Ronan is a bear and the bouncer in the bar managed by Liam Morrissey. Ronan is this sweet, gentle teddy bear, a real protector of the weak. He’s also massive, in human and Bear shape.
One night Ronan is out doing some late birthday shopping and happens to be off the shifter Reservation and in the store of Elisabeth, a human when she’s being robbed. Seeing Elisabeth with a shotgun in her face pisses Ronan off and without the robber noticing anything he charges him and knocks him unconscious.
Elisabeth is scared of Ronan – and honestly, who the hell wouldn’t be scared of a big bear coming running straight at you?! But she quickly realizes he just wants to protect her and help, not hurt. And although she argues this point with the police until she’s blue in her face, they won’t listen and take both the robber and Ronan into custody. (One of the laws the humans have created for the Shifters; No Shifters are allowed to attack a human being – especially not in their animal form. Worst case scenario: the Shifter is executed.) To plea Ronan’s case, Elisabeth goes to the court with him to make sure the judge will listen to her.
When they arrive at the court, Liam and Kim (the couple from book one, SHIFTER UNBOUND are already waiting to help Ronan. Kim being a Lawyer, and one who is married to the head of the local ShifterTown, Liam, is a great ally to have on Ronan’s side, but the humans are so afraid of shifter aggression, its touch and go. During this trial, Elisabeth’s sister calls her in panic telling her that some men are lurking around outside their house and trying to break in. Liam takes the phone from Elisabeth and talks to her sister and then borrows the phone to call some friends of his to protect her.
But unfortunately the trouble is not over for Elisabeth. It turns out that the kid who tried to rob her is the younger brother of a crime-boss who is trying to get his take over the city. And he is not pleased that his brother tried to rob an itsy, bitsy, tiny store AND got caught, not to mention Elisabeth is a witness. He’s also not interested in seeing his younger brother going to jail. Elizabeth has her young sister to protect and Ronan is raising a group of orphaned shifters he’s rescued. Soon Elizabeth and Ronan are trying to dodge the law, dodge the crime lord, and dodge his insane and violent brother, all the while protecting themselves and their young charges.
I loved this story. Ronan caught my interest since I saw him in the first book and he’s such a sweetheart. Before collars he was wandering around in his territory out in the middle of nowhere, just himself. When humans discovered Shifters and decided to put collars on them, a group of hunters rounded in Ronan, slapped the collar on him and put him into a Shifter Town filled with cats and wolfs. And to make matters worse he was forced to live with other bears. Imagine being shy and not used to live close to other people and suddenly you’re put in the middle of a town filled with other people and strangers in your house, but Ronan found a way to turn that negative into a positive and create a new family.
If you have read Pride Mates and Primal Bonds this is a great continuation of the series (even if it’s just a short-story). Even though I read this out of context (it was the first story I read from this series), I had no trouble following the story and I loved this story both the first and the second and… yes even the third time I read it! If you are interested in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifter series, this is a must read.