Book Reviews

Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Curses / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 06-April-2021

Book Blurb

Solitary mystery writer Julian Wilkes doesn’t want a pet, but his sister persuades him to visit Lingwood Animal Rescue, where he is immediately taken with a large ginger tabby cat. Before he can settle into the joys of cat ownership, however, he discovers something very unusual about his new companion.

Macavity Birch is cursed. By day he is a large tabby cat. At night he can be himself—a human male with ginger hair and oddly yellow eyes. He didn’t mean to end up in the animal rescue, but he never meant any harm when playing the prank that resulted in his curse, either. Happily, Julian adopts him. But while exploring his host’s home, he discovers the diary of a long-dead relative.

Unfortunately, not all of Mac’s ancestors are dead and buried. His great-great-great-grandmother is very much alive, and she’s a powerful witch who doesn’t take kindly to the sharing of family secrets. When Mac reveals himself to Julian in order to save him from bigger trouble, he achieves just the opposite, plunging Julian deeper into a magical mystery with him.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2016.

Book Review

Julian, of 'Best in Show' by Kelly Jensen, doesn't want a dog. However, his sister, Alicia, worrying about how lonely he is, finally talks him into, at least, going to the pound to look at the dogs there for adoption. Alicia reasons that having a dog for companionship will be good for Julian's dismal mental state and will get him out of the house when he has to walk the dog which might lead to him making new friends, possibly leading to a relationship. Julian isn't impressed with any of the dogs but one cat, a big, orange male attracts his attention and seems to be begging Julian to take him home. Little does he know how this pet adoption is going to change his life.

Mac Birch, aka big orange male cat shifter, is being taught a lesson by his aunt, who is also a witch, about playing practical jokes - specifically, his latest prank in which he entered himself in a cat show and won 'Best In Show’. Mac is very grateful to Julian for adopting him and bringing him home. At night, when according to the curse is free to be a person, he roams around Julian's house, helping himself to food and beer. From his snooping, Mac learns that Julian is a writer and is in possession of a diary that belonged to his ancestors, containing the real answer to an old murder mystery.

Julian almost has a heart attack when he finds a naked man in his house and his cat is nowhere to be seen. Mac makes things worse by not telling Julian, who has become quite attached to his cat, the truth. Mac even pretends to help him look for the cat digging himself in even deeper. Julian has treated Mac, in cat form, with nothing but kindness and generosity showing what kind of person he is. Even with Mac being an 'intruder' Julian doesn't kick him out, but is worried about where he will go with no money and no clothes! Julian lends him clothes of his own and allows him to stay for a few days until he can get on his feet. Julian's compassion strikes a note in Mac's heart, making him think, for once, about someone else's feelings other than his own. Just when it seems that things can't get more complicated, Mac's aunt who is actually his great-great-great grandmother, pays them a visit. She has discovered that Julian has her sister's journal and she wants it back. She's also willing and able to use her magic to play dirty if they won't hand it over.

This is a quick, light read with funny characters in an odd situation. There's also an untraditional love match between a man and a cat/man that evokes some unusual circumstances and solutions. Magic always complicates things and in this case, gives both Mac and Julian a unique perspective. I would like to have seen more 'magic' between Julian and Mac; more chemistry would have enhanced the story. Although they are adorable, it seems more like a convenience than a real meeting of the hearts. If you enjoy stories with witches, magic, cat shifters, and a lesson about being too self-centered, you may like this book. Thanks, Kelly! Mac reminds me of my own big, male orange cat that I adore.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 102 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-July-2019
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link