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Off the Beaten Path

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  494 ratings  ·  132 reviews
When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published September 18th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  494 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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~Mindy Lynn~
4.5 Stars!

This was my first book by this author but not the only book I've got on my TBR of hers. And after reading this I will definitely be moving them up higher on that list.

There are many shifter books out there and I have read many of them. What is hard is finding a shifter book that doesn't follow many of the usual tropes as in true mates etc. Well I found it in this book. This shifter book found a unique way to be different and I really liked the world the author built.

I had a hard time
***4.5 Stars***
"It's not your place to take care of me."
"It is now, though," I said earnestly. "You're my pack."
You feel like pack. You might feel like more.

The Eye of the Werewolf

Granted, the circumstances under which Ward Johannsen and Henry Dormer met are not the best, to put it mildly.

Ward lands on Henry's doorstep -literally-, on the brink of drawing his last breath -also quite literally- in search of his little daughter, Ava, who got snatched from under his nose by the government and sent to Henr
Jenni Lea
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: growl-and-howl

Read it. Loved it. Need more now!
* A Reader Obsessed *
4.5 Seriously Impressed Hearts!

The title is so appropriate, for this is beyond any shifter book I've ever read, and it was quite the fabulous refreshing BR with Sara!

I don’t know if I can do this story justice but I’m gonna try…

What one has to know first is that this is a world where werewolves obviously exist. They’re a government experiment gone wrong decades ago and the age old debate did come up as to what to do with this new subset of humans with extraordinary abilities but potentially sca
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I loved this shifter paranormal from Cari Z. It's hard to come up with a new approach to a werewolf based narrative but this one did that.

The idea of werewolves being created via a military experiment gone wrong wasn't new, but the secrecy and use of the pack Alpha's as black ops was different and it worked well.

There's great world building and lots of layers to this story, which is light on the steam and has a slow burn but quite intense romance at its heart.

Ward was such an amazing charact
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Not so bad*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

This was a nice read. Not much happened - action wise - but it was a good (enough), enjoyable read. The book centers around Ward Johannsen (31) and alpha werewolf (for La Garita pack) and an elite black ops soldier, Henry James Dormer (how old?). Ward's daughter Ava Johannsen (4) shifts and becomes a werewolf and gets taken away from Ward and shipped off to the nearest pack, with all ties between father and daughter severed. However, Ward isn't about to let go of his da
3.75 stars

Hmmm! i liked it! Not your usual shifter story but the story was captivating enough for me to keep going.

The Mc's Ward and Henry were likable.

This is the second Cari Z book i have read. Her writing is different from what i am used to but in good way.

The romance was a slow burn with no smexy times on page. I felt like it was more of Ava's story. It was like watching a movie about a father looking for his daughter.

The secondary characters were well developed and the writing was good.

In Cari Z.’s latest urban fantasy, Off the Beaten Path , werewolves are the result of government’s experiment turns awry. The government pretty much rules the werewolves by forcing packs into special territories, guarded by a guardian whose job is to keep werewolves from the spotlight. The Alphas are forced into military service involving black ops to do what regular humans cannot do.

When Ward Johannsen’s daughter turns into werewolf, she is taken to a pack in secret, forcing Ward to ask his be
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
4.25 stars. Very good Cari Z werewolf story! Full review soon!

A captivating story with great characters, excellent world building, and a storyline that keeps you fully entertained!!

Full review here at Alpha Book Club

5 stars
BWT (Belen)

Jack Wesley's narration made an already great book terrific!

Told in a dual third person POV with a sweet HEA, this story is filled with interesting world building, great, well-fleshed-out characters, and a compelling plot. This was absolutely entertaining.

I don't know where or what Jack Wesley has been doing before audio narrating, but he did such a fantastic job with this that I was shocked this is his only title on Audible.

His breath sounds are great, his tone is even, his pacing is great, he
"Off the Beaten Path" is an interesting paranormal story with shifters.

In the world the author created to host her characters, shifters are forced to live mostly isolated from humans in an effort to minimize the posibility of them "turning" someone. The packs are extremely restricted and everything they do is monitored by the government. The werewolves are thought of as less than humans, as a subspecies that should be contained. It was very hard to read about the way they were forced to live.

I loved this book. Inhaled it in a day. Was so happy to have found it because I'd been kicking around between books, unable to find something I wanted again. When I saw this I knew I had to read it and it did not let me down.

Being vaguely general, this book contains -

A somewhat different spin on the standard shifter world(s) - the pack structure, origination, lands, government intervention
While it isn't dark per se, it can be emotional and definitely elicits strong feelings
It's first class st
Shifter books are always fun, when done well. And this was fun. I like Henry, Ward and Ava, wanted to know more about Samantha and Liam, Roman and Genna, and Tennyson and Davis. This was not your typical shifter story and that's cool. In this world, werewolves are the result of an accident by the military and as a result werewolves are kept on reservations (more or less) and are led by an alpha, but also have a human guardian not on the compound.

The alpha is forced into the military as a like as
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pnr
I don’t necessarily like naming favorites, but deep down, paranormal romance is my favored genre. And to be even more precise, I prefer shifter stories. I don’t read a great deal of them anymore because unfortunately, I’ve stumbled upon more rotten eggs than golden ones. However, I am the first to thrust out grabby hands when a trusted author creates a new shifter story. Cari Z. takes the typical human + beast + abnormal powers formula and spices it up with her humor and some peculiar twists. An ...more
5 Hearts

Well this was different and different is good.

