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The sound of a cord snapping abruptly ends her climb, leaving her stranded as an arctic storm bears down. Can Asher find his mate before she freezes to death?

Nicole is done with men. Her husband left her for a thinner and younger model and never looked back. She has worked hard to be an independent, successful woman without a man. Although she is still a curvy woman, she is healthy and loves outdoor activities. Climbing Pyramid Mountain is the next adventure on her list of things she wants to accomplish. So why does she feel drawn to Asher, the know-it-all US Forest Ranger telling her she can’t make her climb?

Asher Wells has found his mate, at last. He should have known that his spirited, fated mate wasn’t going to listen to reason. With an arctic storm bearing down on them, she was hell-bent on Pyramid Mountain for her first solo, technical climb. Luckily he managed to get an emergency beacon into her pack. Unfortunately, something has happened and Nicole has activated it.

Come visit Mystic River, Alaska. A small, remote town that has always been a safe community for different types of shifters. These shifters are gorgeous, possessive, and finding their fated mate is high on their priority list.

Take a walk on the wild side with these curvy heroines, their sexy fated mates, and scenes that sizzle.

204 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 13, 2023

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About the author

Delta James

153 books2,094 followers
As a USA Today bestselling romance author, Delta James aims to captivate readers with stories about complex heroines and the dominant alpha males who adore them. For Delta, romance is more than just a love story; it’s a journey with challenges and thrills along the way.

After creating a second chapter for herself that was dramatically different than the first, Delta now resides in Florida where she relaxes on warm summer evenings with her loveable pack of basset hounds as they watch the birds, squirrels, and lizards. When not crafting fast-paced tales, she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and white-water rafting.

Her readers mean the world to her, and Delta tries to interact personally with as many messages as she can. If you’d like to chat or discuss books, you can find Delta on Instagram, Facebook, and in her private reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/34898....

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 149 reviews
Profile Image for PamG.
820 reviews488 followers
April 2, 2023
Delta James knows how to quickly draw readers into a novel. Defiant Mate is the first book in the Mystic River Shifters series. This paranormal romantic suspense novel features Nicole Sullivan and Asher Wells. Since Nicole’s husband left her for a younger woman, she’s worked hard to be an independent, successful woman who isn’t dependent on a man. Climbing Pyramid Mountain on Kodiak Island in Alaska is on her bucket list. Despite Asher, a forest ranger telling her she isn’t ready for the mountain conditions, she feels drawn to him and is still determined to make her climb.

Asher, an alpha wolf-shifter, knows he’s found his fated mate. When Nicole goes ahead with her first solo technical climb, he’s grateful she accepted an emergency beacon. Unfortunately, Nicole activates it. What has gone wrong?

Nicole is strong, hardworking, independent, and loves outdoor activities. She is an event planner. Asher is the head of the U.S. Forest Rangers in Alaska. He’s hardworking, respected by the community, dominant, a loner, with only a few close friends, and he has a complicated and volatile relationship with his father. Both Nicole and Asher are likeable characters who have depth and complexity. While both experience growth during the novel, Nicole exhibits the most change as events unfold.

Delta James knows how to bring suspense, romance, and action to a story. Exciting scenes, a deeply involved plot, an incredible setting, and wonderful characters kept me turning the pages. With twists and turns, as well as some humor, romance, and a lot of suspense, the story builds to an astonishing conclusion. My main quibble is around the length of the book. It is short which means there is instant love versus a slow build-up as the characters get to know each other. Additionally, I wanted another chapter or two that focused on tying up some of the loose ends. Perhaps readers will see some of these threads closed in future books. Themes include infidelity, love, family relationships, friendship, greed, and much more. There are a few steamy scenes.

Overall, this book is entertaining with great characters in an incredible setting. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Delta James provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via BookSirens. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date was January 13, 2023.
My 4.02 rounded to 4 stars review is coming soon.
Profile Image for JigsawGirl.
3,008 reviews
January 10, 2023
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book when Nicole let Poppy loose on Kevin.

Ash and Nicole's book had a bit of a twist to it. Nicole's reaction to finding out Ash was a shifter was more justifiable than some previous human reactions.

One thing I tend to do when reading a book is draw some of my own conclusions and see if the writer's work is predictable. Delta James' books are not predictable. Even when writing about shifters and shifter pairings, there is no guarantee about the journey a reader takes. I never feel like I am reading a cookie cutter version of a previous book.

I know I am a greedy reader. This book could have been so much longer and I would have been happy. More information on how Ash and his father's relationship progressed, how Nicole moved forward with her ideas for Mystic River, or even more closure with the Kevin situation would have been welcomed.

