Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Early Review: Mate Claimed (Shifters Unbound #4) by Jennifer Ashley

Mate Claimed (Shifters Unbound, #4)
Eric Warden knows that half-Shifter wildcat Iona is passing for human, living without a Collar in the human world. He also knows that if she does not acknowledge her Shifter nature and her mating hunger, it could kill her.

 Iona finds the mysterious and dangerous Eric, a wildcat and leader of his Shiftertown, haunting her dreams, but she vows never to "come out" and take the Collar, fearing backlash against her mother and sister for hiding the fact that she's Shifter. But Eric is a compelling Shifter male, and Iona's hunger calls to him.

Type: Paranormal Romance/Suspense, Shifters (cat, bear, wolf)
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5
Also writes As: Allyson James, Ashley Gardner
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Damn do I LOVE a good kitty shifter. I was pretty thrilled to win a copy of Jennifer Ashley's newest book Mate Claimed especially when I saw it had kitty shifters and let me tell you they were fantastic and just the type I love to read about! The characters were fun and sexy, the suspense/mystery interesting and nicely developed and the romance hot, steamy and oh-so-sweet. It was a really exciting read and one I didn't want to put down once I started.

I loved Ashley's take on the lives of Shifters and their origins as Fae creations. With so many shifter books out there these days it's always fun to see things done a little differently and with a fresh take. And Ashley definitely had that with her "Collared" Shifters that are under strict government regulations and denied use of current technology. I'm curious as to the why of that but maybe it's been answered in an earlier book.

The main characters were absolutely to die for. Eric is very much the alpha male and it comes across the page wonderfully. I loved how he was with Iona and that he needs her as much as she needs him and isn't afraid to show it. Iona was a great heroine and is no push over. She has some serious guts standing up to the Shifters and protects those that are hers with a fierceness that's just a little bit scary.

I really liked that while they're both very alpha and tough they each had a vulnerability they were struggling with. You could really feel Iona's panic over being half Shifter and her instincts trying to take over and Eric's confusion and fear over something happening to him that was out of his control. Ashley had my heart pounding with anxiety right along with Eric and Iona. Some truly impressive writing.

The romance between Iona and Eric was scorching hot and dreamily sweet. I really enjoyed the "chase" between them and that Eric called her "love" right from the start. Just slipping it into conversation. I don't know why but damn if it didn't make me smile every single time. They were a great couple to get to know and very fun to watch.
"The mate-claim means you go to no other Shifter but me. It means I protect and take care of you, no matter what, no matter how much you fight me." 
Iona slanted him a smile ."And if I fight you?" 
"You can if you want to." He growled. "I told you, we like the chase."
There was so much going on in Mate Claimed and, man, I loved every single bit of it. The power plays between the different shifter species forced to share a town on a government whim, the romance, the mysterious disappearance of shifters and strange buildings popping up in the dessert. It was all highly entertaining and moved along at the perfect pace.

If you love a good strong romance backed up by a great suspense or have a thing for kitty shifters this is one that won't disappoint. I'm dying to go back and read the rest of the series now and have my fingers crossed some of the other secondary characters will get their stories told in the future. This was one of those books that already has me eagerly awaiting the next release. It was just that good.

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Have you read Jennifer Ashley? Have a favorite book/character?
What's your favorite type of shifter?

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