TIGER MAGIC – Jennifer Ashley
Shifters Unbound , Book 5
Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13:  978-0-425-25121-8
June 2013
Paranormal Romance, Shape Shifter

Austin, Texas – Present Day

He was once a prisoner in a cage; for over 40 years unknown scientists kept him locked behind bars and only let him out to do scientific experiments on him.  How many times could he be shot, and how long would it take him to recover?  What kind of drugs could they inject into him?  A female was given to him in his cage once, and they told him he had a cub...then they told him they both had died.  Always torturing him, seeing how strong he was, how much abuse his body could take, how shifting into a Bengal tiger helped him.  Now he is standing by the side of the road seeing a woman…and knows in his heart she is his mate, and he will give his life for her, as surely as the only name for him so far is Tiger.  Other shifters helped him escape from Area 51, and because of his size and strength he was sent from the Las Vegas Shiftertown to the one in Austin, Texas.  The Alpha of Shiftertown and his family are trying their hardest to integrate him into life, but most things are incomprehensible to Tiger.

Carly Randal is disgusted when her fiancé's Corvette dies by the side of the road on the way to an artist's show at the gallery where she works.  She tries to call Ethan, but she has no coverage.  Great!  Then she sees a huge hunk of a man just standing there, an unusual man with orange and black hair and yellow eyes.  Maybe he can fix a car?  Carly can tell he's a shifter, but they usually stay in Shiftertown, and she really has had no interactions with them.  After Tiger fixes her fiancé's car, she decides to get her own car and offers him a ride to her fiancé's and then she will drive him home.  Unfortunately, Carly walks in the kitchen just as Ethan is using the countertop for something other than making a salad.  She freaks out and runs away, and Ethan runs for a gun when Tiger senses her distress and changes.  He follows Ethan into his office where Ethan unloads seven shots into Tiger.  Tiger tries to run away when the police cars come, but three shots from a tranquilizer gun get the better of him.

When men come from the Shifter Bureau hoping Carly will spy for them and give them information on Tiger, she moves to Shiftertown for her protection and also to protect Tiger, because it is only with Carly around that he can heal from his injuries and keep his Tiger under control.  Tiger was created in a lab, and they think it is important for them to see what more information he can give them, whether he wants to or not.

Jennifer Ashley is continuing the story of the shifters in TIGER MAGIC.  Told from Tiger's and Carly's points of view, they immediately feel drawn together, and Tiger especially knows Carly is his mate:  no matter what happens, even if she leaves him, she will always be his mate.  A child-like personality, yet a deadly temper and strength beyond anything known by the shifters, Tiger is still recovering from years of chains and pain.  Carly well remembers her father leaving the family behind with three teenage girls, and the struggles they all went through; she hoped that the wealthy and cautious Ethan would be the answer to her yearning for a safe relationship.  Carly may not be a shifter, but she can feel the tug of attraction between herself and Tiger, and will do anything to protect him.

Secondary characters include all the shifters of Shiftertown, including Liam and Dylan Morrissey, the current Alpha and his father who stepped down to let Liam be the leader.  There's Connor, still considered a cub at twenty two years of age, and Carly's bosses, Armand and Yvette, who have sometimes taken the place of family in times of distress.  Walker Danielson is from the Shifter Bureau, an agency of the government in charge of shifters and making sure they don't cause trouble or do things they shouldn't or bother humans.

TIGER MAGIC will take your breath away with the years of suffering Tiger endured and his quest to find out what he was made for and his place in the world.  Tiger and Carly's love and devotion will have your tears welling up as they give each other the love they both have longed for.  Shifters Unbound is a fantastic series; I have read several others, but each story is a standalone and is easily read by itself.  The emotion and devotion will reach out and grab you and leave you with a smile on your face after seeing what trials Tiger and Carly go through and whether they make it to the other side with peace and contentment.  Make sure to give TIGER MAGIC a chance if you love paranormal stories, or even if you don't, because it has its own magic.

Carolyn Crisher