Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jennifer Ashley - Mate Claimed

As a wildcat Shifter and leader of his Shiftertown, Eric Warden knows his own kind. When he sees Iona Duncan, he realizes that although she appears human, she is a half-Shifter wildcat living without a Collar—and that if she doesn't acknowledge her true nature and her mating hunger, it may kill her…
Iona finds the mysterious and powerful Eric alluring, even though she has vowed never to reveal her Shifter side, lest her mother pay the price for hiding her all these years. But her mating hunger is rising, and with Eric so close, she may not be able to resist…and her desire may lead to the very doom they are fighting to deny…

Comment: This is another book in the Shifters Unbound series by ms Ashley. Although I feel this series isn't as strong as her historical one, I still read these books fast and happily.
This series has a lot of novellas as well, and I plan to read them too in the future.

This book features Eric Warden. He's a character we've known since a couple books ago and he always showed a strong and solid presence. Knowing his past I was very eager to see his story.
He met Iona at a bar one day and he found out she was half shifter, something humans don't know and if they do, she has to use the Collar and banned from human rights. Their relationship starts with Eric teaching Iona bout what it means to be a shifter but soon what's between them gets stronger.

This was a solid read in the series. The world is established, we know the rules and we get new characters too, to make th story evolve and get more that feeling of community, even among shifters of different species. I think many characters have a lot of potential to be protagonists, but the novellas have quite the page number too, so nothing would feel like a letdown I imagine.

Eric and Iona's relationship was funny to watch. Once more I felt appreciation with the fact they had a good chemistry but weren't sexually intimate right away. It's really boring when they have sex and their relationship revolves around that from the first pages. I prefer romances as with this case, where they get to know each other step by step until they can't hold on their feelings's so much more romantic this way...
Iona was the character with more challenges I think. She has an established life as human but she suffers the issues shifters have, like stronger pheromones and desires. She sees Eric as a threat to her human life, but slowly she gets to know him and care for him. I liked how she learned about being a shifter and how strong the sense of family was for them too and she didn't have to let go of her previous family to be with Eric. The end was interesting for the whole community!
Eric knew how to behave, how to help Iona but he was helpless to fight his attraction to her even when he showed restraint to let her pick the pace. I think his character was quite well done.

The plot follows the same settings as before, shifters have Collars to control their fighting urges but things aren't as simple as that and one lesson to take from this book is, people should have patience and shifters, having longer life spans, consider Collars as a step towards freedom, because time passes faster for the humans who want to control them. It's an interesting idea and it gives an extra help to understand the world and how the shifter community face their lives in these books.

Personally, I had lots of fun with this story, it was a pleasure to rd it and many times I felt I couldn't put it down. I love shape shifters stories and except for book #1 which didn't feel as special, these series has proven to be fascinating.
Grade: 8/10

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