It did seem to me that the spanking and intimate scenes were not quite as intense or frequent as they were in the Wayward Mates or the Masters of the Savoy series . So, if readers were offended by what went on there, Defiant Mate may be more to your liking. The story is entertaining, engaging, and can be read in one sitting.

I voluntarily read and reviewed the Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Amanda Grace.
305 reviews39 followers
February 26, 2023
Fated mates with a take charge heroine and an alpha male wolf shifter is a recipe for success in this book.

The story starts off with Nicole finding out that her husband has cheated on her. She uses this experience to take charge of her life with a little help from some friends. Fast forward a couple of years and we find Nicole in Mystic River, Alaska for work. She also plans to complete her first solo climb on Pyramid Mountain.

Asher Wells is a lone wolf and the head of the US Forest Rangers in Alaska. He knows how deceiving the mountain can be to inexperienced climbers and goes to meet the newcomer and try to talk her out of climbing alone. The moment Asher sees Nicole, he realizes she is his fated mate. They immediately connect and spend a passionate night together.

Nicole's climb turns out to be much more dangerous than she or Asher could have predicted and he has to go after her. The suspense element of this story was surprising and enjoyable. The HEA was steamy, swoony and heartwarming. I am excited to find out more about the other shifters in Mystic Falls.

This was my first Delta James book and I can tell you right now that it will not be my last.
Profile Image for TheBookPlatypus.
871 reviews136 followers
January 27, 2023
Nicole and Asher.

Nicole caught her partner cheating on her. Instead of drowning in sadness, she took charge of her life and did everything she wanted to do in life. She even picked up rock climbing.
She found herself in Mystic River, Alaska. There’s a climb here that has been calling her to accomplish. And she’s determined despite what Asher Wells, the head ranger says. He wants her to rethink climbing when a storm is about to hit.

She also happens to be his fated mate.
As a wolf shifter, he must tread carefully with her, not scare her off, protect her, and get her to stop from doing this climb.

Nicole doesn’t listen. Her rope snaps and she’s now stranded on a mountain in a snow storm.

This isn’t as heavy in spicy smut as some other Delta James books but it’s full of a great plot with light suspense and of course, romance. Not only wolf shifters, this town is heavy in other animal shifters as well.
It was a really fun read and I can’t wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Cody Marie Phoenix.
775 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2023
While the story seemed original, most of it was very predictable to me. I had trouble feeling much for the main characters because their dialogue seemed to similar. There are some interesting sub stories yet to be fleshed out so I'm hoping to enjoy future books more than I have this one.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
257 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2023
I love the shifter books that Ms James writes. While they all have a common theme - alpha male shifters finding their fated mate, always in the form of a human, she is able to write unique stories for each. It isn't the same old story re-hashed with new names and a different location. Each of her stories is unique. What I also love about her books is her ability to mention characters from part books so while each book/series is its own, they all seem to be connected.
This was a good story and it was a bit different in that Nicole, finding she has been changed, is not upset like most of the human females Ms James writes into her stories. Nicole, who is a two-years-later-recovered single woman lives her new life on her own terms. She has a bucket list to complete and that is what keeps her busy in her personal life. Professionally, as a junior partner she works hard to build up the Event Planner business she bought into. Both her business and her bucket list takes her from Seattle to Mystic River, Alaska. Here she meets Asher the wolf-shifter Forest Ranger. They are instantly attracted to each other, but as hot and steamy the attraction is between the two of them, she soon leaves his bed to complete her bucket list item. And that is when things begin to go wrong. What was thought to be an accident is soon found to be anything but, and the mystery begins to build. Throw in a a big emergency rescue of tourists stranded near Mystic River plus a bad relationship between Asher and his father and it all comes together to make a very enjoyable read. I am excited to read the next installment in this series.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Bridgette.
29 reviews
April 27, 2023
There is no way people actually enjoyed this. They have to be from an alpha reader group or friends. No one who likes romance enjoys their intelligence being insulted.

Independent and strong woman suddenly in one day folds?

Atrocious writing, where the editors failed the author and didn't point out actions from the page before being done again. It takes me out of the struggle of trying to read the plot as memory is all. "Didn't she just start the washing machine?"

The ...*spoiler* ... first day out of an almost died of hypothermia coma of five days being spanked to apologize? I thought 50 Shades made bad BDSM. The dynamic and trust building is non-existent.

Oh, I almost died? Here, let me work in a clinic the same day I wake up too. Wow... this day must be a 36 hour one.

I used to not ever post negative reviews, but as I have aged; I can't be wasting time reading crap books. Amazon helps put out, and Tik Tok Book Tok makes videos, making it seem cool.

