Friday, April 17, 2015

Johnnie

Title: Johnnie
Author: Cardeno C
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Publishers URL: http://www.cardenoc.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781942184249
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series        
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Not all Prides are built the same.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, you will be ruled by a Premier, which will bring honor and wealth, in many forms, to your Pride.  For a Premier to last, he must have a Siphon, a rarity in the shifter world.  But what happens when the Pride’s Siphon decides he can no longer go on?

Johnnie is the first book in the Siphon Collection.  This story lays out the foundation for the world in which the books will take place.  The shifter dynamics are slightly different than what we have seen previously.  First, this is a story about lions, a refreshing change from the usual wolf packs.  These lions embrace their wild side, as much if not more than their human side and much of those traits come through easily for the readers to see.  The alpha character or Premier, as the leader is called, is not given the title by his father, nor can just any member of the Pride challenge for the position.  Instead, those born with certain telling characteristics are given this rare honor.  Not only does the difference in their appearance set them apart from the rest of the pride, but they are also gifted with several other unusual traits as well.  The omega character, or Siphon, is an even rarer shifter and one that is also decided at birth by the appearance of unusual traits.  The Siphon is just as important, if not more so, to the Pride as it is their job to ensure the longevity of the Premier by absorbing the excess power that surrounds the Premier. 

In Johnnie, the Berk Pride’s Premier is Hugh, and while he has worked to make sure those in his Pride are well taken care of, his Siphon has never even been a blip on his radar.  In the beginning, and even at times throughout the story, Hugh is a bit of a jerk.  He does not always come across as likable and more than a few times the idea of smacking him on his head entered my mind.  Although he does retain his rough around the edges demeanor, Hugh does begin to redeem himself. 

The Siphon in this book is a whole other story.   Raised to believe he is good for only one thing, and never seen as anything else, the Siphon is not even given a name.  Tired of living the way he has, he does the only thing he can think of.  His actions have a major effect on the Pride and the lives of himself and the Premier.  While I could not believe the way the young man had been treated, I loved the way Hugh goes about making amends.  When the Siphon asked for a name, I wanted to cry and, as more of his story came out, it was easy to see why he did what he did. 

The relationship that develops between Hugh and Johnnie was well written and I loved the way the two grew as individuals.  Their new relationship has some strong consequences for the Pride as well.  The changing dynamics are interesting to see and the results are a little bloody at times.  

Johnnie was a well-done introduction to what looks to be an interesting collection of stories.  While I would love to see more of Hugh and Johnnie, I am also curious to see what the relationship between other Premiers and Siphons is like.

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