The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs

The Choosing - Annabelle Jacobs

4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews


Jerath is impatiently waiting for his fangs to drop, but he is also filled with dread. When his fangs drop it is a sign of his coming of age and he will have to perform the Choosing rite on the full moon if he wants to have his animal form, but the rite calls for sex with a female and Jerath only likes boys. But, Jerath also has a bigger worry when his village is raided and the males are taken, Jerath and his best friend Serim have to seek aid from the southern lands before time runs out for some young villagers and they lose their chance at the rite. Jerath discovers his mate on their journey but Meren, a young warrior, can't leave his own village and is unsure if he wants a permanent partner. 
This is a great coming of age story that has a wonderful fantasy storyline. Jerath is the young man we follow in this story as he comes of age, finds his mate and seeks aid to rescue his village. We see the difficulty he faces as he both longs for and dreads his fangs dropping, he watches his village being raided, he undertakes the journey for aid and then the rescue of his fellow villagers. On top of that we see his relationship with his mate as it goes through the ups and downs that both young men face. 
I did enjoy this story and was only disappointed with one aspect of the story which I will come to later. The world that is described comes to life as we delve deeper into the book, we see a fascinating culture as the villagers work and live together and their customs as the full moon approaches. We see the deep and loving friendship between Jerath and Serim and then the unsure new relationship between Jerath and Meren and the difficult decisions they have to make. There is some excitement and danger as they rescue Jerath's fellow villages, but there is also fear as a misunderstanding comes to light. Meren and Jerath are a wonderful couple and suit each other perfectly once they both decide they know what they want, they are really sweet and cute and as they experiment with each other and further their relationship they are hot. 
The problem that I had with this story is the rite that Jerath had to undergo, he HAS to have sex with a female to become a shifter and seeing as he is very much gay he had to take a special berry that would help him out.... so he was drugged. I really had a hard time making sense of that part of the storyline especially seeing as his mate was male. The Goddess decided that the males can shift if they go through the Choosing ritual with a female but will lose the shift if they don't.... so why would any of the males be gay?.... or their mates male?, it sticks in my craw that these men are forced to have sex with a female to get their animal half and they have no choice.... they lose a part of themselves if they don't. And yes the mf sex is very much in evidence and although it was handled beautifully it still pissed me off.   
I recommend this to those who love a fantasy world with shifters, young adults coming into their own, discovering something you have always longed for, finding love in trying times, danger and rescues and a wonderful happy ending.