Book Reviews

All My Broken Pieces (Shifters and Partners 15) by Hollis Shiloh

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Officers of the Law / Shifters / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 09-October-2017

Book Blurb

Tim is a small wolf shifter, partially disabled, not good at confrontation, and very alone. Life isn't easy at a precinct where he's never been fully accepted. He spends far too much of his time trying not to overhear coworkers mocking him. His best friend (okay, pretty much his only friend) is a drug-addicted fox shifter.  

And Tim certainly knows better than to fall in love; that didn't work out so hot before. These days, he sticks to anonymous encounters. He doesn't believe in mates or true love, not for someone like him.

But he's worked for the cops almost a decade now, and really, there's no reason at all why he should have to go through a stupid certification course. They didn't even have those when he started!

Life takes an unexpected twist when one of his anonymous encounters turns out to be attending the same certification course. Levi is a big, sweet guy he'd never expected to see again.  

Tim doesn't want to let Levi see the flaws and cracks that anything more than a quick hookup would reveal. He certainly doesn't plan to spend any more time with the guy, much less get feelings for him...


Book Review

Tim kind of had me at hello. He pushed all of my protective instincts and I just wanted to wrap him in a blanket, give him some hot chocolate, and tell him it would all be okay. I know, I know. I’m such a sap. I can’t help it. I despise bullying in any form and it isn’t Tim’s fault that he was born with a few genetic abnormalities. If he’d been human the doctors could have easily corrected those items, but his pack didn’t have the money for that, so they tolerated him, and always seemed a little embarrassed by him. *smoke steaming out of my ears* His shift is slow and painful for him, so he tries to do it as infrequently as possible. There’s nothing wrong with his senses, however, and he has worked for the police department for nine years now. Doesn’t keep his coworkers from mocking him, within his hearing, at every chance they get.

"We have an observer from the shifters and partners agency here. I'd like you to let him shadow you for a few days." It wasn't a suggestion or a question, I could tell that from his tone of voice.
"What?" I said anyway. "But I wasn't hired through them. You know that."

The observer, Aaron, turns out to be a godsend for Tim. He makes no bones about the deplorable way Tim is treated at his precinct. Apparently, they are getting away with paying him considerably less than he deserves, overworking him, not to mention Aaron points out the pranks and horrible ways his coworkers treat him. When Tim admits to Aaron that he is afraid to get the certification because of his physical issues, Aaron lets him know that a doctor’s note could go in Tim’s file excluding him from the extremely rigorous training, and stating that Tim would not be used for search-and-rescue work. He encourages Tim to apply for the full program matching him with a human partner. And, lo and behold, after seeing a doctor Tim is told that there is corrective surgery that could help his back to a certain degree. A whole new life awaits Tim. Now, to make it through the program.

“I knew my place in the world. I was lucky to have a job, any job. I was lucky to be alive. Nobody had really wanted me from day one. I was in this on my own, and if I knew what was good for me, I wouldn't draw too much attention, make waves, or complain about my lot in life. Nobody wanted to hear it.” (See? Tim broke my heart.)

I wondered, many times, how long it would take Tim to realize that not everyone in the world, shifter and human alike, were out to get him, so to speak. He has so much bitterness wrapped up in shame, feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and an inability to get close to anyone (not that I blame him), that even friendly overtures are met with suspicion and anger, always assuming the worst of people. I knew he was going to have to come to a reckoning about this, hopefully while he was in the training program, because he needs to understand that making friends with his colleagues could turn out to be the best thing for him.

“Not a one of them picked on me or meant me harm. And that was...surprisingly pleasant. I felt like I'd been watching my back for years, and now suddenly I didn't have to. It took some getting used to, though.”

And then there’s Levi. They can’t exactly miss each other when they’re both in the program, even though Tim certainly doesn’t want to talk about what happened the night before training started when they didn’t know each other. Levi is such a sweet, gentle, kind man, and they both have a lot to learn about each other. When Tim tells Levi his story, about his precinct, Aaron, etc., Levi is indignant on Tim’s behalf. He agrees that Tim should be allowed to get the surgery and then decide if going through the program is what he wants. So, Levi and Tim hatch a plan to partner together so they can get Tim’s surgery done faster and then after they can go their separate ways. Oh my. Sometimes it’s hard to see the effect a decision will have on the future.

“I wanted someone who saw past all my broken pieces and just loved me. But I really didn't believe that existed. Maybe it existed for pretty people who weren't fucked up inside already. Maybe it existed for more normal people; I didn't know. But I definitely didn't believe anyone could see past my crippled body and my ugliness and flaws to love me anyway, no strings, unconditional, not wanting to get something, just wanting to be with me, to love me.”

‘All My Broken Pieces’ is most certainly the first paranormal character study I believe I have experienced, and it’s marvelous. The writing is wonderful, the characters are complex (not just the main ones but also the secondaries), and the story kept me hooked. My only complaint is that there were a few times where the story dragged a wee bit, but I think that was more my expectations that Tim should get over his issues and trust in Levi faster. Regardless, a beautiful story that I think will appeal to many wanting something a little different.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 359 pages/65000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-August-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link https://smile.amazon.com/Broken-Pieces-shifters-partners-Book-ebook/dp/B074C5XS1N