“Single White Incubus” by E.J. Russell details the frustration of grizzly shifter Ted Farnsworth whose gregarious personality makes it difficult for him to comply with all of the restrictions imposed by the bear shifter council. His joy at finding a mate through a special agency is brought to an abrupt halt by the appearance of a totally unsuitable male who has ostensibly mated with a vampire…but ends up with Ted!
This m/m paranormal romance is the first book in the ‘Supernatural Selection’ series and it’s a great introduction to a service for supernaturals—including ‘cubi (incubi & succubi), vampires, and shifters—to find mates. This particular pairing includes an atypically extroverted bear shifter and oops, an incubus who thinks he’s going to solve his family and personal issues by mating with a vampire. This story is a fun twist on the mistaken identity/wrong partner trope and the glimpses of magic, a governing body, the challenges that face a bear shifter who’s a bit of an exhibitionist, and an incubus who’s afraid of losing control keep one intrigued by the story. I like the heat that builds between the main characters and the contrast in their lifestyles, but I was a little disappointed that some of the loose ends are left dangling, such as who the being in the golden column is or how the various factions connect with each other. Hopefully, some things will become clearer in subsequent stories and I look forward to reading about other interesting pairings facilitated by this very different dating agency!
Does a bear shift in the woods?
Well, partially. That was what got grizzly shifter Ted Farnsworth into trouble. He wasn’t trying to break the Secrecy Pact. He just wants people to see the real him. So he signs up with the mate-matching service Supernatural Selection — which guarantees marriage to a perfect partner. Not only will Ted never be lonely again, but once his new beaver shifter husband arrives, they’ll build Ted’s dream wilderness retreat together. Win-win.
Quentin Bertrand-Harrington, scion of an incubus dynasty, has abstained from sex since nearly killing his last lover. When his family declares it’s time for him to marry, Quentin decides the only way not to murder his partner is to pick someone who’s already dead. Supernatural Selection finds him the ideal vampire, and Quentin signs the marriage agreement sight unseen.
But a mix-up at Supernatural Selection contracts Quentin with Ted. What’s Ted supposed to do with an art historian who knows more about salad forks than screwdrivers? And how can Quentin resist Ted’s mouthwatering life force? Yet as they work together to untangle their inconvenient union, they begin to wonder if their unexpected match might be perfect after all.