Title ~ Duck (An Avian Shifters Novel)
Author ~ Kim Dare
Published ~ 12th August 2015
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, BDSM
Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
It's not often you see the words "BDSM" and "sweet" together but that's exactly what this lovely bird shifter story was! Not in a saccharine sense because the D/s dynamic between the two MC's is too intense and all consuming to be classed as sugar kink (this is Kim Dare we’re talking about!) but sweet because Ori's character throughout the tale is just so precious. This little duck is an absolute darling!
Naturally submissive, his passive accepting nature in the face of the abuse endured from his higher ranking peers, had my protective mode in overdrive. Right from the onset we witness how abysmally he's treated both sexually and as a lowly servant, but bless him, he just takes it all without complaint, question or retaliation. From the moment he appeared I was completely drawn to him; saddened because of his predicament but totally enamoured by his endearing personality. Over the course of the book, I found myself constantly awww'ing and sighing as Ori's story unfolded and the relationship with Raynard, his Hawk savior, began to form. I fell in love with the gorgeous Dom the moment he rescued sweet Ori from his tormentors and took him under his 'wing'. Hawks are beautiful, magnificent birds of prey in real life and Raynard consummately fits that description...if anyone was perfect for Ori, it was Frederick Raynard.
In Ori's world, hierarchy amongst the avian community is paramount; the first shift at the age of twenty one (avian puberty) ensuring their future standing in the rank and file. The more magnificent or powerful the bird, the more important the status. For the majority it's a foregone conclusion what their position will be, as most know exactly what species of bird they are, but after losing his parents at an early age our poor little Ori spent all his formative years being passed from pillar to post in the human foster care system. All that time unaware of his shifter heritage until a visit to a doctor and blood tests confirmed what DNA he really carries.
I just adored this book. You could palpably feel Ori's desire to submit to the dominant, protective Hawk, who by caring for (and about) Ori the way he did gave our sweet, skittish ducklings life new meaning. Making him feel wanted, cared for...and for the first time in his poignant existence...safe. It's an irresistible pairing of two complete opposites whose innate personalities couldn't be more poles apart, yet because of the particular traits, that on paper make them so opposite, actually juxtaposes into a perfect partnership that fits each of their needs. Characteristically Ori wants desperately to simply serve and yield to a stronger persona, while as a dominant, Raynard's natural instinct is to command and control, but in a way that nourishes and supports his subservient partner not humiliates him.
It's a match made in heaven...or is it?
An early partial shift shows signs that Ori will probably be a Duck; a much lower ranking in the pecking order, so in everyone's closed minds, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it's gonna be a duck!
But things are not set in stone. When his time to shift fully finally arrives and things take a completely unexpected turn, the tentative relationship that Raynard has patiently nurtured between himself and the forever wanting to please, but always nervous 'Fledgeling' is threatened by the very hierarchy that has placed them in the social standing they're in to begin with.
Duck is an enchanting take on the original Ugly Duckling story, however by majorly sexing it up, Kim Dare puts a brilliant kinky fuckery twist on it that adds a delicious, erotically charged heat factor. The kink element dilutes the sweetness but because of it's paranormal theme the whole thing still maintains the air of magic that the original fairy tale has, and that coupled with the tender moments between the MC's thoroughly softens the intensity of the Power Exchange relationship which is actually pretty full on. Making their relationship both sensual and sizzlingly hot but also sweet and tender at the same time, and I was totally captivated.
The only thing missing for me was a deeper insight into the universe of these fascinating shifters. There's enough information about its politics and culture to set the scene but at times the world building feels a bit vague. Especially when it comes to the relationship between humans and Avians. The hints that humans know about the shifter community are there but nothing is ever fully explained on that front. If there are bird shifters, are there other animal species? Do they live equally alongside humans or are they a minority group? I'm hoping over the series we'll learn more because I really love what I've gleaned about them so far.
If you missed the chance to read Duck first time around, don't hesitate. Get your hands on this paranormal treat ASAP and get ready to fall in love with one of the sweetest little shifters I've ever come across. A lovely, lovely read and now Magpie can't come soon enough.
Connect with Kim Dare
Kim is a thirty-one year old bisexual submissive from Wales (UK). First published in 2008, she has since released almost 100 BDSM erotic romance titles ranging from short stories to full length novels. Having worked with a host of fantastic e-publishers, she has just moved into self publishing.
While she has occasionally ventured towards other pairings, Kim's first love is still, and probably always will be, Male/Male stories. But, no matter what the pairing, from paranormal to contemporary, and from the sweet to the intense, everything she writes will always feature three things - Kink, Love and a Happy Ending
Kim is generously gifting one lucky reader an ecopy of Duck. For a chance to win just enter the Rafflecopter below.