Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Be Were
Author: Eliza Gayle
Series: Southern Shifters #5
Heroes: Niki & Dean
Genre: M/F Paranormal Erotica
Length: 41,000 words
Publisher: Gypsy Ink Books
Release Date: January 27, 2014
Available at: Smashwords, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: Dean had a family once. Until tragedy and betrayal consumed them. Now he lives on his own terms keeping life simple and carefree. Then one night leads to one bite and he’s forced back into a dangerous world that reminds him he’s still as angry as ever and this time he’s not leaving until he gets what he wants. Niki.
Niki Harris has lived a life of secrets and solitude with no interest in making a change. But an easy one night stand turns complicated and she finds herself marked. Now she has to decide, tell the sexy shifter with a possessive streak a mile wide she’s pregnant and in danger or do what she’s always done–run.
Be Were is the continued story of Dean and Niki from the free story, White Cougar Christmas. (If you have not read WCC, no worries. It is included as the first chapter of Be Were).
Before I get into the actual review, I just want to say that while Be Were is book 5 in the Southern Shifters series, I haven’t actually read the series yet. However, I read a few reviews that said it could be read as a standalone so I took the chance. And, yes, it CAN be read as a standalone! Now, onto the review!
Not wanting to spend another holiday alone, Niki decides to have a little company in a small town bar. There she finds the perfect thing to pass the time with – a jaguar hybrid named Dean. But it only takes one scorching night and a single word – mate – from him to get Niki running. Three months later, Niki has not only been kidnapped but she’s also pregnant with Dean’s baby. Dean will stop at nothing to get his mate back even if it means working with the brother he hates but when he rescues her, he slowly starts to realize that the wolves who were holding her are far from the only ones who want her. If Dean’s going to save his unwilling mate, he’ll have to go up against her family to finally keep her.
I actually really enjoyed this book. It’s a little smutty for my tastes but it IS erotica so I knew what I was getting into. At the same time, I was intrigued by the characters and the world. A world where there are full-blooded shifters and hybrid shifters – those who have more than one shifter DNA to them. I found it interesting the way the cocktail of shifter blood in a hybrid determines the coloring of their coat. Honestly, it was fascinating especially mixed with the instincts that the different breeds had.
I really liked these characters, especially Niki. Granted, she did annoy me at times (like her constant refusal to even entertain letting Dean be an active father) but I found her Take No Bullshit attitude amusing. She’s a deadly white cougar, fearless and strong. She could probably kick Dean’s ass without even trying! I found Dean extremely hot, though. I love a good possessive alpha and Dean was definitely that! He got a taste of Niki and he refused to let go, even when Niki was stubborn and adamant she wasn’t staying.
While I enjoyed the story, though, I had a lot of issues. My biggest complaint is that there were a lot of editing mistakes and inconsistencies such as how a shifter would be described as a cougar but then in the next paragraph/page Niki would think of them as ‘the jaguar’ or vice versa. Jaguars and cougars are vastly different breeds and definitely not the same feline. It happened a few times over the course of the book and that really nagged at me. Beyond that, I was very confused in the beginning after the three months had passed because honestly, I had no idea how much time had overlapped between the first chapter and the second. There IS an indicator in chapter one that says “Three months ago” but by the time I got to chapter two (30 minutes later), I couldn’t remember that little tidbit so I was lost on how much time had passed. It would have been helpful if the three month notice would have been at the start of chapter two instead.
In the end, even with my little niggles, I still really liked the story. It has its issues but the characters and the world make up for them. The ending was tied up a little too easily but I’m happy with how everything worked out. I’ll definitely go back and read books 1-4 in the future just so I can get caught up. If you’re looking for a fun M/F shifter book with some good smut, give this one a try 😉
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*