When Diego Escobar assists in what should be a simple task of arresting a trespasser, he comes face-to-face with his first Shifter–the beautiful Cassidy Warden, sister of the Shiftertown leader. Assigned to watch over her, Diego learns more about the lonely, wild Cassidy than it’s safe to know.
Diego might be human, but he’s virile and darkly handsome, and stirs Cassidy’s mating desire, which she thought dead forever. Once the fires begin, nothing and no one can put them out.
by Jennifer Ashley
Shifters Unbound #3
January 3, 2012
If you like shifter stories, this series by Jennifer Ashley should be a must read for you. It’s not just about one particular type of shifter, but includes all kinds of large cats, wolves, and bears. In this world the author has built, the shifters are all contained in communities located on the outskirts of certain towns. They are known to the human population and have to have permanent collars put around their necks at age seven. The collar supposedly keeps a shifter from being aggressive by shocking them. Supposedly, because sometimes things like that can be bypassed or gotten around.
This time around, the action takes place in the shiftertown outside of Vegas. Previous to this, the setting was Texas. And as with all of these books, action is the word for these books, as well as romance. Diego is a human cop who has his life saved by a female snow leopard, while on top of an unfinished highrise during a police chase. Cassidy is not who he is chasing, but a victim of the man he is chasing. Cassidy gets arrested, even though she is the victim. Shifters have no rights and can be pulled off the streets for just about any reason. Cassidy is still grieving for the loss of her mate to the man that is chasing her. He’s been gone a year and all she wants to do is kill the murderer-after she pays tribute to her lost mate. She is second in command of her clan, as her brother is alpha. No nepotism here, as she is the strongest in her clan, second only to her brother, Eric. As far as Diego goes, he’s pretty smitten right off the bat with Cassidy. On Cassidy’s part, she knows she has found her mate, no matter that she’s still grieving the loss of her first one. It’s not something that she can help.
I always enjoy Ms. Ashley’s world building. Because she writes about a variety of shifters, she has different attributes for each, as well as some that overlap. This world she has created, where humans treat shifters so horribly, is also part of the overall world building. Diego, as a police detective risks his whole career if he even dates Cassidy. Being her mate, unthinkable! Human hunters of shifters also make for good villains in this world. So do the Fae that manage to find themselves in this world at times, as well. I enjoyed the main characters immensely and Cassidy, in particular. Both are strong and fighters, and perfect for each other-if you leave out the shifter thing. Eric has a side story that intrigued me as well. Finding a lone, unprotected shifter female that is living as human, and who is very vulnerable to any male shifter, was an interesting extra in this book. I look forward to more about that part of the story in the future.
This ended up being not only a good romance, but also a mystery with thriller aspects. I recommend this book to adult pararnormal romance fans.
The review copy of Wild Cat was purchased by the reviewer.
About Jennifer Ashley
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley writes historical and paranormal romance as Jennifer Ashley; paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James; and mysteries as Ashley Gardner. Jennifer’s novels have won RWA’s RITA and RT Reviewer’s Choice awards among others.
For information on all her novels visit http://www.jennifersromances.com. Also see http://www.gardnermysteries.com (Ashley Gardner) and http://www.allysonjames.com (Allyson James) for her other works.