The Awakening: Aidan by Abby Niles
Is the gift of eternal love a blessing or a curse?
After years of counseling grieving shifters, psychiatrist and half-shifter, Dr. Jaylin Avgar has become jaded on shifter mating. She wants to marry a human and forget about the love for eternity crap. Then she meets Aidan O'Connell, an infuriatingly laid back shifter who represents everything she doesn't want. Yet, the more he pursues her, the more she craves a future with him. Only one thing stands in her way: death. Can she overcome her fear of losing Aidan to the one guarantee in life?
Millionaire consultant, Aidan O'Connell knows he'll one day meet a woman who'll awaken an unrelenting mating instinct. Unfortunately, that woman is Jaylin, who has no qualms about telling him that he and his so-called eternity can shove it. When she pushes him away, he takes a drastic step so she can no longer escape. The close proximity throws the instinct into overdrive. Can he control the need engrained in him until he's certain she will reciprocate the bond, or will a moment of weakness doom him to hell on earth?
About the Author
Abby Niles has always loved to read. After having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. She didn't plan for writing to become an obsession, but it did. Today, she juggles work, home life, and writing. It's not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy? When Abby's not writing, you can find her playing ‘Just Dance' with her kids or trying to catch up on her never-ending to-be-read list.
Read an Excerpt
The Awakening: Aidan
By Abby Niles, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Abby Niles
All rights reserved.
Aidan O'Connell juggled an armload of groceries as he tripped up one of the cabin steps. Damn it. When he reached the front door, he knocked on it with the only thing he had available at the moment: his foot.
He took a calming breath between clenched teeth.
A virtue he feared he was running short of. Hadn't he already used every ounce he'd possessed? He'd offered his friend a place to stay while he mended a broken heart, and at first his new living situation had been fine. But over the last few weeks, his temporary roommate seemed to forget this wasn't his house. And that common courtesy — like opening the blasted door when needed, or hell, helping unload the groceries — was expected.
"Liam, come on, man. Open the door!"
He listened for the heavy footsteps of his friend on the other side of the wood. The only thing he heard was a pissed-off squirrel chattering in the distance. Most likely some other animal was creating a disturbance in its life. He could sympathize. Liam had completely disrupted his.
He grimaced at the thought. That wasn't fair. Liam couldn't help it. Though if he'd freaking listen, he'd at least get some therapy.
He kicked the door with more force than necessary, taking satisfaction in the way the wood groaned in response. No way Liam hadn't heard that.
Still, no one answered.
Cursing under his breath, Aidan shifted the brown grocery bags in his arms, fished his keys from the front pocket of his khaki cargo shorts, then fumbled with the lock. He probably should've done this from the beginning and saved himself the irritation. He kept giving Liam chances to prove that his old friend was still there. The friend who would've heard Aidan pull into the driveway and been outside to help before he'd even parked the truck. He hip-bumped the door open.
"Liam! I could use some help here."
Crickets. Aidan tightened his grip on the bags. He shouldn't be surprised. Liam had been MIA for weeks. Oh, he'd been around in body, but he'd checked out mentally ages ago. If he didn't get some psychological help soon, it wouldn't be Liam who went stark raving mad, but Aidan. He backed into the living room. "Dude, we've got to have a serious talk."
As he turned around, he stumbled to a stop.
His friend sat ramrod straight on the edge of the black leather armchair, his gaze focused on the wall in front of him, unblinking. If it weren't for the muscle that jumped occasionally in his jaw, Aidan would've thought Liam was dead and rigor mortis had set in. Aidan slid the bags down his body and dropped them on the matching leather couch as he stepped toward his friend. "Hey, Liam?"
He didn't move, didn't even acknowledge that Aidan had spoken. He remained as still as the armchair he sat in. Laying his hand on Liam's shoulder, Aidan was stunned by the rock-hard tension of his friend's muscles. He gently shook. "Hey, buddy. You okay?"
Stupid question. Liam was certainly not okay. Aidan squatted beside the chair. "Li-am." He sing-sang his friend's name. No reaction. Shit.
Could the tales be true?