Fake. Fake. Fake.

Quit thinking people that like romance or erotica don't also enjoy a good sentence structure or plot.


I was right. I read through reviews, and at least 50 are free copies through a club. I knew there was something fishy. I still feel reading this book as far as I did was more of a time waster than reading through comments.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
78 reviews
January 15, 2023
I had a hard time with the beginning of the book as it seemed slow but as I continued to read I understood the necessity of introducing the character in such detail. It really helped me understand her through the rest of the book. Delta James wrote a great love story between the two characters Nicole and Ash. Some parts were rushed and some parts written in detail but all in all I am looking forward to the second installment of the series

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
2,830 reviews21 followers
January 17, 2023
Nicole heads to Alaska to do some mountain climbing and encounters Asher.
Nicole Sullivan divorced her husband after findfing him with another woman in their home and decided to become more adventurous. Two years later she heads to Kodiak, Alaska with plans to climb Pyramid Mountain. When she goes to the ranger's station to see what permits she needs to fill out she encounters Head Ranger Asher Wells who tries to talk her out of climbing taking her to lunch to explain why the climd os so unsafe for her first solo climb.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Kathy Heare Watts.
5,820 reviews176 followers
February 20, 2023

The story is the first in the new Mystic River Shifters. It will have a great cast of characters, including humans and shifters. The story will involve Nicole Sullivan, a human, and alpha wolf shifter, Asher Wells.

Nicole Sullivan has gone through a divorce, moved to Seattle, Washington, and opened a satellite office for event planning with her boss, Judith in San Francisco. Nicole has taken up many adventurous hobbies including kayaking and training for mountain climbing. She decides to travel to Kodiak Island, Alaska, to look at it as a destination for future events. While there, she plans to do a solo climb up Pyramid Mountain.

Asher Wells and his alpha father do not get along. Asher left his pack in Mystic River and went into the Navy, becoming a SEAL. Now, he is back and head of the U.S. Forest Rangers in Alaska. What a surprise to meet Nicole, and realize she is his fated mate, a human, and stubborn.

The story’s plot will have Asher and Nicole meeting, butting heads, having lunch, and then to his cabin where the night is spent in pleasure. Asher is hoping to convince Nicole to forego a solo climb, wait until he can join her, and keep her in his bed. Nicole needs to do this climb for herself, which she believes she can do. She isn’t figuring out the volatile weather that will strike while she is on the mountain. That will take this story into life-and-death danger. Asher is determined to save his mate, even if it is from herself.

Asher: Do you read a lot of romance novels?
Nicole: There’s nothing wrong with that.
Asher: Not at all. Just trying to learn about you, and what makes you tick; what turns you on.
Nicole: You. You turn me on.
Asher: Ditto. Careful, Nicole. You don’t put yourself down or deflect how I feel.
Nicole: Is that a rule?
Asher: Yes, and there will be more of them. You’d best accept that you’re going to follow them and when you don’t, there’ll be consequences.
Nicole: What kind of consequences?
Asher: I found a bit of discipline can do a lot to keep a relationship on the right track.
Nicole: What kind of discipline?
Asher: A firm male hand applied to a shapely feminine backside can go a long way to curbing bad behavior and not allowing things to build up.
Nicole: Are you threatening to spank me?
Asher: No threat. I don’t make threats Nicole. I make promises and I want you to know up front what the consequences for things are. So yes, if your behavior is bad enough that it warrants you getting your backside blistered, I’m the man to get the job done. Be and good girl, and I won’t have to resort to that.

The story has mystery, suspense, danger, and some surprises. I loved the story of Nicole and Asher. The chemistry between them sizzles off the pages. When they are together, it is as if fate ordained them to be together.
652 reviews7 followers
January 30, 2023
Dnf. Just silly. The plot doesn’t make sense in parts.

Oh boy. This was so bad in places and it was just getting worse. I managed three quarters of the book before I gave up.

Nicole is married when she discovers her husband is cheating. It fasts forward two years and she’s changed her life, and is canoeing and climbing. When she decides to climb a mountain for her first solo climb, the ranger Asher tries to convince her it’s not safe. Asher is a wolf shifter and Nicole is his mate. They have a huge amount of sex, on their first date. She sneaks out and goes on the climb, has an accident and he has to rescue her. That’s where it gets really silly!

***************PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD*************

When Asher realises that Nicole is dying, he bites her to change her, to save her life. In wolf form he drags an unconscious Nicole, on a travois, down the mountain to the car. 😂😂😂 In blizzard like conditions. Baring in mind that he struggled to get up to her, as the weather was so bad, and the descent will be worse. She vaguely hears him talking about wolves and changing her, while she’s semi unconscious and hovering between life and death. She was like a yo yo at one point, going towards the light, and she’s pulled back by his voice begging her to live. I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have heard that as she’s unconscious! Shaking my head!!! After a week of being unconscious, she gets out of bed and starts working at the clinic!! 😱😱😱 She still hasn’t asked about wolves, and he hasn’t told her. It’s stupid.

253 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2023
Way faster than insta love and a non ending end 🤬

So everything happens at the speed of light in this book and I’m assuming series. Which seems pretty common in shifter novels in general. I love the fast pace just wish we were able to let things grow more. This book was cute, however, I am so mad because so so many loose ends were not tied up. So many plot twists just left to never be finished or talked about again and we don’t get the big HEA. It’s just ok bye the main characters fell asleep then boom advertising for the next book. Like seriously, it felt so lazy and unfinished I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Then I was angry, so angry to be left hanging on that way. It’s so disrespectful to readers when authors do this. Like we spend hours delving into these books and then they seem to just give up and not even give a proper close.

And that is why I’m left not wanting to continue the series because I know in my gut that the entire series will be done this way unfortunately. Which sucks. These shifter book are often a lil reprieve and mindless read for me when I’m in a book slump. But being left feeling so unsatisfied with the non ending end is unacceptable.
3 reviews
February 24, 2023
The novel had a nice storyline but I believe the delivery could have been better. Also, it was too fast paced for my liking, I couldn't even feel the connection between the MC's.

I received an advance review copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily
1,975 reviews
January 7, 2023
A wonderful read, great characters and plot I loved every moment of this amazing book

Nicole had discovered after walking in on her husband Kevin and his Bimbo girlfriend making use of her bed, her silk dressing gown and all of this whilst she was supporting him whilst he was taking the bar, she had been working non stop without so much as a thank-you.

Newly divorced she had decided to open a new branch with her boss after inputting a good deal of her divorce settlement and although it had taken hard work the event planning business had been a great success and life had been good.

She had also written a bucket list and had started to do more of the things she loved kayaking, white water rafting and also had been learning how to mountain climb and decided her first solo climb was going to be in Kodiak Alaska and she could not wait.

When she reached Mystic Falls and had visited the Ranger Station to discuss her climbing intentions she had met the chief ranger Asher and something had clicked, they had lunch together and he had shown her around the small town. Then they had spent the night together and it was as though they had always been together, Ashe’s love making had rocked her world and she felt as though they had known each other forever.

The climb is hard but is going well until on the decline the weather changes and taking all the steps taught to her she has one of her ropes bread and barely stops herself with her new ice pick but she had hurt her wrist and knew she had to use the emergency beacon to let the Rangers know she was in trouble.

Asher had known that his wolf was desperate to get to his mate and would do whatever it too to reach her no matter what it takes, the thought of a world without her in it was not worth contemplating.

It was fortunate that her love of shifter titles and the way in which mates were turned were her favourite read. She also loved Asher and even though she was human in her heart knew that there was something very special between them.

I guarantee that when you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down and you will be fascinated by the interactions between Asher and Ellis his Sire and Gemma his mother, they are so alike and both men constantly come to blows but his mother is a diamond.

Then there are the details behind Nicole’s rope that had failed on the climb and now it appears that perhaps someone may have been behind it but you will have to read this for yourself and I assure you that once you begin reading you will not stop until you reach the end.

I assure you that you will love every moment of this book it is simply a fantastic read.
I voluntarily received and review an Advanced Reader Copy
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading any future publications; keep up all the great writing.
Profile Image for Denise.
2,851 reviews
January 23, 2023
Loved this story about a woman determined to have it all who meets her match when she decides to climb a mountain in Alaska. Nicole can't believe it when she finds her husband cheating on her in her own house, in her own bed. A good divorce attorney gets her back on her feet and ready to live her life. An offer of a partnership in the event planning business where she works has her packing up and moving from San Francisco to Washington state where she successfully opens a new office. She has taken up new hobbies as well. Kayaking and mountain climbing are now favorite past-times. Well, she hasn't actually climbed a mountain yet but she plans to do her solo climb while on a business trip to Alaska.

Asher Wells is a wolf shifter who has returned to his hometown of Mystic River, Alaska after serving as a Navy SEAL with his best friends Jax (bear) and Colby (lynx). Though his father wants him to come and take over his old pack, Ash sees a hidden agenda in the offer that he refuses to consider. Instead he takes a job as the head ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska. He has his own small cabin and plenty of space to let his wolf run. When a wigan shows up at the local station asking for a permit for a solo climb of Pyramid Mountain, he realizes that she is his mate - his human mate. Though he tries to discourage her from making the climb she wants to make, she sneaks out to do it anyway. Then her emergency beacon is activated - right in the middle of a deadly snow storm....Can he get to her in time to save her?

