I love the Shifters series by Jennifer Ashley. In Lone Wolf, a novella, we get to learn about Ellison, who isn’t a “native” to Austin’s shiftertown. He’s kind of a transplant, along with what is left of his family. I thought Ashley did a great job with her pairing of Ellison and Maria, who like Ellison, is not native to Austin’s shiftertown….the catch, Maria is a human.
Ellison Rowe, a Lupine Shifter, makes it his goal to protect Maria, once held captive by ferals, from male Shifters looking for mates. He likes Maria’s resilience and fire, but she’s been broken, and Ellison wants more than anything to heal her. When a new danger threatens Shiftertown’s cubs, Maria partners with Ellison to stop a cold-blooded criminal.
Since Lone Wolf is just a novella, there is limited space with which Ashley has to give us all we need to know about our hero and heroine. So, parts felt rushed. I really wished Lone Wolf had been a full length novel. Given that Maria was one of the abused humans that the shifters rescued from Mexico, there was so much more to learn about her than what we saw in Lone Wolf. Due to her abuse at the hands of feral shifters, her quick acceptance of Ellison and his desire for her seemed rushed and kind of forced. I understand not wanting to dwell on Maria’s hang-ups; she needed to heal and learn that shifters who aren’t feral are not major asshats (usually!) and don’t treat women/humans the way she was treated. But, I felt she needed more time to heal and within just a few chapters, she has sex with Ellison. This felt too quick, too forced. Even Ellison took notice of that. Then, he brushed it aside after Maria tries to explain why she did what she did. Yeah, I’m not all about it. This forcing of the relationship is my only complaint, though.
Lone Wolf seems to be one of those novellas that serves a dual purpose…you get a backstory of some characters you meet in the full length novels and you know you want to learn more about AND you get set up for the next novel (in this case, Tiger Magic). So, Lone Wolf served these purposes well.
Overall, I can’t say Lone Wolf was my favorite read in the Shifter’s series, but I did enjoy getting to see Maria’s HEA and her acceptance of her life–and her healing. After all she went through, she deserved that. Otherwise, if you need a quick read and enjoy this series, I say go ahead and read Lone Wolf. But, if you’re like me and your TBR shelf/mountain/box is overflowing and you have too much on your plate, I wouldn’t feel guilty for skipping this particular one ;). I don’t think you’ll miss anything major as far as overall series plot goes.