Review ~ Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley @JennAllyson

Posted July 13, 2017 by Tanya in Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 9 Comments

Review ~ Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley @JennAllysonHard Mated by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Length: 4 hrs 30 mins
on August 20, 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 160
4.5 Stars
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A short novel of the Shifters Unbound series. Spike, a wildcat Shifter and the champion fighter of Shiftertown, is stunned when Myka, the best friend of a dying human woman, announces that Spike has fathered a cub. What's more, the mother is giving the boy to Spike to protect and raise.

Myka, who'd been raised by an abusive stepfather, is not sure that a wild fighter named Spike is the best man to bring up the cute little jaguar cub. She goes to Shiftertown to check out Spike, and finds that the man behind the name is a lonely Shifter who's lost most of his family and is a fierce caretaker to those he has left.

Spike is torn between the cub and his duties as tracker to the Shiftertown leader, and begs Myka, the only person who understands, to help him. He starts to like the sassy Myka, a horse trainer who's not afraid of working with animals, even if they're wildcats who turn into humans.

When Spike's job puts his cub and Myka in danger, Spike is forced to choose between those to whom he's pledged his loyalty and his need to protect the woman and cub he's come to love.

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I’m not sure how this novella got overlooked when writing my reviews as it was one of my favorites!

Spike is one of the tough trackers for the Shiftertown. He is on his own and his life is tracking and fighting at the fight clubs. When he is called to a dying woman’s bedside he gets the surprise of a lifetime. He’s a daddy! He instantly goes into protective mode and accepts that cub into his life. Myka, the cub’s mother’s best friend is leery of Spike’s ability to be a father, so she decides to watch him herself. This proves convenient when Spike’s duties interfere with fatherhood. Spike comes to rely on Myka to help him organize life being a single dad.

Of course, with all the time together, Myka and Spike are bound to come together. I love Spike as a dad, and the romance growing between him and Myka was so sweet. I had big smiles at the end knowing Spike was now a family man and no longer without family and on his own.

I loved this couple. His fear gripped me when Myka and the cub were in danger. Spike is not going to let his new life be torn apart quite so easily. Hard Mated really pulled at me and I got really invested in their story. Spike somehow became a favorite for me and his HEA was amazing. This was definitely one of the best novellas of the series!

One thing I’m going to say about the books so far. Tattoos are a BIG deal. The author spends a lot of time describing the tattoos of each of the characters. I felt like we got way more time spent on them than was necessary. That has been my only gripe so far, and I only acknowledge it here because Spike has SO many!

The Series

About Jennifer Ashley

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.

Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s more than 83 novels and novellas have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Thai, and other languages.

Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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  • Ahhh Spike <3. This is my second too favorite in of the novellas with Bodyguard being first. So glad to see you are enjoying the series and all the sexy shifters. ^_^

    • Definitely loving the shifters! I love how this world is building up. How the Shiftertowns find their ways around the laws. Mmm. Love the shifters!

  • I’m curious on how/why the author is describing the tattoos so much. Most of the time authors just give a brief overover of it and that’s it

    • I think I noticed it because the descriptions were longer than they really needed to be, when I was just anxious to move on.

  • I missed this one, too. I don’t recall too much mention of tattoos in the others. At least not dwelling on it too much. I’ll have to pay attention next time. Weird she’d do that. Weird they have tattoos at all, actually. Most shifter ones I read, come to think of it, they don’t have tattoos because their change erases them. Huh!

    • I’ve read some shifters use a special ink, or apply it with some other “special” procedure. I think the descriptions were just so long that I went from being annoyed at them, to just skipping over.

  • I really enjoyed this story too. When I first started listening to it, I wasn’t sure what I thought about a guy who didn’t know he was a father having to take that role completely (I can’t stand when women get pregnant and don’t tell the father. He has every right to know that he has a child in this world. It is something that makes me very angry every time I hear about it). I did end up loving the story, even though I was still angry with the mother. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • YES! The mother did not get much sympathy from me. So selfish and then to just surprise Spike with this kid that neither of them knew each other. I’m glad it worked out.