Panic tightened his throat. Dsershon was rare among shifters — so rare that most shifters only knew about it through someone who knew someone who knew someone else. And the stories had become like old wives' tales.
But Liam had been increasingly agitated over the last month. Aidan had walked on eggshells around his friend, worried that one wrong move would find him on the biting end of Liam's sharp tongue, which had gotten even sharper lately. He'd rather take his nasty attitude than this. This scared him, and made the unbelievable all the more real. He called Liam's name again with no response.
Aidan straightened and dug his wallet out of the back pocket of his shorts. He hadn't wanted to do this. Had hoped Liam would come to this conclusion on his own, but the time for his friend to see reason was long gone. The man needed help — months ago.
He retrieved the business card Britton had given him a few days earlier. "Dr. Jaylin Avgar, Psychiatrist" was imprinted on the off-white stock paper in a gold italic font.
Not that a normal human therapist could ever help Liam, but the symbol in the right-hand corner of the card, a square with three lightning bolts inside that represented the beast within, was exactly the therapist he needed — and there were only a handful of them in the United States.
Liam was going to be pissed, but he'd just have to put up with whatever his friend threw at him. This — whatever this was — wasn't normal. He slid his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed the number on the card. It rang three times before a young female voice answered with, "Dr. Avgar's office. This is Pam. How may I help you?"
"May I speak with Dr. Avgar, please?"
"I'm sorry, but she's in a meeting right now. May I take a message and have her call you back?"
In a meeting. The typical rebuttal for someone screening calls. How many times had he blown off someone with the same excuse? "This is an emergency."
"I understand, sir, but she's in a meeting."
Aidan clenched his jaw. "Dsershon is at stake here. I don't have time to wait."
Silence stretched on the phone. The woman was either a half shifter and knew what the word meant or thought he was talking in some cryptic code that only Dr. Avgar would understand. It didn't matter to him which one it was, as long as she got the doctor on the phone.
"One moment, please." She didn't even wait for his response as classical music assaulted his ears.
He studied Liam. His friend still hadn't moved. Nor had the vacant expression left his face. Had there been any warning signs? Yeah, he'd stopped mid-sentence a couple of times, had gotten this confused, disoriented look, but he'd always blinked it away and picked right back up where he'd left off. Aidan had chalked it up to stress. Idiot! Why hadn't he insisted Liam see a specialist? He'd tiptoed around the subject. But every time he brought the topic up, Liam went ballistic.
"Dr. Avgar. How can I help you?"
"This is Aidan O'Connell. I have a friend —"
"Mr. O'Connell. While I appreciate your thinking of me, I no longer practice in that area of psychiatry. I can refer him —"
"I need someone now. He's sitting here like he's in a trance or something."
The silence on the other end of the phone allowed the squeaking of her chair to come through the phone. "How long?"
"I don't know for sure. He was like this when I walked in the door ten minutes ago."
"Listen to me carefully. Place one hand on his shoulder and snap your fingers in front of his face. Do not release the pressure from his shoulder. He's lost in her and needs stimulus from his surroundings. Continue snapping and calling his name until he comes around."
Aidan put the phone on speaker, placed it on the arm of the chair, then gripped his friend's shoulder. "Liam." He snapped his fingers three times in quick repetition. He didn't even blink. "Liam," he said his name more forceful, snapping his fingers again. Nothing. Damn it. "Liam!"
"It's not working," he directed to the phone. "What the hell's the matter with him?"
A whispered "shit" came through the speaker before she said, "He's in Bahrraj. Has he had no therapy at all?"
"None. He's refused."
"Stubborn damn shifters. I swear to God ... Where are you?"
He gave her directions.
"It's going to take me at least thirty minutes to get there, and that's making all the lights. I'll get there as quickly as I can. Don't stop trying to reach him. The longer he's in Bahrraj, the harder it's going to be to get him out."
The phone went dead.
Aidan continued doing what Dr. Avgar had instructed. Desperation twisted his guts as his friend's gaze failed to focus on him. He grabbed both Liam's shoulders and shook — or tried to shake. It was as though Liam were made of stone. His head didn't wobble, didn't even sway with the motion. His entire upper body moved in unison. He had no doubt if he pushed Liam over onto the floor, he'd stay in the exact same position.
