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Shifting Dreams

(Cambio Springs #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,442 ratings  ·  289 reviews
Somedays, Jena Crowe just can’t get a break. Work at her diner never ends, her two boys are bundles of energy, and she’s pretty sure her oldest is about to shift into something furry or feathery. Added to that, changes seem to be coming to the tiny town of Cambio Springs—big changes that not everyone in the isolated town of shapeshifters is thrilled about.

Caleb Gilbert was
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by E. Hunter (first published March 3rd 2013)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  3,442 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a little supernatural in their books.
3.5 This series? Interesting, it has potential.

I was a bit surprised, it's a little different than the typical shifter books (I dunno how it's different, it just it).

It focused more on the love story than the crime and mystery and stuff, although I hoped it would be different. I'd have liked for the author to decide, it's pretty hard to make a great romance and a great mystery. Even I can't decide what it was! I mean, yeah, most UF have more than just one main theme, but this one felt a bit stra
Georgia ♥

There is a town deep in the Mojave Desert, that nothing is as it seems.

Welcome to Cambio Springs


Home and shelter for shapeshifters, this unique town is struggling to survive. The only way is through progress and unexpectedly, blood...


An unheard of, in this town of loyalty and solidarity, murder investigation will unearth secrets, greed and passions. It will either lead in the future or in the whole town's doom.

"Everything happens for a reason."

Caleb Gilbert, accepts the job offer of Cambio S
Elizabeth Hunter


The ENTIRE Cambio Springs series (yes all three books AND the short stories) are currently FREE to read if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Just thought you should know.


Once again, I'm going back and writing a review for an older book of mine. Shifting Dreams came out in the days when the common wisdom for writers was:

"Don't go to Goodreads! Goodreads is for readers. Leave the readers in their space and leave GR alone."

So... that's what I did. BUT FORGET THAT. You guys are having too mu
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it

3.5 stars, possibly 4. I enjoyed it, but it felt almost like it was written for a YA audience, even though it has explicit sex and the H/h are 30+ years old. However, the mythos about the shape-shifting town was unique. I liked it. Also intriguing are the Native American taboos about the dead, etc.

I began this Cambio Springs series with the short prequel, Long Ride Home (review). Shifting Dreams is set three years after the prequel, in Cambio Springs, a small town off the beaten path in the Mo
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed Hunter's Elemental World books but the residents of Cambio Springs are actually more up my supernatural alley.

Outsiders pretty much have to marry in to learn the secret that the residents of Cambio Springs are keeping, but the town is dying, there are no jobs and families are being forced to move away from the only place that they will ever truly be able to be themselves. That freedom from hiding is what brought young widow Jena and her two sons back home to Cambio Springs and her
Jacob Proffitt
This book does okay as a paranormal romance, but has some problematic elements that I had a hard time with. I liked the worldbuilding well-enough. Cambio Springs is an interesting community with a secret to protect but a desperation for jobs and growth. The town is dying as there's no industry to speak of and that makes it hard for them to support the number of people who want, need even, to be there. That tension between secrecy and trying to open to new industry is at the heart of the story an ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Based on the blurb I expected something like Kate Daniels with a little romance. Not sure what gave me that idea. It actually says „new paranormal romance series“. Need to pay more attention.

Anyway, despite this being PNR, which is not my favourite genre, I enjoyed myself. Slowly developing romance. She likes him, she likes him not, but generally only a low amount of the usual, annoying romance tropes. No Instalove, thank goodness.

Not a lot of shape-shifting at first, but the why is different.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just love the way Elizabeth Hunter develops her characters and her story. Like a red carpet, her story just unravels so nicely. This is not a fast-paced book, but I love the connection to Native American culture. The main characters are likable and the secondary ones are colorful. This series has lots of potential.
It was ...Okay.

Cambio Springs is a little town of secret shapeshifters founded by seven families (wolves, cats, birds, reptiles).

Jena is a widow with 2 boys, she works at the family diner, and met a handsome cowboy a night in the bar.

Well, the outsinder turns out to be the new police chief, part of a plan to improve the dying town and build a spa.

Entertaiment, but not overly brilliant.

