Author: Mandy Harbin
Source: Author request
Genre: Paranormal romance - cat shifters
Reviewed by: Laurie
Lillian Caldwell has eyes on the hottie with the body, Jack Woods, one of the men who bought her family land and now new boss. She has big plans for Jack, including the getting-him-horizontal variety, and she always gets what she wants.
Jack is the family hard ass who’s trying to make amends. His plans of digging into the family secret he discovered are thwarted when he’s forced to work with Lillian, his gorgeous, pain-in-the-ass neighbor.
But a night of passion will unlock the secrets surrounding them and change both their lives forever.
Surrounded by Secrets is the last book in the Woods family. I simply loved this book, I feel it’s the best in the series. I have never read a novella quite like this one. It almost felt as if I were reading a novel. The author added so much detail when she wrote this story. She tied up the mystery as to how the shifter family came about and she also threw in lots of humor, action, emotions and romance. There were moments where I found myself laughing and crying at the same time.
Jackson is the last of the Woods family to get mated. If you have been following this series you know these shifters cannot be around any unmated or unmarried woman because their need to mate is so great it will overtake them and in turn it won’t end well if the other mate is not willing. I wasn’t in a hurry to get to Jackson story because at times I liked him and there were times I really disliked him during the series. He is everything from pigheaded to borderline arrogant at times; more or less he is a dominating man. Believe me I was totally shocked when his story ended up being my favorite, but how could it not be with Jackson meeting his match with Lillian. Oh yeah, it was worth seeing him all tied up in knots when he would do something wrong or when he didn’t know what to do next.
Lillian is tired of the men she has been with, she wants a man to dominate her in the bed and she has her eyes on Jackson. The thing is will she want him afterward? Needless to say things are not always as they seem. I instantly took to Lillian as she is strong-willed and just wants to be loved by the right man.
Few light spoilers below.
I was totally surprised by the direction the author took with Jackson and Lillian's romance because these mates will kill each other, if one or the other is not willing. Once the mating deed is done Lillian finds herself mated to a cat shifter and has no clue what’s going to happen next. Once she finds out what really happened these two go at it like nothing I have ever read before and I don’t mean monkey sex LOL. Lillian found out real quick that being with a dominate man wasn’t all what she thought it would be. I have never in my life read so many cat names and cat catch phrases in my life, but Lillian would spout them out to Jackson like mad. Then again I sure couldn’t blame her especially after Jackson drugged her and threatened to drug her each time she got her panties in a wad. You might think this would be ridiculous to read, but it was so funny at times and at times it was really emotional. Believe me Jackson needed to make sure both of them stayed safe no matter what the cost. Let me just say it was nothing like I have ever read before and I enjoyed every minute with them battling it out with each other. I felt like Jackson finally got his karma thrown back to him and I even think he said that at one point. At times I really felt sorry for Lillian because she felt the pull of the matting bond, but yet she just couldn’t quite find herself belonging to Jackson like her mind and body was craving, so she had a huge struggle to workout.
I also want to add I was truly surprised at who the villain turned out to be, I never once saw it coming.
I’m really sad to see the end of this series. As I read this book I could see so many different directions this author can still take with this story and I hope that maybe she will do just that one day.