My rating: 3 of 5 stars
CAUTION: Long Review, Spoilers
Delany's Catch is a short story about a closeted werewolf who chanced upon his mate. Jake Holiday is a tall but timid bookstore owner whose ex-boyfriend of three years ago cheated on Jake and left Jake romatically scarred. Taller than Jake, Delany Coltrane is an ex-bodyguard who came into Jake's bookstore looking for direction but suddenly found himself looking at his new mate Jake Holiday. Like most romance, the story ends on a HEA.
Delany's Catch is told in 3rd POV, splitting between Jake and Daniel's perspectives. The romance is fast-paced so I recommend this for readers who don't prefer a slow-building romance and like the Love at First Sight trope. The story focuses on Jake accepting Del as a boyfriend and, near the end, as a werewolf, there is no outside drama or other issue going on. I recommend this story for readers who want a pure protagonists-driven story, just two dudes trying to trust and falling in love with each other.
There are a total of two sex scenes, one near the beginning and one near the end. Each is graphically detailed, starting off with a long foreplay scene. In fact, their first flirting immediately becomes their foreplay scene which culminates into a penetration scene. I don't recommend this story for readers who dislike sex on the first date or rather at first meeting in this case where neither characters are prostitute or looking for a one-night stand. Regardless, the attraction between the two is instant, the sex spontaneous.
Even though Jake is submissive and Del is dominating, don't be fool into thinking this is a d/s relationship — it isn't. The second and final sex scene have Del bottoming for Jake. I would have rated the story a lot higher if Jake just stick to being a bottom and a Jake a top.
He [Jake] liked the mastered feeling of being a bottom, like being dominated by a stronger male.That's what I read in the beginning of the story. That's how I came to expect a pure bottom-top relationship but was later disappointed when the story wasn't.
The Main Conflict
As I said before, the story is pure protagonists-driven. The story uses the Third Act Misunderstanding trope, three in all. The biggest T.A.M. is when Jake felt horror at discovering werewolves are real and betrayed when he discovered Del is one of them. The second T.A.M. has Del secretly bringing business to Jake's failing bookstore without Jake's knowledge. The third T.A.M. has Del not answering Jake's call because Del didn't know it was Jake who was calling which directly led Jake into thinking their relationship was over.
However, the crux of the story depends on whether or not Jake will accept Del for who Del is and love him.
While I do dislike stories for sometime using the Misunderstanding trope, the trope in this story wasn't the reason why I didn't 4-5 stars rate Delany's Catch. The unfulfilled expectation of a pure bottom-top theme is what irked me.
Sorry, but the story had me going for a d/s relationship. Instead, I got an equal-partnership relationship which itself is NOT a bad thing but wasn't something I wanted for this story to have. LOL, turns out the story wasn't cliché enough for my liking. However, readers who dislike cliché relationship, beside the Love at First Sight trope, could find themselves liking this sweet romance.
I rate Delany's Catch a soft 3-stars for an I-liked-it.