An Alpha Bound by Duty 
Bear shifter Callum Strathorn has a job to do. With his father’s health declining, it’s up to Callum to take over as Mayor of Bearden. 

When Leah Arden crashes her car near Bearden, Callum leads the first responders. He pulls the lovely woman from the wreckage, but as her wits return, she sees things that humans should never see. Forbidden things, like a mysterious town and a man shifting into a bear. 

Callum has no choice. To protect his town and his clan, he keeps Leah captive in Bearden while he figures out damage control. He soon finds himself with a fiery and furious female on his hands. And if things couldn’t get worse, the stubborn and aggravatingly sexy woman smells and tastes just like his fated mate. 

A Woman on the Run 
Leah Arden lives a life haunted by secrets. She can’t stay in one place for long or her past will catch up with her. With nowhere to turn, she doesn’t trust anyone, not until she meets Bearden’s gruff but handsome mayor. 

Callum’s slow, sexy smile and quiet strength make her yearn for more. But when he lays down the law and forces her to remain in Bearden, she grows desperate to find a way to escape. Even if that means betraying the one man who makes her want to put down roots. 

As Leah’s secrets unravel, the danger grows, looming over her and all of Bearden. Callum’s enemies are looking for weakness, and he handed them one on a silver platter. Can the town’s alpha keep his people safe, especially the woman who is fated to be his? 

“Forbidden Mate” is the first story in the Shifters of Bear’s Den series, which is part of the Shifting Destinies world.  All of the titles in these series which make up their own world can be found on the Cecilia Lane page.

This is an adult, 18+ story with language and sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

Title:  Forbidden Mate
Series:  Shifters of Bear’s Den #1 (Shifting Destinies World)
Author:  Cecilia Lane
Published:  November 8, 2017
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Since it’s a cold, icy, snowy, blizzard-like day outside my patio doors right now I figured this is the perfect time to do some binge reading and get myself caught up on the Shifting Destinies world.  There’s no way I’m stepping outside those doors unless I have no other choice.  I’ve already gotten started on the second series in this world – so I need to listen to my own words and go back to the beginning and get caught up.

“Forbidden Mate” is an intriguing story that easily drew me into a world of magic, fae, vampires… but mostly shifters.  There is world building in this first story, there has to be in order to make sense of this diverse world.  Yet the information needed to understand why Bearden even exists is easily caught up in the telling of Callum and Leah’s story through dialogue and narrative.  There is not what I would consider an information dump and then moving on with the story… but there is a lot of magic, history, tradition, and danger to this world, so there is often a lot to take in.  I was quite comfortable here and I’m anxious to learn more about this magical place that is hidden from human eyes, for the most part.

The cover description provides everything you’d need to know to take a chance on “Forbidden Mate”.  What it doesn’t tell you is how easily you’ll “get” this world and its hidden dangers.  Callum is a strong character with such heavy burdens on his shoulders right now.  Probably the last thing he needed was for a human to discover his enclave, but since she did, due in part to one out of control shifter’s actions now he has to make sure that she stays.  Staying is not something Leah does easily, or ever.  I liked both Callum and Leah, but I do have to admit that Leah had to prove herself to me on more than one occasion.  I understood why she acts as she does, but there were moments when her decisions were frustrating to me… and certainly to Callum.

We will meet most of Callum’s clan in this first story.  Enough to have a feel for these men, but the main focus is Callum’s difficulties in a shift of power, keeping an out of control shifter in line and figuring out what to do with a woman he’s sure is his mate, but she’s also trouble in one feisty, beautiful package.  There is a villain to loathe, fast-paced actions, steamy moments, some chuckles and some bad decisions made.  It all flows together in a story that captured my attention, kept me engaged and wanting more from this small, hidden, magical town.  Now I’m officially hooked and I’ll be enjoying myself with the rest of this series.  I love binge reading, where I can immerse myself in a world without a break.  I would not hesitate to recommend “Forbidden Mate” to any Paranormal Romance or Shifter Romance reader who enjoys a really good story, likable, believable characters, danger, mystery and the sweet joy of falling in love.  I had a very good time in this world, and I’m looking forward to returning.

I read this title through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Available for the Kindle