Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Take one for the team.”
Kendrick, an uncollared rare white tiger and Guardian, has been in hiding his people for over 20 years. When their den in infiltrated and his clan is forced to run, Kendrick struggles to find a new place for them to live free of the shifter towns and the dreaded collars forced on them by the humans. A chance meeting with a gorgeous human scares Kendrick as he can’t afford any distractions from his mission but he can’t seem to stay away from her. When he is forced to defend his life from a rogue shifter in front of her, Kendrick knows he must let her go for good.
Addison Price, a waitress at a local dinner, looks forward to the nights Kendrick comes in with his sons. Her little crush on Kendrick turns deeper when he saves her and the boys from a gun wielding killer. When they are to part ways, Addison makes the decision to go with Kendrick and the boys, offering babysitting services in exchange for his protection. As Addison learns more about Kendrick’s history, her feelings towards shifters change and she is willing to do whatever it takes to help Kendrick and his boys find a safe place for them and his people to live freely. But someone doesn’t want Kendrick safe and they will do whatever it takes to stop him.
Some small spoilers if you aren’t current with the series.
We first met Kendrick in the novella Bear Attraction. Bear shifter Rebecca (bear shifter) and Walker (human liaison between humans and shifters) were forced to work together when Rebecca is caught on restricted land in shifter form. In their investigation into finding a suspected kidnapped human, they find and force Kendrick to destroy his den and scatter his people into the wind for safety. His and his people’s cover’s blown, Kendrick made a deal with Dylan. In exchange for Dylan’s help in keeping his people safe, he agreed to help Dylan solve various problems. When Kendrick is attacked by his some of his own people, he knows it’s time to find a new den and bring his people home.
White Tiger is the eighth installment in Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series. A strong paranormal romance that delivers well-developed characters, suspense-filled plots lines, sensual romances, and witty dialogues. Well crafted, the balance created between the sexy romance and the heart pounding action is always spot on. Evolving world building allows for easy comprehension even though each book and the series as a whole is multi-layered. Filled with multiple characters and plotlines that further expand the arc and take us in new directions; you will find yourself devouring each page as each book garners us bigger clues and dangerous situations, leading us towards the series finale.
This particular installment reminded me of an earlier installment-Tiger’s Magic. Kendrick is an older more stable version of Tiger. He is what Tiger would have been if he hadn’t been isolated in a lab for most of his life. Strong, intelligent, stalwart, and loyal to the core, both alpha males will fight to the death for those they love and care for yet chose not to broadcast their dominance over others. They both just want to live in peace and avoid the politics that often is inflicted on their kind. Addison is also a lot like Tiger’s mate Carley. Human, smart, gorgeous, full of life, practical, and also loyal to the core. She has no heavy baggage or deadly secrets. What you see is what you get. Like Carly, Addison always fights for the underdog and will do whatever it takes to keep those she loves and cares for safe.
“The second you’re done with Seamus, you find me and tell me what’s going on. Don’t make me come looking for you, now, you hear?”
The chemistry and sexual tension between Kendrick and Addison is hot and heavy with lots of sexual tension though the romance builds very slowly. Kendrick doesn’t want the added distractions and he is afraid he will hurt her with his shifter strength. I loved that the mate trope wasn’t used. Kendrick had to get to know one Addison; learn to trust her before embarking down that road. I also enjoyed that Addison wasn’t a pushover or instantly “in love” with Kendrick either. She questions his actions and offers opinions and objections when needed. As always, there are no closed bedroom scenes. Addison in essence “chases” Kendrick while he struggles not to give into his desires. Once Kendrick accepts he can’t stay away from her, the physical aspects catch up with the emotional ones.
“I want it hard and fast, basic and raw. I want you on the ground, against the wall, you riding me, me on you, locked together, inseparable. I want you groaning my name while I shout your, and I want you begging me to never stop. “
The main conflict blends perfectly with the romance as Ashley reveals the reasons behind the assassination attempt on Kendrick and the person(s) responsible. The action and intrigue further deepens as familiar faces from past installments enter the scene while some new faces are introduced that add depth, humor, and further expansion the world. I liked meeting Kendrick’s seconds, especially Seamus and his family, and learning more about his past. Kendrick’s sons are adorable and soften the hardness of Kendrick’s personality while giving Addison and Kendrick a bridge on which to build their romance. Zander Moncrieff has to be my favorite new character, besides our protagonists. A healer whose reluctant heroics and dry humor hide the darkness of his gift. I can’t wait to see more of him.
Zander was a polar bear shifter, a creature as rare as the white tiger. Still more rare, he was a healer, the gift of the Goddess running strong in him.
He was also batshite crazy.
There are also some fabulous subplots that will leave you ready for more of this world as Ashley gives us clues to future storylines and updates on concern certain couples.
The ending is an intense, emotional roller coaster ride of deception, betrayal, and redemption as Ashley wraps up the main conflict in a satisfactory manner. Ashley continues to be a favorite romance author; whether it’s paranormal or historical. I recommend this series to all readers who love their heroes and heroines to be kick ass, sexy, funny, and always willing to cross the line for those they love.