This was all Ava's damn fault. She better hope Dr. Avgar could bring Liam around, or there'd be hell to pay.
* * *
Jaylin tapped her palm against the steering wheel as she willed the light to change. Carnal Ridge, North Carolina, was one of the top ten shifter-populated towns, evident by the sharp, musky scent of wildness lacing the air.
A smell that should've reminded her of home. Instead, it made her question her sanity.
Why had she agreed to this?
She should've referred Mr. O'Connell to ... to whom? The next closest therapist specializing in Dsershon was three states over. Thankfully, the condition was rare. In her eight years as a therapist, she'd only had five cases.
Only five cases. She shook her head. One case had been one too many. She could've gone her entire life never seeing the true effect of Dsershon. The dismal life a bonded shifter lived after being abandoned by his unbonded mate was heartbreaking to watch, much less counsel. Add in the many Wydow cases she'd dealt with and it was enough to make her quit shifter therapy and concentrate solely on human grief. Which was still difficult to bear at times, but at least she wasn't dealing with the Fewshon. A bonding of souls that was supposed to bring endless happiness, but all she'd witnessed was endless pain.
She glared at the red light. "Come on!"
Finally the light changed. She hit the gas and she turned left, leaving Main Street and the tiny town behind. The glare of the sun struck her straight in the eyes, causing her to squint. She lifted her foot off the accelerator. She'd be no help to the shifter if she got in an accident. A few miles down, she pulled onto the dirt road Mr. O'Connell had instructed her to take. Towering trees blocked out the glare, giving an eerie orange cast to the densely packed trees. The narrow, curvy road wound deeper and deeper into the woods, yet again making her drive slower than she wished.
Why couldn't he have lived in one of those cute little housing developments she'd passed a few miles back? Instead he lived in the middle of BFE where the banjo tune from Deliverance was probably played nightly.
As she crested a steep incline, the trees thinned to nestle around a modest-sized log cabin in a perfect, circular-shaped clearing. Vibrant green grass surrounded the area, and a walkway made of stone led from the gravel driveway to the cabin. Freshly mulched flower beds filled with lush bushes and other greenery hugged each side of the steps of the porch.
The place had a definite homey vibe to it. You'd never know a shifter's life was in danger by looking at it. With that thought, she haphazardly parked the car beside a four-door truck that made her sedan seem ant-like in comparison, grabbed her briefcase, and jogged up the path. The door flew open before she'd made it onto the porch.
"He hasn't come out of it!"
Despite the panic on the man's face, her breath caught and she stumbled to a stop. She didn't know whom she'd been expecting, but this young, muscular all-man man was certainly not it.
Shaggy ginger hair topped his head. The same color stubble lined his cheeks and strong jaw. Green eyes, with tiny laugh lines crinkled at the edges, watched her. Though she figured their appearance was more from worry than laughter right now. That thought brought her out of her hottie-induced stupor. "Where is he?"
"In the living room."
She went to brush past him, trying to keep her wayward eyes from the thick expanse of his chest. Which taunted her from beneath the stretched fabric of a green cotton T-shirt that read "Kiss Me, I'm Irish."
The word "kiss" held her transfixed for a moment, and she paused in the doorway staring at it. A rumble from his chest nudged her back into motion, and she hurried into the room. She felt his eyes follow her, felt them burn into her ass as if he'd actually touched her there.
She was a professional, for goodness' sake. She'd been around plenty of attractive men. What was it about this one that made her have a momentary lapse in judgment?
No matter. She had a job to do.
Placing her briefcase beside her on the floor, she studied the blond man sitting on the chair, so deep in Bahrraj, completely lost in his mate's emotions, and her heart twisted. As she grabbed a penlight from the pocket of her suit jacket, she stepped in front of him and lifted his eyelid wider. She flicked the light across his pupils. No dilation. Damn it.
"Is he going to be okay?"
She wanted to ignore the other man, pretend he wasn't there, but she couldn't disregard the worry in his voice. Without looking at him, she said, "Give me just a minute. I need to do a few things."
