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TTG

I'm just calling this book "The Hunt" because Long Title is Long.

An Unauthorized Field Guide to the Hunt - Kari Gregg

Out of the three Gregg works I’ve read (the other two being I, Omega and Collared), this might be my favorite. It might be because I’m used to Gregg’s fast pace, hand-wavey world-building, and cramming everything, sexy times included, into a novella. It might be because I have a soft-spot for rifts on Battle Royale/Hunger Games/The Most Dangerous Game, where our MC is hunted and has to battle for survival in a strange local and against deadly enemies. (And this time, also gets to be ravished.)

 

It might be because unlike I, Omega and Collared, our lead (and huntee) Shane is way less submissive. He still ends up being ravished (many times) by his puma-man, but it was not on the same level of passivity and submission as the other two books. Towards the end, I still go that “caretaker” Top/submissive Bottom vibe, but still not on the same wavelength. (The other two, the MC is very subby.)

The three have in common one thing that I appreciate, and that is Gregg’s version of dub-con, which is that the characters are somehow chemically or biologically enhanced or changed so that even as they’re being dominated/ravished, they’re not unhappy about the whole process. In I, Omega, it had something to do with the whole alpha-claiming-whatever thing. In Collared, it had to do with the global changing of everyone’s body chemistry, so they either shifted to being more dominant or submissive, and in the Hunt, it’s….PHEROMONES. Sexy cat pheromones that entice you into wanting to submit and be taken again…and again…and again.

As someone who hates non-con and rape, I can somehow wrap my mind around Gregg’s dubious chemical changes to get our MC to a point that he is being taken down…and doesn’t really mind it so much. That, and Shane himself is trying to play the game while he’s being hunted, even though he figures out eventually that all his scheming can’t fight…PHEROMONES.

My one issue is that again, it’s a pretty short work, around 100 pages, so the “relationship” that comes out is pretty insta, and even though our MCs feel very drawn to each other, it feels very lusty-cloud based, as opposed to, I dunno, real love. I might be asking for too much with that one though.

And there’s some explanation near the end that for me was kind of, “Huh? Okay....” and then it’s back to Sex Canopy with Puma Man.

But my recommendation is to not go in to this looking for in-depth world building or rationals. Go in for the fast pace jungle flight as our hero tries to evade his hunter, succumbs to PHEROMONES, has multiple not-really-dub-con sexy times, attempts to survive the Hunt, and loses his shoes a few times. I have stopped asking questions by this point, so it was a fun read.

Gregg’s penchant is to not write sequels, and compared to the other two, this one felt the most “complete” of an ending. (As opposed to I, Omega and Collared, that felt like the end was beginning of something, especially Collared.) So even though I wouldn’t have minded something akin to showing more love between the MCs beyond the lovemaking, the ending was still satisfying.

One thing I thought was funny:

In my review for I, Omega, I mentioned one scene that squicked me, when subby omega MC Gabriel goes down on his Alpha, but after the Alpha already plowed into him, including knotting, without a condom. I was a little grossed out by the butt-to-mouth shift. It happens here too, but Shane is riding a high off his puma-man so after being ravished, he moves to go down on him, BUT THEN ponders, "Hey, this was just in my butt....hmmmmm." But then proceeds with gusto because he cannot stop himself. I totally laughed. Like, I'm sure Gregg didn't see my squicked-out review, but I did appreciate that there was a mental process there of, "Hey-wait-a-minute..." :-)

(show spoiler)