Reviewed By Tori
Jennifer Ashley’s Shifter Unbound series is one of my favorite paranormal romance series to date. Ashley writes the perfect PNR with a well balanced blend of the supernatural and real world. In this series, she addresses and explores real world topics of racism, prejudice, and bigotry in a no-nonsense fashion. Well developed characters, off the cuff humor, devious plots lines, steamy hot romance, and engaging dialogue keeps readers easily hooked and wanting more. Though you know your happy ending is coming, the path that you follow to this conclusion is often fraught with peril and pain and all you can do ride it out.
Bear Attraction is a well plotted and fast paced novella (#6.5) that takes place between Wild Wolf and Mate Bond. I have looked forward to Walker’s and Rebecca’s story since their attraction was hinted to in Tiger Magic (my all time favorite book in the series). Walker was ‘captured’ and taken to Rebecca’s home by Tiger and his mate, Carly, when he was caught spying on Tiger. Walker eventually escapes but uses what he’s learned to become a liaison between the shifters and the human bureau that monitors them. He has gained compassion for the shifters and their fate, leaving him in quite the predicament when he is forced to take custody of a certain sexy bear shifter who was caught in restricted territory. Walker knows what can happen to shifters who don’t follow the rules and he’ll do anything to make sure nothing happens to this one.
“Do what I tell you, keep your mouth shut and you’ll be out of here today. Give them shit, and they might just put you in a cage for a year.”
Rebecca, a Kodiak bear shifter, just wanted to go for a run. She had no way of knowing she was trespassing and frankly, could care less. Captured, collared, and forced into a containment town with other shifters; Rebecca learned early on not to trust humans. Her attraction to Walker only makes him being the one to capture and bring her in, treating her like a dangerous animal rather than a person, hurt her more.
This incident was regrettable, because Walker had thought, since he had begun working with Tiger, that Rebecca had softened to him. That they had started to be friends. Now Rebecca turned her head and stared firmly out the window, wanting nothing to do with him.
Walker makes a deal with the bureau. If they let Rebecca go, he promises to keep her under his watchful eye while they investigate a missing persons case that has the bureau looking hard at the shifters. Walker knows Rebecca is not happy with the solution he has forced in her. She feels betrayed by him but Walker knows this is the only way he can keep her safe. Rebecca and Walker form an uneasy alliance, both feeling the attraction deepen between them but neither sure how to act on it. Rebecca doesn’t trust Walker and isn’t sure a relationship with a human is a good idea. Humans are fragile and she needs a man strong enough to handle her as a woman and as a shifter.
Rebecca didn’t go for humans, right? Not for mating anyway. Rebecca was stronger than many human males, and she needed a shifter who could take her. She should go prowling tonight to ease her itch […] but she couldn’t go out and ease her frenzy, not with Walker here as her keeper. He’d hear her sneak out and follow her.
Well, if he got an eyeful, so what. Would serve him right.
Walker has never had a real relationship with a woman. The danger of his work has always kept him from forming any lasting ties. He has no problem interacting with the women he invites into his bed but once he leaves the bedroom, he’s as tongue-tied as a teenage boy. And he’s been happy with this…until Rebecca. She is the first woman he has ever been sexually attracted to that he actually wanted to talk to and be friends with.
Rebecca stirred Walker’s most basic longings, the ones that wanted him to strip her clothes from her with slow hands and bury himself in her softness. He wanted to kiss every curve, wrap his mouth around the ducky areolas he’d seen twice now and discover what she tasted like. […] He wanted that, but also to get to know her and what the hell, pick out curtains with her.
Working in close contact gives Rebecca and Walker ample time to get to know and understand one another. Neither has spent much time with the opposite species; each having some inbred prejudices to overcome. Steamy hot attraction and delicious foreplay burns up the pages as they go deep undercover to find out where the missing human is…and why they haven’t come home.
Enemies and allies alike begin to come out of the woodwork as Ashley uses Rebecca and Walker to flush out new characters and open more storylines to prepare us for the climatic finale that is coming our way. If alpha shifters and equally strong humans in the ultimate battle for supremacy both in and out of the bedroom are your reading pleasure then Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound is the series for you.