Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #6
Published by Berkley
Published on: April 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
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In the latest Shifters Unbound novel, a man has resigned himself to a life half lived. But a beautiful, courageous woman has him longing for something more…
Graham McNeil knows that his pack is unruly, but he’s not sure he can take the next step toward pack stability. After losing his first mate long ago, Graham has worked hard to keep his heart in check. Besides, even if he was inclined to choose a new mate, his girlfriend, Misty, is human—a fact that won’t sit well with Graham’s old-fashioned pack.
But Misty is going through a crisis of her own, one that brings danger and death to the pack. With the wolves doubly convinced that there needs to be a shake-up, Graham must now defend his leadership and save the woman he has grown to love—before Shiftertown is pulled into an all-out war.
I don’t typically dive into a series at the sixth installment, but when Jennifer Ashley’s WILD WOLF landed on my doorstep I couldn’t resist the call of her werewolves. Fortunately for me, this book stands well enough on its own and the writing drew me in to the point of needing to go back, and start the SHIFTERS UNBOUND journey from the beginning. The mythology is well thought out, and is paired with red-hot love scenes and extremely likable characters. Ashley just went from being a new-to-me-author to a must read!
The world-building and lore are the two main elements that caught my interest early on, and are also the primary reasons why I plan on picking-up book 1. I’m sure that there’s way more to the SU universe than what I was able to gleam from only one installment, but the tidbits I did learn made me fall head-over-heels in love with this series. Ashley’s werewolves have been exiled to reservation-type living conditions called Shiftertowns, are forced to wear anti-aggression collars, and are just overall unwelcome among humans. There’s also a variety of different shifter breeds and even subgroups of wolves which made learning about them all a lot of fun.
I was surprised by the author’s approach to the romantic aspect of this story; Graham and Misty have been dating for 8 months, but have yet to have sex, which is practically unheard of in novels that feature mate bonds. And, the two main characters don’t actually get-it-on until quite a ways into the book, but in the interim there’s no shortage of “substitute” options, and these turn-out to be equally as satisfying. I liked that even though she’s human, Misty is far from weak; in fact, she saves McNeil’s alpha-ass not once, but twice! They make a great couple and I thoroughly enjoyed reading their story.
The secondary characters were phenomenal as well; some of the mated pairs have obviously been featured in previous installments, and after meeting them in WILD WOLF, I’m anxious to read their tales. There’s a nice mix of supernaturals in the SU world, and I enjoyed learning about Ashley’s Fae and gnomes (yes GNOMES!). I loved Matt & Kyle—the adorable werewolf cubs—and Reid, Ben, Dougal and Eric were awesome personalities too. It’s clear that this series has a lot of offer; my only regret is not having discovered it sooner!
WILD WOLF is a fantastic book whether you’re a long-time Jennifer Ashley fan or a newcomer like me. Great humour, sexy shifters and outstanding writing—everything a reader needs for hours of enjoyment.
Thanks Carmel! This is coming out on audio next Tuesday, I like what you have to say, so I added to my wish list.I adore Jennifer’s Historicals maybe is time to give her paranormals a shot.
I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on the audio Lup; I have some catching-up to do in this series, so maybe it’ll be a good one to add to my audiobook wishlist.
I couldn’t resist the call, either. I wanted more backstory on Misty and Graham’s romance but figured that probably came in the previous books that I hadn’t read.
All the more reason to go back and read the first five books IMO! Not that I really needed it, I was already planning to anyway.
Sign me up for this book Carmel! I can never get enough werewolves:) I’ve read her historical romances and really loved them, so I’m excited to give this paranormal series a try. I love that despite the fact that this is book six and you haven’t read the previous 5 you were still able to dive right into this story with little difficulty. Can’t wait to meet these two!
I’ve heard that Ashley’s other books are quite good as well. And, yes, I do love it when series installments can be read as stand-alones, it makes things SO much easier!
I have read (and love) Jennifer Ashley’s historical romances, but haven’t read this series. This book sounds really good, I’m adding first book to my TBR.
This was my first Jennifer Ashley book and I really enjoyed it, I hope you do too!
I love when a single book can make you want to start a whole series! Great review. I haven’t looked into this series at all before but I am going to need to change that I think.
Exactly! I’m so happy that I risked being completely lost and that it paid off.
I adore Jennifer Ashley (and her alter ego Allyson James) and her Shifters Unbound series ranks right up there in my favorite all-time shifters. I just finished up Tiger Magic (#5) and Feral Heat (#5.5) so I’m all set for Wild Wolf on Tuesday 😀
Nice! I’ll have to check-out your reviews of Tiger Magic and Feral Heat to learn more about what I can look forward to from this series.
Carmel wonderful review. I can’t wait to get to this one in Jennifer Ashley’s series. I hope you get the time to go back and read the other books and novels. This is one of many favorite series for me. I love how she created the world, lore and mate bonds.
