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I really loved the first book in this series but must say that this one was a big disappointment to me There should have been a huge warning in the blurb about the brutal attempted rape on the MC Aaron The rape attempt and it s aftermath was what this book was about and I would have liked to have known that prior to reading it Other than that, Aaron meets his mate about 85% into the story and the relationship was never consummated I enjoyed the first book so much that I will give the next on I really loved the first book in this series but must say that this one was a big disappointment to me There should have been a huge warning in the blurb about the brutal attempted rape on the MC Aaron The rape attempt and it s aftermath was what this book was about and I would have liked to have known that prior to reading it Other than that, Aaron meets his mate about 85% into the story and the relationship was never consummated I enjoyed the first book so much that I will give the next one a chance before scrapping the series I think I liked this better than the first book, and I was VERY happy with that one Aaron is a really honest character, young and still trying to figure out what he s looking for in a boyfriend All of the relationships here are fully realized, from his friendship with Jeff and Brad to the little league infielders he coaches Both of these books are so well written that I wish there werestories in this universe. Review posted at The Armchair Reader.2.5 stars Disappointing I really liked the first book in this series, Snakeskin Boots It was typical shifter fare, but with some rather interesting were animals and also an awesome sense of humor the eggplant references didn t bother me, lol It was also incredibly hot This sequel is a departure from that first book in many ways, which took me by surprise If that was the only thing about this book that changed, I wouldn t mind so much and I d be able to Review posted at The Armchair Reader.2.5 stars Disappointing I really liked the first book in this series, Snakeskin Boots It was typical shifter fare, but with some rather interesting were animals and also an awesome sense of humor the eggplant references didn t bother me, lol It was also incredibly hot This sequel is a departure from that first book in many ways, which took me by surprise If that was the only thing about this book that changed, I wouldn t mind so much and I d be able to get behind this book in it s own way But I found that this story had a lot of problems The only thing that saved it from being a Not Feelin It rating was the first half which I really enjoyed and the involvement of Jeff and Brad from the first book, who I loved.Aaron was introduced to us as the sweet, virginal blushing monkey shifter in the first book who had a major crush on Brad Here, we get to know him not too long after that He s now a shifter cop and he and some of the enforcers of the were council are working on an undercover operation to discover the maker of a party drug that is causing shifters to lose control of their animal and shift in front of witnesses, usually at the rave where they ve been drugged Though he used to have a major crush on Brad, he s become quite close to him now through his friendship with Jeff and he s now an unofficial little brother.Along the way we re introduced to his friend Miles, who is a culinary school student and a regular human, a sexy silver fox named Gerry who is an uncle to one of the little boys he coaches in little league, and a scorchingly hot bartender named Iggy All are likely candidates to his affection, but Aaron is betrayed when one of them horribly assaults him Aaron has to deal with his embarrassment and his feelings of inadequacy over the attack because of his career as a police officer As the events related to the undercover case progress, he s horrified to learn that his assault might have something to do with the case they ve been working on.Now, you wanna read the spoiler view spoiler There is one HUGE problem with this story that really affected my enjoyment of the story I don t pay a whole lot of attention to blurbs, because honesty, I usually don t read a book just after reading the blurb, so I forget all but the basic story is about Looking at the blurb now, I can see which of those suitors I mentioned above is mentioned in the blurb and I might have not had to deal with this mess, but I didn t, so I didn t know who to expect And this is where the problem lies Aaron is dating Gerry for most of the book and it isn t until the book is almost over, around 70% 75% that we even meet or hear about Iggy, then Aaron feels the pull of the mating , or a strong connection across the crowded bar on a date with Gerry and he dumps one for the other It isn t callous, because Aaron is so sweet and earnest, but it still bothered me We don t get to know anything about Iggy or even see them together And you could say that the story is really about Aaron and his evolution and all that Sure, it is true but I do not want to read the story expecting one character of becoming the romantic interest and finding out that another guy is waiting to take over, especially a character that we ve never even hear of before That really bothered me, and spoiled my enjoyment of the story hide spoiler Aside from that one thing though admittedly big thing which spoiled my enjoyment of the story in the end makes you wanna read it now, doesn t it , I liked the story The first half is especially good though there is little romance at all and the story is devoted to Aaron and his assault I like the brotherly dynamic between Aaron and Brad and Jeff The first book is devoted to showing the sexy side of the relationship between those two and it was nice to