Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound, #3)Wild Cat by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 flames

I just posted a review for Bodyguard which you can read HERE, which is Shifters Unbound 2.5. If any of you have read it, you know it takes place in the Austin Shiftertown, and has a full cast of familiar characters. But this book is all new characters, which frankly caught me off guard, but within just a few paragraphs I was so excited and caught up in the story, I forgot I was miffed.

This story takes place in Las Vegas (my hometown!), and what’s really great about that, is that it isn’t the Strip, or the hotels, or the glitz and glamour of Vegas, it’s the real neighborhoods, the outlying desert, and the (fictional) Shiftertown.

We meet up with Deigo, a cop, as he battles his fear of heights while walking across the skeletal framework of an unfinished high rise. He wasn’t part of Shifter Division, but he was closest when the call came in. Turns out their Shifter trespasser wasn’t the bad guy. The bad guy tranq’d the cops and the Shifter was next on his hit list. When Diego ducked a tranquilizer dart, the walkway dropped from beneath him. Surprisingly, the Shifter trespasser saved him. And you know what? Diego arrested her anyway.

Cassidy was trying to perform a ritual at the abandoned construction site to say goodbye to her dead mate. Part of that ritual was that she needed to be where he died. Her mate had been killed there last year, and Cassidy is next on the hunter’s list. The villain is so much more complex than your typical black and white bad guy. He’s sort of in a gray area and Ms. Ashley uses that gray area to its fullest potential. She makes you question whether he really is a n evil person, or if he’s just desperate. Which brings us to the fae. In fact, the fae are poking their noses into Shifter business yet again, and gaining a bigger part in this series.

Jennifer Ashley writes some of the best heroes. This book only cements my belief in that. Diego Escobar is more than just a generic Alpha male in a paranormal romance. Not only is he human, he’s able to hold his own with other Alpha Shifters, to think around the normal solutions to find a new one, and he doesn’t come off like a jerk at all. So many paranormal authors tend to think Alpha male = stubborn jerk. Ms. Ashley is able to craft an alpha hero who can hold his own without losing his personality or his compassion. Her characters are so multi-dimensional you feel angry at the injustice of the way the Shifters are treated.

I liked how his fear of heights wasn’t miraculously overcome once his woman was in danger. It was so much more realistic this way. And I loved their relationship, watching it grow, watching them both overcome their prejudices about the other. I think that’s one of my favorite aspects in this series- the shifters are second-class citizens. How many paranormals have the super rich, everything is taken care of Shifters? Money is never an issue, and they rule their little area, whether the humans know about them or not. Here the Shifters aren’t even allowed new cell phones or cable TV. Everything they are given is incredibly out of date technology. Some shops don’t welcome them, others do. The world-building is easy to fall into and very believable.

This is a new series with a fantastic cast, anyone who likes Shifters, romance, and magic should go pick up every book in this series.

***ARC courtesy of the author

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