Cougarville's mechanic, and resident Alpha fox, shelters a mysterious woman who ignites his protective animal instincts when evil forces try to tear them apart.
Jo Ferrell has been cast out of her home for reasons she doesn’t understand. The grey streak in her hair is gone, her body is younger, and there’s an ominous shadow chasing her. With nowhere else to go, Jo finds shelter in a shed whose owner she wants nothing to do with—but he’s too much to resist.
Reese Cooper has never felt a pull towards a woman like he does towards Jo and his Fox is desperate to claim her as their mate. After offering her a place to stay, Reese finds it difficult to resist his beautiful new roommate. But when dark magic threatens their happiness, Reese will use all of his strength to protect the woman he loves…if he’s not too late.
Series: Cougarville #3 | Publisher: Swerve/St. Martin's Press| Release Date: August 1, 2017| Genre: Paranormal Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 2 Cups
I’ve been trying to branch out a bit in my paranormal reading. I’m always up for a good paranormal but lately I’ve noticed I’ve sort of fallen into a paranormal reading rut where I stick to the same type of paranormal beings or the same authors. So when Stone Cold Fox by Evangeline Anderson was offered for review I snagged it because it was a new-to-me author and fox-shifters were new to me as well.
Here’s what’s going on. Since being kicked out of her coven and home for being accused of using black magic, Jo’s been on the run and being chased by something sinister in the woods. Finding shelter in a shed, she finds herself rescued by a sexy man who happens to be a fox shifter. Although she’s attracted to him, she’s not sure if she can trust him. While Reese knows he must take it slow, his Fox has already claimed Jo as its mate. The only thing he has to do is wait until Jo finally accepts the truth about what she really is.
I’m a bit on the fence about this one. Okay, so more than a bit. I liked the premise of the story. I liked the paranormal world and lore that Anderson created. The shifters in the book come from the Paleolithic Era, so they’re not your standard shifters and I found that really intriguing. And I really liked Reese—he’s an alpha Fox shifter who will stop at nothing to protect his mate.
While I found some things intriguing, I struggled with a lot of the story.
Jo wasn’t really a heroine I could get behind. She’s forty-one but she’s overly naïve and incompetent. Yes, she’s lived in a man-free Yoga-witchy commune type of place for twenty years, but before that she lived twenty years in the real world and even went to college, so she should know how to act around people.
And it’s not just her nativity that bothers me. She was assaulted in college so now she considers all men evil creatures out to get her so when she realizes that she’s attracted to Reese, she attempts to cast an anti-love spell on him which goes awry. So now every time she get lusty towards him or vice versa, she blames the spell even though they had the feelings before the spell.
Then there’s her denial about being a ‘Juvie’ or Rejuvenated female—a woman born with the shifter gene that remains dormant until she reaches her forties or fifties. For someone born with magical powers, she spent so much time being in denial it was ridiculous.
Finally, the last straw with her was the fact she was TSTL. I mean, seriously, some creature in the woods was chasing her, but she willingly went back into the woods at night to find a flower she needed for a spell. Then she decides to give the people that accused her of using dark magic and cast her out a second chance. I spent so much time rolling my eyes and calling her an idiot, eventually, I started rooting for the thing in the woods.
Also, it irked me that no one, Reese, Jo, or any of the secondary characters, attempted to figure out what was roaming the woods. They were like, ‘oh, yeah, there’s something creepy and possibly deadly in the woods, but let’s just mention it and then do nothing about’.
The insta-lust/love didn’t bother me. It’s common in shifter books especially if it’s the fated-mate type. What did bother me was how much time Jo spent complaining about the ach between her legs, the first few time was okay but considering she went on and on about it like a broken record, it just became annoying.
Overall, this one had potential but a TSTL heroine that was also naïve and incompetent was its downfall. I’ve heard that the first two books in the series are stronger, but I’m not so sure if they’ll be on my TBR list anytime soon.
Stone Cold Fox