Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two Novellas by Jennifer Ashley

A short novel of the Shifters Unbound series. Spike, a wildcat Shifter and the champion fighter of Shiftertown, is stunned when Myka, the best friend of a dying human woman, announces that Spike has fathered a cub. What's more, the mother is giving the boy to Spike to protect and raise.
Myka, who'd been raised by an abusive stepfather, is not sure that a wild fighter named Spike is the best man to bring up the cute little jaguar cub. She goes to Shiftertown to check out Spike, and finds that the man behind the name is a lonely Shifter who's lost most of his family and is a fierce caretaker to those he has left.
Spike is torn between the cub and his duties as tracker to the Shiftertown leader, and begs Myka, the only person who understands, to help him. He starts to like the sassy Myka, a horse trainer who's not afraid of working with animals, even if they're wildcats who turn into humans.
When Spike's job puts his cub and Myka in danger, Spike is forced to choose between those to whom he's pledged his loyalty and his need to protect the woman and cub he's come to love.

Shifters Unbound 3.5

 Elizabeth Chapman is saved from an armed robber by a giant Kodiak bear who shifts into a large, well-muscled, and fully bare human. But when it's revealed that the robber is the brother of a dangerous criminal, Elizabeth finds herself the target of a vendetta.
Ronan, the Bear Shifter, takes her to Shiftertown, where she finds that mateless Ronan takes care of Shifters who have no families or clans of their own. Having grown up in foster care herself, Elizabeth can only admire how protective Ronan is, even while she chafes at the confinement.
But Ronan will only let her leave the safety of Shiftertown if he becomes her 24/7 bodyguard. Elizabeth finally agrees. The trouble is, the sassy human Elizabeth is triggering Ronan's long-buried need to find himself a mate.

Shifters Unbound 2.5

Comment: In these last days of December I decided to get two more novellas out of the way. I picked Jennifer Ashley because not only I like her books but I was lucky to have these novellas set in the same universe, the Shifters Unbound series.

Bodyguard is the story of Elizabeth Chapman and Ronan, a bear shifter. Ronan is in Elizabeth's shop, one of those that don't mind business with shifters. Then someone wants to rob the store and kill Elizabeth and Ronan helps her. Being a shifter, of course the police takes him away, but Elizabeth defends him and goes as well. They quickly start a bond but Ronan doesn't give Elizabeth up especially after a gang is after her for revenge.
I liked this story, very well constructed and I'll have to be glad for the author's job in making the romance seem solid despite how fast it happened. I guess her talent in writing makes it look like more time has passed. I think this is one of those novellas that are easily read as a bigger book, it gives off that vibe. The fact Elizabeth and Ronan are mates is just the cherry on top, I liked this one and their relationship.
Grade: 7/10

Hard Mated is Spike's story and how he gets to find out he's got a cub he didn't know about right until the mother of his son is dying. Spike is thrilled to raise him though, but a little boy cub isn't easy to manage and he asks Myka's help, a friend of his cub's mother and someone he feels connected with, even if at the start she didn't think the same. With time, they will try to create a bond while Spike has to deal with his position in the pack and things that are asked of him.
I thought this story was a bit weaker because I wasn't as amazed by the main character's relationship. Myka never seemed as focused on the shifter's friendship or presence and it was more difficult to envision them happy despite the actions leading to it. I think this dealt well with hierarchy ideas and the perception of one's position in a group. I had fun with the story, I was eager to read but Myka didn't win me over. Still, not a bad novella.
Grade: 6/10

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