She lifted a stethoscope from her briefcase. She hadn't used the thing in eight months, but even after she'd made the decision to never work with shifters again, she couldn't bring herself to toss it away. Weak on her part, but she wasn't completely anti-shifter. Just ... worn out.
Placing the scope to the man's chest, she listened to his heartbeat. The Fewshon buzzed in the background like static from a radio. The fact that she could hear it was concerning. He was even deeper in Bahrraj than she'd thought. She moved the scope to his right side under his rib cage, listening for a rumble of his beast. Silence. She clenched her teeth together. Worst-case scenario right in front of her. Thank God she'd brought her kit.
Straightening, she pulled the plugs out of her ears and let the scope hang from her neck. She turned to face Mr. O'Connell. His eyes pierced hers, assessing her with an interested gleam. He stepped closer to her, and she tilted her chin up in warning.
"Mr. O'Connell —
"Mister O'Connell, he's very deep in Bahrraj. I'll need to take extra measures to reach him. I'll need for you to leave the room."
He crossed his arms over his chest. "No."
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Like she hadn't seen that coming. Heaven-for-freaking-bid she ask a shifter to do something he didn't want to do. "If you insist on staying, I'll need your help."
"He needs more outside stimuli. What's Liam's favorite food?"
"Do you have any on hand?"
"Could you throw some on so we can get the scent inside the house? It will help reach him." Which was a lie, but he didn't need to know that. If it got him out of the room so she could do what she needed to do, then she had no qualms about lying.
When he didn't move, she leveled him with a stare. "Now."
A slow grin spread across his lips, drawing her attention to them. Irritation spiked. Not only for noticing his lips, but for what that slow grin had meant. He thought she was cute for trying to boss him around. Ass.
"Yes, ma'am," he said in a slow drawl.
While he rustled around the kitchen, she calculated the distance. He should be far enough away. He may feel some residual effect, but she and Liam should be safe from any negative impact it may have on Aidan. Jaylin riffled through her briefcase and pulled out the leather package containing the Splycer.
Years ago, when she'd been inexperienced and allowed emotion to cloud her judgment, she'd made the mistake of using the device in the presence of another male shifter, something she'd been taught never to do. She'd ended up having to tranquilize the raging beast that had emerged. She'd never made that mistake again. She withdrew the small tool, no bigger than her thumb, and put the earbuds back in her ears.
The smell of pork chops cooking started to permeate the air. Good.
Now to find his beast and bring it back to its rightful place under Liam's rib cage, so it could help him fight his way back to reality. Unfortunately, his beast could be lost in one of six areas. Placing the stethoscope on his wrist, she listened for a faint rumble. Nothing. She checked around his back and temple, and finally heard the low vibrating growl below his ear where his jawbone stopped. She pulled the cap off the electrode and placed the two coils directly to his skin and pulled the trigger. A red flash lit the room as the sounds of electricity shooting from the Splycer into Liam rent the air. His body jerked. Once.
"Liam!" She barked the word, with force and dominance. She snapped her finger.
"Liam!" she repeated.
She saw a flicker in his eyes, a quick shadow that passed right across the iris. Then the tense shoulder beneath her palm relaxed and he blinked.
