Who doesn’t love some smexy shifters? Well, if you haven’t read Jennifer Ashely’s Shifters Unbound series yet, you’re truly missing out. Even though it’s only a 16 chapter novella, Feral Heat doesn’t lack for action or some smoldering heat between the protagonists.
Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.
In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own—she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.
Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone’s true mate?
As mentioned, Feral Heat is only 16 chapters, so things move pretty quickly. I really think Jace’s story could have been a full length novel, and IMO it should have been, but I’m not the author or the pub. To me, it just seemed that the the build-up with the antagonists was really rushed. If you’ve read the series, you know Deni’s history and it was mainly her scenes that really felt too rushed; like she wouldn’t have done the things she did as quickly as she did in Feral Heat. Granted, there were times when Deni was really hesitant, which seemed on par with what she’d been through, but I also felt that Jace really pushed her too much at times–and sometimes she gave in, which seemed sort of out of character given her background. In his defense, he really pushed when it was necessary because there was some danger coming and action needed to be taken.
That said, one thing I didn’t feel was terribly rushed was the actual relationship. There were certainly times when I felt the smexy time seemed forced, but the overall nature of the relationship didn’t seem to be. If you’re familiar with the mate-bond, then you can understand why things didn’t feel rushed, it was natural to them due to the bond that was forming.
One other thing, if you haven’t read prior Shifter’s Unbound novels, I wouldn’t start with Feral Heat. There is a pretty big revelation/break-through for the overall series story arc. I don’t believe an author should put such major revelations into novellas because not every reader (myself included) will read novellas that are part of series. Sometimes the lack of readership is due to not as much marketing/publicizing or they’re put into anthologies with other authors. A reader may not pick up said anthology because they don’t read, are not interested in the companion authors, or have access to the novella for a very long period of time.
If you have read the series, you absolutely need to pick up Feral Heat, if for no other reason to be clued into the revelation (well, Jace is pretty HOT…so that should be reason enough he he). Trust me, you’ll enjoy the read and will be ready to sink your teeth into the next novel, Wild Wolf, which comes out just a few weeks after Feral Heat.