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Review: The Awakening: Aidan by Abby Niles

The Awakening: Aidan by Abby Niles
Category Romance, Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters
Ebook $2.99 (228 pages, COVET)
Is the gift of eternal love a blessing or a curse?
After years of counseling grieving shifters, psychiatrist and half-shifter, Dr. Jaylin Avgar has become jaded on shifter mating. She wants to marry a human and forget about the love for eternity crap. Then she meets Aidan O’Connell, an infuriatingly laid back shifter who represents everything she doesn’t want. Yet, the more he pursues her, the more she craves a future with him. Only one thing stands in her way: death. Can she overcome her fear of losing Aidan to the one guarantee in life?
Millionaire consultant, Aidan O’Connell knows he’ll one day meet a woman who’ll awaken an unrelenting mating instinct. Unfortunately, that woman is Jaylin, who has no qualms about telling him that he and his so-called eternity can shove it. When she pushes him away, he takes a drastic step so she can no longer escape. The close proximity throws the instinct into overdrive. Can he control the need engrained in him until he’s certain she will reciprocate the bond, or will a moment of weakness doom him to hell on earth?

Author Site: www.abbynilesauthor.com

Wangsty Heroine, Complicated World-Building (3 stars)

Half-shifter Jaylin Avgar chose to specialize in helping shifters going through the stages that follow the loss of a mate. Watching their grief and struggles has her determined that she will never mate with a shifter. All she wants is an uncomplicated human husband and to no longer work with anguished shifters. But when Aidan O'Connell contacts her to help one of his closest friends, Liam, whose human mate rejected him, she finds herself sucked into their world again.

As the pair try to help Liam get his life back the attraction between them begins to sizzle. Aidan knows she's his mate, the only one for him, but Jaylin is terrified of what will happen to them if one should die. When Aidan uses his talents as a ruthless businessman to force Jaylin to give him a chance the result could be disastrous for both. Can Jaylin move past her fears to see the love that's waiting for her or is she set to destroy Aidan no matter which life she chooses?

I hate when I love an author's ideas but find the execution less than pleasurable. If you read and enjoyed Niles' DEFYING CONVENTION (which I loved hardcore) you know what I'm talking about in regards to an author with great ideas. Alas, I found THE AWAKENING: AIDAN strangely tedious to read. Conceptually, I totally dig the pseudo-science of the world even if I'm not a big fan of fated-mates as a trope. It's the overall way it's done that just had me cringing and sighing.

If you love fated-mates you will seriously dig the concept as it's set up. Shapeshifters have their own religion of sorts, or rather, their own version of heaven. Humans go to Heaven (and have God) and Shapeshifters go to Anavrin (and have Dea, their goddess). Half-shifters get to choose which they go to when they die. Mates' love goes into Anavrin with them so the concept of eternal love is very important to shifters. This is Jaylin's big traumarama and for me as a reader, a big pain in the butt. She's so wangsty about dying (or having a shifter mate that dies) that she annoyed me before I'd even finished two chapters. I mean, I do 'get' that, but I found that she was so over-the-top against accepting the bonds with Aidan that when she flipped her decision it felt forced, very forced.

What ultimately saved THE AWAKENING: AIDAN from being unlikable was Aidan. Niles had me at 'ginger'... I'm a bit of a closet redhead-fancier, so I was instantly a fan there. But more importantly, he was pretty multi-dimensional. He's a caring friend, has a big secret that gets revealed that made him extra interesting, and though he was under-handed in how he tried to force Jaylin to give him a chance... it's never Alpha male jerk-tastic in nature.

While I only found this to be an 'okay' read for me, I very much look forward to seeing more of this world—though I hate the BDB series like terminology style: ie. Dsershon, Fewshon, Bahrraj. I think other readers will really love it if they can wade through the annoying wangst-fest that is Jaylin.

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

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