Review: Feral Heat

Review: Feral HeatFeral Heat (Shifters Unbound, #5.5) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #5.5
Published by InterMix on March 18th 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 153
Goodreads
four-stars

Sweet Novella in the Shifters Unbound Series

FERAL HEAT is a novella (number 5.5 in the series) in the Shifters Unbound Series. It is the story of Jace Warden (Eric’s son from MATE CLAIMED) and Dani Rowe (sister of Ellison from LONE WOLF). After an accident a year ago, Dani has been waging a war for her sanity as she has been close to going feral unable to control her wolf. Jace has traveled to the Austin Shiftertown as part of the Shifters experiments to remove the collar that controls the Shifters. The two meet and sparks are immediate.

I really liked this book. It is not for a new reader. There is too much assumed in the story, but for fans of the series, it is a perfect bridge story to the next novel. It progresses the story on the attempts to remove the collars. It also nicely finishes the story begun in Lone Wolf regarding Dani.

Some readers might object to the abbreviated story here, but as part of the entire series, it works. We already know these characters and it is nice to have their stories wrapped up.

It was also really nice to get small glimpses of many of the great characters in this series.

four-stars

Review: Tiger Magic

Review: Tiger MagicTiger Magic (Shifters Unbound, #5) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #5
Published by Berkley Sensation on June 4th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 308
Goodreads
five-stars

My Favorite of the Series

TIGER MAGIC is the fifth novel in the Shifters Unbound series. It is the story of Tiger who had been a government test subject. He has no name and has spent most of his life in a cage. He comes across Carly Randal and immediately identifies this human as his mate. Early is drawn to Tiger, who Shifters distrust but who Cubs love. Tiger exists at the edges of Shifter society because he doesn’t accept all the social constructs. The relationship between Tiger and Carly is interwoven with the mystery of Tiger’s origins.

This is my favorite of the series. I absolutely loved Tiger who is definitely an alpha and yet is a real sweetheart. I thought the story of how Tiger is an outsider even among outsiders was really interesting as well. The story kept me turning the pages.

Loved it!

five-stars

Review: Lone Wolf

Review: Lone WolfLone Wolf (Shifters Unbound, #4.6) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #4.6
Published by Penguin on April 16th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 151
Goodreads
four-stars

Ellison is a great hero

LONE WOLF is a novella in the Shifters Unbound Series. It is the story of Ellison Rowe and Maria. Ellison is sweet and caring. He is very lonely living in Shiftertown with only his sister, who is having serious problems after an accident, and her two cubs. As a wolf, he misses having more of a pack. Maria, a human, has been psychologically wounded by having been forced to live among uncollared shifters in Mexico. She plans on building a future for herself and having a mate has no place in her mind. The plot also deals with someone who is trying to steal cubs.

I really liked Ellison in this book. He has wanted Maria for a long time but has stayed back and been a friend to allow her time to heal from her ordeal. These two are sweet together. The boo is more straightforward and not as intricate as the other books in the series, but as a novella it is good. Readers of the series will immediately pick up the threads of the story. People new to the series may have a difficult time because there is a lot of inside information tossed out here and no back explanation. The book is worth reader, but start with the first in the series.

four-stars

Review: Unbound

Review: UnboundUnbound (Time Hunters #2.5, Shifters Unbound #4.5, The Elementals #1.5) by Angela Knight, Jennifer Ashley, Jean Johnson, Hanna Martine
Series: Shifters Unbound #4.5, Time Hunters #2.5, The Elementals #1.5
Published by Berkley on March 5th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 441
Goodreads
three-stars

Merely Adequate Anthology

UNBOUND is a collection of four stories. Overall, I rate this a 3.

ENFORCER (Angela Knight): This is the story of Dona and Alerio who are genetically engineered enforcers. There is a serious complication because Alerio is Dona’s superior and she has a bad history with men. This is the longest selection in the book. I haven’t read the other books in this series but this one nearly lost me in the first ten pages. I really struggled to get into the story. There was too much that a new reader needs to understand. Perhaps a series reader would enjoy it better. Rating: 3.

