A Purrfect Match

Jim Sanders may have a shot at the job of a lifetime. All he needs is a promotion. Jim is an illustrator at a publishing company. The art director position has come open. Jim should be a shoe-in for it. He's the most experienced illustrator on the staff, and is well respected by all the clients. Jim is shocked when the owner chooses another man, Andrew Wright, for the job. Andrew is five years Jim's junior, and doesn't have nearly the experience Jim does. Jim is not sure he can work with Andrew, who stole his job from him.

Both Jim and Andrew are both single gay men. They work closely together for many hours each day. Over time a mutual attraction grows. They do eventually spend a romantic night together. But afterwards they agree it was only a one-night stand. There is nothing more to their relationship than what happened that night, and it is not going to happen again.

But Jim is a shape-shifter. He can shift from a human into an ordinary housecat. One night, while out prowling around in his cat form he comes across Andrew's house, entirely by chance. Andrew's six-year-old son Tony spots Jim and catches him. He asks his dad if he can keep him. Andrew is hesitant at first, but eventually reluctantly agrees. Tony names the cat Mr. Frosty for his whitish – gray fur. And Mr. Frosty is an unusually large cat.

Jim can't stay with Andrew and Tony full-time of course, but he does show up every few nights. Jim is falling in love with Andrew, because he is everything Jim had ever hoped for. Andrew has a habit of telling Mr. Frosty his secrets. And one of the secrets he tells the cat is he is in love with Jim. He just can't act on it because he is coming off a very bad relationship.

One night Jim/Mr. Frosty is spending the night with Andrew and Tony. He is curled up next to Andrew, who is sleeping. But he hasn't eaten all day, and he is hungry. So he jumps out of bed and goes to the kitchen to see if there is anything he can eat as a cat. He can't find anything, but he figures there is no harm in shifting to a human, eating something fast, and then shifting back to a cat. Andrew is asleep after all. But Andrew hears noises down in the kitchen and goes to investigate. And finds Jim, as a human. Jim explains what is going on. Andrew is shocked, but says he can accept it.

Armed with the knowledge that Andrew loves him, Jim starts making pretty obvious passes at Andrew. Andrew picks them up and the two men start dating. And they seem to be a really good fit for each other. Before long they become a couple.

The two have some roadblocks ahead of them. Tony is being bullied at school because his father is gay. Not everyone at work is accepting of the pair. And they are getting some push-back from some people because Jim is Black and Andrew is white. Finally Jim is not used to being a father, but Tony sees him as his other Dad. To be truly happy together the pair will have to work around these obstacles. Can they do it?

This is a nice paranormal romance where the romantic couple is two gay men. The characters are well developed, and the plot is solid and fairly straightforward. One thing this book does not do is preach a pro-gay agenda. The fact that the two main characters are gay is there, but there is no moral argument one way or the other. The book would have worked just as well if it were a black/white heterosexual couple. The interesting thing about the book is the choice of the shape-shifting character. Most shape-shifter books have the humans turning into werewolves or tigers or powerful things like that. An ordinary housecat is a very modest choice. But it works very well in this story.

Note: There are explicit sex scenes in this book. The book is meant for adults.

Book Blurb for A Purrfect Match

When a bad day at work culminates in losing out on a promotion, Jim Sanders shifts into his animal form to let off steam. Then his bad day turns into a bad night—while prowling his Atlantic City neighborhood as a large gray house cat, he’s caught in a torrential downpour. What little luck he has washes down the gutter when his new boss, Andrew Wright, catches him taking shelter on his porch, brings him inside, and starts calling him Mr. Frosty.

As a feline, Jim becomes the inadvertent confessor for his boss’s lonely son, Tony, a victim of schoolyard bullying. As a human, he feels drawn to Andrew, a man he wanted to resent. Finding love was never part of Jim’s plan for the future—not with his bizarre secret—yet suddenly he finds himself navigating that minefield anyway. But not everything is easy, especially for an interracial gay couple dealing with prejudice in the workplace, at Tony’s school, and even within their own families.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2013 4.00