Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Shifter Woods: Roar
SERIES: Esposito County Shifters #2
AUTHOR: Nicola Cameron
PUBLISHER: Belaurient Press
LENGTH: 88 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2017
When a pair of armed lowlifes and a snowstorm in the Sandia Mountains strand photojournalist Gavin Leeds in Mike Ivanov’s cabin, the newshound gets the shock of his life. Not only is his sexy rescuer an Alpha bear shifter, but Mike also believes that Gavin is his destined heart’s mate. Some hot and dirty sex with a hunky shifter is one thing, but Gavin doesn’t believe in fated mates or happily ever afters.
Mike Ivanov has enough problems with his pack as it is; they’re not thrilled that he won’t be siring the next Alpha, and now he has to answer a challenge from one of his pack members. Having his heart’s mate show up on the same night doesn’t help. Finding out that his mate is a snarky, rebellious human with a commitment problem and an ass he wants to bite?
Nobody ever said an Alpha’s life was going to be easy.
This is how a short story should be written. Okay, well maybe it’s slightly longer than a short story, but at 88 pages, it’s no novel. This is a complete story. Everything we need to know is here with no big time jumps, no overload of back-story and no sense of the author simply forcing the two characters into a relationship. While the majority of the story takes place over a twenty-four hour period, the pacing came off as fast and exciting rather than rushed.
The characters were somehow well developed even though the author didn’t spend too much time telling us all about them. I appreciated the fact that while Mike was a strapping great Alpha bear, Gavin, as his fated mate, was no submissive twinky omega. Instead he was a tall, toppy, former MMA fighter, whose current job entailed taking on slave traders.
Gavin and Mike were scorching hot together. I loved their sexy times; it was almost like a script for a porn movie. But beyond the bedroom they just clicked, without their instant connection getting ridiculous. I mean, it’s shifters, so the author gets a bit of leeway with the instalove, but it wasn’t too much.
I also really liked the side character of Nick, Mike’s deceased grandfather. I thought the ghost, who was admittedly an old bastard in life, handled walking in on his grandson with his finger up another man’s ass rather well.
The thread about the white slave traders was almost a nonevent, but it was interesting and added a bit more excitement to the story. To be fair, that might have played out more in the first book of the series, which I haven’t read, and which overlaps with this one. Having said that, this story can most definitely be read as a standalone. The first story in the series Shifter Woods: Howl, is m/f.
Kudos to the author for getting in a mention of pick-a-nick baskets, and one great big fist bump for the subtle (not really that subtle) dig at Donald Trump. I laughed out loud after I realized what the author was saying.
I’m normally not a fan of anything less than 150 pages, but this story gets a thumbs up.