Title: Animal Attraction
Series: Wolf Hollow Shifters
Author: Nikki Jefford
Release Date: 25th May 2021
BLURB from Goodreads
Is love too great a risk in a cruel and dying world?
Rafael has never intended to settle down or take a mate. He knows firsthand how a mate bond can destroy a family. This world is too savage for love. He wants nothing to do with Hailey, the pureblooded female who arrives from Glenn Meadows. So what if she’s fearless, poised, and gorgeous? Not to mention that his wolf is on hers the moment they meet. Just because his brother changed their plans doesn’t mean he’ll stick around Wolf Hollow like a whipped dog. Too bad his furry half won’t let him flee.
Hailey had all but given up on ever finding a pureblooded male to continue her line. Too bad the one who shows up in neighboring Wolf Hollow is a complete and utter wretch. His wolf wants to mount hers while his human half rejects her—repeatedly. Message received. Why does he have to keep chasing her down, awakening dreams and desires long buried?
While their wolves get whatever this is out of their systems, Rafael and Hailey make a pact. The worldly nomad agrees to teach the sheltered she-wolf how to get by in the wild and become her own alpha rather than submit to her pack’s leader.
Once her survival skills are honed, Rafael will be on his way. But the animal in him won’t give in so easily, not until man and beast come together to claim Hailey as his mate.
I would say the male on the cover of this book is human side of Rafael, the single, traveller wolf who intends to stay single and continue to roam free where ever his wolf takes him. The book picks up where Moon Cursed left off. The two visitors Rafael and Diego are still in Wolf Hollow, Diego having met his true mate and Rafael despondent about his brother wishing to settle down and yet eager to leave and start roaming free again himself even if it means going it alone. Quite a bit of the book is also set in and around the Glenn Meadows pack, where news of the eligible single pureblood mates has come to the attention of former Alpha Jefferson and his mate Geraldine who are on the lookout for a pureblood male for their pureblood daughter Hailey. Aden has been sent from Wolf Hollow to invite Hailey to visit to see if she is compatible with Diego, unfortunately for Hailey Diego has already fallen for, and chosen his mate who lives in Wolf Hollow. By the time Hailey reaches Wolf Hollow the only available pureblood male is Rafael. Another problem that Hailey encounters is that Rafael in human form is not at all interested in a mate or settling down at all. However, when Rafael is being ruled by his four-legged self he can’t seem to resist Hailey and seems very eager to mate with her. Throughout the whole book Rafael is fighting internally between his human & wolf side. It is blatantly obvious to those from the Wolf Hollow Pack and the Glenn Meadows Pack that Rafael & Hailey would be perfect together, but Rafael is determined he will not give in to his animal side and when in human form is quite nasty, rather rude, and extremely off-standish with Hailey. Hailey has a difficult choice ahead of her, she can return to Gelnn Meadows and have the current Alpha Kamari who is quite a lot older than her claim her as his mate, or she can follow her urge to learn what is beyond Wolf Hollow & Glenn Meadows. Hailey eventually strikes a deal with Rafael, he will temporarily lead her new pack, consisting of some of her friends from Glenn Meadows, males Byron – her old fling, and Skeet, along with females Violet and Layla. They are also joined by Hudson from Wolf Hollow who feels he needs a change of pack and pace too. They set off and everything seems to be going well, they gel as a pack, they hunt and for the majority of the time they stay in animal form. Then when Hailey and Rafael change into human form and get closer than Rafael is comfortable with, it becomes apparent that the group need to part from him sooner rather than later. Despite Hailey feeling Rafael is the mate for her she is unwilling to hang around forever trying to change his mind. I think Hailey is thinking of the old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” as that is what ends up happening with Rafael trailing her and her pack. However, when he comes across a pack of dead humans his plans go awry when he discovers two young children are the only survivors of a Vulhena attack. Uncharacteristically for him Rafael becomes quite enchanted by the young humans, and just can’t bring himself to abandon them to their fate in the wild. Once Rafael has determined that Hailey and her pack safely passed the area where he can scent the vulhena he decides to escort 4 year old Coral and her even younger brother Eco back to the village they were travelling from. It turns out that their village has been taken over by werewolves, who are using the villagers as their personal slaves/servants. Rafael plans on leaving the children near the gates of the village and then going back to tracking Hailey. Things do not go to plan for Rafael as he ends up getting caught up in the problems of the village but it turns out help is on its way and just in the nick of time too. Whilst all this is going on Hailey and her pack end up in a few scrapes too, yet end up being rescued by other shifters that then follow Rafael’s trail to the village and they to are soon caught up in the drama unfolding there.
I’ll be honest, to begin with I did really dislike Rafael, in fact I wasn’t keen on him in Moon Cursed either. To me Rafael seemed an arrogant, ignorant pureblood who thought he could have whatever he wanted from Hailey in his animal form yet when in human form could treat her really badly and deny any feeling for her at all. However, as the book progresses you learn why Rafael is so dead set against having a mate and having a family. He saw what the humans did to his own mother, and he had to act much older than he was and protect himself and his brother Diego when his father abandoned them and walked to his death as he could not bear to be in a world without his mate in it. I ended up doing a full turn around and actually empathising with him and his reasons for not wanting to become emotionally attached to anyone.
