ORDER A COPY: Mating Instinct: A Moon Shifter Novel
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Paperback: 368 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Surviving for centuries, powerful lupine shifter Jayce Kazan managed to stay away from humans until he met Kat Saburova and was consumed by the need to protect her. But while Jayce shared his passion with the human seer, he refused to make her his bondmate—a refusal that caused the end of their relationship.
A year later, an attack that left Kat near death has resulted in another lupine shifter turning her. Furious that he wasn’t the one to save her, Jayce is determined to show Kat that he is the one she should rely on. But the newly turned shifter is still traumatized and worried that she’ll hurt those she loves, unless she can learn to control her inner wolf.
And as Jayce struggles to protect Kat from her own worst instincts and convince her to rekindle their love, the extremists who almost killed her are looking to finish the job.
When Kat used to be human, all she wanted was to have a life with Jayce. She thought if he changed her, made her a shifter, they could become bondmates and have forever. She believed him when he refused to change her because he said so few survived, but then she found out he lied. Her friend December told her that bondmates always survive the transformation. That could only mean Jayce didn’t love her and didn’t want her forever. How could she continue to give herself heart and soul to a man who told her he cared, but lied to her face about that forever? She wanted nothing more to do with Jayce, at least she thought that until the Antiparanormal League’s psychotic leader ordered her to be kidnapped, tortured and beaten within a inch of her life. While they tortured her, she didn’t pray to God, she prayed for Jayce to find her and make her safe.
But Jayce wasn’t the one who found her first and with a choice of dying or the slim possibility of surviving the change, she took her chances and let Aiden try to save her.
No, Jayce wasn’t the one to find her first, a truth that will always haunt him. He would have given a limb to save Kat the pain she suffered. Aiden is a friend and he owes him for saving Kat’s life, but to know that someone else changed his Kat makes him want to tear the man apart. There was a reason he refused to change her, a reason he would rather walk away from her than bond with her. He is over 500 year old and very powerful enforcer. He is as close to immortal as a shifter could be. He knows the many enemies he acquired over those centuries have tried hard to get rid of him. But if they knew just how much Kat meant to him, she would be the easiest and quickest way to get to Jayce. A human lover didn’t raise an eyebrow, but his bondmate would have a target on her back.
Jayce is back trying to find out who is dealing vampire blood to the humans. He accepted his current assignment to be close to Kat again. Now that she is a shifter, he will teach her to fight so that she never feels vulnerable again. And while she is fighting the rage for what was done to her, he will protect her from herself. He knows she wants vengeance against the APL, but that would only lead to her death and become the catalyst for a war between the humans of the APL and the shifters.
I have found a new favorite series!! Yippee!! I really liked the characters, not just Jayce and Kat, but we spend a good deal of time with the characters from the first two books as well as the other shifters in the pack. You can see the set ups for the future books in the background interactions of the pack. This is a continuing storyline but I didn’t feel lost even though this was the third book in the series.
I liked that Jayce is not your usual characteristically drop dead gorgeous handsome shifter hero. He is huge, scarred, bald and so badass scary that you would walk on the other side of the street if you saw him coming. But to Kat, he is gentle and caring, as well as the usually bossy and domineering male.
They have a history which brings us right into the story. Although Kat is fighting her feelings for Jayce since he lied to her about the bonding when she was human, after what happened to Kat at the hands of APL, Jayce is no longer fighting his feeling. Now he is just fighting Kat to get her to acknowledge that what they have is special and that they should be together.
Nicely blended into this story of Kat and Jayce is Jayce’s investigation into the vampire blood dealers, as well as a storyline of a shifter killing humans. The humans are getting scared and the shifters know they have to catch this killer before the already strained relations with the locals starts getting innocent shifters killed. And still more to the story is the added interactions between the pack members. It all balances well in the storytelling and takes nothing away from our focus couple.
I have several Katie Reus books downloaded that I have wanted to read and I was happy to finally have this one pop to the top of my pile, but it also means I want to wiggle Books 1 and 2 onto the list. The rest of my Katie Reus books are from her Red Stone Security Series and I hope she balances the characters and storylines just as well in that.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
And he was being so fucking nice it broke her heart. He hadn’t been there for her when she needed him most. He hadn’t saved her!
Yet he was all concerned and damn near perfect now. She wanted to throttle him. Wanted to throttle anything at the moment if it would make the pain inside her disappear. The rage grew, twisting inside her like a living thing. Her heart hammered, her breathing turned shallow. Even though she knew it was irrational, she dropped the covers and launched herself at him. She pounded his chest with her fists.
