Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ARC Review: The Cattery by K.A. Merikan


--- Role-playing a cat for six months? You said you’re paying how much? ---

Goran’s mouth has no filter, and it’s losing him job after job. Desperate and a week away from being homeless, he finds an offer online that sounds too good to be true. Spending six months in a mansion by the beach in return for a hundred thousand dollars as long as he sticks to the house rules.

This might be the one job where his unruly mouth doesn’t get in the way. After all, saying the wrong thing is impossible… when you’re role-playing a cat.

Meeting all the other guys at the cattery seems to be the icing on the cake, but the inconvenient truth he dishes out turns out to be too much. Goran makes everyone his enemy, but worst of all, Ollie, the prettiest cat of the bunch, the one who’s been in the cattery the longest, and the one who makes Goran’s heart skip a beat.
Ollie’s big blue eyes hold secrets Goran is intent on cracking, but to do so, he will need to learn to bite his tongue and listen. Too bad the pretty blond ice prince is set on getting Goran kicked out of the cattery for good.

Jewel's rating:

The Cattery is a bit off the beaten path, for me. Pet play is not anywhere near my kink, but KA Merikan managed to make it fun, anyway. And The Cattery is a light-hearted book, too, when compared to the authors usual fare. Plus, no one dies.

Luis is the owner of the cattery (and not an MC, just so we're clear). He's an eccentric rich guy who is not in the market for a partner. He says he's awkward with people and finds comfort and relaxation in cat-play. He houses 5 young men in his cattery and in exchange for 6 months of service, each "cat" will receive $100K, as long as they don't break the rules and get 3 strikes. Luis gives his cats room and board (and pet names) in a luxurious seaside mansion, gourmet food and takes care of their every need. He has some rules, though, that he is very very strict with:

  1. No leaving property 
  2. No internet or communication with the outside 
  3. No exclusive relationships 

Easy, right? It's supposed to be a fun and relaxing place, for everyone, after all.

Well, introducing Goran into the mix of cats had some unintended consequences. Goran - very unintentionally - tends to cause trouble because he says exactly what he thinks. There's no pretense with him at all. At first, he thinks that he will be accepted into the mix and he's looking forward to sampling the other cats, especially Ollie, who looks like an angel to Goran. But words happen and he feels unwelcome, as usual.

Ollie (real name, Oliver) has been at the cattery for the longest -- two years. He's young and scared of the outside world, and he wishes to forget what brought him to the cattery in the first place. He fancies himself in love with Luis, but he quite enjoys the other cats, as well. As long as he gets preferential treatment from Luis, that is. When Goran is added to the mix, Ollie is immediately attracted, but Goran's blunt nature has Ollie conspiring to get Goran tossed out.

As I'm sure you can guess, there is a fair amount of pettiness among the cats (cats are assholes, afterall). And Ollie isn't even the worst -- that award would go to Cin (Cinnamon), who was pretty back-stabby throughout the book. Ollie was just scared of losing his only refuge, so he tended to take the coward's way out of any action that Luis might not like. And then we have Bounce, who would actually make a better puppy, and Clove, who gained my respect with a single conversation. We don't learn a whole lot about them, but at least they don't seem too catty. 

By the end of the book, I understood Oliver a lot more than I did at the beginning, but I still think he has a ways to go to make up for hurting Goran and throwing him under the bus, repeatedly. And the epilogue shows that Oliver is willing to make the efforts. And we find out the depths of Goran's loyalty and honor. He doesn't make excuses for anything. He owns his mistakes and is honest about who and what he wants.

As I mentioned in the beginning, The Cattery was a very different read for me, but I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to getting stories for the other kitties, as well as (I hope) Luis. I have a feeling that this series will prove interesting, indeed.

4 *here kitty kitty* stars.

ARC of The Cattery was generously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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