I enjoyed meeting the new characters in this book, the villagers, Autumn the Aunt to Coral and Eco and her fellow villagers who are plotting to take back control of her village, despite another attempt failing and resulting in severe punishments for the villagers. I also loved the introduction of the other shape-shifters, I won’t spoil the “surprise” as to what type of shifter/animal they are but will say it proves not all shifter/animals can or should be tarred with the same brush!
My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that I truly adore these characters and am totally in love with the amazing world these stories are set in…… already looking forward to more!
Summing up, Animal Attraction is another great addition to the Wolf Hollow Series. This book and the novella Primal Bonds have me wondering what direction the series is going to go. Are we going to see more from the different species of shape-shifters? Or maybe some more from the villagers we met in Animal Attraction and whose story continued in Primal Bonds. I can see this series going in so many different directions and there are still some lose ends to tie up with the Wizards as well as plenty of relationships and mate bonds to catch up on, along with singleton shifters looking for mates. I should also add it doesn’t seem to make any difference how long I go in between reading the books in this series, they are so well written I easily slip in and out of the world expertly created by the author Nikki Jefford. I do normally only read wolf-shifter stories but this author has me opening up to reading about other types of shape-shifters too.
when you purchase Animal Attraction bk5 in the
Title: Primal Bonds
Series: Wolf Hollow Shifters
Author: Nikki Jefford
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Paranormal, Fantasy, Shapeshifters
Release Date: 25th May 2021
BLURB supplied at the end of Animal Attraction book
Language, custom and ancestry forge impossible barriers between a woman and a bear shifter, but words cannot stand in the way when it comes to the language of the heart.
Kohana saved Autumn from a vicious werewolf attack. When he offers to claim her as his mate she is baffled. She's a human widow with two unruly boys. The mysterious and majestic Native bear shifter is chief of his tribe and the most gorgeous and she's ever seen. Surely he wants a young bride with her maidenhood intact.
Translating for his chief, Chester assures Autumn that she is the only female Kohana wants. he has witnessed her strength and position as a leader within her village. She has birthed two strong boys ad looks out for her people.
Autumn's settlement is still reeling in the wake of the werewolves' reign. If they are to protect themselves from future attacks they will need help from their new bear guardians. The villagers are eager to give the bear shifters a reason to stay, especially after learning there are more single males in the tribe interested in human wives. But before any of the bear shifters can court the village's women, they must first wait for their chie to claim a mate.
After a passionless marriage, Autumn struggles to make peace with the past and give in to her desires. Will her savage savior be her salvation?REVIEW
This book is a free bonus story from the author that you can claim free via a link at the end of Animal Attraction at the time of me writing this review. The book picks up right after Animal Attraction finishes with the villagers, and shapeshifters healing and coming to terms with what has happened.
wakes up hearing her friend Blossom crying which she totally
understands as she too is upset about the loss of their friend that made
up their widow trio. Both Autumn and Blossom wish that their friend was
still there with them but know she would not want to dwell on her loss.
They need to think about the future for the village and for themselves.
They are worried that the whole scenario with the werewolves could
happen again and ideally, they want the bear shifters to stay close by.
When Kohana, leader of the bear shifters approaches Autumn and asks her
to be his she is at first shocked but when she thinks about the idea the
more it seems like a perfect one. She doesn’t jump at the chance she
tells Kohana via the bear shifter translator called Chester that she
will think on the idea. The arrangement of Kohana and Autumn being
together would also suit both the bear shifters as once their leader is
mated the remaining single bear shifters can then approach those they
wish to take as mates.
This novella goes more into detail about Autumn’s previous life in what you can only describe as a domestic abuse situation. Autumn’s first husband, Spruce, who was killed by the werewolves. Before the werewolves even arrived in the village Autumn was leading an unhappy life. To begin with Spruce had been attentive and fairly kind, then once they became married, he changed, he became both controlling and abusive. Autumn was glad to be freed from her marriage to him, though as a religious woman she would have never wished such a death on anybody.
Once Kohana takes his mate, it’s not long at all until the other bear shifters begin to woo the females in the village that have caught their eye. All is going fairly smoothly and well until a group of villagers that had locked themselves into a bunker away from the werewolves come out of their hiding place and begin to cause trouble.
I loved a lot of the characters in this novella but ones that really stick in my mind are of course Autumn, who looks like a tough, no nonsense woman afraid of nothing, but on the inside is still timid due to how she has been treat in the past. Autumn is brave and puts the safety and lives of others before her own. I adored how despite the language barrier Kohana took Autumns two unruly sons, who are quite ungrateful and disrespectful to their mother under his wing. Kohana takes the boys out hunting, teaches them how to make spears and shows them survival skills. I’ll be honest the two boy’s characters, Flint and Lynx both irritated me and they seemed beyond help, but as they learnt life skills and survival skills from Kohana their behaviours changed and I ended up quite liking them. Along the same age group I totally adored the bear shifter Nikiti, first being around the village as a cub and then with coaxing and being included with the village children he shifts into a boy and becomes really integrated with the villagers. Another point I would like to mention is the names of the characters and how they come from nature, such as Autumn, Storm, Rain, and Sterling etc.
I also enjoyed reading about the “vulhena” from different character points of view. The shape shifters view them as dangerous, wild scavengers and all the different shapeshifters seem to refer to them as vulhena. The human villagers call them werecats and at first cannot comprehend or even see a difference in them and any of the shifters, especially the werewolves who were ruling their village. It's difficult to say much more without revealing spoilers etc. so I can't really say anymore.
Summing up, Primal Bonds is a great addition to the Wolf Hollow Shifters series.