Heart's Sentinel: Terra's Guardians #1

Heart's Sentinel
P.J. Schnyder
Terra's Guardians, book one
Published August 6th 2010 by Decadent Publishing
ISBN 9781936394 (ISBN13: 9781936394111)

Born human, Mackenzie never wanted to be a shapeshifter. After a shifter stalks and brutally Changes her, she runs to the jaguars of River Gap pride for protection from the stalker still searching for her, to come to terms with the attack and learn to control her new, powerful cougar body.

Adam, a River Gap Sentinel, is assigned as her guard and mentor. Well aware of his strength and how new she is the shapeshifter world, he holds himself back from the flames of primal desire she ignites. But, to survive the stalker, they both need to first battle their pasts and learn what it truly means to be the sentinels of each other’s hearts.

These are the kitties I looooove!

Changed against her will by her stalker ex-boyfriend, Mackenzie seeks protection and guidance from Jacob's pride. There, she meets Adam, the head instructor of the dojo.

Yep, that's right. We're in a dojo. One where you're assigned a Sentinel, a buddy. And Mackenzie's new buddy makes the grandest of all entrances via glass window as he crashes a retrieved jet pack into the room and every wall and mirror in the joint. So yeah, he's out of commission for a while. Luckily so for Mackenzie as she gets assigned Adam to be her new Sentinel. Yummy, yummy Adam. The one man she's managed not to flinch at.

Oh, and the jet pack- it was recovered from a Hunter of shapeshifters. And apparently hunters are some kind of alien race. The story is set in the future but everything is kept basically modern. Mack even gets to learn to use chopsticks. And good for her because I've tried and if my life depended on eating with those things or starving, I'd be one dead white girl.

But back to Adam. My new favorite feline shifter. Sure of his strength, prowess, and gentility, he's very aware of his pridemates and equally so of Mac. He notices her hesitations, her will to try, and the fear that holds her clenched... and despite the urges to touch, to hold, and to be with her, Adam knows she's not quite ready for a male's interest. Much of the story is them just being together. Learning eachother. And Adam isn't above acting like a dork to keep up her spirits. The snail says "Wheeeee!"

The pace is kinda sloooow but beautifully so as it enables you to go through the motions as Mac begins to rebuild her life and relearn herself, who she is and what she's become. She seems so innocent but the life she had before this contained hella drama! One too many boyfriends, sweetheart.

Actually, aside from the hunters who seem to be using the shifters as a science project, the story isn't that far-fetched at all. Mac is your typical girl, experiencing the same insecurities as all females. She's an average person thrust into an above average world and left to cope. And if she doesn't, the pride is left with the responsibility of putting her down.

The book hits on everything I love and for a cat shifter story, OMG, that's huge! 5 out of 5 stars.

“I'm a big girl.” She hopped off her stool and took her plate to the sink. Somehow, it didn't ruin her point. “I've had my share of guys turn me down. But if you're going to turn me down, be honest and say it's because you're not interested. Don't give me some excuse about me being too immature to know what I'm doing.” She turned to face him and stumbled back into the counter.

He stood inches from her. Solemnly he leaned in past her and placed his own empty plate into the sink. As he straightened, he brushed so close he whispered roughly in her ear. “It wasn't because I'm not interested, Kitten.”

Those amber eyes were like molten gold as he stared down into her face. Mackenzie barely dared to breathe as his hand came up and brushed a lock of hair away from her cheek.

“You didn't know what you were starting to tangle with there.” His voice low, darkened with a sensuality she hadn't heard before. “I'm not some human boy looking for a few hot kisses.”

His hand slid along her jaw, turning to caress the back of her neck and then it slowly tightened, tilting her head back. Mackenzie's heart picked up speed and her breath came in shallow gasps as she trembled, held captive. She felt things low in her belly tighten in response to him. Even her nipples hardened as her back arched in response to the way he had her head tilted back.

“Playing with a jaguar is a more dangerous game, Kitten,” he continued with a low growl in his throat. His nostrils flared and his pupils seemed to dilate and elongate as they changed to his cat form. “You need to know before you initiate anything.”

From some hidden reserve of pride, she managed to strap some steel to her collapsing knees and pulled her lips back in a slight snarl. “I didn't initiate anything this time.”

He went still. Slowly, the grip of his hand on the back of her neck loosened and he backed away a bit. It was enough.

She straightened, trying to get her composure back. “You'd be damned lucky if I ever took it into my head to offer you a kiss again. I'm not a glutton for rejection.”

He was on her in a split second, the entire length of his body pressed against hers so she couldn't miss the hard length of his erection pressing against her lower belly. His arms caged her in on either side of the counter and his lips caught hers before she could say anything else.

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