zaterdag 21 januari 2012
Jennifer Ashley - Wild Cat
The third book in the Shifters Unbound series, published January 2012.
Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain…
Police detective Diego Escobar assists in what should be the simple task of arresting a trespasser, high in an unfinished skyscraper, and comes face-to-face with his first Shifter: the shockingly naked Cassidy Warden. To protect the Feline beauty, he finds himself circumventing human laws…
Heartbroken from the death of her mate a year ago, Cassidy is tracking down his mysterious killer – one who could bring danger to all Shifters. Now, this sexy cop rekindles the flames of her mating desire. And once the fires begin, nothing and no one can put them out.
Soon, the tables will turn. Cassidy will become the hunted. And only by facing his own inner demons will Diego be able to save her…
This story is set in another Shifter town, near Las Vegas. But don’t worry, they do communicate with the Morrisseys we all know and love!
Diego Escobar gets called to assist with some trespassers. To his dismay, he will have to go to the 55th store of an unfinished office building, where there are not even floors, only small walkways and beams. Ever since his near death a year ago, when some meth heads hung him over the balcony of the 32 floor hotelroom, he has been terrified of heights. His partner died there, saving his life. The culprits fled to Mexico, but Diego still has not given up the desire to hunt them down and bring them to Mexico. And now he has to go up there, as he has never told anyone of his fear of heights.
From the corner of his eye, he sees flashes of movement. Shifters! No human could ever be that fast. He finds the first two cops on the scene unconscious together, tranqued. Someone is hunting a Shifter in an abandoned building. And not just a Shifter, a gorgeous naked woman rescues him when he is shot at and looses his balance. Just able to grab a beam to hold on to. Terrified, he lets himself get pulled to safety, but he can still admire her beauty. When back up arrives, the hunter suddenly disappears, and Diego has no choice but to arrest the Shifter woman, even though she saved his life. Diego refuses to give her over to the Shifter Division, he will interrogate her himself. For a Shifter, trespassing is a crime, and she should be locked in a cage, naked. Instead, he gives her a blanket to cover himself, and drives her to the station in his own car.
Cassidy is now dressed in a paper coverall, and she is feeling edgy due to her Collar going of, and because she is attracted to Diego, she needs to be touched to calm down. But hugging a cop is not really a good idea. But she can sense he wants her, he is attracted to her. Cassidy is confused, she is still mourning the death of her mate, as it is the one year anniversary of his death and she needs to perform some rituals. In the end, Cassidy is released to her brother Eric, the leader of Shifter Town, but confined to Shifter Town for two whole weeks. Diego’s captain is furious with such a light sentence, and why didn’t Diego turn her over to Shifter Division? Because she is so gorgeous? He makes Cassidy Diego’s responsibility, as his career is on the line. If she is seen outside of Shifter Town, Diego will be in trouble. He is to check on her every day! Which is not a hardship for Diego, as he wants to see her again.
But when Diego visits Shifter Town the next day, her brother tries to stall him. Cassidy is not around. She has gone back to the mountains where her mate died, to complete her ritual. And his trackers went with her, to keep her safe. Diego is not amused. Cassidy is in danger from a hunter, and his ass is on the line too if someone sees her. And so he and Eric set out to find her and bring her home. Diego sure is not used to a man dropping his clothes in front of him, but Shifters are certainly not shy. And Eric needs to shift in his wildcat form, to find his sister. But then he senses something else, and takes off, leaving Diego behind. Diego does not give up, and follows as good as he can. He refuses to give up his shotgun or backpack with ammunition, which is a good thing when he catches up and finds the hunter after Cassidy again. Diego calls his brother Xavier for backup as he is a crack shot, and they work very well together. Xavier is also a cop. When the hunter is pinned down, and the Shifters are close to attacking him, he is suddenly gone. Diego saw the strangest thing through his rifle scope, the man just seems to heat up, and disappears. He can tell the Shifters know more about this, but they won’t confide in him. But both Diego and Xavier are welcome in Shifter Town to stay for dinner, and the final rituals to say goodbye to Cassidy’s mate Donovan.
Cassidy can feel the mating heat coming on for Diego, and she doesn’t want it, it is too soon after Donovan’s death, but her body thinks otherwise.
The ritual is beautiful, and afterwards there is a party, as Donovan liked nothing more than a party. Cassidy changes into her dancing dress, and all the males are watching her. Especially her neighbour Shane, who is a huge bear Shifter. But Cassidy is only interested in Diego. As female Shifters are few, her interest in a human is met with some hostility. But since Cassidy is the number two in dominance in town, no one will challenge her. She is even more dominant than the bear alpha female, and that sure means something.
Diego will have to think carefully what dating Cassidy will mean for his life, and for his career. Humans having relations with Shifters is seriously frowned upon. He could lose it all. Luckily, his mother understands and likes Cassidy. So does Xavier. And when Diego goes to Mexico to get him some revenge, they are not letting him go alone.
Okay, I don’t think I have had more trouble writing a review yet. For some reason, it just won’t work.
I liked Cassidy. She is strong, and totally not shy and goes after what she wants, which is Diego. She won’t take no for an answer, she takes responsibility for him, which is something he doesn’t like at all. Cassidy lost her mate a year ago, and feels so guilty for that. She was alpha to him, something he disliked, and she should have protected him. Donovan ran of after an argument, and got himself killed. And now that same hunter is after her.
Even though Diego is not a Shifter he sure is alpha. He does not back down for anyone, not Eric, not a towering grizzly bear, and not even Dylan Morissey. A hot Latino cop, and I liked all the Spanish endearments he used on Cassidy. Diego still feels guilty that his partner died while he survived, and he wants revenge. He wants those drugrunners be brought to justice, be punished for what they did. He hates his fear of heights, he who was fearless before.
Cassidy and Diego are just great together, their lovescenes are super hot like I am used to with Jennifer Ashley. She paints some real loveable characters, both the main ones and the secondary ones. It was fun getting to know so many new ones. The plot and the adventure was great, and I do wonder what will happen next. Eric, Cassidy’s brother and leader of this Shifter Town is someone to look out for. He has found his woman, who wants nothing to do with him, but I am sure he will get her. Looking forward to that book a lot. If you like some different Shifter books, where they all live together, and with some great Fae lore thrown in as well, you sure need to pick up this series!
Jennifer Ashley has a great writing style, it is fluent, fast paced, good dialogues and always surprising in the plot and storyline. She is one of my favourite authors.
9, 5 stars.