PERFECT MATE (Jennifer Ashley): This is part of the Shifters Unbound Series. This is the story of Bear shifter Nell who finds herself as the subject of interest of a newcomer Bear shifter Cormac. Cormac is looking for a mate, but single mother Nell has loved and lost before and says she has no interest. Cormac is a determined Bear. I was not inclined to like Nell from previous books. Here, however, I really came to understand her prickly nature. The romance between Cormac and Nell is not as good as the other books in the series, but for fans of the series, this is a good addition. Rating 3.5.

THE HUNTER’S CABIN (Jean Johnson): This is the story of Kiereseth and Vielle are on the run when he is accused of treason. They take refuge in a cabin. This story had promise because I liked the concept and the characters and their relationship was interesting. However, I think there was too much that I needed to know from the rest of the series. By the time that I started figuring it out this really short story was done. Rating 2.5.

NO SURPRISE MORE MAGICAL (Hanna Martine): This is the story of David and Kelsey. They were to be married but David called it off because he loved Kelsey. This is also part of a series. I haven’t read anything else by this author. I was sad about this story because I really liked the characters but there was too much going on and the story relied exclusively on the characters not talking too one another. Rating 2.5.

three-stars

Review: Mate Claimed

Review: Mate ClaimedMate Claimed (Shifters Unbound, #4) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #4
Published by Penguin Group on October 2nd 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 336
Goodreads
four-half-stars

MATE CLAIMED is the fourth novel in the Shifters Unbound series. It is the story of Eric Warden, the leader of the Las Vegas Shiftertown. He has a grown son and lost his mate. He sees Iona Duncan, who is half Shifter but masquerading as human. Readers of the series will recall that Shifters are seriously discriminated against by humans and Iona has no desire to subject herself to that along with risking her mother and sister who might face trouble for having hidden her nature. Eric is seriously attracted to Iona immediately and wants to protect her but he knows that if she doesn’t come to terms with her Shifter side soon, she risks becoming feral and losing herself in her animal side completely.

This story was great. It is sexy and really compelling. The discrimination toward Shifters is on full display here. There is also an interesting story dealing with a new group of lupines being moved unwillingly to Shiftertown and the conflicts that arise. What sets these books apart is the detailed world that Ashley has created. Eric and Iona are compelling characters with depth and interest. The heat between these two felines is blazing.

Rating 4.5.

four-half-stars

Review: Dark and Dangerous

Review: Dark and DangerousDark And Dangerous by Jennifer Ashley, Bonnie Vanak, Caris Roane, Laurie London, Erin Kellison, Felicity Heaton
Series: Shifters Unbound #3.5, Werewolves of Montana #2, Blood Rose #1, Iron Portal #1, Vampire Erotic Theater #3
on October 14th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 1027
Goodreads
four-stars

DARK AND DANGEROUS is a collection of novels by six different authors. I give the collection a 4 in total. Below are the individual reviews.

HARD MATED (Jennifer Ashley): This is a novella in Ashley ‘s Shifters Unbound Series. It is the story of Spike, a wildcat Shifter who finds out that he has a cub. The woman who brings him the news is a friend of the mother, Myka. As Shifters do, Spike immediately becomes attached to the cub and wants to do nothing but protect him. Myka and Spike have great chemistry. I enjoyed the story very much. My favorite of the collection. Rating 4.

THE MATING HUNT (Bonnie Vanak) This is the story of Adianna, a werewolf, who was traumatised as a child and is terrified of sex. Kyle has wanted Adrianna for a long time but has a secret that he believes will make them being together impossible. I really liked this story. I have never read this author or series before, but am interested in reading more. Rating 4.

EMBRACE THE DARK (Caris Roane): This is the story Abigail who finds out she is a blood rose, destined to service a vampire. She meets Gerrod who is obsessed with her. The plot of this one was interesting, but I never felt a connection with the characters. Rating 3.

ASSASSIN’S TOUCH (Laurie London): A woman, Neyla, discovers she has latent para-abilities and meets Rickety, an assassin determined to protect the Iron Portal into his world. I never got into this one. The story has a good plot, but the characters did not appeal to me. Rating 3.

SHADOW BOUND (Erin Kellison): This is the story of Adam and Talia. The book is really dark and not to my liking. That is just taste. It seemed really well created, but not what I look for in this type of book. Rating 3.5.

