Title: Home Fires
Author: BA Tortuga
Length: 18,100 words (70 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m paranormal (shifters)
Escaping torturous captivity, Houston returns to his mate, Jackson. Jackson welcomes Houston back to their remote New Mexico home, and sets about healing Houston, body and soul. Can they remove the scars that Houston can’t hide? And can the two wolves escape the ghosts of the past when they come looking?
This story left me feeling that the ending was missing, or perhaps it’s meant to be the first in a series. Houston manages to find his mate and he’s in rough shape. While Jackson had always thought he’d be angry with his mate who ran off to the city, when he sees how bad Houston is, he does his best to nurse him back to health physically and also emotionally. There are nightmares and physical repercussions. When Houston tells him that he was captured by the government and experimented on, at first Jackson doesn’t believe him because humans don’t know about shifters. However he soon realizes it was true and swears that he won’t let them get Houston again or take Jackson either. When the family of some of the wolves he was captured with show up, it undoes some of Houston’s peace. They want to know why he left some behind and they want to go back and find them, but Houston can’t deal with that.
That’s when it just kind of ended for me. Jackson promised the family that he would call them with more information, because I couldn’t imagine them just going away and not getting answers, yet he just kind of promised Houston he wouldn’t have to go back and that was the end. This author does write shifters which are much closer to their animal side. There is growling and more instinctual responses than the usual fully-human type. I thought Jackson’s pain at seeing his mate so abused and damaged in all ways was well done, as was Houston’s fear and confusion after more than a year in captivity.
You are sort of dropped into the story in the middle. You don’t get the story of Houston going on his way and then being captured, nor do you get the end of the fates of the remaining wolves and if the soldiers are still looking for Houston, and what will happen if they show up. That fact left me feeling a bit as if I only got part of the story, but if you like the author’s shifters, you’ll enjoy this story.