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Tarnished - Becca Jameson Kenzie Davis, degreed and employed, isn’t interested in going to the local biennial wolf gathering. She’s been before and hasn’t had any success in finding a Shifter mate. Besides, she has a boyfriend (a human one) and a full life with human friends. But since she still lives at home at age 23, she feels obligated to give the gathering 1 day of her weekend. Drake Spencer is in a similar position. At age 28, he still lives on his parents ranch and he has several siblings that are going to the gathering. He’s been asked to help keep an eye on them.

For a short book, it did take quite a bit of time to get around to the mating part, which if I am to be honest, was my reason for listening to this book. Set in modern-day Oklahoma and Texas, our main characters have the every day concerns – pay the bills, cook dinner, keep your Shifter relatives happy by participating in cultural events. So the story started off pretty domesticated. I think that is why it took me a while to get into the book – it was pretty ho-hum at the start. Once the Davises go off the gathering and we see some of the Shifter culture, it picks up.

Our main love interest seemed younger than her age. Kenzie argues with her sisters (some silliness over cereal kicks off the story) and I never really felt that she was indeed a 23 year old that was gainfully employed. Meanwhile, Drake is 28 and I can believe that he is, indeed, a very hormonal 28 year old man. They both live at home with parents, so this also gave the relationship a teenage feel to it. Drake does have his own house on the family farm, like 50 yards from his parents house.

I was a little confused about the rules concerning mating in general and finding a mate for life. Becca Jameson does have several other werewolf novels (different series) so perhaps these rules are better delineated in those novels. As best as I can tell, the males are allowed to mate around while the females have one shot to give themselves to a male for life. Obviously, I think that is a little lopsided and doesn’t give the ladies much experience in the mating game before they are, in essence, married for life.

So let’s talk about the sex because that is really why we are all here. Sparks fly between our two lovebirds and there is some pretty blunt flirting before things get serious. That is one of the things I liked about Drake – he was upfront with his desires but also kept his hands to himself until Kenzie showed interest. In this blossoming relationship, Drake has a lot of positive experience in mating, while Kenzie has almost zero experience and what little she does have is negative. So Drake has to figure out what has tarnished her idea of mating while also not rushing her. Once they connect fully, the sex is worthy. In fact, it was worthy enough for my man to step into the room for a listen and a laundry folding session. Yes, listening to erotica has gotten my man to help with the laundry. ;)

Over all, while I found some of the story mechanisms a bit rushed and uninventive, I did enjoy Drake’s character, Kenzie’s secrets, and their mating.

Narration: Meghan Kelly did a good job with the narration. She had distinct voices for all the characters, men and women. She had the added challenge of family members, so she had to have similar, yet distinct, voices for siblings. She pulled that off quite well. She managed a sexy male voice for Drake and showed no hesitancy during the love scenes.