Contemporary · diverse characters · lgbtqia content · MM romance · Paranormal · sci-fi / fantasy

REVIEW: A Touch of Danger (Surviving Vihaan #1) by Elaine White

The Official Description: Drew’s life sucks. Saving money to escape his homophobic family is one thing, but his only paying gig at the moment is playing his father’s “only gay in the village” plus-one to every LGBT friendly business event.

Then his brother comes up with a plan. Sheffield needs someone to go undercover for his police investigation. Drew has all the qualifications: he’s gay, he has experience with exotic animals, and he’s college-aged. And he’s easily bought.

Going undercover to solve the mystery of a college campus smuggling ring was never in his plans. Neither was hot, perfect, house captain Rylee. The inside jokes about cats, animal prints, and talk of a place called Vihaan that forbids same-sex relationships, are just the tip of the suspicious iceberg.

Little does Drew know that he’s about to expose more than an illegal smuggling operation. The truth could be more lethal than he could imagine. And, despite it all, it might be his own secret past that kills him before the truth can be unveiled.

Just the facts: M/M romance, new take on were-cats, abusive ex

White has come up with an original take on were creatures. A well-written beginning to a series! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: When this novel opens, Drew is sick of pretty much everything. He’s tired of trying to live up to the standards of his family. His father isn’t supportive of Drew being Gay…unless, of course, there’s an important business event that requires a show. His brother? Same story. But when Drew’s brother requests his help with a case in a frat house that may be trading in exotic cats, Drew signs up. He’s always had an interest in animals in spite of his father disapproving, and this will get him out of the house.

Drew doesn’t count on meeting Rylee when he arrives at his undercover assignment. There’s a spark-tactic insta-connection between Drew and Rylee. In fact… if Drew were the kind of guy who believed in strange things… he’d be certain he saw Rylee’s eyes flash red when they first met.

It turns out that this frat house isn’t at all what Drew’s brother though it would be. I’m sure I’m not giving anything away at this point… the frat house is a shelter for were cats. Now, there’s the part where things get interesting. White has come up with something I know I haven’t read before. These cats are from another world… Vihaan. The issue is that once they leave Vihaan, their cat retreats within them and they can’t transform anymore.

There’s some really cool world-building going on in this novel. I am hoping that the series is going to branch out into the world of Vihaan. There are some very cool differences between the cats of Vihaan and cats in other books I have read. I’m not going to lay it all out here because I want you to be able to read it and enjoy it.

Drew and Rylee are a great couple. They are drawn to each other for reasons that will become clear as you read. It’s intriguing and not nearly as straightforward as I thought it would be going in. I really liked Rylee – part-psychologist and part-house dad. He’s a lovely character.

Drew has a complex background. He’s definitely had more tan his fair share of abuse and pain in his life. His family isn’t supportive at all and he had a terrible relationship in his past. It was a relationship that left him with physical and emotional scars.

In short, I really enjoyed this novel and would definitely pick up a copy of the next one in the series!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Mentions of past rape and abuse, forced intoxication with drugs, mind washing, homophobic family, mentions of homophobic treatment in people’s pasts, vomiting, severe illness of main character.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of A Touch of Danger by Elaine White from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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