Review of Don't Cheat Me

Don't Cheat Me by Jackie May
Nora Jacobs #2
Published 21 May 2018 by Bluefields Publishing

One month after Nora's violent induction to the dangerous supernatural side of Detroit, she's finally settling into her new life as the underworld's token human. All she wants to do is mind her own business, enjoy her new friends, and stay safe. But that's easier said than done when she's such an enigma to everyone around her. 
Thanks to her unique psychic abilities, she's garnered a reputation for being mysterious and powerful. When the alpha of a local werewolf pack asks her to help him figure out who is stealing from him, she can't say no, even though getting involved in pack business could have deadly repercussions. 

While tangled up in a heap of werewolf troubles, Nora can't quite shake her old vampire problem, either. Henry is practically stalking her, Parker is breaking down the walls around her heart, and Nora's blatant fear of the blood-sucking monsters is a delicious temptation for the natural predators. 

Nora's succubus friend, Cecile, believes throwing her a "coming out" party into underworld society is the best way to solve all of her problems. Nora disagrees. If the vampires and werewolves don't kill her, Cecile's party planning definitely will. 

* This is book 2 in the Nora Jacobs series and should be read after book 1. It is a slow burn reverse harem series.

Yes, I am reviewing the second book of a series I gave 3 stars to. Why? Because the series got better and if y'all don't have any big issues with reading through the trigger-laden first book (click that for my review), I want y'all to give Don't Cheat Me a look-see.
The author couple (actual couple) writing under the nom de plume, Jackie May, took their readers’ feedback and did better with Don’t Cheat Me. I’m happy to have taken a chance on reading the second book of the Nora Jacobs series because I really saw the potential in the first, Don’t Rush Me (again, my review), and I wanted to see the series thrive. If book 3 keeps on the same track as book 2 has, it will!
We find out immediately that Don’t Cheat Me takes place a month after the events of Don’t Rush Me, Nora tells us this right off so there’s no confusion. Nora is still cohabitating with Terrence, her troll buddy and clan leader, and she’s starting to eke out a life of her own as a talented human in the paranormal underworld with her new friends. Terrence asks her pretty please to come work at his club so he knows she’s safe while she acclimates to the underworld knowing she exists and does their nosing about in a safe space. Nora’s all for that deal with the promise that either he or Wulf the werewolf (yes, we get more Wulf) will be with her. After an incident at the club, Wulf offers to teach Nora some self defence against the paranormal denizens she’ll be up against now – at his former pack’s gym where we get to meet Wulf’s brother, Rook Winters. Va va to the voom, y’all. I have a weakness and the couple behind Jackie May found it. Whoops.
Creepy Henry the vampire master is still stalking Nora but thankfully only has a small presence in Don't Cheat Me (unfortunately nobody takes a stake to him) and Parker whom I’m still on the fence about does manage to redeem himself for his role as Creepy Henry’s lackey and even starts to show signs of being his own person. I’m not a vamp fan, so I’ll keep the stake handy just in case.
Nick Gorgeous also pops his hot self back into the picture as Nora’s very attractive flirtatious friend and law enforcement buddy. Not a constant presence, but he does his fair bit in the story. We still don't know what he is, so let's get a paranormal DNA test on him STAT, please.
We don’t get any Ren the gay incubus time in this book which made me kind of sad because he’s my favourite LGBT rep in the book as he’s a goofy sort reminding me of one of my good friends. But we do get Cecile the multisexual succubus friend of Nora we met in the beginning of Don’t Rush Me who takes it into her hands to host a party introducing her human-not-human friend to paranormal society. She’s got a regular part in Don’t Cheat Me and we get to know her a bit better, so yay.
We get more of the adorable Oliver whom we've known from pretty much page one of the series, which makes me a happy bookdragon. He's the Golden Retriever of the harem storyline, you know, I know, the Pope knows it. I'm glad that he gets to have a role in Don't Cheat Me, I'm a sucker for the puppy dog eyes - and I know Oliver has them in spades.
