I have to admit that I wish I was best friends with Maya O'Connell. She has managed to put the world to rights in each book and this one is no different. As a married mother of a toddler myself, her advice and musings on raising the terrible twins are especially resonant with my own experiences of motherhood.
Anyway, maybe I should get back to reviewing this book and stop worshiping the lead of the first two books and the contributor of advice titbits in this book.
This book is the sixth in Celia Kyle's Ridgeville series. It centres around Tess and Harding following the death of Alistair McLean, who died in the previous book, Deuce's Wild.
Tess is an anomaly in the shifter world, neither fully human nor fully shifter, and she lacks any identity but that with which the world has given her. This is the identity which has been forced on her as her 'father', the maniacal polar bear shifter, Alistair McLean, has hurt a lot of people. Sadly, even before her own birth she was added to that list and is damaged by his input in her life.
Tess can feel the shifter inside her but fears she will change into the worst type of 'animal' when she mates and her shifter is allowed to take her through the change. She had feared this all her life so has never sought out her mate and hopes never to mate in the future. But she mostly fears that giving her shifter control will make her do destructive things and she will turn out just like the man who has always tried to act as her father.
Harding is a shifter that has a significant past that match his significant scarring. He is another anomaly, a rare white tiger. He has been always aware of this difference and it has been used to harm him in the past. He hates the idea of getting too close to anyone and fears they will fear and reject him due to his scarring and has damage of a similar degree to Tess' damage.
Their worlds, Harding's and Tess', are thrown together when Maya, and to a lesser degree Alex, volunteer Harding's help at the facility helping the sensitives and the other victims of 'Freedom' to heal. This is where Tess is located to recover after the compound she was imprisoned in was raided and she was rescued from her abusive life.
When they meet it is lust at first sight and they are well aware that they should be together but both feel they do not deserve the other but are drawn to each other. The connection is magnetic. Unfortunately, it is not the only strong reaction, as someone else at the facility is using their 'sensitive' skills to harm him.
Problem is this accelerates to attempted murder when they return to Ridgeville with some other residents of the facility. This attempted murder is a definite bump in the road in the storyline but to be honest it is this twist that makes the book amazing as it allows them both to see that they belong with each other.
After a recent funk in terms of lack of sleep affecting my reading I am so glad I managed to read this book without getting distracted by a book I have previously read. The characters were engaging and relevant and I could feel their emotion and heartaches as well as their joy to get their HEA. I would definitely recommend this author and I am currently anxiously awaiting Whitney's book in her Alpha Marked series.
You can find out more about Celia Kyle here.