Cari Z took the genre of shifters and added a little something extra to it. She plays with the tropes well known in the genre and then takes it to an almost dystopian level that made this a truly unique read for this redhead.

Ward Johannsen is on a mission. His four year old daughter Ava has been taken from him because she shifted into a wolf on her first day of school. Now Ward himself is not a werewolf but apparently the werewolf mutation
4.5 stars CARI ZZZZZZZZZ, WHY YOU SO GOOD?!?! This was just an absolute delight. Despite the fact that the werewolf "territories" are poorly concealed prisons and "justifying their protected status" little more than indentured servitude, this was a beautiful and hopeful story. Despite Henry being at his wits end, exhausted and frustrated and used and abused. Ward was everything they didn't know they all desperately needed.

Loving his daughter with his whole heart he fully accepted (before the sto
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, shifters
This was a nice shifter book, but I wasn’t too fond of the cruel world Cari Z. created.

Ward has a 4 year old daughter who suddenly shifts into a wolf. Wolf shifters are humans who contracted a virus, or are shifters because their parents were. Ava is immediately sent to the nearest pack and Ward is no longer allowed to see her. Of course Ward is a stubborn father who won’t leave his little girl, so he goes out to look for her.

And that’s how he finds himself on the outside of the fence of the sma
Lyn Gala
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored the plot... adored, adored, adored.

I personally have problems getting into first person POV, especially when it alternates.
Originally reviewed at Sinfully.

Cari Z builds an interesting world for these wolf shifters with their origin story seemingly a nod to Captain America. The wolves are known to the public, but kept in check by the US government. Kept isolated on remote reservations, only in part for their own protection, the government controls everything including the media they are exposed to, the supplies they are given and who can come and go from the property. The alphas are forced into military black ops and
4.3 Stars

I loved the world-building and the characters were engaging; the audio was really well done as well!
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up because still no 1/2 stars here on GR and the world building worked well for me.

Werewolves may not be my thing but a good story is a good story...

Ok so first things first. There are a lot of really wonderful reviews out there for this book and while this wasn't a five star listen for me...seriously that's on me. I wanted to give this one a try because...well, I really like this author and I've danced around this story for a while because...werewolves are just not a favorit
4.5 howly stars!!

Ever since I read my first shifter book, I've been hooked. For some reason, Off The Beaten Path escaped my notice at first, but when it kept popping up in friend reviews on Goodreads, I requested a review copy from the publisher.

I was not disappointed.

This is not some fluffy wolf shifter meets human and they live happily ever after shifter book. No, as the title indicates, this shifter universe is off the beaten path, set in an alternate reality where shifters exists, after a go
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Engrossing werewolf tale w/o knotting and ABOverse or mpreg. I loved so many things about it but the alternate viewpoints (3rd/1st) had me confused until I picked up the rhythm better - and pulled me out of the story in the beginning. Other than that - solid tale and I really hope there is more set in this universe!
4.5 Stars ~ “The law was ironclad: werewolves weren’t classified as human. They were a dangerous subspecies, and they were the property of the government.”

What a terrific beginning to some very innovative worldbuilding the author created in ‘Off the Beaten Path.’ So fascinating, in fact, that I had difficulty putting it down in order to feed myself but, meh, who needs food when you're caught up in a world like this one? Werewolves came about when the government was going for a supersoldier but i
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thanks Michelle Visage, even your face said it all.

Meh .

My favorite word to describe my feelings after reading this. It wasn't bad, but it was nothing else. No spark, no connection, no feeling, and didn't seem like it worked well together. Felt like it was 2 stories going on at once, and the disjointed feeling didn't end at all. I have a couple qu
Joyfully Jay
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jay
Update for audiobook review:
Read Elizabeth’s review in its entirety here.

A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

Off the Beaten Path was a really engaging shifter story, all the more noteworthy for being like nothing I have ever read in this subgenre. It is so hard in the shifter world to create something totally unique, and Cari Z has done it so well here. The world building is quite well done, and there is an almost post-apocalyptic feel to the world as these wolves live hidden away and isolated from
Valerie ❈M/M Romance Junkie❈
I enjoyed this, but man I needed more happiness than I got. Werewolves were treated horrifically. I found the entire situation rather heartbreaking, but it still kept me very engaged. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I wanted to see them all get a happy (or at least happier) ending. I could see the tendrils of options for a sequel (I’m looking at you Tennison). I definitely want to see more of this world.

***narration review***

Jack Wesley is a new to me narrator. He did an excellent jo
Ije the Devourer of Books
If you like a good shifter story then you will really enjoy this one because it has excellent world building, rich characterisation, a good romance along with an interesting story.

I read a lot of shifter stories and I think it must be hard to write something which hasn't already been done to death, but the author has managed to do something fresh and it was good to read.

I also liked the fact that the main characters weren't paralysed by their challenges but instead were very determined to ove
- 3.5 stars! -

This is a cute story, with endearing MCs and secondary characters. The world building is interesting and refreshing, even if it's a bit dark and depressing. However, it felt a little underdeveloped to me. I think that the book is too short, I kind of wish it was a little longer and everything would have been explained a bit slower, in a way that would truly make me connect with the story.


This story in an interesting new twist on the shifters genre. In this new world, the humans
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Gay werewolf book. [s] 4 14 Jan 01, 2019 02:44PM  

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Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she's put out there as much as she enjoyed w ...more