Love in Panels - Romancelandia

The Coyote's Comfort Cover
Synopsis from the Creator:

While most of Maria, New Mexico is getting into the holiday spirit, coyote shifter Diana Shapely has more pressing concerns. For one thing, the due date of her twin niece and nephew is rapidly approaching and she needs to find them the absolute perfect welcome-to-the-world gifts. For another, the girlfriend she ghosted a year ago just showed up out of the blue.

Lanie Chappell is a tough cookie who knows how to take "no" for an answer, but she also knows there's something off about Diana's rambling rationale for dumping her. Diana claimed she merely wanted to protect human Lanie from the dangerous world of shapeshifters, but Lanie had never asked to be coddled. She didn't spend more than a decade in the Army hiding from challenges. Furthermore, if there's anyone who needs her back watched, it's Diana.

The truth is that Diana was terrified that Lanie would realize Diana didn't stack up. After being told all her life that she'd never make anything of herself, Diana decided that she'd rather cut her losses than be the one who gets left.

Steady Lanie is the soothing counterbalance to Diana's wilder spirit and the champion she's always wanted. But if Diana can't shake off the deep-seated insults of the past, she'll never be able to claim the mate she deserves.

***This Masters of Maria novella stands alone and can be read as independent of the rest of the series.***

Review: The Coyote's Comfort, by Holley Trent

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 7, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Ana Coqui

In her black leather, heavy lined eyes and dark cloak, Diana, a coyote shifter, exudes confidence and primal energy but there is one human who can fluster her like no other - her ex, Laine. Laine never believed Diana’s reasons for their break up with her and is back to see if Diana is ready to admit they should still be together and put them back on track.

 Although part of Trent’s Masters of Maria series, Coyote’s Comfort, stands alone. Trent provides all the relevant context to the conflicts and relationships. The references to Coyote mythology and politics, however, are incitement to read more books in the series.

Laine has known Diana is the one from her from the day her grad school classmate Blue brought her to folklore department event, and she captured all of Laine’s attention, sashaying in with her chaotic energy. Laine confidence in their relationship was shaken the day Diana suddenly packed up everything and left their apartment while Laine was away on a work trip. While Laine was willing to give Diana some time to sort out her head, she is done waiting, and had tracked Diana to Maria to see if Diana is ready to acknowledge how good they were and are together. 

Trent quite cleverly introduces us to Diana, while she is working. She is hunting for valuable items at an estate sale, the scene showcases her skills at observation, her instincts for cultivating relationships and unearthing treasure. She is forceful, determined and creative, and completely ambushed by Laine’s unexpected re-appearance, yet able to multitask, completing her purchases and orchestrating an exit plan. It sets up how extremely competent Diana is at everything but dealing with her own feelings.

Although the romance as a whole worked for me, especially the scenes where Laine inserts herself into Diana’s new life, backing her up and caring for her, in order to let Diana, care for others, the progression of the reunion at times felt choppy. They jerked from verbal sparring and sentimental reminiscences to heavy petting with little build-up, before cooling back down to more simmering sexual tension. I also wished there were less conversations with secondary characters assuring Laine she is one the right track, as Laine’s character was much more interesting when her confidence and assurance in her choice to come looking for Diana was challenged by Diana’s reactions. The epilogue was perfect however with both characters clearly comfortable with each other again, carving out new roles together.

 

 

Content Warnings:

Past Trauma: Emotional abuse

Topics: review