distinction like a charm, but it is just so jarring when you’re expecting a certain octave and what you get is a boy going through puberty. Granted this isn’t as bad as Out of the Shadows, but it’s there and it was enough to throw me out of the story multiple times. Admittedly, one’s listening experience is highly personal and we all vary in what we like and don’t like - I just don’t think this narrator is for me.

Again, this had its various charms with a good dash of smexy that helped negate the negatives. Mostly. This definitely has potential in its interesting set up about a small town that’s the hub for shifters as it boasts a university that caters to such. The next story is about Donny’s bff Ford, who’s an elusive mysterious thunderbird, and I’ll strongly consider continuing but I’ll hold out to see what others think about it first.

Thanks to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment