Penguin Group USA
Publication Date: April 15, 2013
Ellison Rowe is a wolf Shifter who has embraced all things Texas. He’s a cowboy through and through, complete with a Texas drawl, cowboy hat, and well-worn cowboy boots. He’s also lonely, though he feels obligated to look after his sister who is recovering from a hit-and-run accident that has left her striving to control her feral tendencies.
Enter Maria, a human woman taking refuge with the Shifters, who volunteers to look after the cubs and help Ellison’s sister. Maria too is recovering from a haunted past—she was kidnapped and held hostage by a rogue Shifter and then disowned by her family when she was set free. Now she’s on her own, but determined to put her life back together and leave Shiftertown for good.
But someone is attempting to abduct Shifter cubs, and Maria and Ellison know they must stop him. As Maria works with Ellison to track down the kidnapper, she finds her heart slowly awakening once more. And Ellison realizes that Maria may be just the one to bring light back into his life…
I have been totally enthralled with the alternate reality world created by Ms. Ashley in her Shifters Unbound series, and the entry of Lone Wolf is no exception to that. She continues to expand the world, letting us see that there is much more going on with the conflict between Shifter, human, and to a lesser degree, the Fae.
Maria was rescued from a group of feral shifters in a prior book, and because she’s viewed as “tarnished” by her no-good (my opinion and Ellison’s) brother, she’s taken refuge in the Austin Shiftertown while she tries to put the pieces of her life together again. She wants to go to school, become a doctor, and be able to help others. But she isn’t a martyr about it, it’s simply the core of who she is, and how she’s chosen to put herself back together after her horrific experience as a captive and Shifter-cub incubator (tragedy there) over several years.
Ellison. Mm, what is there really to say about Ellison? He’s tall, awesome, and totally devoted to protecting Maria, even before he realizes he wants the mate-claim with her. This leads him to declare a Challenge when fellow Shiftertown resident Broderick tries to claim her, despite her refusal to agree to it.
On top of all the testosterone floating around with the oh-so-eligible and available Shifters, there is a meaty subplot about kidnapping of cubs and humans who want to keep them as pets. Tiger, a created shifter introduced in the same book as Maria, is given a nice role in defending the cubs and taking out the bad guys, all in preparation for his book, #5 in this series, coming out in June.
If you like you some alpha lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) and wolves (Ellison is wolf), and a brave, devoted human who’s trying to make sense of the world after many years in captivity, this is quite the book. You can read it without having read the others, but I highly HIGHLY recommend you read the others in the series. You’ll understand the set up for the book much better and feel a much stronger connection to the myriad characters throughout.
An easy 4/5, edging toward a 4.5/5.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.