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22 February 2014

Crush Confessions with She-Wolf Reads

It's February, the month of love (or at least the month with a sappy love holiday in it) and we are celebrating with Crush Confessions. I've asked some awesome bloggers and writers to come up with a list of the boys (and girls) that make them swoon. From vampires to werewolves, jocks to Brits - we have something for everyone! So sit back, relax, and get ready to swoon.

Today's Crush Confessions comes from Lee at She-Wolf Reads. I've been a follower of Lee's blog for a while now. As you might be able to tell from the name of Lee's blog, she is a fan of books with a paranormal elements. I knew she would be the perfect person to ask to contribute to Crush Confessions. What else could her topic be but Shifters? Take it away, Lee!

First, I’d like to thank Thuy for inviting me to participate in this fun feature! Since I’ve been a longtime fan of Nite Lite Reviews, I was so very geeked to take part in this series. Thanks, Thuy!

Let me start by letting you know that I love shifter stories. They are, by far, my favorite paranormal creatures of legend. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are some of the coolest shifters I’ve come across in some of my favorite urban fantasy and paranormal reads. They’ve all, in some way, captured my imagination, my obsessive nature, and, dare I say, my heart?

1. The Cornick Clan (Yes, the entire clan)

This list should really be called the “Cornick Clan Memorial List” since Bran, Samuel, and Charles Cornick, werewolves from Patricia Briggs’ stellar Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series, are, without a doubt, my favorite werewolves ever. EVER. I love these men. From Bran’s deceptive strength and power, to Samuel’s tortured past, to Charles’ necessary but personally devastating violence, I can’t get enough of these characters. I want a Bran novella, I was Team Sam for a long time, and Charles, oh Charles, his love for Anna just knocks me down every time. If you haven’t read either of these series, please do yourself a favor and start them. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

2. Jane Yellowrock – I like a woman with lots of guns and knives

Along with the Cornicks, I can’t get enough of Faith Hunter’s complex heroine, Jane Yellowrock. She’s a skinwalker but shares a soul with a mountain lion. Jane is the definition of an alpha female; she kicks ass, always shooting first and asking questions later. Yet under all the strength and balls and bravado is a woman who struggles with a dark and violent past she is only just beginning to understand. The series is layered, the world building deep, and the tone dark. Girl crush!

3. Jeff Christopher—The geek with some swagger

So Jeff Christopher is a supporting character in Chloe Neil’s Chicagoland Vampire series. He’s a tech geek with a crush, at least at the start of the series, on Neil’s heroine, Merit. Jeff stood out to me immediately. He’s a shifter but neither Merit nor you, the reader, knows exactly what he is. All you know is this geek is well-respected, dare I say even slightly feared, by members of the local werewolf pack. I love the dichotomy of a guy who is seemingly so beta being treated like such an alpha and you have no idea why. That is until House Rules, the seventh book in the series, where Jeff’s animal is revealed and it’s pretty stellar. I’m a geek at heart so Jeff is definitely my kind of shifter.

4. Suzume Hollis—The Smart-Ass Kitsune

I discovered Suzume in ML Brennan’s very original, darkly humorous, and just overall excellent American Vampire series. Suzume is Kitsune, a fox who can shift into a human as depicted in Japanese mythology. Suzume is sexy, tough, clever, and a smart ass. She’s the muscle, the alpha, and the potential love interest to her friend Fort, the beta, vegetarian vampire she’s charged with protecting in Generation V, the first book in the series. Why do I have a crush on this woman? She’s just super cool. Suzume has a comeback for everything, she’s street smart, has a bunch of geek references on hand, and is mischievous. Oh, and sexy. Can’t forget that. Can I be her?

5. Rourke—The Prehistoric Mystery Man

Similar to Jeff Christopher, Rourke has this mystery thing going for him. In Amanda Carlson’s action-packed UF series, the Jessica McClain series, Rourke is introduced as a badass shifter of unknown origins. His name alone makes some of the most alpha werewolves shake in their boots. Rourke is the epitome of alpha but what makes him great is that in his relationship with Jessica, the series heroine, he knows when to sit back and trust that she can take care of herself. I’m sure you’re wondering why I called him pre-historic…Well, it’s an exaggeration but the dude’s old, like, ancient. I loved that Carlson made his beast so old, so unusual, and so very solitary.

6. Jessica McClain—The Only Female Werewolf

Speaking of Rourke…let’s get to Jessica. She’s Rourke’s mate, and, most importantly, the only female werewolf in existence. Carlson introduces Jessica in a great novella that has her resilient heroine going to blows with a werewolf in a boxing ring. She knows she can’t win but she fights for the principle of it. It’s such a defining character moment that I immediately developed a serious girl crush on her. Jessica is scrappy, quick thinking, powerful, and has a strong moral compass. Backing down is never an option for Jessica. She always finds a way to do what’s right whether it be with brawn or with brains and always with her heart. I love this heroine.

7. Gemini—Find him in the yearbook as “Werewolf with the Coolest Power”

Cecy Robson’s Weird Girl series is pure, adrenaline-packed fun. While the series focuses on a group of powerful sisters, one of my favorite characters is Gemini, a werewolf from the local pack. Gemini doesn’t get much page time but when he is on screen, as it were, I always get very interested. He’s a bit of a beta, always a gentleman, and has a tattoo that gives him extraordinary power: he has two wolves in him. Enough said.

8. Mercy Thompson—The Shifter Queen

Again, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is in a class of its own. Mercy is a coyote and a mechanic who specializes in Volkswagens. What can I say about her that hasn’t already been said? She’s scrappy, loyal, caring, smart, independent, and gets in all kinds of trouble but always for the right reasons. Mercy is a survivor. She’s suffered a lot. And it’s devastating. But she comes out the other end of it strong and alive. In every book, Mercy steals my heart.

9. Jack Talent—I want more

Jack is the tortured enigmatic character who I became obsessed with in Kristen Callihan’s Winterblaze, book three in her Darkest London series. Jack has a painful past, a mysterious connection with a woman he seemingly can’t stand but obviously wants, and he’s a kind of shifter. And it’s precisely the “kind of” that intrigues me. Callihan created such a compelling and complex hero in Jack that at the end of Winterblaze, I knew I wanted more. I can’t wait to start the next book, Shadowdance.

10. Jena Crowe—Mother, Lover, Shifter

This one is a bit unfair to add but I’m going to anyway. Full disclosure: I haven’t yet read the full-length novel, Cambio Springs by Elizabeth Hunter, which features Jena. But I have read its prequel novella, Long Ride Home, and I was utterly moved by her. In this sparse story we follow the three-day road trip Jena takes with her children to return home to the mysterious town of Cambio Springs. Along for the ride is the ghost of her husband. At night, while the kids sleep in the back, she and her husband talk about their past and her future. It is deeply romantic and so very bittersweet. I loved Jena’s determination to do right for her kids, l loved relationship with her husband, I loved her strength. In the end we learn what Jena is and it is a tremendously hopeful scene that really demands you read the full-length novel. Which is what I’m going to do. Right now.

I hope you enjoyed this list! Now tell me who are some of your crush worthy shifters?

Thank you for participating, Lee. These are definitely some swoon worthy shifters.

A self-proclaimed “book-a-holic,” Lee was introduced to the genre of urban fantasy through the Sookie Stackhouse series.  After the first book, Lee was hooked and have not looked back.  Her favorite series are Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs, Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter, the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger, and the Disillusionist Trilogy by Carolyn Crane.  And these are just to name a few. Lee wants to use her blog to write down my thoughts on the books she reads. Hopefully, those thoughts are interesting.
You can find Lee at She-Wolf Reads

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