Author Jessie Lane (also known as the writing team of Melissa Pahl and Crystal Leo) are here talking about their top 10 favorite shifters. Stop by and say Hi!
ORDER A COPY: Big Bad Bite
Publishing Date: January 28, 2013
eBook: 271 pages
Rating: 3 stars
What would it be like to live in a world where you are considered abnormal to those who are above the norm?
Jenna O’ Conner has been taught her whole life to hide from everyone. Never to let anyone to close enough to know that she would prefer a shotgun for her birthday over of a bouquet of roses. She’s been smothered by her over protective family so that no one learns what she truly is. Which is not human. Nor, is she considered the norm for the supernatural Other community that is benevolent enough to share this world with the humans.
In a desperate attempt to live her own life away from the small town she was raised in, Jenna obtains her dream job as the newest member on the Wilmington Police Department’s SWAT Team. What she didn’t predict was that she would run into trouble her first day on the job, in the form of a deadly, mouthwatering man named Adam McPhee. Who is also not human, but more like a wolf walking around in human skin. He’s determined to figure out exactly what Jenna is, which unbeknownst to him, could very well put her life in danger. He’s also determined to have her all to himself.
As if that wasn’t enough for Jenna to deal with, bad news blows into town. A group of extremist Shifters who think humans are cattle and factions of Others worldwide should stay within their own species – never to intermingle. Chaos ensues. Jenna has to find a way to shut them down, but in the process of trying to do that, discovers things about herself that even she never thought was possible.
Who said the wolf was what you had to worry about?
Welcome to the real world.
Jenna O’Conner was always told by her mother and her Uncle Owen to keep out of sight, never call attention to herself and never, never let a shifter know what she was. Shifters as a general rule aren’t too happy when a shifter mates with a human and creates a half shifter/half human child. Even worse for Jenna, she’s half shifter/half…not human. Which makes her a walking target for Others.
But Jenna’s had enough of hiding, after five years of working as an officer for her small Town Sheriff’s Department for her Uncle Rick, Jenna has transferred to the Wilmington Police Department and is the newest member of the SWAT team. Everything is going well on her first day, including taking down a dangerous criminal, until she runs directly into the path of a shifter and not just any shifter, but the local Alpha. Adam knows with one sniff that something’s not right about Jenna, and he plans to find out just what she’s hiding.
When her next assignment brings even more danger in the form of terrorist shifters, Jenna can’t help being dragged into the world of the Others and after years of hiding, she just isn’t prepared. As if a new job, new town, new partner, terrorist shifters and coming out of the proverbial “Other” closet isn’t enough stress for Jenna, Adam has decided that Jenna will be his perfect mate and he isn’t going to stop until he makes her his.
THOUGHTS (W/ TINY SPOILERS):
There were many parts of this story that I enjoyed. We start out on Jenna’s first assigned with the SWAT team. She starts off with a bang, she know what she is doing, and she ends up with a new partner. There was great banter between her and the partner. There was also a great scene when they go interview someone and considering shifters don’t age, Grandma walks in, who is still all hot and sexy, and she’s looks at Jenna’s partner and she gets all flirty, and they are all like “Eww, Grandma stop.” (See favorite scene below for part of that scene.)
Unfortunately, this story tried to do too much and it started to feel like I was reading more than one book. We quickly deviate from the fact that Jenna is a member of the SWAT team and we loose that great banter with her partner.
The characters kept flip-flopping: one moment Jenna is a kick-ass, in-your-face cop/woman, but the next she’s like an insecure teenager. When she was tough, she was more interesting and the difference in character was such a swing, it was like two different characters.
As we start the story, Jenna makes some really stupid decisions with regard to Adam, that after a lifetime of “beware of shifters” she does a complete 180 listening to whatever Adam says. If we weren’t told in the description that Adam was our romantic hero, he could have easily been the slick-talking, archvillian here. He convinces Jenna to get to know him, his sister and his best friend by meeting them in a shifter bar…maybe not a safest place if you are trying to hide from shifters, and then Jenna goes off the next day to have a run with the sister (that she just met) on private shifter land. HEY, DANGER WILL ROBINSON. I could have easily seen her as a naïve girl being conned into stepping onto guarded shifter land and ending up chained in a basement at the orders of the Alpha with no one ever knowing where she disappeared to. It seemed a little off for an experienced police officer, raised to be afraid of other shifters to just go trotting off to be surrounded by them. There is a difference between wanting to give them a chance to show they are not dangerous and being an idiot.
