Protect and Serve: Shifting Forces by Cassidy McKay
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
Aurora Monroe has detailed plans for her life -- and not one of them includes being barefoot, pregnant and under the thumbs of two decidedly alpha males. But what's a girl to do when she has two sexy shifters both trying to claim mating rights?
When two paranormals on opposite sides of the war save an injured human, they unintentionally mark her as their wife. Bonded by blood, fire and passion, the gryphon and phoenix shifters do everything they can to keep their new human mate safe.
Getting her to go along with the plan is a different matter. She has no intention of following their orders. Found in defiance of both human laws and paranormal traditions, the battle for their rights turns into a fight for their lives.
Sex between a human and her two shifters can be spectacular, but is it worth risking everything for a chance at forever?
Reading this short story is like watching a sexy action show while pressing the fast forward button. I got to have it all, romance, aggressive action and drama with a great fight sequence, and sizzling energetic bed aerobics all within one afternoon’s sitting. It certainly was a fun way to pass the time.
The tale takes place during a time where the government was passing sneaky laws piggybacked onto legitimate pieces of legislation in order to justify their paranoia. What is making them hoodwink the citizens? Fear from finding out that shifters really exist, have been co-existing for a very long time and most times they look human, but aren’t. Instead of creating an organized and law abiding atmosphere, the “laws” allowed for vigilantism, prejudice and acts of atrocity to occur thereby turning a peaceful society against itself. Innocents are killed along with the bad guys, which of course feeds their fears and justifies it even more. It’s during one of those unfortunate encounters that I met the first main character, the heroine, Aurora.
Aurora is spunky, definitely opinionated, stubborn and a natural born activist with a surprising talent for beaning people on the head when they threaten her. She puts up a token fight in the beginning of the relationship because who would ever believe that two really gorgeous guys would not only want her but really do intend to be loyal and true? She doesn’t fight for long thanks to those mysterious paranormal plot techniques that really get a woman ready for her men. What made it palatable was Aurora’s sense of humor. She’s cheeky, flirtatious and quite fun and if anyone can pull off living with two alpha men, it’s her.
The men in question are Varick and Kender. Varick is the phoenix and Kender is the gryphon. Both fly, which is cool, both are Aurora’s mates and both come with some interesting emotional baggage. Only one makes an impressive sacrifice and the other owns up to being who he’s always been meant to be. It’s an interesting journey.
Of course, no story in the Protect and Serve series would be complete without some serious sheet action. Thing is, scorching sheets this time around could be literal. The scenes were well written and highly descriptive so the erotic expectations of a reader should be thoroughly fulfilled.
The scene with Kender’s family, specifically his dad, seemed a bit rushed. I realize in a short story, the author doesn’t have the luxury of delving deep into family dynamics. Absolutely Ms. McKay was able to put some very significant revelations in, and I liked them. However, the flip his father makes from being a hardheaded, unreasonable and aloof man into one who suddenly agrees, shows manly affection for his son and races off to defend at his side, was a bit of a stretch in believability. I’m glad it happened but it came off as a little too pat.
I enjoyed the dialogue between the three main protagonists. For sure, I laughed, giggled and snickered at some of their banter. Even though there was that big climactic ending with all that gunfire, violence and quick thinking action, the dialogue never let it get dark or depressing. There was a determined optimism about the whole thing. Nothing embraced that feeling of hope of a future than the happily ever after. I liked that.
Protect and Serve: Shifting Forces is fun, sexy and surprisingly action packed. The chapters that take turns in each of the main character’s point of view were very helpful in understanding some of their motivation. It also helped me understand how Aurora gets into the pickle she does. A woman in emotional turmoil and in a snit, will be consumed by her own inner demons and will truly not be as observant as she should be. I got a kick out of the ending, especially the tree part - very adorable and cute. There is a lot to recommend to readers about this story but the best thing is that it entertains. I enjoyed myself and if anyone has been following this series, I think they’ll agree.