Excerpted from The Awakening: Aidan by Abby Niles, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2013 Abby Niles. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jaylin has all kinds of reasons why she should not get involved with Aiden. The author lays them all out really well and we can understand the push and pull of the relationship forming on both characters. They're both a bit pigheaded so I didn't like them very much. In the use of a language which sounds much like ours but it's spelled differently the writer pays an homage to JR Ward for example the word fusion to designate a blending of the souls of two people is spelled FEWSHON but is the word fusion. It's what happens to a partner when the other person passes away which is the crux of the story. As a therapist who has treated the mate who has left Jaylin thinks it means that one's life is over. The has to undergo a deep psychological shift quickly in order to realize the truth of the bond between mates and the emotional connection between her and Aidan. Niles has created a different shifter taxonomy with a female deity (Dea) creating a perfect mate. Sometimes the mate is purely human and other times it is a half shifter. Bonding allows one partner to feel the others while fewshon is what a dually bonded couple experiences. If one partner bonds and the other doesn't the bonded partner gets really messed up and can be left catatonic. The shifters an be different animals: Aidan is a cougar, one of Jaylin's colleagues is a tiger I didn't see any big holes in the world building. One or two bad word choices remain post editing. There's a lot of intense pre-sexual encounters and some even hotter sexy encounters. I found Aidan way too arrogant, rude and Machiavellian. I thought Jaylin was actually correct in her professional demands to stop his constant advances. I would have slapped a restraining order on his furry shifter ass. He would probably have bought the judge. Eventually they both become more bearable people and, well, you know... I am interested in what direction this storyline takes -- there are a few more characters with the potential for stormy stories. This Review originally appeared on my Blog Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust on 5/7/13
As a psychiatrist and half shifter, Jaylin had seen it all when it came to shifter mating and grief. She wants nothing more to do with shifters, or their pain, and will only take human patients. She doesn't even want a shifter for a mate...nice safe humans are the only ones for her. Aidan is smart, rich and relentless in getting what he wants. When his friend is rejected by his mate and is in desperate need of help, Aidan contacts the closest psychiatrist - Jaylin. Despite her misgivings, she reluctantly agrees to help out. As Aidan comes face to face with Jaylin, he realizes she is his mate. When she rejects him, he takes a drastic step so she can no longer run from him. The close proximity throws his instincts into overdrive. Unable to resist, she finds herself craving a future with him. Will Jaylin over come her fears if being with a shifter and accept the gift of eternal love or will Aidan be cursed to live hell on earth? I know everybody always says `this is a new twist on an old story' but truly, The Awakening: Aidan was for me. Several elements author Abby Niles introduces to her shifter story were ones I hadn't encountered before. It made for a nice refreshing change. I really enjoy a story that has two solid strong lead characters. I was not disappointed in Jaylin and Aidan. Both stubborn, both determined, neither one giving an inch on the subject of love. Thank goodness, opposites attract. The pacing of the story was very well done and kept me riveted. I'm not sure if this is to be a series but if it isn't it should be. I found several secondary characters so engaging I would like to see them get their own story and HEA. This is definitely one book I will be suggesting my friends read. Get The Awaking: Aidan, I'm sure you won't regret it. I received this book from JeepDiva in exchange for my honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensated. Stars - 4 Flames - 3
When I first saw this book I was really excited to read it. I admit I'm a sucker for Shifter stories, especially werewolf shifter stories. As long as there good shifter stories and not like those other ones that are so popular with people. So to say I was shocked when I realized that this wasn't a werewolf shifter story would be an understatement. But it is a shifter story, just not a werewolf shifter story. Now I have to say I was actually blown away with how good this story is. Of course I love when the main character's are both strong and independent. Both of which Aidan and Jaylin were from the very beginning. Jaylin first meets Aidan when she goes and helps Aidan's friend Liam, when he goes into a state of Bahrraj, which happens when a shifter's mate rejects them. Jaylin who is half shifter herself has decided that when she meets her mate she doesn't want to become Fewshon to her mate. I have to admit I really liked Jaylin from the beginning even though she was stubborn from the beginning. Though she does have reason to. Of course I fell in love with Aidan right away who was strong, sexy and dominate from the beginning. I had to admire Aidan for trying to get Jaylin to fall for him even though he may have gone the wrong way about it by kidnapping her to his own island. Which almost cost him and his panther shifter's life and almost costs Jaylin her life. I would definitely give this story 5 stars out of 5 and recommend this story to anybody who likes shifter and romance mixed into one.
Different. I really enjoyed the story line.
