Formats available: ebook
Genres: M/M romance, paranormal, urban fantasy
Series: Night Shift #1
Published by Rogue Firebird Press on March 19, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
You'd think the werewolves would be the worst thing about the Night Shift; you'd be wrong.
All Officer Kit Marlow wanted was a cup of coffee and some downtime before his next night shift. Instead, he got a naked man in the elevator and an unaccounted-for dead girl in the morgue. He's going to need to deal with both before he can head for his bed.
Or anyone else's. Although not much chance of that.
Reluctantly partnered with the acerbic security consultant Cade Deacon—last seen naked in the elevator—Marlow delves into the dead girl's life. Between them, they uncover a new crime scene with the whiff of old corruption. A corruption that, five years ago, nearly took Marlow's life and ended his career.
Finding out who killed the dead girl on the slab might only be the start of this investigation. Oh, and it's the second night of the full moon. So 80% of the city, including Cade, will turn into werewolves in the middle of the case.
So, there's that.
I’m going to try for short and sweet with this review – at least in certain senses of sweet – because I’ve got plenty of content to go with it from today’s guest, author TA Moore.
It’s sweet because I loved this book. There’s plenty of bitter to go with that sweet, but that’s all to do with the way this version of our world is set up and especially the personality of the characters. Between Marlow and Cade, there’s plenty of bitter going around. Neither of them is exactly sweetness and light, not even on a good day.
And neither of them has much in the way of good days – especially not the days after a full moon.
Cade’s description of himself pretty much sets up his personality and his take on the world, when he considers that “the wolf version of him was the same asshole he was the rest of the month. Just happier about it.”
This is a world where 80% of the human population turns wolf on the three nights of the full moon. But in a world where 80% are werewolves, that means 20% are not. Marlow is one of those “nots”. He’s Null with a capital N. Whatever makes him incapable of going were makes him perfect for the Night Shift, the cops who work those three nights when most of the population isn’t completely responsible for whatever they do and whoever they do it to.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
The story in Shift Work, the first book in the Night Shift series, puts cop Marlow on the same case as high-powered and highly paid private security consultant Cade Deacon.
The case of a young Null woman whose dead body was dumped in the police morgue the morning after a full moon without her hands – and whose last known location was an exclusive – and expensive – preserve for rich, entitled wolves.
Cade wants to protect his business – the firm responsible for security at the preserve. The dead girl’s last known location proves there’s at least one hole in his security net and he needs to close it up – fast.
Marlow knows that the way that the girl’s body was dumped in the morgue connects to an old, thought to be cold, case of one very dirty cop now behind bars. Marlow needs to find out if his old partner is somehow up to his old tricks – because if he is then Marlow is next on his to-do list.
All that Cade and Marlow have to do is focus on the case that’s temporarily tying them together – and not let themselves get wrapped up in the inappropriate and irresponsible attraction they have to each other.
Escape Rating A-: This is an A- because I want more so damn bad I can’t stand it. Honestly.
The reader gets dropped into this story – this world – at what feels a bit like the middle and it is one hell of a tease. Not just because Marlow is describing the naked man he’s sharing the elevator with.
The world felt fully fleshed out – pun definitely intended – but I really wanted to know more about how things got this way, because by this point in their history whatever happened happened far enough back that the world has adjusted around it. Which was great but left me wondering whether there was an “Event” and I missed it or if this is the way it’s always been.
The story is being labelled as MM romance because these two men are pulled together sexually and can’t help fantasizing about it even if they don’t get to act on it much in this first book. But really this story is urban fantasy, and like much of urban fantasy the protagonists are both hot messes and neither is ready for a real relationship – or possibly even friends with benefits because neither of them is able to handle friendship.
This one feels like its more about the case they have to solve – and the cases that this one leads back to – rather than the potential romantic relationship between Marlow and Cade. Because they’re not going to get there for a while. Just like they’re not going to get to the bottom of the crap they’ve uncovered.
And I love me some detective procedural-type urban fantasy, so this was absolutely my jam every step of the way.
But I ended the book wanting to scream! Not just because they haven’t gotten to the bottom of the case, but because when the story ends it’s a cliffie. Not just a figurative cliffie but a literal damn cliff that they’ve just been pushed off of. Where’s that next book already? I’m dying over here. And possibly Cade and Marlow are dying over there. I have to KNOW!
Guest Post from TA Moore + Chapter 2 of the Shift Work prequel short (check out Chapter 1 at Love Bytes)
First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new release, Shift Work by TA Moore. It’s a novella. It’s a longish novella, but still a novella. It’s the first book in a three book series that will be coming out over the next….three months. So that’s easy! Well, for you. I’m going to have no nails left.
For the blog tour I’ve written a short story set in the Night Shift world. I hope you enjoy!
Silver ammo didn’t make the gun feel any different.
Marlow weighed it in his hands for a second. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected, but apparently he’d expected something. When nothing changed, he slid the gun back into the holster and clipped it to his belt.
“What’s with those?” one of the other officers in the back of the Bearcat asked. She pointed forked fingers at her own eyes to demonstrate what she meant. “Contacts? You think they’ll scare the wolves off?”
He’d heard that before.
Marlow leaned back in the chair. He could feel the vibration of the engine and the uneven road under the tires through the padded leather.
“I wasn’t planning on letting wolves get that close,” he said.
She laughed, a throaty burst of genuine amusement. “Oh, they will,” she said. “Trust me.”
Up in the front of the carrier, next to the driver, Piper twisted around to look back at them.
“Listen to Bennett,” he said. “She’s a veteran now. What, six months?”
Colour swabbed Bennett’s cheekbones, and she glared at Marlow like it was his fault. “Sir,” she said. “It was seven yesterday.”
Piper grinned, a flash of perfect white teeth in a tanned face. “Excuse me,” he sing-singed. “And happy anniversary, Bennett.”
One of the other officers laughed, anonymous in the dim, jolting cab of the truck. Unable to pinpoint who, Bennett glared at all of them.
“Let’s check out the Gaslamp Quarter for that fouled meat,” Piper said as he shifted to face forward in the seat. “Clear it out.”
Bennett groaned. “Aw, come on,” she said. “It’s the rookie’s first shift, and we’re dumpster diving? What? You want him to quit?”
Piper slapped his hand against the roof without looking around. “Job’s not always glamorous, Bennie. You know that. The rookie needs to learn it sooner than later.”
Marlow scratched his neck where the harness rubbed. “I worked narcotics,” he said. “There’s worse places to look for things than dumpsters.”
Piper snorted out a laugh that was interrupted by the crackle of the radio as it cut in.
“20-David,” Dispatch said. “We’ve a 10-91 in progress on 5th Avenue and B. Can you respond.”
Piper slapped the driver’s shoulder, pointed to the next turn, and answered the radio. “20-David, responding now,” he said. “Keep us updated.”
Marlow took a deep breath, exhaled, and checked his gun again. All of a sudden, he could feel the difference between lead and silver in the weight of it.
Werewolf attack in progress.
It looked like they weren’t going dumpster diving.
Catch the next chapter tomorrow at Book Gemz and follow the tour for the rest of the story!
About the Author:
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sector before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.
Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.
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