see a difference side of Brad here The whole usual gang was back along with a few new characters I think the overall problem just stemmed from a lack of direction in the story It meandered quite a bit and seemed to decide on one path then change and choose another I wanted it to do as the first story did quite well and choose a path and commit to it At the very least, I really liked Aaron and his journey was quite interesting to read I wanted him to find love and get everything that he deserved Even though he comes across as helpless, I liked that he has a core strength and even though the assault damages it, he regains it over the length of the story The saving grace of the story for me was the fact that Aaron changes and grows.I would recommend this for fans of the series and author, but not on it s own Though it probably could be read as a standalone, it is better enjoyed after reading Snakeskin Boots and I m not sure if I would have liked the story at all if I hadn t read that book because it doesn t stand up well on it s own And I think that the problems I had with the book are ones that most other readers will also have So, read if you want but don t expect perfection I m very much looking forward to future installments of this series, but I m really hoping that the author can turn it around and not make the same mistakes that she made in this one Also, just a note there is no sex in this story, which was a HUGE change from the first book, which was packed with sex That was okay though, even though I was a tad disappointed, because it made sense for sweet, virginal Aaron not to jump into bed and go slutty with wild abandon Swing and a MissMonkey Wrench is the second book in the Were Menagerie series by Xara X Xanakas which focuses on a new main character in Aaron Thorne, spider monkey and police officer There s a ton of extras who make up a rich secondary character cast who really were the redeeming point for the work for me I loved the chicken and the silver fox starting up a flirtation especially since they re named Thom and Gerry and it was great to see Jeff the snake back with his werewolf boyfriend Brad Swing and a MissMonkey Wrench is the second book in the Were Menagerie series by Xara X Xanakas which focuses on a new main character in Aaron Thorne, spider monkey and police officer There s a ton of extras who make up a rich secondary character cast who really were the redeeming point for the work for me I loved the chicken and the silver fox starting up a flirtation especially since they re named Thom and Gerry and it was great to see Jeff the snake back with his werewolf boyfriend Brad I just didn t click with Aaron.Aaron had learning disability problems which led to him needing help from Jeff who tutored him to allow him to finish high school and then get through the police academy I kept wanting to like him I really did I couldn t get past the fact he s sincerely an annoying character to me Everyone and their brother, cousin, scorpion mailman treats him as if he s painfully fragile and so very cute, but zero of his physical attributes appealed to me I didn t feel any chemistry between him and the fox Gerry so I was glad when that broke off His One True Mate appears at the very end of the story in the form of a baseball player who is a feline shifter named Iggy He tries to climb him like a tree It s a thing he doesthan once I never found it cute Iggy doesn t really get introduced into the series so there s just not a lot to say about him All the secondary characters are great however as we have reappearances of Jeff and Brad, other snakes from the pit, the scorpion is back, we get a romance between Thom and Gerry a chicken and a fox and we seeof the workings of the Were Council I wish I d liked this bookThere currently isn t another addition to the Were Menagerie which I find sad I love the secondary characters I d only recommend this to someone who was a fan of the first of the series as it isn t a strong enough story to stand alone The authors initials are XXX, I was expecting some heat Any heat would have been welcome Fun story, but it just felt incomplete and a Disney version of MM romance. I was soooo looking forward to this book This author stood out with her outstanding storyline in book 1 SnakeSkin boots But this one, I just had a really hard getting a serious grip on I did not like the KID reference s as they were so frequent they wore me down So as one can gather the fact they did not consummate to seal, was a real deal breaker for me It was like a MAJOR FACTOR DAMN IT. |KINDLE ♌ Monkey Wrench ⚖ Twenty year old virgin Aaron Thorne has a lot of irons in the fire He s on a career making case investigating a new party drug that induces shifts in werecreatures, and his friend is the prime suspect Outside of work, a literal silver fox has captured his attention And just when life start going smoothly for Aaron, a tall, dark, scowly bobcat shifter named Iggy appears and sweeps him off his feet After being attacked in the course of his investigation, Aaron starts to feel like he has something to prove It s a good thing he s got all the energy of his shifter animal, the spider monkey He s going to need it to solve the case, sort out his love life, and decide what kind of man he wants to beReader advisory This book contains a violent attempted rape and its aftermath couple doesn t meet until 70% maybe the book should have started then lots of police procedure issues with this, too. I love a book that isn t afraid to do things differently When the character has a chance to grow up and make mistakes and learn from them I can t wait to see what is in store for Aaron next So hard to know what to expect when some of an author s books contain explicit sex and others set in the same world contain none.