The premise for this book and the beautiful cover was enough to hook me, but would I stay hooked? The heroine, Jaylin has seen first-hand the downside of claiming your mate. She’s taken a strong stance and has dramatically changed her professional life. Got to love a heroine who is willing to take a stand. Of course, fate never goes easy and listens. Nope, not going to happen. In walks Aidan. He needs her help and he’s not taking no for an answer. This is where the sexual tension begins. It simmers in the best kind of way. Yes, I stayed hooked. One of my favorite couple of sentences come in the beginning from Jaylin’s thoughts of Aidan: A slow grin spread across his lips, drawing her attention to them. Irritation spiked. Not only for noticing his lips, but for what that slow grin had meant. He thought she was cute for trying to boss him around. Ass. These two push each other’s buttons and it’s great fun to read. This is one hot read. Yummy hot! Strange, wonderful, and horrifying things can happen when two people meant to love each other for all eternity fight their destiny. This book moves right along at a quick pace. As the heroine works through the black moment things do slow a bit compared to the rest of the book, but it still moves right along. There is also a good bit to take in on the world building, but it was interesting. It kept me turning the pages. It was quite touching how this heroine has her turning moment. Tears actually came to my eyes. Very well done. Lots of lovely flawed characters to love too. Ones I hope Abby will explore more in future books. The end was entirely satisfying. I highly recommend The Awakening: Aidan to paranormal romance readers. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
The Awakening: Aidan by Abby Niles is a wonderful addition to the paranormal romance genre. It’s refreshing look at the “mating bond” concept in paranormal romances, and especially among shifter romances, is not just a great read, but also a more intriguing discussion on how something like a “mating bond” would work in the real world. Aidan’s best friend, Liam, is dealing with a failed mating: Liam has mated, but his mate Ava, has not. The result is a nasty brew that causes personality shifts, loss of consciousness, the loss of his ability to shift, and loss of personal freedom for Liam. And, that doesn’t even take into account the broken heart he is nursing. When Aidan finally reaches out to help Liam by contacting a psychologist who specializes in shifter mating issues, he gets more than he bargained for; he gets his mate. Dr. Jaylin Avgar is a half-shifter and she is dead set against mating, period. The pain of failed matings that she has seen as a result of her practice and the pain of loss from a mating (her own parents) have irrevocably turned her against the whole idea. When the instinct to mate causes Aidan to begin the process, Jaylin is horrified and fights with everything in her to avoid further damage. But, Aidan will not be denied and he is bound and determined to win his mate. When tragedy strikes and everything is on the line, can they find the strength in themselves to be mates? The Awakening: Aidan is not your typical paranormal romance, but a thoughtful discussion on the pros and cons of mating in the shifter world. Jaylin and Aidan are hopefully the start of a new series. There certainly seem to be enough characters for at least a sequel, especially with Liam and Ava. It’s not the shifter world that makes this book, though the world building is well done. It’s the frank look at the mating bond that is prevalent in paranormal romance and the unique take on it that really makes this book shine. It is what gives this book its 4.5 rating. I can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for something new and different in shifter romance. RATING: 4.5 Heat Rating: Hot REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves,My Book Addiction Reviews
3.5 stars REVIEW: THE AWAKENING: Aidan is a contemporary paranormal, shifter romance storyline that builds upon the various emotional and physical states of shifters when the male is rejected by his female mate. Although this particular installment focuses on Aidan ( a cougar shifter) and Jaylin, much of the story's premise is driven by a mass of world building and, the emotional and psychological breakdown of Aidan's friend Liam when his mate rejects him after she has been marked. The story follows Aidan as he is desperate to find help for his best friend and `brother' Liam, who six months after rejection, is bordering on permanent withdrawal and suicide. Much of the novel's focus is dependent on world building with an influx of terminology for each of the various stages of finding one's mate, bonding and rejection. As an introductory storyline, The Awakening: Aidan is awash in plenty of background information and psychological description, courtesy of Aidan's future mate Jaylin Avgar-a half shifter who wants nothing to do with shifters in both her personal and professional life. As you can imagine, Jaylin's rejection of Aidan sets into motion another shifter spiral into the depths of despair and despondency over the potential loss of one's mate. The character building is fairly fluid, but Jaylin's personality and need to prove her rejection of everything shifter got to be a little too much at times. She was annoying and difficult to like especially when at every opportunity she gave mixed signals to the shifter who wanted nothing more than to claim and bond with his mate. It was even more frustrating watching the hurt from Jaylin when she realized that Aidan was no longer going to play her games and walk away. What did the woman expect when she continued to reject and deny her mate! Jaylin knew that Aidan was her mate but after watching so many shifters go through life despondent and depressed, she refused to put herself into the position where the death or loss of a mate, meant death for the other. But it will take another shifter, one who survived the death of his beloved, to prove to Jaylin, that life does go on, even in death one's happiness is not always dependent on another. THE AWAKENING: AIDAN is an interesting storyline, with a bit of a twist on the shifter-bonding premise. Abby Niles's world building is detailed but will pull you into the storyline with the continued use and application of the various psychological stages of shifter mating so that by the end of the book, hopefully everyone is on the same page-so to speak. see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
In The Awakening, Abby Niles makes you believe in the power of destiny and desire. Jaylin Avgar (love this name) is a half shifter psychologist who treats humans and shifters alike. She has recently cancelled the shifter side of her practice as it has been too emotionally draining. Enter, Aidan, a shifter who has contacted her to help his friend (Liam) who is suffering from his bonded mate rejecting him. Jaylin is a soft touch and despite her conviction in no longer treating shifters, she cannot turn away from Liam's suffering. Aidan realises as soon as he meets Jaylin that she is his true mate but faces quite a few obstacles convincing her of that fact. An emotional and sensuous battle ensues. Utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic, I definitely recommend you add this one to your collection.
