ControversyTitle:  Controversy
Series:  Always After Dark #1
Author:  Elle Thorne
Genre:  Paranormal
Published:  April 7, 2015
Publisher:  Barbed Borders Press
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  Borrowed, Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

Shifter Vax Tiero runs After Dark.  A club that doubles as a haven for shifters. Man, did he screw up, falling for the curvy graduate student Callie Rivera.

The tigresses in his tribe are furious at him for bringing a human into their sanctuary.

Now Vax has two problems. Keeping Callie alive and keeping that he’s a shifter secret from her.

Wait. Two?!?

Make that three problems because his half-brother, an equally sexy, shifter named Rafe is in from Europe for a visit. And he’s got his eye on Callie.

Two hot shifter males and a couple of hot-tempered (possibly jealous!) shifter females promise sparks, melee, and drama. The hot sex is a side-effect.

Read on for my thoughts on Controversy.  No true spoilers, promise.

Controversy begins the Always After Dark shifter series, which is an offshoot series of the Shifters Forever series.  It sounds more complicated than it really is.  Elle Thorne has created a fantastic universe for her various shifters to live within.  Each offshoot series is about a particular branch of that community.  At times, there may be references back to characters from the main series, Shifters Forever, or other parallel series.  Let’s just say that you may encounter old friends within any of these stories… or get a clue to characters that appear in the later series.

Vittorio Tiero, or Vax as he is known to family and friends is the Alpha of the Tiero family in the Dallas, Texas area.  This magnificent white tiger shifter owns After Dark a nightclub open to humans and shifters alike.  One of the huge draws for After Dark is the Sanctuary where at any given time white tigers or others can be viewed from behind secure walls, bars and moats.  The deep, lush vegetation offers places for the tigers to roam, hide and lounge.  The fact that most of the wildlife within Sanctuary are actually shifters is not well known outside of the community.

Vax has returned home after helping out a friend at another shifter community.  He returns to find that Natalya has been stirring up trouble once again.  This vixen is the daughter of a man who wants to bind an alliance with the Tiero family through an arranged marriage between Vax and Natalya – this is so not going to happen.  Unfortunately Natalya hasn’t gotten the message and is intent of getting her spoiled brat way.  Vax’s interest lies in another direction, a human Callie.  Callie works for his bar and has found her way into Sanctuary after hours to quietly talk and interact with it’s alpha white tiger, Vax in his shapeshifted form.  It has been forbidden for Vax’s people to mate with humans, but that does not stop his feelings for the lovely Callie.

Rafe, Vax’s brother,is visiting from Europe.  And he is attracted to Callie.  In fact, when Vax must be out of town dealing with a drama, Rafe does all he can to charm and turn Callie’s affections to him.  It won’t work because Callie is interested only in Vax, but that has never stopped Rafe before.

Controversy is an intense, sexy and charming start to this particular series.  I would not call it a love triangle story, it’s obvious that Callie only sees Rafe as a friend, but some might see it as such.  We’ve met most of the players in Almost After Dark and a good groundwork was done in Controversy to lead us into the coming stories.  I loved that we met a distant, relatively unknown branch of the shifter family and community.  The Arceneaux branch of New Orleans.  Those shifters sound like a lot of fun to be around and I’m looking forward to their own spinoff series.  (which is on my reading list)

I found Controversy to be a magical start to this series.  The action is fast paced, the loving is definitely on the hot and steamy side and the bonds between mates is delightfully strong.  If you love shifters, then this is a story and a series that you will want to get into.

(This review originally appeared on another of my blogs, it has been moved here in order to keep all of my shifter reviews in one place – both reviews were written and are owned by me.

Available for the Kindle