He didn’t deserve this, but she couldn’t stop herself. It was as if she was possessed. “You weren’t there for me!” The words tore from her throat even as she hated herself for saying them, let alone thinking them. Jayce wasn’t omniscient. He might be a skilled warrior, but he couldn’t be everywhere, couldn’t fight every battle.
He swallowed hard, his face twisting into a pained expression that she’d never witnessed before. “I know, and I’m so fucking sorry. I’d have traded places with you in a second.” His deep ragged voice rolled over her, soothing her as it simultaneously made a burning shame surge through her. Like lava, it scorched her insides and hurt worse than any torture she’d endured. The pain in his voice was an almost tangible thing, making her ache worse with each second that passed.
His complete submission to her blows stunned and stilled her. He thought he deserved to be punished. That was why he hadn’t stopped her.
She should pull way and leave him alone, but she couldn’t let him suffer like she was suffering. He didn’t deserve it, no mater the anger-injected words she’d just flung at him like sharp daggers. She wrapped her arms around his neck in tightly and buried her face against his chest, unable to control the sobs wracking her body. She’d cried so much directly after what had happened, but she’d never allowed anyone to hold her to comfort her. Not like this. And not while she was naked and vulnerable. She’d also never told anyone what happened to her.
“He…didn’t rape me, but he tried. More than once.”
His body stiffened and his grip around her waist grew tighter. With one hand he stroked the length of her spine, letting her continue.
“He couldn’t get it up. It was the only thing that made his beatings bearable.” The more she spoke, the easier it was to get things out. Even if uncontrollable tears still tracked down her face, she almost felt a sense of freedom. “I don’t know how much Aiden or one of the others told you?” She formed it as a question, pausing to let him answer.
“Just that you were near death and covered in blood. He also mentioned that you likely had internal bleeding.” The hand on her waist flexed once before he returned to his preternaturally still state.
She knew the animal part of him was enraged right now. Though he didn’t make any overt moves, the air seemed to be pulsing with a scary sort of energy. Not directed at her, though; its object was her dead attacker whom neither of them could do anything about now. Something she hated every single day.
“He beat me with a whip and touched me anyway he wanted and I couldn’t do a damn thing.” Her voice broke on the last word and she realized she was trembling when Jayce started rubbing her back in circles and murmuring soothing sounds.
“I’m so fucking sorry, Kat.” His voice was just as broken as she felt inside.
Stretching out on the bed, she covered him with her body, not caring that she was naked and he was nearly so. The feel of his muscular body underneath her was an anchor she desperately needed. “You don’t have anything to be sorry for,” She said through her tears and sniffles. The attack wasn’t his fault. She knew it on an intellectual level, but her head and heart couldn’t seem to sync up. Why was she so angry that he hadn’t saved her? “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
If she’d been doing this to anyone else she would have been embarrassed for blubbering all over him, but this was Jayce. The man who’d seen her at her worst and never judged her. The man she loved but couldn’t tell. Couldn’t say three little words to him because she was too afraid.
As his hands gently stroked down her back and then directly back up, she realized he was pulling the bedding over them. He was covering her, taking care of her, and it made her want to kiss him and soothe the pain she could feel emanating off him in pulsing waves.
Lifting her head, she looked into gray eyes swirling with a sorrow she never wanted to see again. She’d put it there, which made it even worse. Biting back more tears, she cupped his cheek with one hand. “I…I’m sorry I blamed you. When I was abducted, I…I called out your name. I wanted for you to come for me.” When he jerked back as if she’d physically struck him, her stomach roiled.
This wasn’t coming out the way she intended. She’d never had a problem with words before, but seeing Jayce vulnerable messed with her head and she needed to make this right. “No, I’m not telling you this to hurt you. I’m telling you because you’re the one person I knew—know—I can always count on. If you could have been there, I know you would have. I know it with every fiber of my being. I’m sorry for what I just said. I was fighting remnants of a nightmare, but I don’t blame you. Maybe I did on a subconscious level, but I don’t now. Not truly. My attacker is dead and I have nowhere to place my anger. The monster who hurt me and the APL are the only ones responsible. No matter what happens between us, please know that.”
The pain she’d witnessed in his eyes partially subsided. “I would have done anything to save you. Given up a limb, my life, anything. I only wish that fucker hadn’t died. I would have made him regret his very existence.” The darkness in his words sent a shudder snaking through her.
Before she could respond, he claimed her mouth in a gentle, sensual kiss completely at odds with the tough-looking man he was.