Book 2.5 in the Shifters Unbound series, published November 2011.
Elizabeth Chapman is saved from an armed robber by a giant Kodiak bear who shifts into a large, well-muscled, and fully naked human male. But when it's revealed that the robber is the brother of a dangerous criminal, Elizabeth finds herself the target of a vendetta.
Ronan, the Bear Shifter, takes her to Shiftertown for safety, where Elizabeth learns that the mateless Ronan, alone in the world, takes care of Shifters who have also been left on their own. Having grown up in foster care, Elizabeth can only admire how protective Ronan is.
But Ronan will only let Elizabeth leave the confines of Shiftertown if he becomes her 24/7 bodyguard. Elizabeth chafes at the restriction, but agrees. The trouble is, the sassy human Elizabeth is triggering Ronan's long-buried need to find himself a mate.
Late one evening in her store, Elizabeth Chapman is faced with an armed robber. She sees her own death in his cold and merciless eyes, and the way he doesn’t bother to hide his face from her. And when he forces her into the back to open the safe, she knows she is done for. Who will care for her young sister now? But then she is saved by a huge Kodiak Bear who comes in charging to the rescue. But after he deals with her robber, he turns to her, and she is not really feeling safe! So she uses her pepper spray on him, which really pisses of the large naked man the bear turns into.
When she finally calls the police, they not only take her attacker to the hospital, they arrest Ronan! He attacked a human, and that will be punished. He broke the law, and that he did it to protect Elizabeth doesn’t matter. He does ask Elizabeth to call the Shifter’s lawyer, which she promises to do, but she is also coming with him to testify on his behalf. After all, he did safe her life.
She has to wait for hours, but Shifters are getting processed quickly. Liam Morissey and his wife Kim are already waiting in the shabby courtroom, with Ronan heavily chained up. The judge sure doesn’t like Shifters, or Kim, and she seems to have an eye on the prosecutor. Talk about being biased!
And while Elizabeth is giving testimony, Liam takes care that her younger sister Mabel is protected. After the trial, where Ronan is acquitted finally, they take her with them to Shiftertown, to keep her safe. The young robber is the younger brother of a dangerous criminal, and his thugs have been snooping around her house already.
Elizabeth doesn’t mind spending the night at Ronan’s house with the other Shifter bears, of which there are three children, but she won’t obey his orders. It is her life to run, and she is not a Shifter! So she will go to her store to open up as usual, but she agrees that he comes as her bodyguard.
When her lack of a background is discovered, Liam demands she tells him the truth about herself, something she is not willing to do. To protect her even from other Shifters, Ronan proposes the mating bond to her. But is it a sham to keep her safe, or does he really want to claim a matebond with Elizabeth?
I loved this story, I was instantly thrown back in the Shifter world Jennifer Ashley has created. A really original world I love everything about. I want me a Shifter of my own to cherish and protect me!
I’ve had a soft spot for Ronan in the previous books already, and Bear Shifters are rare in this kind of books. Plenty of wolves and cats, but bears, no so much. So I was curious to read more about one. And Jennifer Ashley sure did not disappoint me. It is not a full length book, but still over 200 pages and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
Jennifer Ashley has a great writing style. Fluent, fast paces, never boring, you just get sucked into the story, hoping the book will never end. Her characters are fully dimensional, you have to fall in love with them. I am already counting the days till I can read the next book.