Smash & Grab was funny, romantic, and most importantly unique! I have read a LOT of shifter books over the years in both M/F & MM, and I have never come across a dinosaur shifter. Saber tooth tigers, yes. Prehistoric sharks, yes. But actual dinosaurs, nope this is a new one for me!
In a nutshell, this series involves a group, RELIC, made up of dinosaur shifters that track down misappropriated dinosaur fossils and return them to their rightful country’s museum. They are not exactly a white hat group, they use dubious means to achieve their goals – hacking etc, and their funding also seems to come from not so legitimate sources. But they are not bad, they mean no harm to anyone, unless of course you’re that bad guy that’s trying to steal a fossil for your own personal gain!
In Smash & Grab, one of the operatives, Dalton, a raptor shifter, is on the hunt for a rare egg fossil that is currently legitimately being researched by a museum, but is under threat by a evil mafia type who wants the egg for himself. The mission was for Dalton to go to the museum, retrieve the egg, and return it to its home country of Mongolia. What Dalton didn’t expect was for the paleontologist, Simon, who is working on the egg to still be there, and for him to already be under threat from the bad guys trying to steal it. Dalton is impulsive by nature, and his instant connection with Simon means that he kidnaps both Simon and the egg. What follows is a mad rush across the country, stopping at every tourist trap along the way with hilarious results.
This was my first book by Maz Maddox, and what an introduction! It was the kind of mad cap characters and story line that I love. Since I was reading this during a particularly intense time at work, it was the perfect escape from my day to day stress.
Dalton is, how do you even begin to describe an ancient raptor shifter? I found his story quite fascinating, without spoiling anything, his history and how he became what he is today was absolutely absorbing, and so DIFFERENT from the usual shifter lore. I loved how close he was to his raptor and the two sides of him often blended to form a person that was human but other. Sometimes the way he was described, you could almost imagine the raptor looking out of his eyes. This is particularly evident by the endearment ‘Pretty Simon’, this started as a thought of Dalton as raptor, but it soon started to blend, and human Dalton thought of him that way too. It’s hard to explain, but it definitely provoked plenty of feelings.
Simon was a good match for him. As a paleontologist, he didn’t freak, and instead was fascinated by some of Dalton’s memories. Personality wise, he also provided a bit of calm to Dalton’s over the top personality, and Dalton in return gave Simon permission to let loose a bit and live life. Together, they were perfect.
If you enjoy well developed, but crazy characters and hijinks, and want to experience a shifter action story with a difference, then I’d highly recommend Smash & Grab.