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review 2013-11-22 07:23
Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley
Hard Mated - Jennifer Ashley

I enjoyed this installment of the "Shifters Unbound" series quite a bit. It's the story of Spike and Myka. Spike is the biker wildcat from the Austin shiftertown who was on the outs with the Morriseys in the first book. He's become a tracker for Liam, but he's also developed a reputation as one of the best fighters in the illegal and underground fight club.

I won't go into much detail because there's a lot of nifty stuff to discover in this one. Especially the softening of Spike. There were times when I didn't love him, honestly. He's a bit cranky much of the time, but he falls hard for Myka and that's definitely a nice thing.

One thing that does continue to bother me about the Austin shiftertown stories is that Liam is undercut regularly. Almost every story has the lead male aware that he could potentially (never a sure thing but very likely ... maybe) take down Liam. Why can't Liam just be dominant? It doesn't hurt the BDB stories for Wrath to stay dominant. It doesn't hurt Mercy Thompson for Adam to be dominant. Curran's unchallenged. Why does Liam have to be in a precarious position? But then, he's not! Not really. There's just always a moment where there's a stare-down and someone comes to the conclusion that dominance is uncertain and yada yada yada.

Dominance fights are boring, frankly. Leave them out. My opinion.

BUT, Spike is not boring. There's a moment near the end when he breaks my heart. Who knew the grizzled biker with the bad attitude could be so passionate and loving? Still tending toward cranky, but loving nonetheless. And sexy. There's always that. :)

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review 2013-11-22 06:58
Mate Claimed by Jennifer Ashley
Mate Claimed - Jennifer Ashley

Eric Warden -- brother of Cassidy Warden from Wild Cat and Las Vegas shiftertown leader -- has discovered an uncollared shifter living right under the noses of all the authorities both human and shifter. He's determined to keep her safe and unreachable for as long as he can. That will be difficult as Iona Duncan is hitting her transition and starting to get a little wild.

I loved how this one played out. Iona did tick me off at some points with her stubbornness in the face of facts -- a pet peeve of mine when it comes to romantic/PN tropes -- but she was ultimately a very likable heroine. And Eric is a great hero.

Eric is having some serious problems. The authorities have closed a whole shiftertown and determined they will move to Eric's domain. Their leader is not keen on no longer being the high alpha so he's determined to bring Eric down or cause him grief for the rest of his life. In addition that, he's trying to reason with Iona, the first female he's felt anything for since his mate died long ago. On top of that he's having some kind of physical malfunction that causes him intense, debilitating pain just when he needs to be at the top of his game.

I loved Eric. Can't say enough good things about him. Iona was a little more of a challenge, but when she finally faced reality she was very impressive.

There are some twists and turns and some real suspense. Very hard to put this one down. Four and a half stars.

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review 2013-10-21 18:33
Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley (Shifters Unbound #1)
Pride Mates (Shifters Unbound #1) - Jennifer Ashley

I've had this on my Kindle so long I nearly forgot about it. Years! But I finally cracked it this weekend and I'm kicking myself for not getting on board earlier.

First an admission. I love shifters. I'm more a shifter girl than a vampire girl. Vampires -- usually -- are dead. That kind of bothers me. Oh, I can get over it for Bones, Spade, Vlad and Mencheres, but mostly ... ew.

That said, not every shifter story is good. I've read a lot of stinkers, which has made me leery of starting anything new when I have my favorites I can trust. So I was nervous to start this book written by one of my favorite historical romance authors.

Silly me. She's good at this too!

It's Austin, Texas and the shifters of the world have come out. Rather than trying to integrate them in society, they were hunted in some countries and then herded into their own towns in the US. Liam Morrisey, his brother, his nephew, and his father, all live in the "Shiftertown" on the outskirts of Austin.

Kim (last name irrelevant and I forgot it anyway) is an attorney working to save the life of a shifter accused of the murder of his human girlfriend. Since the shifter won't talk to her she's got to find other ways of getting information and she finds herself face-to-face with Liam. Immediate attraction, insta-love, but it works.

The shifter likely couldn't have murdered his human girlfriend because all the shifters wear collars that cause them intense pain when they feel rage or the instinct to kill. This is all part of the fascinating world building that pulls the reader in. The shifters present one face to society, but they have a very different life beyond the facade. They're oppressed, that's for sure, but they're also healthier in many ways than their oppressors.

Liam and Kim click. By the end I totally believe the insta-love and I can't wait to see what happens in the world as this book not only launches the series, but launches a world game-changer as well.

I've already bought the second book of the series and plan to start reading it today.

If you like shifters, I don't think you'll be disappointed. :)

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review 2012-10-20 00:00
Primal Bonds (Shifters Unbound Series #2)
Primal Bonds (Shifters Unbound, Book 2) - Jennifer Ashley Review from busymomsbookreviews.comPrimal Bonds is the second book in the Shifters Unbound series, it follows Sean and Andrea. Andrea is a strong heroine who doesn't back down from anybody and fights for what she thinks is right. She is half-fae/half-shifter and has had a hard life. She is a low person in the shifter community and has to relocate to another shifter town so that she can get away from a man who doesn't like to hear the word no. Sean Morrissey the second in command and the Guardian make a mate-claim so that she can move. He wants to make the mate-claim real and as much as he wants her, he still lets Andrea decide for herself. While dealing with the mate-claim issue they also have to find out who is shooting at shifters and why the fae keep reaching out to Andrea in her dreams. The world building that started strong in the first book carries over really well into this one and we get shown more about the shifter lifestyle. The fights scenes are descriptive and engaging without being chaotic. The sex scenes are detailed and hot but not graphic and they are not the focus of the entire book. Primal Bonds is a really good book and I would recommend it to anybody who likes books on shifters with action and romance.
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review 2012-07-19 00:00
Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound Series #3)
Wild Cat - Jennifer Ashley 2.5 stars
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