by A.C. Arthur
I almost skipped these three novellas in the Shadow Shifters series because they were billed as being part of the “New Adult” genre. This is a new thing that sort of bridges the gap between “Young Adult” and “Adult” books. My love for the series won out, though, and plunged in.
Grace Kincaid is using college as an escape from her controlling parents and their lack of faith in her. Eager to step out of her “good girl” role, she lets her way more outgoing roommate convince her to come out to a party instead of holed up in the dorm room studying like she normally does. Of course, by the time she realizes that this was a huge mistake, she’s being cornered by a drunk guy who won’t take no for an answer and then a fight breaks out.
Aiden Sanchez is also using college to escape his life as a Shifter and the responsibilities that come with it. He has managed to separate himself and live a drama free existence, until while grabbing a drink a bar his natural instincts surface and he winds up saving Grace from the drunk’s unwanted advances.
Mine to Claim is only about 93 pages long, but it does a great job of setting up the romance between Aiden and Grace and what they must face because of it. In the main Shadow Shifters series, the men tend to readily accept their roles and it was refreshing to read about someone who was reluctant to be a part of it.
Lidia Morales and Brayden Sanchez (Aiden’s brother) grew up together and normally had a brother/sister type relationship,..until he kissed her while they were studying for finals in their junior year of college. Although it was an amazing kiss, Lidia knows that being with Brayden romantically could take away her chance at the normal life she desires. Her fear of becoming a rogue Shifter, like her uncle, and betraying her tribe fuels her plan to nip this attraction in the bud.
However, there’s danger nearby as the rogues are getting stronger and fighting it just may bring them together and reconcile Lidia’s feelings about her Shifter role. I believe this is the first time that a male Shifter didn’t put up a fight when he discovered who his companheiro, or life mate, was. Brayden made peace with it and worked hard to convince Lidia of it.
Caleb Ramsey grew up with the Sanchez family after his parents were murdered, training to take his place in the Shifter community. Never feeling like he quite belonged, he leaves at 19 to find his own way. He gets a job, an apartment and relishes the “normal” life he has created for himself. He eats dinner at the same bar every night hoping to see a waitress that has caught his eye.
Zoe Fallon, the waitress, has been abused for most of her life. With no one to save her, she lost herself in romance books to escape the trauma surrounding her. This causes her to over romanticize men sometimes in a way than can be dangerous. After witness her current boyfriend touching her a bit roughly in the bar, Caleb’s natural protective instinctive as a Shifter kicks in.
Zoe’s naiveté about her boyfriend was annoying at times, but I understand it was needed to move the story along. Her desire for a hero was exactly what forced Caleb to accept who and what he was.
These novellas were the perfect placeholders to help us wait for the next full Shadow Shifters novel coming up.
I received a complimentary copy of these e-books from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.