The boys are cute, the story about the town interesting. where lacks is the credibility in police work, he goes
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very interesting new world, where shifters of different kinds live in secret in a small dessert town.

Jena, a young widowed mother of two young boys has been back home to Cambio Springs for a few years now after her husband's death, when the new chief of police arrives and starts making things complicated for her.

Caleb, who is leaving behind his old life in hopes of starting over in Cambio Springs, has his hands full when he has to solve a murder on his first week in his new life.

The two make a
What’s different in Shifting Dreams? No alpha showdown.

Unlike many possessive alpha characters in the supernatural world, Caleb is just an easy-going, good guy with a sense of humor. And frankly I am not even sure he is capable of protecting anyone from big, bad mountain lions, bears, etc. (view spoiler)

What to expect:
World building is simple. The author's portrayal of Cambio Springs, a small town popul
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pnr
Beautifully written. But boring to the point of tears, this is an Harlequins book with a slight paranormal twist. Unless you are into "classic" romance, where the couple is everything, this is not the story for you. Mystery and world building are very light side dishes, if they are at all.

If you get rid of the animal side, it's simply a western romance about the new sheriff in town. How they fell in love is up to you, they met, made out and he starts pursuit. Why? No idea, not once I felt he sto
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Often overlooked gem

I totally love this book and the rest in the series. Definitely grab it if you like interesting characters, romance, mystery, a totally different shifter world and extremely well written words.
Douglas Meeks
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent novel with all the things that make great novels. The writing was excellent, the story was compelling, the characters were interesting and the mystery revolved around the romance (or maybe vice versa)

The story is multi-faceted in that you have to deal with the reasons behind Caleb’s reasons for coming to Cambio Springs, Jena’s reasons for avoiding him, a murder and a BIG secret.

The love/hate romance of Caleb and Jena is the core of the romantic part of the story but solving
Caleb moves to Cambio Springs to take on the job of Chief of Police. Unfortunately for him his arrival is followed very quickly by the murder of a town elder, the only elder who voted against a development project that would bring much needed jobs to town.

Oh...did I mention the town is inhabited by shifters and it seems the elder was murdered by a cat of some sort.

Shifting Dreams is a good idea which wasn't as well executed as I would have liked. The story was good in parts but there were mome
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
As many of you know I am a very big Elizabeth Hunter fan. Hunter's Elemental Mysteries series is one of my favorites. Shifting Dreams is the first book in an all new series and after reading this first book in the Cambio Springs series I am so excited about what is to come from this world!

Cambio Springs, where Shifting Dreams takes place, is almost a character itself. All the people that live in this special town are also the keeper of its secrets and vice versa. I truly loved all the back story
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Strange things happen in Cambio Springs . . . people are clannish, secrets are guarded, an outsider never quite fits in. Caleb Gilbert rode into town toting some heavy emotional baggage, but he was determined to make a home and a place for himself as the chief of police. He runs into a wall of resistance from some of the strange locals who don't cotton to outsiders as they protect their secrets at all costs. Jena Crowe is a widowed mom with two young boys, making ends meet by running her parent' ...more
Well, hell, THIS is a nice surprise!

I was intrigued with this book after reading a review -- I honestly forgot where, but the reviewer basically said that she had read so many urban fantasy/paranormal romance over the years, and they became the same-old but this one was good for her. I didn't exactly know what 'pushed' me into it, it was one of those unexplainable things when it comes to reading. I know that the author had another series (with the first book actually offered for free) but this o
Shifting Dreams tells the story of Jena Crowe, a widow with two adorable young sons who lives in the small town of Cambio Springs, and Caleb Gilbert, a former homicide detective who recently moved into Jena's small town after accepting the position of Chief of Police. Although Caleb is familiar with life in a small town he's more than just an average outsider in this small town. Cambio Springs has a secret (all of its residents could shift at will - feathers, fur or scales), but the town's about ...more
DNF at 56%

The characters just didn't work for me. It all felt very immature for the ages of the characters. But mostly, I just didn't care about what was going on. The feel of the book lacked the depth that I've become accustomed to for Ms. Hunter's novels. Hoping this was a one-time fluke.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Really loved this one! Couldn't get into her Elemental series but I love the start of this one.