Shifters in general are portrayed as sexy and sensual. Adam is no exception, but it’s almost like they are trying too hard and when, after about 4 days with very little conversation between them yet one hot and heavy make out session, Adam decides he has to have Jenna as his lifelong mate, the only thing keeping us from thinking Dangerous Stalker is the fact that he is our “hero” here. When her friends and family find out Adam’s desire to mate with Jenna, they are actually angry with her for not agreeing to it right away and making Adam “suffer” even though they have just met.
Adam jumps back and forth from being an understanding sweetheart to over-possessive jerk as quickly as Jenna switches gears.
Male shifters in this story are referred to by Jenna as “man whores” always looking for the next piece of ass, which at first was very funny, but then was continuously harped on and many references such as “if an Other could get an STD…” was so overused and overemphasized, it became annoying.
Having your characters do things that don’t make sense bothers me a lot in a story. If your vampire can turn into a bat, I’ll work with you. If your werewolf shifts back with all his clothes on…okay then. But in this case, things that don’t make sense includes Adam buying Jenna an outfit to go out to all Other club (remember the man whores) which is mainly just a leather bustier, a leather micro-miniskirt and F-me leather boots, then he freaks out at Jenna because some horny vampire is trying to pick her up. Well, DUH! Put your girlfriend’s goodies on display in a horndog factory and what do you expect and why is it her fault, you dressed her like that!!!
There is also a big internal shifter matter which takes Jenna away from her brand new job after only two days, and although it introduces us to many interesting characters, I don’t feel like we learned anything with all the investigating.
It started off well and had a lot of potential, but then it tried to do too much, it tried to be sexy but came off as desperate and very in your face, and it had very funny moments, but you can’t just keep repeating the same jokes. I would have liked it better if they stuck with the SWAT aspect of the story and kept Jenna’s character in her bad-ass mode. She could be snarky and I love the snarky heroines. This book sets up for the next story and leaves us hanging for answers to all our questions. With the next book focusing on new characters, I am hoping we won’t be distracted by the flip-flopping attitudes.
For the $2.99 pricetag, it wasn’t a bad story. The problem was it tried too hard to be really hot and sexy and it us took away from the better storyline and the great banter.
Received ARC from the authors. Thank you.
“Privyet Babushka. Did my little brother bring you out to have a good time?”
Gage slapped his brother on the back of the head after their grandmother was done hugging him. “Just because you’re ten minutes older than me doesn’t mean you’re a big brother.”
Gage’s brother slugged him playfully in the arm. “That’s precisely what it means little brother. Besides, that’s not the only way I’m bigger than you. For one, I’m taller than you by two inches, and for two, according to the last little morsel we played with together, I’m also bigger where it counts.” The blond fighter shot her a lascivious look. “Is this our new morsel brother?”
Gage smirked. “She doesn’t seem to play well with others, so we better leave that one alone. No, this is Kent’s lovely new partner, Jenna. They’ve come to ask a few questions we might be able to answer. Jenna, this is my brother Alec.”
Jenna held her hand out to Alec to shake. Alec took her hand in his, but ignored the concept of shaking it. He brought the back of her hand up to his lips and kissed it instead. When he let go, she brought her hand back to the top of the table in front of her before leaning across the space to get closer to the randy tiger.
“Charming. Really. But you can give up all of your attempts to get into my undies because it’s not going to happen. I see you for what you are; a card carrying member of those determined to prove that it is possible for men of the supernatural species to get STD’s. I’m just not sure who’s President of the club yet, you or Kent. Not to mention that I’ve discovered I’m basically allergic to you, and at least all other tiger shifters, if not feline shifters in general. Frankly, I don’t feel like taking an allergy pill just so I can see this big dick you claim to carry. It’s nice to meet you though. Really.”
Alec’s mouth hung open in shock while Gage shook his head and Vera laughed her ass off at her grandson getting a verbal smack down. Gage finally patted his brother on the back and murmured, “I tried to tell you that she didn’t play well with others. Besides, Kent mentioned something about that Alpha McPhee. Better luck next time through bro.”
Alec finally closed his mouth, and then shrugged his shoulders as he looked at Gage. “Oh well, can’t blame a guy for trying. She is hot.” The white tiger looked around them, “You said Kent’s here. Where is he?”
Jenna used her thumb to point over her shoulder at where Kent had one of the waitresses in the corner, and wandering hands were roaming freely on both sides. “He’s over there providing a fabulous example of why he should be President of that club I mentioned.”