SHE MIGHT BE STORM'S ENEMY... BUT GABI'S ALSO HIS ONE TRUE MATE
In the wake of an Archangel attack on Cougar Creek, Storm is seething with a need for revenge against the hunter organisation and the key to it might be the petite blonde mortal he's locked in his cabin, one he's determined to make sing for him. Only the beauty has a fiery temperament to match his own, and the more time he spends with her, the more she stokes a fire inside him. One that fills him with a startling and undeniable need to make her sing in another way--in his arms.
Gabriella isn't going to take her captivity lying down. She's going to give the pig-headed brute holding her against her will hell until he finally believes she's innocent. He might be a cougar shifter, but she isn't afraid of him. Or at least she isn't afraid of what he is. The way he affects her, the flames that lick through her whenever they're close, terrifies her though, because the longer she's around the towering sexy-as-sin shifter, the hotter that fire blazes, and it's only a matter of time before it burns away all her restraint.
With the mating heat and the attack bringing cougars back to the creek, Gabriella is a complication Storm doesn't need, but she's one that he wants... because she might just be his one true mate.
This story is the second book in a new shifter series called Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series, which is an offshoot of the Eternal Mates series (which I love) and based in the same world.
Storm is an interesting character. I must admit that I wasn't sure I liked him at first, but he grew on me - when he stopped being an a-hole towards the end, he became more likeable. He is one of Rath's brothers and first introduced to the reader in the first book, Claimed by her Cougar. He has a massive chip on his shoulder with regards to humans due to an incident that happened several years previously, so when Alexander, a hunter who works with Archangel, attacks his brother, Storm takes it upon himself to keep the hunter's step-sister Gabriella prisoner. Determined to gain information of Archangel from her, he finds himself torn between his duty to his family, and his undeniable attraction to her - as she's his one true mate.
Gabriella is a fascinating character. I like her a lot, but feel that she vacillated between being a strong female lead, standing up for herself against more powerful people/shifters, and a useless damsel in distress; this is not necessarily a problem, but this meant (to me) that she could have behaved more consistently either way. Gabriella finds herself held prisoner by a sexy cougar shifter. Scared, but determined, she tries to come to terms with her step-brother's death and her growing attraction for her captor. But as the mating heat draws other shifters back to the Creek, will she fight for her freedom from captivity, or will she find freedom in his strong arms?
I began reading this story, told through both Storm's and Gabriella's points of view, and it swept me up and carried me away. I enjoyed this one a lot more than the first book. Storm is a little like his name - he is a force to be reckoned with, but he also is a total a-hole for most of the story. Granted, he has reason to be, though that still doesn't excuse him in my eyes. The insta-love between the main characters is thankfully absent in this story. I could see the hate Gabriella felt for Storm and the resentment of her imprisonment. However, there’s a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome going on as the story progressed, I feel.
As this is a novella rather than a novel, I think the author did an excellent job in extending the time the characters got to know each other in this book compared to the first book in the series. There is a big fight scene (which I won't go into due to spoilers) that I enjoyed; this is one thing I love about this author's writing - her descriptions of action, particularly fight or battle scenes are extremely exciting. This scene also introduces the reader to Storm and Rath's other two cougar brothers, Flint and Cobalt. I am now looking forward to reading their stories shortly.
I reached the end of the book in a happier frame of mind than I did with the first story. This book didn't feel as rushed this time, but I still don't know if the author is putting too much pressure on herself to get these books out quickly, or not. I prefer quality over quantity, and this book, although a lot better, is decidedly below her best work even though I still loved it. I hope the other books in the series are less rushed, and I am looking forward to reading the next book soon.
Felicity Heaton has written another fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her fast-paced writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is still on top of my favourite author's list.
I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of cat shifters and other paranormal species. - Lynn Worton