Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Dragon’s Instinct by Elva Birch (2022)

Daycare for Shifters, #2

Ingrid’s review of Daycare for Shifters, #1

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: There’s an epic sexathon without a ton of details

Character Chemistry: “My dragon says that you’re the one!” But also they’re really cute together.

Plot: Single dad dealing with some stuff + neighbor who is really good with kids + the American West is on fire

Overall: A cute read

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: So many puns about fire and heat factor and so little time. They have many encounters and entanglements. 

Character Chemistry: It’s a lot of cute, eager yearning and then it’s off to the races.

Plot: Olivia is not a shifter, but she’s hoping to shift gears and start over in a new town. Ian is a single dad with a massively challenging home life going on, and he’s immediately drawn to his new neighbor.

Overall: Very tender and entertaining.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: I don’t think I’ve ever read an Elva Birch book with this much descriptive sex. (They go through a whole box of condoms in one weekend!)

Character Chemistry: Is it fated mates or are they just really into each other?

Plot: She’s running from her past, he’s running himself ragged with a shifter toddler, and there are some worrisome things happening around town

Overall: It’s light-hearted and sweet

**Our discussion contains spoilers**

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Review

Review: Dragon Prince’s Secret by Elva Birch (2022)

Royal Dragons of Alaska, Book #4

Reviews of the rest of the Royal Dragons of Alaska series: Book #1, Book #2, Book #3

Heat Factor: There’s really just one scene (not long) and everything else is off page

Character Chemistry: He can feel the mating bond, but she can’t!

Plot: The mysterious Kenth appears in the castle bellowing about his kidnapped daughter. His family is shocked to see him, but he’s shocked to see that the stranger in their midst is his mate.

Overall: I wasn’t as invested in Mackenzie and Kenth as I have been in other brothers’ stories, but the growth of the overarching series plot was really interesting.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Flamingo’s Fated Mate by Elva Birch (2022)

Heat Factor: One open-door sex scene without a ton of detail

Character Chemistry: The fate is right there in the title.

Plot: Baker and billionaire / artist / flamingo shifter trapped in creepy banquet hall during a snowstorm.

Overall: Short, sweet, and fun

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Review

Mini Review: Prompted 2: 14 Flash Fiction Stories, Sweet to Spicy by Elva Birch (2021)

I’m going to do something a little different for this review, because these short stories are *short*—flash fiction typically clocks in at 1,500 words. None of these stories has much in the way of plot. They’re more like snippets in time, each showing a single moment in a relationship. 

The benefit, therefore, to reading a collection like this, is in getting a sense of the author’s voice, without the time commitment. The downside is that in stories this short, you will likely not get worldbuilding AND character AND conflict AND romance, so if you want a fully immersive reading experience, flash fiction is not a good bet. 

So what did I learn about Elva Birch here? She writes shifter romances. Her stories have a sense of wit about them, which I expect would translate into her other writing. I mean, the very first one in the collection is about a Dodo shifter, and the shame he feels about turning into such a lame animal (this one was one of my favorites, by the way—even in a small space, I got a great sense of the world, the Dodo hero, and his internal conflict about asking out his co-worker). She explores different kinds of shifters beyond your standard apex predators, and how people’s animal identities might impact their lives. The stories tended to lack tension, which is likely attributable, at least in part, to the form; but given how much I got a sense of the way she plays with shifter tropes, I would say that tension and conflict is either a weak point in her writing or something she chose to downplay in this collection.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

Looking for something similar?

Anthologies!

Short Stories are tiny tasty treats of smutty delight!

Paranormal Romances means shifters galore (plus some vampires)

Tell me about Elva Birch’s full length books…

Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Dragon Prince’s Bride by Elva Birch (2021)

Royal Dragons of Alaska, Book #3

Reviews of Royal Dragons of Alaska: Book #1, Book #2

Heat Factor: Not closed door, but not very intense or explicit

Character Chemistry: The way they go through their captivity together is just absolutely charming

Plot: You think it’s going to be an angsty, pining, stealing-the-fiancée kind of a thing, but then they get kidnapped and everything goes sideways

Overall: My favorite so far in this series. SO FUN.

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