Author: Deidre Huesmann
Length: Novella, 30 pages
Genres: MF Romance, Erotic, Contemporary, Short Story, Paranormal, Shifters
TBR Reviewer: Jean
Rating: 3 stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 3/5 -– Blush-worthy!
"Don't go out in the woods today..."
More than Teddy Bears play in the woods of Muir Forest. But that won't stop 20-yr-old Val (no last name) from traipsing through well-known shifter territory unarmed, no sir. Challenged to a duel by lion-shifter Riker, Val bolts and hides in a tree, catching him by surprise in more ways than one when she lands on him from above. Her scent awakens the blood bond between the Alpha named Riker and his fated mate. But since Val is human, a shifter-human mating bond is unprecedented, and the Alpha's Pride refuses to accept her. Val must prove herself and become worthy of being the Alpha's mate and usher in a new era in human-shifter relations.
Since this is book 2 in a series, perhaps some backstory from book 1 is missing; this might explain the lack of a surname for Val and why she decides to enter Muir Forest knowing what lurks there. (Gorilla shifters??? Eek.) I did like the concept of shifter society and human society co-existing as accepted fact, and the possibilities that the interbreeding of the two might bring about. But that's where the fascination ends. Again we have a feisty, smart-mouthed and not overly bright or attractive heroine being manifestly desired by a half-animal mate, and neither seem to have a choice in the matter. Indeed, Val has no intention of going quietly along with Riker, until biology predictably intervenes.
But when a formula works, it works. Time-strapped romance readers that enjoy a familiar shifter-human-fated-mate trope can 'devour' this lusty tale of Riker and Val's pairing in barely the time it takes to ride the bus to work. A daily commute delight!