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.
Past Trauma: Emotional abuse