Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: nice. I love tattoos.
Spike, a wildcat Shifter and the champion fighter of Shiftertown, is stunned when Myka, the best friend of a dying human woman, announces that Spike has fathered a cub. What's more, the mother is giving the boy to Spike to protect and raise. Myka, who'd been raised by an abusive stepfather, is not sure that a wild fighter named Spike is the best man to bring up the cute little jaguar cub. She goes to Shiftertown to check out Spike, and finds that the man behind the name is a lonely Shifter who has lost most of his family and is a fierce caretaker to those he has left.
I must admit, Spike was not on my radar when reading the previous books in this series. But now he sure is. He is a dominant wildcat male, working for Liam Morrissey as Tracker. He is quiet, but very strong, and he takes care of his stress by fighting in the illegal fightclub for Shifters. He has lots of tattoo’s, mostly of jaguars and other wildcats, but on his back is a big dragon. (And it sure sounds beautiful!). He has only his grandmother left of his family, and they take care of each other.
Until the day a young human woman comes to the fightclub, and tells him to come with her. He once had a one night stand with a young woman, and she is dying. She wishes to see him, and to give him his son. Spike is astonished. He does remember Jillian, and would have like to see her more, one night stands are not really his thing, but she disappeared after that night and he never saw her again. And now he has a son? A cub of his own? He never expected to find a mate for himself, as females are rare and can pick whomever they like, let alone a cub. So he is sad that Jillian is dying, but elated with his son. He will take care of Jordan.
But Jordan turns out to be a handful, a four year old with so much energy, nothing can keep him quiet. He keeps turning from little boy in young wildcat, and get himself into every nook and cranny in the house, and even in the top of the tallest tree in the yard. Spike really needs help taking care of the boy, as his grandmother cannot do it on her own, and he needs to work. And so he asks Myka for help when she turns up to find out how things are going. Jordan likes her, and she will know how to care for him, she has been doing it before.
Both Spike and Myka are lonely people, and very much attracted to each other. Spike senses his mate in her, and Myka falls for the caring and loving man hiding behind the dumb fighter image. She even stands up for him against Liam Morrissey! And when an old enemy kidnaps the boy to make Spike fight for him, Myka does what is necessary to get him back safe. Even if that means getting in danger herself.
It is a short story, about 200 pages, which means it all happens very fast, in a few days, a week or so. But I fell for Spike and Myka immediately. Spike is a dominant, but he has a low rank in the community, hiding his true self behind his dumb fighter image. But he is getting tired of being underestimated by Liam Morrissey and everyone else, even though it often works to his advantage. He knows he can beat Dylan, and perhaps even Liam, which means he could be a Shifter town leader himself. But he really does not want to be one.
Myka has had an abusive childhood with her stepfather, and is very slow in trusting men, especially one who loves to fight as much as Spike. But she soon sees behind his façade, and finds a caring and loving man, who would never hurt her. Myka has found refuge in horses, riding them, training them, caring for them. Unfortunately, the stable she is working at is being sold to a development company, and she will be out of a job very soon. She and her fellow workers cannot possibly raise enough money to buy it themselves. Working with horses so much sure has given her an education in how to deal with powerful animals, which really comes in handy when dealing with shifters. When not to back down and hold her ground, and when to be careful. She soon is accepted as Spike’s mate, a fact that makes his grandmother Ella very happy.
I liked both Spike and Myka, which is a lovely name! and of course revisiting shifter town and all the shifters I have already met. The story itself is good as well, with an exciting plot. I very much enjoyed reading it, and am looking forward to the next full length novel, which will be published with the usual publisher.
Thanks to Lillie, who blogged about this story, otherwise I would not have know it was a self published novella. So I’ve bought this story at Smashwords, it is only $ 0,99 and totally worth it: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=jennifer+ashley+hard+mated
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian