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Hard Mated (Shifters Unbound) by [Ashley, Jennifer]
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Hard Mated (Shifters Unbound) Kindle Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 266 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Book 3.5 of Shifters Unbound (Austin Shifters) This is a short novel: 43,000 words, seventeen chapters.

About the Author

Jennifer Ashley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous romantic fiction novels, including the Mackenzies series and the Shifters Unbound series. Her many awards include the Golden Quill, the RITA Award, and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Jennifer lives in the Southwest.

Cris Dukehart is an award-winning storyteller who has narrated books in a wide variety of genres, from romance and science fiction to children's literature and autobiography. She can also be heard in commercials, e-learning projects, and corporate narrations.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 956 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JA / AG Publishing (Aug. 19 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008ZXE8N4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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I have always rooted for the underdog. Myka Thompson is the best friend a girl could have. The wallflower who secretly dreams of being swept away by the knight in dragon and jaguar tattoos. "Spike" Reyes has a secret. He needs Myka, and is willing to admit it. Hey what's a girl to do? He said please. Her best friend dies, she was the pretty one, with no baggage. She had the beautiful 4 year old little boy whom cowgirl Myka, adores and has been helping her to care for with Jillian's mom. Now. Jillian wants them to give this precious little whirl wind that can drive a saint crazy to this stranger! His father! So Jillian says. A shifter, whom they know nothing about and she sends Myka, who has never approached a shifter before in her what might soon be shoot life. To summon this stranger to Jillian's dying bed. But she didn't expect this man, no shifter named "Spike". Someone watched too many Buffy episodes. (Not kidding) He didn't run when summoned, from fight club, he came quietly. Even though he had just won his fight, and what a fight, against a shifter bear...huge. She thought shifters weren't supposed to be able to fight? Each other or any one else? Those collars they wore. Right? Myka had stood and watched him fight. Stunned! His body an incredibly graceful, beautiful really, yet lethal jaguar. Not knowing what to think, wanting to run.
Spike didn't understand why he had been summoned to Jillian. He barely remembered her, a one night stand. Her choice. Myka had come up to him with that bottle of water at fight club and he had been instantly aware of her, and how delicious it would be to get to know her better, to run his tongue across her plump lower lip.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa26a0aec) out of 5 stars 286 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2455684) out of 5 stars A lot of heart and heat packed into this short story! Aug. 25 2012
By The Book Tart - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Jennifer Ashley's short story Hard Mated the day it came out. I really adore her Shifter's Unbound series and this was a delicious treat to help tide me over until the next full length novel Mate Claimed comes out October 2nd. *happy dance*

In Jennifer's Shifter's Unbound world building the shifters have "come out" to the humans and live separated from the population in special enclaves, or reservations. They are forced to wear collars that are meant to keep their violence in check. The hero of Hard Mated is Spike (side note, lol I LOVE that name, I'm a Buffy and Spike fan) ok, back on track... Spike is a jaguar shifter and the holds the title of Tracker for the Austin Pack. He likes to blow off steam by fighting in the Shifter Fight Club. After a successful bout with a bear shifter a human woman brings him a water bottle and introduces herself. He thinks she's very brave and attractive and is stunned when Myka asks him to come to the hospital with her because a woman he'd had a one night stand with five years ago wants to see him. The woman, Jillian, is dying from cancer but she wanted him to know they had a child. Spike is in shock. He's dealing with the grief from the knowledge that the beautiful, vibrant woman he'd known is at death's door and the joy that he has a cub. I loved his reaction to his son Jordan. He's awed and humbled that the beautiful little child is his to care for. Now he has something is his life besides his work. He takes Jordan to Shiftertown to his home with his grandmother.

Myka is dealing with the loss of her friend Jillian and wants to honor her wishes by letting Jordan go off with his father. But she has concerns. I liked Myka! She is a survivor. She was beaten by her stepfather as a child and has worked hard to overcome her past. She is self employed and does what she loves, training horses. I liked her courage and big heart :) So she goes to Shiftertown to check up on Spike and Jordan. It's a good thing she did, Spike was going to call her and ask for her help. He even says please! He's in a bind. His Alpha, Liam, has asked him to investigate a threat to their pack, but for the first time in his life his he has another priority, his cub. *sigh* A hot guy caring for a child is extremely attractive.

The chemistry between Myka and Spike feels very real. But what got to me even more was all the heart with the heat. There is a LOT of emotion packed into this short story. I nearly cried a few times... Spike is a survivor like Myka. They both have overcome painful pasts. It broke my heart that Spike felt, rightly so, that most people just viewed him as a weapon and a thug, they don't see his heart and the caretaker underneath the fighting exterior. I was swept up into his and Myka's adventures as their relationship develops and the threat to his pack is uncovered. I know you will fall in love with him and Myka just like I did.

If you have missed the Shifter's Unbound series I feel like this $0.99 novella would be a good introduction to the series and then you will be addicted too :p I'm a book pimp <g> and I'm proud to recommend Hard Mated.

(((hugs))) Kat

The Queen of Tarts

originally posted on my site www dot the book tart dot com
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa24558d0) out of 5 stars Great Read...Love Spike!!! Aug. 21 2012
By Mariann at Belle's Book Bag - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite authors and Shifters Unbound is one of my favorite series from her. I forgot how much I love this series until I started reading Hard Mated. Sexy Tattooed Spike *sigh* Liam *sigh* Sean *sigh* Ronan *sigh* I love Spike and Myka together!! I really enjoyed this book and I loved the story line!! So good. I got to catch up with all my favorite characters again and can't wait for Eric's book next. Such a great read and I hope that Jennifer continues with this series after Eric's book because I don't want to see it end yet!!! Hard Mated is definitely going in my keeper pile to be reread. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer. :) Spike <3
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2455894) out of 5 stars Love the Shifters Unbound world and Spike's short novel is a great addition to the series! Aug. 21 2012
By Mel Thomas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Spike is by far my favorite Shifter and I really thought I'd love his short novel, Hard Mated, but in comparison to Ronan's novella, Bodyguard, and the rest of the Shifters Unbound series it just wasn't as good. That being said, I really liked Hard Mated, I just didn't love it and can't for the life of me figure out why.

I fell even harder for the lonely and incredibly intelligent Spike and though I really wanted to hate Myka for taking my man, I actually liked her. The book had lots of action, some laugh-out-loud funny moments involving a very rambunctious cub, a little smexy time as well as another Shifter issue which came to light and just might be a concern for future books. So what was my issue? Maybe it's just that sooo much stuff happened in this book very quickly and I think it needed more time to develop. Spike and Myka came together much easier than I would have expected given the circumstances that pushed them together. Had Hard Mated been a full length novel, had more time for Spike and Myka's relationship to develop, and been edited a bit better I think it would've been fan-frakkin-tastic.

I want to thank Jennifer Ashley for taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to self-pub a short novel about the seriously hot, tattooed feline Shifter that I've been lusting after since he walked onto the page in Pride Mates. I knew there was more to Spike than what everyone saw and I'm glad that she took the time to share him with us. Looks like all my Twitter and Facebook stalking umm harassing umm I mean following paid off.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2455b88) out of 5 stars HARD MATED by Jennifer Ashley 'WOW' what a GREAT READ Oct. 11 2012
By TracieR - Published on
Format: Paperback
Spike is a tracker the best the Morrissey's have. He is also a wildcat shifter and champion fighter who life is about to be changed.

Myka is a horse trainer and her best friend Jillian is about to die but Jillian need Myka to be strong and believe she is doing the right thing when she send Myka to get Spike so she can introduce him to his four year old shifter son Jordan.

Spike is torn between his son and his commitment as a tracker but when Myka and Jordan are placed in danger all bets are off.

Jennifer Ashley writes the most amazing books and this one will have you wanting to read so many more. Whether writing as Jennifer Ashley, Allyson James or Ashley Gardner her books are always so well written you find yourself immersed in the stories and the lives of the characters. So jump on board and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d109c) out of 5 stars another yummy shifter tale by Jennifer Ashley Sept. 9 2012
By D. Antonio - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tough guy, tracker, Jaguar shifter Spike finds out he has a cub from a one night stand. He finds this out from the mother on her deathbed. She sent her best friend Myka to get him so she could give him the news. Spike is elated and horrified. He has a son. How is he to care for a rambunctious 4 year old? He pleads with Myka to help him out as the boy Jordon already knows her. Quickly they discover an intense attraction to each other as well. Spikes intelligence is often overlooked as he is known to be a strong fighter. Mostly he uses this to his advantage but sometimes it gets old. Myka seems to see straight to the heart of him. Meanwhile, there are shifters that would use Spike to further their agenda and are not above using Jordan and Myka as hostage to his compliance. Can Spike perform his duties to the shifter community that's taken him in and still keep Myka and Jordan safe?
This is another yummy shifter tale by Jennifer Ashley. Ms. Ashley has created a believable world with vivid characters. Sexy shifters and their mates. Although this is a short novel it packs all the excitement and romance of the Shifters Unbound series. I look forward to future installments