Tonya Hodgson
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure I should admit it in this review that while the premise of the story was interesting I have read other stories from this writer that didn't captivate as me this this book did. Which is why I didn't read this book sooner! Moral of the story is I guess a good writer may captivate you with some of their work, but not every fictional universe is a perfect for everyone!

I enjoy paranormal fantasy/romance. I'm not a big fan of labels though. A good book is a go
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2017
Shifting Dreams by Elizabeth Hunter is the premier of her Cambio Springs series. Cambio Springs is a small tight knit community of shifters all descended from the original seven families who founded the town and became shifters after drinking from the fresh water spring. Now the town has fallen on hard times due to the close of the nearby military base, but changes are coming. A proposal for a new exclusive resort taking advantage of the natural (non-magical) springs in the area offers the promi ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, paranormal
Shifting Dreams by Elizabeth Hunter was a tantalizing and engaging read. A new twist on the paranormal shifter genre that intrigued me from the first chapter. Add in American Indian spiritual beliefs and a murder with plenty of twists and I was hooked to the end. The characters are well drawn and the community was an integral part of the story.

I received this book from my local library and I've already borrowed the next two in the series.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
It was simple PNR read. I enjoyed my time with this book.
Shifting Dreams is the first installment in the Cambio Springs series. Jena Crowe’s husband died young which isn’t very common in the community she’s from. Left with two boys she doesn’t have time for guys except for the rare one passing through and Caleb is just what she needs. Little does she know that he’s the new police chief that was hired in town and that he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Jena’s longtime friend Alex has return to town will plans to build a hotel that will change the spring ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just thought that if you mix Nora Roberts with Patricia Briggs you might get this particular book.

Elizabeth has a talent to take a simple contemporary plot, add a pinch of paranormal and still make us feel like the characters are a bunch of normal people we all can relate to.

I found this book adorable and refreshing.

Jena, a mother with two young kids comes back into her tiny town after her husband dies from a brain tumour. Not only she desperately needs her family's love and support, she is
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book, rw, 2016, pnr, shifters
This book has been on my maybe shelf for a long time. One of my goals this year is to read more from this shelf and not let it be the place books go to die. After having read this one I'm a little mad at myself for not picking it up sooner.

The town of Cambio Springs is special and not just because all towns are special. No this one is special because it has a secret one most of it's residents are part of. That alone made me want to keep reading. I wanted to see how the town and her people were g
I was a bit in and out on this one. It took me a little while to get into the writing, then I got pretty hooked, then I drifted back out by the end.

But I liked the characters. I liked that they were adults, with kids, with jobs that don't only exist in book-land. It felt more real than a lot of strict contemporary books do.

It reminded me a little of Kelley Armstrong's Cainsvilles series, with the small, tightly-knit town with secrets (only you get a whole lot more answers here!).

I wasn't entirel
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ELIZABETH HUNTER is a USA Today and international bestselling author of romance, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal mystery. Based in Central California, she travels extensively to write fantasy fiction exploring world mythologies, history, and the universal bonds of love, friendship, and family.

She has published over thirty works of fiction and sold over a million books world-wide. She is the

Other books in the series

Cambio Springs (4 books)
  • Desert Bound (Cambio Springs #2)
  • Waking Hearts (Cambio Springs, #3)
  • Dust Born (Cambio Springs Mysteries, #4)

News & Interviews

From independent presses, to tales in translation, to critical darlings and new debut novels, these books (all published in the U.S. this year)...
38 likes · 3 comments
“She pinched his ear again.


‘Wake up, you idiot!’ Then she seemed to notice the very evident tent in his pajama pants. ‘And get that situation under control.’

‘Want to help me out with it?’ He slapped a hand over her mouth before she could curse at him. ‘Sorry. Sleeping. No filter.’ She bit his finger. ‘Ow! Stop hitting and biting me. Unless… you’re into that. I mean, it’s not usually my thing, but I could—’

‘You need to stop talking right now, before I kick you in the nuts and never speak to you again.’

He raised two hands to rub his face. ‘Man, you’re mean when I just wake up.”
“You gonna tuck me in?"
She stifled the grin. Opportunistic, determined idiot. "You gonna behave?"
"Define 'behave.”
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