Everyone seems to agree on how awesome these books are. I feel a little silly for not having discovered that fact until now!
Ooo, I’m glad to hear this one can be read out of order, because as soon as I saw #6, I was a little wary. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one!
I don’t normally jump in mid-series, but PNR is one of the few genres where doing so isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I haven’t heard much about this series I guess. I really like the sound of it, at least the characters sound terrific!
Me either, but after this one I’m Jennifer Ashley’s newest stalker. LOL
It is good that you could jump in and read an installment on the sixth book and not be lost. That is great that the couple isn’t all into sex and lust. I like that they have taken their time to build a relationship and I am sure when the good part comes it is going to be one heck of a scene.
I get the need for insta-love when mate bonds are involved, but if an author can avoid it all together, even better!
Wow, I’d be very nervous about jumping into a sixth book without having read the previous ones, but I’m glad it worked out for you! This sounds hot…and I’m also surprised that the author has held back on taking the characters’ relationship further. But I’m sure that means she’s great at creating passion and romantic tension!
I try to go easy when reviewing later installments if I haven’t read all of ’em cuz I know if I have a problem with the book it’s probably my fault, not the author’s.
Glad to hear that you can jump in with this book. I read the 1st book a couple of years ago and saw this one NG and thought about skipping ahead to this one.
It’s rare to find a series that’s sexy AND well written. Knowing it has both has enticed me to one-click. *runs to amazon* 🙂
Exactly! Glad my message was received. LOL
I have read another one of her series and enjoyed those so this sounds good too
Cool. I’m going to start by getting caught-up on this one then go from there.
oh it’s great to know that you didn’t have any problems to get into the 6th book without reading the others. I’m always doing that and it’s sometimes not the best thing to do. I have the first book in the series in French in my TBR pile but I still need to read it. I’m curious! I heard so many great things about this author.
You’re brave! I’m always so afraid of feeling lost whenever I dive into the middle of a series.
I am so glad you were able to dive in so late in the series. I think I may actually have book one in my tbr pile somewhere, and will bump it up since you enjoyed this so much!
I’m sure all of Ashley’s shifters are just as good as her wolves. I can’t wait to find out!
I do that all the time… read out of order. Sometimes it works and it looks like it works here. Oh I have several on my wishlist, I think I’m going to have to add them all! 🙂
Haha That seems like the right thing to do in this situation.
I love when you can read a book that’s part of a series, as a stand alone also. I have a slight case of reading OCD so I tend to start at the beginning but I have accidentally read a few books out of order. Glad to hear this was a winner. An 8 month courtship?…now that’s an interesting twist in PNR! 🙂
Yeah, I’m pretty OCD about reading stuff in order, but I also have a hard time saying no to a free book. LOL
The great world building and hot romance is what would draw me to this one.
Well you’re in luck because this one has both!
I’ve been waiting to read Graham and Matt’s story…they pretty much stole the show towards the end of the previous novel, Tiger Magic, in my opinion. I loved that Misty and Graham got to know each other before they jumped into bed. It was also pretty obvious that Misty qas smart enough not to keep secrets from Graham and avoid the whole awkward miscommunication thing by being frank right off the bat. From your review, it seems that Misty retains her spunk! 🙂 Can’t wait to get my hands on this novel!
Glad to hear that there’s a nice segue between books. Hopefully I’ll be able to appreciate this one even more after I’ve read Tiger Magic.
Sometimes it’s fun to start a series in the middle because when you love it, then you get to buy all the other books and just know you are going to enjoy them all. This one sounds super fun!.
You make an excellent point! I never thought about it like that.
Sounds like a very yummy series, Carmel! I love it when the lore, mythology and world-building is well thought out and executed. If on top of that there are good characters and some hotness, I’m all in 🙂
I had not heard of this series before, but I’m adding it to my TBR. I love some furry heroes and heroines 😀
You and me both! I just discovered this series as well. 🙂
I’ve only read one book by this author – The Proposition – and I liked it a lot, but I didn’t know she wrote pnr too. O.o This looks like a fun read, I’d have to check it out. Thank you for sharing.
An author who’s writing is awesome no matter the genre is a surefire winner in my books!
I think it speaks for a lot when you read a book well into the middle of the series and still love it. I am assuming it’s episodic? That each book can stand on its own merits, but still connected in a way? That sounds fantastic to be honest, and we need more like that. World-building is always a top factor for me, so as long as they don’t screw that up (and looks like this one didn’t), I won’t be complaining! ^_^
Faye at The Social Potato
Oh yes, we definitely need more series whose novels also manage to stand on their own. I find it way easier to jump in mid-way than to tackle the daunting task of having to start at book 1.
I read Pride Mates a looong time ago and didn’t like it. It was all sex and the plot was meh. I didn’t read more after that.
Oh no! That’s kind of discouraging… The earlier covers give off that “vibe” so I was afraid of that. But, I guess there’s only one way to find out for sure.