Rejected by Jaymin Eve
Shadow Beast Shifters #1
December 8, 2020, Self Published
Review by Jen
Rejected by Jaymin Eve was a fun escape. I’m loving paranormal-urban fantasy books right now. I enjoyed Jaymin’s Dark Legacy series in 2019 and this new trilogy looked great. I was right!
This was an interesting take on the rejected mates trope. Our heroine, Mera, is a member of a very powerful pack. Unfortunately, when she was a child, her dad challenged the Alpha of the pack and lost. Big time. He was killed for his efforts. Her mom spiraled into depression and wasn’t a great caregiver for Mera. And, to make matters worse, the pack turned their back on Mera. They didn’t kick her out, nope…they just kept her around to bully and abuse endlessly. Her life is really awful and she has always longed to escape.
She finally does runaway and reinvents herself in a small town as a waitress in a bar. At this point, I’m picturing Merlotte’s from the True Blood series. Mera gets a small house in the woods far away from town. She is due for her first shift (as a wolf, not waiting tables) and wants to be isolated. It doesn’t last long because the alpha’s son and his BFF track her down and drag her back to the pack. The Alpha’s son is Torin and he’s cruel to Mera, but it also seems like there’s some small regret there. His BFF is Jaxson, who follows the rules of the pack, but definitely is a bit soft for Mera. They grew up together and were friends. Before her dad was killed, they were close.
Back at the pack, Mera joins in to shift on the Winter Solstice. Most wolves can’t control themselves when they shift the first time. Mera is very aware of what she’s doing, and who she’s frolicking with. Jaxson and Mera play and chase each other. It’s clear at this point that Mera IS something special. When the pack is called back by the Alpha, they all run to his side. Mera senses her mate. She’s euphoric and filled with hope. She feels an incredible bond. She races to the pack to acknowledge her mate….and gets REJECTED. Her mate is Torin. He’s standing by his father and is vocal about not wanting Mera. Torin also has a girlfriend. She’s just as awful as you’d expect. Mera is devastated.
Mera’s emotions are running high, she’s absolutely destroyed inside, worlds collide and a new one is revealed. She unwillingly calls the Shadow Beast to appear. The Shadow Beast is the being that the wolves pray to. They’re in awe, and equally terrified of him. Shadow kidnaps Mera to figure out how she alone has figured out how to break through to his world. She’s somehow brought him, and other weird scary beings to regular old America.
What follows is a unique and captivating trip to another world. Shadow lives in a dimension (?) where several different realms have doors and access to a shared area. It’s like a fantastical version of the student union at a university. All of these beings, from angels to vampires and ocean people to fae, can congregate peacefully. There’s also a huge library, and with what I believe is a Dobby type creature from Harry Potter who serves as caretaker, and friend to Mera. The library alone is a enough to stick around, and Mera loves it.
The relationship between Mera and Shadow is contentious. He’s mean, secretive and painfully slow to actually share anything with Mera about what he truly wants from her and why. It’s a very slow burn between these characters. I liked their banter, Mera’s funny “he’s unbelievably hot, but what a total ass” attitude, and her positive outlook despite her hard life was inspiring. The realms and creatures were fascinating. I was excited to see more.
The book ends on a cliffhanger and I Immediately clicked on the next one, Reclaimed. Since this is a rejected mates trope, I kept waiting for that storyline to bleed through again. And it does…oh wow…does it ever. What a cliffhanger! I’m anxiously awaiting book three.