The Awakening: Aidan Is the gift of eternal love a blessing or a curse? After years of counseling grieving shifters, psychiatrist and half-shifter, Dr. Jaylin Avgar has become jaded on shifter mating. She wants to marry a human and forget about the love for eternity crap. Then she meets Aidan O’Connell, an infuriatingly laid back shifter who represents everything she doesn’t want. Yet, the more he pursues her, the more she craves a future with him. Only one thing stands in her way: death. Can she overcome her fear of losing Aidan to the one guarantee in life? Millionaire consultant, Aidan O’Connell knows he’ll one day meet a woman who’ll awaken an unrelenting mating instinct. Unfortunately, that woman is Jaylin, who has no qualms about telling him that he and his so-called eternity can shove it. When she pushes him away, he takes a drastic step so she can no longer escape. The close proximity throws the instinct into overdrive. Can he control the need engrained in him until he’s certain she will reciprocate the bond, or will a moment of weakness doom him to hell on earth? Review Ms. Niles gives us a new take on shifter romance and she makes a good start. I enjoyed the story and would read more if she were to keep going with this series, but I was a little confused at the beginning. In building her world of shifters the different terminology she used threw me and it may have been helpful to have a primer at the beginning of the book. It was slow going in some parts of the book, but the ending was worth it. The story revolves around Jaylin, a half shifter and psychologist and Aidan, shifter and businessman. The story starts with Jaylin coming to help Aidan's friend, Liam who has bonded with a human girl that leaves him once finding out he is a shifter. In this world, it is almost like a death sentence where you will never have another mate, can feel the emotions of the lost mate which puts you into a trance like state; for me that was a real downer for the story. Jaylin has seen this happen to many shifters and their mates (including her mother) and does not want to mate with a shifter and avoids them at all costs. Well, you can see where this is going....Aidan is course her mate. Then most of the book centers on them helping Liam and trying not to bond (if you are Jaylin) or bond (if you are Aidan). For so much of the book I wanted to knock Jaylin up side her head. I understand she has only seen the negative in the bonding to a shifter, but thank goodness she gets over that. She really comes around in the later part of the book and the intimate scenes between them are hot. Aidan, I loved! He understands that Jaylin does not want to bond, but after a kiss Aidan is already going down the slippery slope to bonding. He is such strong character; he tries to do what Jaylin wants and needs while fighting his own instincts and the lengths he goes to for her put him in jeopardy. A good read, which if there are more I hope they build on this book and get better.
This was a really good read!! The story was very well built and sucked me in so much that I read it in one sitting. All the characters were amazing... Jaylin, a half shifter, is a little feisty and a lot set in her ways and Aidan is a full shifter who upon seeing Jaylin, knows what he wants and refuses to take no for an answer, making for some extremely interesting situations for them both. Have to also say that even though this was Jaylin and Aidan's book, my heart really went out to Liam and I really hope that he will somehow get his own HEA. I will DEFINITELY be recommending this book!!!!! I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.