Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bad Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Wolf Shifter Broderick is stuck looking after his three younger brothers and a Collar-less Shifter who is driving him crazy, but he’s putting up with them for Joanne, the human woman he, for some reason, wants to impress. Joanne Greene, while grateful to Broderick for rescuing her sister, doesn’t know what to make of him. She’s been a loner most of her life, better able to relate to computers and coding than to people, until she’s drawn into the world of the Shifters.
Broderick is everything Joanne is not–a fighter and a tracker, from a rough-and-tumble family, better at working with his hands than understanding the netherworld of Joanne’s computer programmer life. Broderick is also extremely protective, wanting to draw her under his care as he does everyone else.
When Broderick is captured, mistaken for a Guardian, it’s Joanne who figures out that hackers are after the Guardian Network, the database that holds the deep secrets of Shifters past and present. Thought un-hackable, the Network is now in danger of being invaded, and already a Guardian has died. Strangely Broderick now holds the key to stopping the hackers, and Joanne with her coding skills is the only one who can help him.
Title: Bad Wolf | Series: Shifters Unbound #7.5 | Author: Jennifer Ashley | Release Date: July ,2015 | Genre: Contemporary PNR | Rating: 4.5

Bad Wolf was filled with so much paranormal yumminess that I could not put this book down. The plot was thrilling, the characters brilliant, and the dialogue was amazing.
          “Great,” he said. “I’m going out hunting with an empath, a fight club champion, a crazy tiger, and my girlfriend. We can’t lose.”
So, here’s what’s going on. Broderick is a wolf-shifter—his life is a little crazy. He’s looking after his younger brother’s, taking care of a collar-less shifter who is slowly going mad, and trying to figure out where he stands with his human girlfriend, Joanne. Then to top it all off, he’s mistaken for a Guardian and kidnapped by a crazy hacker chick intent on breaking into the Guardian Network.
Joanne is a highly skilled hacker. She’s a human who’s been brought into the shifter’s lives because of her sister. She’s caused a bit of trouble for them in past and not all of them trust her. When Broderick is kidnapped, she knows she has to help him figure out who is trying to hack into the supposedly un-hackable Guardian Network and why they’re doing it. Although neither of them thought they would have to fight their way out of Faerie, the world of the Fae.
This is my first venture into Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and I have to say it was a real treat. I was a bit hesitant at first coming in so late into the series, Bad Wolf is book 7.5, but I didn’t feel left out. In fact, the book left me so intrigued I have to read this entire series. The sooner, the better!
Broderick was a little gruff at the start of the book. He’s not a flowers and champagne kind of guy, he’s more in-tune with his shifter side and comes off a bit wolfish, but he’s so enjoyable. I liked that he had  layers and they were slowly revealed as the book went on. You could tell that he was attracted to Joanne, it was so obvious a blind person could have seen it, but  he feels like she could do better, which is why he refers to her as his girlfriend rather than his mate. I also loved the way his friends weren’t afraid to call him out on the fact there was more to his and Joanne’s relationship.
Joanne knows she’s caused trouble for the shifter’s in Austin’s Shiftertown. She knows that not all of them accepts or trusts her so she’s eager to help when she realizes that they need a hacker. She’s also not afraid to stand up to Broderick, who happens to be 100% alpha—obey-me-or-else type and I really liked that. I also liked that she was willingly to do everything in her power to make Broderick see he was the wolf for her.
          Broderick broke the kiss. He didn’t let go of her, and she felt the Celtic knot disc pressing into her back. “No,” he said. “I can’t…”
          “Can’t kiss me?” Joanne let go of his shirt to trace his lips. “You’re doing fine.”
          “There’s this thing called mating frenzy.” His voice was low, fierce. “Ever heard of it?”
          “Yes.” Her heart beat faster. “I’ve hung around Shiftertown a while.”
          “If you don’t let go of me, if you don’t run the hell away, I won’t care about helping with your damn computers. Screw the Guardian, the sword, the stupid medallion, the hacker. I just want you.”
I really liked Broderick and Joanne together. They had really good chemistry although their relationship is a bit awkward because neither really knows how to navigate it or what exactly to call it. I was so glad when they finally just gave in.
          “Mating frenzy means I stay with you for days if I have to,” Broderick said, his voice losing clarity. “Weeks even. Until you’re heavy with my cub. If you don’t want that, knee me in the balls and tell me to get out.”
There’s a bit of suspense mixed in and it had me on the edge of my seat, especially when Broderick decided to go all wolf-in-shining-armor and ride a dragon-horse beastie to rescue Joanne when they were held captive in Faerie.
The baddies in this book, which happen to be the Fae, were so creepy. The Fae that I’ve always read about have been these nice and gentle fairy folk, but these ones are defiantly not warm and fuzzy and I loved that approach.
For me, what makes or breaks a paranormal book is the world the author creates. I want it be believable and I want to be able to visualize what the author is portraying and I have to say, Jennifer Ashley creates a bloody awesome world that is believable and intriguing.    

The book contained several characters from the previous books and rather than making feel as though I lost the plot, the characters—especially Tiger—piqued my interest making me want to know their stories.

This is a novella, but I have to say it feels as complete as a standalone. Nothing was rushed, nothing felt left out. It was nicely rounded and solid.
Overall, Bad Wolf rocked. Broderick and Joanne were amazing together. The pacing was brilliant. The world she created was solid and believable. And I loved that it had a Celtic slant to it. I will definitely be reading more from this series.
If I loved it, why didn’t I give it a 5-cup rating? So, I read the finished copy and there were several typos, which really should have been addressed.

Shifters Unbound Series
Shifter Made—Prequel Novella
Pride Mates #1
Primal Bonds #2
Bodyguard #2.5
Wild Cat #3
Hard Mated #3.5
Mate Claimed #4
Perfect Mate #4.24
Lone Wolf #4.5
Tiger Magic #5
Feral Heat #5.5
Wild Wolf #6
Bear Attraction #6.5
Mate Bond #7
Lion Eyes #7.25
Bad Wolf #7.5
White Tiger #8 (coming soon)

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