In a small Georgia town, young Seth’s life is falling apart. He has just lost both his parents in a traffic accident, and now his maternal grandmother is taking him away from the only home he’s ever known, because she fears and despises the ‘deviant’ behavior of her late son-in-law’s family. Seth can’t bear to be parted from his kindly great aunt, or his best friend Dusty, a slightly older boy who is the closest thing Seth has to a brother.
Fast forward 20 years. Seth’s great aunt Irene dies, leaving most of her estate to her only living relative, Seth. The young man has never returned to the small town, even after his grandmother had died. She has led him to believe that his old friends and family didn’t care about him. Thinking he is just going down to wrap up his great aunt’s estate, Seth is landed in the middle of a power struggle for leadership of the community his relative once headed. Unbeknownst to the clueless young man, that community was a group of shifters who take the form of possums, and as the only living relative of his great aunt, many people look to Seth to step into the leadership of the passel.
I first read a story by this author a little over a year ago for the BDSM Book Reviews site. While the book wasn’t actually a good fit for that site, I did enjoy the author’s style and promised myself to read something else by her for this site. What I liked about the previous book, “Galen and the Forest Lord” was the humorous, irreverent approach to writing about shifters. After all, if you’re going to take on the rather preposterous idea of humans changing into wolves, you might as well have some fun with it. While “Naked Tails” isn’t quite as laugh-out-loud funny as the previous book, it is still infused with humor, starting with the very premise that there are possum shifters. Wolves or bears people can understand, but as Seth himself asks, why would people turn into possums?
Behind the humor, the core of the story is a straight-up romance. The well crafted plot has just enough twists and turns to raise doubts about the eventual outcome and keep you reading to find out how Seth faces each new challenge. Seth and Dustin are surrounded by a rich cast of engaging small southern town characters, which makes the story all the more engaging. This isn’t a ‘deep’ book, but it is a very enjoyable read.