Mating Instinct by Katie Reus
Moon Shifter #3
Surviving for centuries, powerful lupine shifter Jayce Kazan managed to stay away from humans until he met Kat Saburova and was consumed by the need to protect her. But while Jayce shared his passion with the human seer, he refused to make her his bondmate—a refusal that caused the end of their relationship.
A year later, an attack that left Kat near death has resulted in another lupine shifter turning her. Furious that he wasn’t the one to save her, Jayce is determined to show Kat that he is the one she should rely on. But the newly turned shifter is still traumatized and worried that she’ll hurt those she loves, unless she can learn to control her inner wolf.
And as Jayce struggles to protect Kat from her own worst instincts and convince her to rekindle their love, the extremists who almost killed her are looking to finish the job…
Jayce Kazan is a centuries old shifter and an enforcer who travels from incident to incident to clean up the mess, never staying in one place for too long. But all that changes when Kat comes into his life and turns his world upside down. But despite his need for her, he refused to make her his bondmate, so she kicked him to the curb. But then almost a year later, the unthinkable happens, and Kat is kidnapped and tortured nearly to death, and only saved by being turned into a werewolf like him. Jayce would have given anything to have protected her from that fate, so he's now determined to be there for her at any cost, even if he has to fight her tooth and nail every step of the way. She won't get away from him so easily this time as an old wolf only truly loves once.
After reading the previous book and seeing the foreshadowing of the tension between Jayce and Kat, I knew this installment would be a good one. Every moment between them in MATING INSTINCT just sizzles right off the page. She is the softness to his gruffness, and yet, she's no wallflower either. It took an incredible amount strength for her to walk away like she did when he couldn't give her what she needed even though she loved him with all her heart. It took even more strength for her to hold her ground once Jayce came back around and was relentless in his pursuit of her. Of course, she couldn't have known that he had loved her all along, but was foolishly trying to protect her. So much heartache between them could have been prevented if he had only had been a little more open and honest. But then again, getting an Alpha male to open up can be next to impossible, and Jayce is about as alpha as they come. I really enjoyed seeing this very hard and loner male slowly start to open up even as Kat took it anything but easy on him. The hijinks between them made for an incredibly interesting ride and made MATING INSTINCT my new favorite in the series.
For me, the Moon Shifter series stands out a step above the rest in the Paranormal Romance genre as I love how each book only builds upon the next. In so many books in the genre, the focus is only on the current couple, and hardly anyone else. But Katie Reus does things a bit differently in this series as the upcoming couple(s) are given a decent amount of page time as well. This really helps to tie the books together and makes the transitions between each installment much more smooth in my opinion. By setting the stage in the previous book(s), there's less time spent being introduced to the new couple during their book, which allows for a slower build up in the romance that I really enjoy. This time around it was Erin and Noah who were introduced as an upcoming couple in MATING INSTINCT. Based on what I've seen so far, I'm really excited to see how things play out for them in the next book. The sexual tension between them may even be thicker than what was seen between Jayce and Kat, and trust me, that is saying something. But putting that aside, what's even better than the foreshadowing was the way the past couples play such a prominent role in the current novel. I love getting to spend time with everyone together and that no one is left behind just because they've gotten their happy ever after.
With each new installment in the Moon Shifter series, my expectations are not only met, but exceeded, which is incredibly impressive as the bar keeps getting set higher and higher. Prior to this installment, the Moon Shifter series was already shaping up to be a heavy hitter in the paranormal romance genre, but MATING INSTINCT has fully cemented that role. An absolute treat full of sexual tension, and danger, MATING INSTINCT is not to be missed!
(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)