SEDUCE (Felicity Heaton): This is the third book in the Vampire Erotic Theatre series). I’ve never read this author before, but based in this book I picked up some other books on the series. It is a vampire story about Antoine, a vampire, who fears the Bloodlust coming over him as it has done with his brother. He meets Sara who becomes determined to have him. The sexual tension in this book is great. There are memorable characters especially Snow. I immediately had to read more. Rating 4.

four-stars

Review: Wild Cat

Review: Wild CatWild Cat (Shifters Unbound, #3) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #3
Published by Berkley Books on January 1st 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 320
Goodreads
four-stars

Story of Loss and Starting Again

WILD CAT is the third book in the Shifters Unbound Series. It is the story of Cassidy Warden, a feline shifter who is second in command in the Las Vegas Shiftertown. She meets Detective Diego Escobar in an abandoned building where she saves his life. Cassidy’s mate was murdered a year ago. When Diego takes a risk to help Cassidy, she returns the favor by attempting to take care of him among Shifters. The two have a strong attraction physically and also emotionally because both have experienced loss.

This is a good entry into the series. We meet a new group of Shifters who live near Las Vegas. Ashley does a good job of balancing the attraction between the two and Cassidy’s grief. There is an interesting mystery regarding her mate’s death and the appearance of the Fae (enemies of Shifters). Readers of the series will probably be surprised by the quick turn to these people who were not present in the first two books of the series. In fact, readers could begin here without losing much in understanding (although the first two books are definitely worth the read).

four-stars

Review: Bodyguard

Review: BodyguardBodyguard (Shifters Unbound, #2.5) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #2.5
Published by CreateSpace on December 2nd 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 224
Goodreads
four-stars

You Have to Love the Bears (shifters)

This novella is the story of Ronan, a bear shifter, and Elizabeth, a human. Ronan rescues Elizabeth when someone comes to rob her store. Ronan is arrested because he attacked a human even though he was protecting Elizabeth. As readers of the Shifters series will recall, there is much discrimination against Shifters. This novella is a great addition to the series, however, this story is easier to understand with the background from the prior novels.

I enjoyed this novella, but it was not as good as the prior novels. This novella assumes quite a bit of knowledge. The romance between Ronan and Elizabeth is sweeter than the romances from the prior novels. I enjoyed this story and think that it is a great contribution to the series.

four-stars

Review: Primal Bonds

Review: Primal BondsPrimal Bonds (Shifters Unbound, #2) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #2
Published by Berkley Sensation on March 1st 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 298
Goodreads
four-half-stars

My favorite of the series! I loved the story of Sean Morrissey (a feline Shifter) and Andrea Gray (a lupine Shifter). I have never been a fan of paranormal romances, but I simply love Jennifer Ashley’s series. She has the ability to make the books about the romance between the characters in a manner which allows me to easily accept the weirdness of the story. In fact, Ashley story really is about family and community and racism and the fear of differences. I was impressed that Ashley could incorporate such themes so seamlessly and not make them overwhelm the romance. There is no doubt that the romance is the center of this book.

I’d give this book a 4.5 rating.

four-half-stars

Review: Pride Mates

Review: Pride MatesPride Mates (Shifters Unbound, #1) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #1
Published by Berkley Sensations on January 26, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 304
Goodreads
four-stars

PRIDE MATES is the first book in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters series. I’m not a fan of paranormal romances. This series is definitely paranormal in nature. It deals with Shifters who are part human and part animal. The characters shift between the two forms.

In PRIDE MATES, Ashley introduces Liam Morrissey (who is a feline) and Kim Fraser (who is fully human). The two meet when Kim is the lawyer defending a Shifter accused of murder. Liam is the leader of a Shifter town near Austin, Texas. Others have detailed the plot and I won’t repeat that here.

While I generally don’t like paranormal romances, I definitely have been converted to a fan of the Shifters series. As is true with her historical romances, Ashley has a tremendous ability to bring a different voice and tone for all of her characters. Without being overly preachy, the book addresses the issues of racism and segregation. At the core of the book, however, is the romance between Liam and Kim.

I highly recommend this book even for those who might be intially reluctant based upon the subject matter.

four-stars