Friday, June 30, 2023

WtAFW: Shifter's Destiny by Anna Leonard


POV: You got this wereunicorn book to laugh at it and ended up loving it. Who had that on their 2023 bingo card? Because I didn't.

I found out about this book because my friend, karen, shelved it and I thought HAHA THAT'S SO RIDICULOUS. I MUST READ IT. I have a "weekly" challenge called What the Actual Fuck Wednesday that I've become fairly well-known for where I read and review weird romance and erotica books that people recommend to me. Most of them are just lolwut funny and I don't actually enjoy them, but some I end up loving.

Like this book.

Maggie and Elizabeth are two sisters who are on the run from an evil cult that's been up to weird culty shenanigans that involve murder and other shit. When they're cornered, something saves them from being dragged into a van: a big white unicorn.

Enter Josh Thee Unicorn, the hero of our story. They're basically wereunicorns who live normal lives except when they all convene together every few years. However, if they don't mate with a virgin, they end up losing the ability to become human. Too bad Elizabeth, the older sister, isn't a virgin. Anyway, apart from this one incel-y tradition, Josh is a stand-up guy, a consent king, who is so comfortable with his masculinity that at one point he refers to himself as a "pretty pony." The Mustang community is matriarchal and Josh is a stan for the strong women he feels compelled to protect: in this case, Maggie and Elizabeth, his honorary herd.

I don't want to say too much more because spoilers, but this was such a great romance with the perfect amount of tension, and just enough weirdness to make it memorable rather than wtf. I loved Elizabeth and Josh and even Maggie, the kid sister, was a great character. It's not spicy and the couple doesn't even do it until the very end of the book, but I loved that the heroine wasn't a virgin and I thought the author tweaked her nose at the virgin/unicorn myth in a funny way.

P.S. Anna Leonard is apparently a pen name for the fantasy/pnr author Laura Anne Gilman, who I LOVE, and I didn't even know that before buying this book. So if you're a fan of her work and you ran out of books of hers to read, now you have a new backlist to explore.

3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars

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