Shifter's Destiny - Anna Leonard While I'm all for a story featuring a were-equine as H, this really suffers from a dearth of background. I don't get the sense that the author HAS a world built for this either. Too bad too because with a little more background from the H's people, it would have been really good. Well, that and maybe a bit more explanation as to what the villain was actually doing. The feel that one was just plunked down in the middle of a world built might be ok, if a bit disconcerting, in a series. On a free-standing novel though, it makes for confusion and frustration because it can't be solved by reading another book.

So... my review is essentially based on a story without knowing or ever being able to find out "the rest of the story". It's kinda like reviewing a sample except in this case there is a HEA there so theoretically it's done. Enough about that.

Our H is a shape-shifting unicorn who according to tradition must mate with a bonafide virgin while in the rut. All we know about the rut is that he's horny, he has difficulty not shifting to equine form, and if he doesn't complete this task by an unspecified time, he'll be stuck in equine form. Forever. Yeah. Lots of info there. We don't really know how long he's been like this, or how long he has, but he's only sidetracked by the h for 4 stinkin' days and is at risk of being stuck.

The h...has premonitions about monsters. Her kid sister can call animals. She can also cause people to be afraid. The bad guy wants her under his thumb for essentially a breeding program to create people with animal characteristics. Besides the fact that no explanation is given how he created his manimals he has caged up in the first place, the most obvious hole in this plot is if she can control the beasties at all, she can turn them on him at any moment. And she could render him incapable of fighting back. But that notion seems to be overlooked in favor of him sending goons and monsters after her.

Eventually, the kid overhears the concern that the H is gonna get stuck in equine form, and leaves, letting the bad guy catch her. H/h run to her rescue, bad guy killed, all but one remaining mutant killed, H badly injured though no real explanation as to how (that seems to be the norm - the equine is clawed up a bit, next thing you know, the H is bleeding all over the place and dying.), some weird reactions on his part to...what? The rut? Don't see how it could cause him to bleed out the nose/mouth. Then again, I thought that required you to oh I dunno, have a punctured lung or something - no indication that happened. Less than half an hour later, he's walking - sort of - to the escape vehicle. I get that he heals fast but he goes from being sure he's dying to well on his way to recovery in nothing flat.

Oh. And the rut? Does not take the almighty hymen to cure; just the mate. All that drama for nothing. He could have boinked her in the first chapter or two and been cured.