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REVIEW: The Serpent and the Angel – M.D. Grimm

The Serpent and the Angel - M.D. Grimm

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

In the year 1866, Sheriff Tobias Goldstein guards a small mining town in the Colorado territory with a cold and merciless hand. A rare rattlesnake shifter, he lives by a code and expecting others to do the same has kept the peace— until a nameless stranger wanders into town. Intrigued by the lone man, Tobias names him Angel Smith, and sensing he’s trustworthy, he deputizes Angel.

A guardian at heart, golden eagle shifter Angel protects the townspeople, but his dedication is to an ancient scroll capable of great destruction. For generations, Angel’s family protected the artifact with their lives.

Now something has returned to hunt down the scroll. Forced to leave his tribe, Angel enjoys the quiet he’s found with Tobias, who hides a warm heart under his aloof exterior. Angel knows the quiet will not last and fears the battle on the horizon. But with Tobias at his back, Angel might stand a chance against his enemies. Second Edition with revised and expanded text.

The Review

This is number eight in The Shifter Chronicles, and concerns Sheriff Tobias Goldstein and his new deputy, Angel Smith. Angel is a golden eagle shifter and a guardian of one of the dangerous scrolls that have an important role in the series.

Tobias is a snake shifter, or snake skin changer, as shifters are called back in the American Old West. As sheriff he is one tough cookie and has no respect for anyone unless they are useful. I think he would run anyone out of town or shoot them if they were both useless and trouble, particularly if they ignored his first and only warning. He does not have friends, just colleagues who are useful.

Scarlett and Franklin are two such people. As whore and blacksmith, they definitely have their uses. He’s deluding himself, though, as they are actually good friends he would do anything for.

When Angel, a drifter / vagabond, arrives in town, he proves his usefulness by being able to fight off a bunch of less useful townsfolk who try to take his belongings. What makes Tobias sign Angel up and Angel accept his offer is something they both do not understand, but it’s something they are wary of. Let’s just say they slowly click, if a slow click tells you how resistant they both are to the attraction they feel.

This is the wild west, and wild it is, with bandits, saloon girls and nightly drunken brawls. The sheriff and his deputy have their work cut out for them, particularly when the Devil’s bandits storm into town. Things get decidedly worse when the Texas Rangers are called in.

The Serpent and the Angel has a different flavour from other books in the series, and like the previous book, Hunted Guardian, it is a historical piece with period appropriate groping and banging between two shifters.

As a vegetarian I’m not in favour of lard as a lubricant, but needs must, I suppose. At least it was widely available back then.

While I’m at it, I did have a problem when names of characters I could not remember were dropped in – I ended up having to use the search function to go looking for them to find someone might be the husband of someone mentioned once earlier in the book, if at all. A little careful pruning would have solved those issues.

This book goes some way to revealing the reason for the hatred Arcas, the series baddie, feels towards shifters. This is part of a slow reveal that has all the makings of a nasty and satisfying conclusion down the line.

Take heart – it’s a ways off yet. I’m in for the ride, even if the road is a little rough at times!

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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