Sometimes I get in the mood for a very particular kind of book, and I go to the TBR shelf, and I find that I don't have much that will hit the spot. So, when I felt I wanted a shlock filled paranormal romance with lot's of sex and maybe a lifemate type trope thrown in? I had this and Shelly Laurenston's The Mane Event, which was pretty disappointing...This one was a bit better though.
The basic plot is as follows: Shifters are considered second class citizens and are forced to live in isolated communities without reliable cable or internet access. They have to wear magic collars to stop them from becoming aggressive.When a shifter is accused of murdering his human girlfriend, Kim makes it her personal cause to clear his name--and also hopes to use the case to further her career as a lawyer. As a human, she needs special protection to enter and talk to the citizens of Shiftertown, which is where Liam comes in. When she's (predictably) threatened, Liam extends his protection to overnight stays and bed sharing. And so forth.
So, what does work in this book? Well, I really liked the world of the shifters and the rules of that world. I liked their origin story. I can see a lot of potential for this series, a lot of good stories to be told within the world. The shifters seem oppressed, but at the same time they have a lot of secrets and a lot of strength.
Indeed, this story in itself isn't bad, as we get to know the politics and variable social dynamics of the shifters. There's mystery, there's violence, and there's certainly romance. Liam is a good hero, if not great--he's a problem solver, a protector, and very predictably alpha-ish when it comes to his relationship with Kim. Kim is not all together unlikeable, either, since she genuinely just wanted to help the shifters.The relationship building is...okay. It's not magical or memorable or gripping, but it isn't overtly lacking either.
The problems within this book are really a lot of little things.
Example 1: Kim is "dating" this guy, who she really doesn't like, who constantly neglects her, out of convenience or whatever...they are still "dating" as of when she first sleeps with Liam. She only ends the pointless relationship when she knows she's got another guy in the bag. Really damaged my opinion of her as a strong, independent female lead.
Example 2: Liam has a slight temper tantrum about Kim taking birth control. At this point in the relationship development, they had just gotten together, and he instantly wants to flush her pills. Kim has a brief WTF? reaction to this, but then just lets it go.
...and so on, with many such semi-bothersome incidents interrupting what might otherwise have been an entertaining story. And that's what made this an okay book instead of a good book. 3 stars.