Series: The Protector #2
Published by: Self Published on January 29, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he's been left with, a family he's still getting to know, and power he never thought he'd have. He doesn't understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There's a demon inside Rayna that's fighting to be released, and it's not her inner witch. It's something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.
Just like in Exiled, there is never a dull moment in Shift! It is totally action packed and full of adventure or intense moments. In the first third of the book we have Rayna nearly shapeshifting into a cat, Chase & Co. joining the Circle for an intense meeting, Willy turning into a werewolf, and Chase having multiple run-ins with his psycho possessed dad! Phew!
I adored Rayna more than ever in this book. She’s so feisty and spunky and doesn’t let anyone push her around or tell her what to do. Case in point:
“The men are talking here, love. Why don’t you leave the business to us, be a dear, and fetch me a pint of blood?”
“Now, now, my sweet. Don’t make this bigger than it is. I need a few moments to discuss this with your friend.”
“For someone who’s five hundred years old, you’re an immature dick,” Rayna said.
In fact, this is something I love about all the characters! As I said, at the beginning of the book Chase, Rayna, Marcus, Vincent, and Willy, all have a meeting with the Circle. In most books I’ve read, when a group of people meets with another group who are “the authority,” they usually just accept what they say. The group with the official position of power will probably talk down to the other group and casually dish out insults, and the second group will just accept it because they don’t want to anger the “authoritative” group. This is so not the case in Shift!
Chase is pissed at the Circle for exiling him. Rayna hates them for murdering her mother. Marcus hates them for being corrupt power hungry pansies. None of them take any crap from the Circle and I LOVE IT! Rayna would bitch at them for insulting her mother and I’d just be screaming “YOU GO GIRL!” Yeah I got excited.
I feel like in this book, reality comes crashing down on all the characters. A lot of things began in Exiled but were brushed aside or thought of as things they’d deal with later, since there were more pressing matters. Well in Shift, it’s time to deal with them. They finally have to face Rayna’s shapeshifting problem. They have to figure out what the heck Chase’s ring from the goddess is for. Chase has to learn to control his powers. They have to track down and deal with Chase’s dad. And all the while, Chase is still burdened by his mother’s death. This causes tensions to run really high at times.
“We’ve got the elders, an angry hunter with godlike powers, and one very pissed off vampire after it. Did I mention we don’t have a clue where to start?”
I really liked how we learn more about Rayna and her past. In Exiled she was kind of mysterious. She was an awesome, kick-ass character, but we didn’t know who her father was, and we had very limited knowledge of her magical abilities. In Shift we learn a lot more about her dad, her shapeshifting “problem,” and her powers as a witch.
Throughout the book I was starting to get frustrated that Rayna and Chase’s relationship wasn’t moving forward into the romance zone. There was so much tension between them and I just kept wanting to shout, “Shut up and kiss already!” But just as I was going to give up, something did finally happen! Although given the circumstances, I am a little concerned that Chase will brush it off and not take it seriously. We’ll see!
I also thought the part just before the end was a bit of a letdown. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but I will say that they went on this crazy intense adventure, which was insanely awesome in the moment, but at the end, it was kind of all for nothing. So that was disappointing. I wanted to see more come of it. But the proper end was insanely awesome and intense and there was a crazy battle, so that kind of made up for it!
Shift has action pouring out of it from every angle and is also filled with awesome lore and adventure. We see hunters vs. shapeshifters, pawns of the Circle ganging up on Chase and Rayna, Chase vs. pureblood vampires, and so much more! We learn about about the seven gods in Chase’s world, the Underworld, and shifters. It’s definitely a worthy sequel to Exiled!
“Clothes fell to the ground and the beasts came out.”