The mystery Nora gets involved in this time around is a bit more complicated and a tad bit heartbreaking (I cried a little there). Excuse me a second. ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THAT SCENE, AUTHORS?! WHY DON'T Y'ALL JUST TWIST THAT KNIFE A LITTLE HARDER. I'LL WAIT! Okay, I'm done. Anyways, just when you think the mystery is all solved and we can settle down for some cute harem-building, our author duo slaps you with a no-no-not-yet fish. I don't know. I'm having some healthy issues right now. And then, we're off on another round of trying to help Wulf's former pack who are kinda bitchy about it - and she still has to deal with the men in her life.
We get things tied up a bit more quickly than I'd have liked (I seriously typed 'licked' at first so there's that for a laugh for y'all). No spoilers, but everything seems to be set on fast forward all of a sudden going from the Big Thing goes from happening in a few weeks to a week's time to tomorrow night to whoops, it's go time!
We also find out Nora's paranormal deal at the end of Don't Cheat Me, so I'm not giving that away. But, I totally called it. Which leads to the reiteration of the statement, I know way too much about paranormal creatures to be a mere human. Who knows, maybe I'm one of them. Kidding. Unfortunately.
As this is a slow burn reverse harem romance, the harem is coming together slowly. I have a bit of a sticky note board going of likely candidates starting to form on my wall. It's colour-coded according to my opinion of the likelihood of making the final lineup of Nora's harem. Maybe I'll share a photo of the 'board' with book 3's likely review?
Time to discuss those changes I mentioned. Get comfortable, readers, I'll wait.
Oh, your version of 'get comfortable' doesn't involve puppy cuddles? Pity. Moving on then.
Nora stops being the ‘woe is me, the world is out to get me and I can’t figure out why’ character that annoyed the tar out of me in Don’t Rush Me and finds her backbone in Don’t Cheat Me. She’s still a bit of a Damsel in Distress but she’s more of a heroine than a blithering idiot tripping over her own feet and a big shout out to the authors for taking the time to hear us about that. We stopped focusing on her Tragic Past™ every other paragraph and actually had Nora taking real steps towards becoming her own person, but not completely disappearing the actual character we started the series with. She stood up to alphas and betas, vamps, and fae alike whenever she was of the mind to instead of waiting for one of the menfolk to come over and bash some heads together for her. Instead of obsessing over her Tragic Past™, Nora has non-combat PTSD which is much better to work with on reading, I'm right there with you now, Nora. We have our freak outs, but we're determined not to let them rule our lives, right? Right. See next paragraph.
We also find Nora stepping out of her comfort zone and actually initiating contact with the men she’s grown comfortable around in Don’t Rush Me and in Don’t Cheat Me. We’re not talking some friction in the sheets as this is a slow burn reverse harem series, we’re just talking a little hugging and kissing and some hand holding. Thank the deities for some slow burn, what is with romance books these days immediately jumping to bedroom action? Give me some story and working through our issues!! Because we all have some deep-seated issues, don't we, darlings? That's okay, that's what book therapy is for.
Overall, I'm giving Don't Cheat Me 4 stars because Nora got her shit (I'll edit that for off-blog posting) together and pulled on her big girl panties and I finally got to see the Nora Jacobs I knew was there but didn't get to see in Don't Rush Me. We had a real story going on, no plot holes and some new developments that I truly enjoyed (no spoilers). Jackie May, keep going in this direction and I'll thoroughly love the third book in this series.

Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)
The author duo can be found on their goodreads, instagram, twitter, and facebook.

Other books by Jackie May that I've reviewed include Don't Rush Me.

Hello, darlings. It's the end of another review. Wowie, gee whillikers. You would not believe how bad the past week has been for me. Think several thousands of dollars worth of car repairs and a car rental to go to work and oh yeah, birthdays month this month. I'm not doing well healthwise (mentally or physically) so things are going a bit slow, but they are still going.
In light of recent events you've no doubt seen on the news or on social media, if you're of the ability to donate and you'd like to donate, please consider donating to the Human Rights Campaign.
Until next time, dear readers, have a happily ever after.

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