Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Cougar's Mate

Cougar's Mate (Heart of the Cougar - Book 1) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: 03/07/2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Format
Imprint: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 252
ISBN-10: 1496138775
ISBN-13: 978-1496138775

(Received for an honest review from Terry Spear)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Terry Spear on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Cougar's Mate, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

Cougar’s Mate: Instinct told her to run… Shannon Rafferty learns that hanging out with the bad boys could be a dangerous business, but hooking up with a cop is even worse. Now she’s on the run, trying to avoid being murdered by his cougar shifter brothers and uncle. If that isn’t bad enough, a deputy sheriff hunts her down while she’s running as a cougar and trying to survive in the Colorado wilderness. He vows to protect her no matter what she’s done. With three dead boyfriends to her name, she’s sure she will be the death of Chase Buchanan before either of them can prevent it. No matter how much she knows she has to run again, he soon holds her heart hostage. But will that be enough to keep them both alive? Chase Buchanan—as wilderness cabin resort owner, former US Army Special Forces, and part time deputy of the small town of Yuma, Colorado that boasts a love of cougars—is tasked to track down a cougar reported to be hunting human prey. Chase soon learns she’s a shifter, not a full-time cougar, and she’s on the run. When he takes her in, he vows to protect her. After losing his wife and baby to the human kind of predator years earlier, he’s not letting Shannon’s hunters kill her, too. But how is he going to hold onto the wild-cat woman, who is unpredictable at every turn, without losing his heart to her, and then losing her as well?

Thoughts:

Bestselling Author Terry Spear takes readers on a new adventure with the first book in a new shifter series, Heart of the Cougar. This time cougar's that take center stage, as Spear builds her new series around another powerful, intelligent animal. Cougar's Mate introduces readers to the town of Yuma, Colorado, ran by cougar shifters and open to helping heroine Shannon Rafferty who is on the run from those who want her dead. Deputy Chase Buchanan doesn't know what he's getting himself into, but he knows he has to protect this woman, this she-cat who has stolen his heart.  

What I liked:

I am a Terry Spear fan from way back. And hearing that she had a new series out about another group of shifters was tantamount to Christmas for me. Spear has a way of writing that not only pulls the reader in, but it also keeps them interested and not just through one particular novel, but through everything they can possibly find that she's written. She has an easy word flow and style that makes her writing accessible and engaging. Her characters are always intense and well developed and her world building is beyond phenomenal and I was so excited to see where she would go with her new cougar shifters. I was certainly not disappointed. Yuma is quite a town!

Shannon Rafferty is one of those women that just doesn't know how to pick'em. She has had three boyfriends that were not Mr. Right and all three have ended up dead. Now she's on the run from the brothers of boyfriend number three which ended up murdered before her eyes. She's a cougar shifter and ends up living as a cougar in order to protect herself. She certainly hasn't had an easy life and she doesn't know who she can trust. As a heroine I think Shannon had her moments. At first she needs a lot of help to survive, but eventually she comes into her own and shows her fierce cougar spirit. I think Spear gives readers a woman who shows that sometimes it's okay to accept help when you need it. It doesn't make you weak or any less independent. I loved the fact that Shannon knows her limits, but also shows a protective side when she tries to decide whether to leave Yuma or not.

Chase is an interesting hero. He is ex military and has a strong and courageous heart. He wants to be a loner, but he can't quite pull it off. He is drawn to the people of his small shifter community and when he meets Shannon in a very precarious situation, his protective instincts kick in hard. He was great hero for a lot of reasons. But I think the most interesting part of his character was the way his past shaped him into the man and cougar shifter he is. He is not immune to tragedy, and he knows where Shannon is coming from. I liked that about him and Spear just seemed to know how to make these two characters relate.

The relationship between Shannon and Chase doesn't start off with a bang. There is a slow build up that ends in a very satisfying romance. Spear always knows when to use the right amount of humor, the right amount of action and the right amount of sizzle. These two have some serious chemistry and it's pretty undeniable that they are made for each other, it's just a matter of convincing them of that.

As with any good Spear book, the world building is central to the story. I loved Yuma from the first description. It reminded me of Silver Town from Spear's Heart of the Wolf series, in that it was run by shifters, but that's where the similarities end. It wasn't a pattern that Spear carried over or reused. This town was unique and had secondary characters that were multi-dimensional. Spear showed depth and understanding in creating a community that was united and protective. A town that looked after it's own. I loved that community spirit and strong connections between the characters and I'm looking forward to where Spear will take readers with them.

What I didn't like:

Sometimes I think readers put too much credence in books that are published by the big houses and don't take the time to look closer at books that are self published. Terry Spear did a remarkable job with this book, from the cover art to the exceptional writing and the promotional aspects. It's time for a change in attitude about self-publication and books like this one will be the cornerstone that will rival any titles from the big name houses.

Bottom Line:

This is an exceptional paranormal romance. Terry Spear never disappoints. She creates characters that readers can relate to, whether they are paranormal or not. Her world building is a real strength in her writing, as is her easy style and humor. If you are looking for an engaging love story that just happens to involve cougar shifters, this one is one to read.

Cougar's Mate is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!





About the Author:


Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, and having fun with her young adult novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear. And on Wordpress at: Terry Spear's Shifters http://terryspear.wordpress.com/

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