I loved Nicole's can-do spirit, but climbing a mountain alone, in the cold? No thanks. Ash is surprised that soul mates are real, but he is so determined to protect his without breaking her spirit. I loved the way Nicole put Ash's father in his place. Can't wait for Jax's story. And Colby's. I was given a free copy of this book. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Debbie Orazi.
1,417 reviews17 followers
January 17, 2023
This was a paranormal shifter romance.

I am not just a fan of the author, I have a real addiction to her books. Whether she is writing alone or collaborating with another author, I have to read the stories they never disappoint.

Nicole Sullivan is an event planner. After a brutal divorce her boss Judith asks her to open a satellite office in Seattle with an option to become a partner. Nicole decided to take better care of herself after the divorce by getting in better shape and trying new things like kayaking, hiking and mountain climbing.

Asher Wells is a former Navy SEAL who lives in Kodiak, Alaska at the base of Pyramid Mountain. He is head of the Forest Rangers in Alaska and an alpha wolf shifter. He and his father, the alpha of his pack, do not get along at all.

They meet when Nicole travels to Alaska to vet locations for clients and for her vacation where she plans to climb Pyramid Mountain as her first solo climb. She goes to the Forest Rangers office to let them know she is making the climb. Asher asks her to lunch to try to talk her out of making the climb alone especially after he realized she is his fated mate. They end up hooking up the night before her climb. She makes the climb but gets caught in a bad snow storm after her rope breaks. Fortunately Asher had given her an emergency beacon and she waits for him to rescue her. She is almost unalive by the time he gets her off the mountain and has to give her the claim bite in order to save her life. He brings her to Mystic River to recover and they end up at his father's home. She finds out about shifters and being turned. The men argue so they leave and are picked up by his friend and stay at his place instead. Meanwhile they find out her accident was not an accident at all and they try to find out who cut her rope. Asher saves her from the person trying to unalive her and they get their HEA.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,290 reviews5 followers
January 14, 2023
A wolf-shifter story that has mystery, suspense and some danger in addition to a steamy romance.

The first few chapters focus on Nicole and her discovering her spouse has been cheating and her decision to divorce him with a no holds barred divorce attorney out for blood.

Nicole emerges from this a stronger and more confident woman who isn’t going to let her fear hold her back any longer. On a trip to Alaska to check out some opportunities for an event she is planning she decides to make a solo mountain climb on a ‘baby’ mountain called Pyramid Mountain despite the fierce objection of the sexy Forest Ranger Asher.

Asher is a former Navy SEAL and now a Forest Ranger who when he meets Nicole realizes she is his fated mate. Asher is an alpha wolf-shifter and he immediately starts wooing the visiting Nicole to try to persuade her not to try a solo climb, but to also extend her trip so they can spend more time together.

While this book has some spicy scenes it only has one spanking scene and the sexual relationship between Asher and Nicole is a little bit tamer than mostDelta James books. This book focuses more on their relationship, the suspense surrounding the circumstances of why Nicole’s climbing role snapped and the danger she apparently is in and why.

This is a very intriguing and entertaining read to begin a new series. I enjoyed getting to know knew characters who have connections to shifters from previous series. The suspenseful elements were exciting and provided some surprises.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Rhonda Hicks.
3,821 reviews61 followers
January 27, 2023
'Defiant Mate' is the first book in Delta James' new series, "Mystic River Shifters". What a great paranormal romance/who-done-it mystery this one turned into. Delta James, as usual, has verbally set the beautiful scenes in Alaska, making me feel like I've visited Mystic River in person. The story originally centers around Nicole who caught her husband in a compromising situation, laid down a set of matter-of-fact instructions, and then went to work. We're talking about one strong woman, even with a broken heart. Hard work and perseverance lead her from San Francisco as an employee to Alaska with the promise of a 51/4 9% partnership. While there she intends to climb what she thought was a small safe mountain as her first solo climb. That's when she meets Asher, the head Ranger for all of Alaska. If you've read Delta James' work, then you know to expect a storyline that will grab on and hold your attention until the very end. If you haven't, then hold on for the ride. There are no shrinking violets in her stories. The Heroes are Alphas with large hearts, an overabundance of courage, a possessiveness streak a mile wide, and a loving, compassionate, nature towards their mate that redefines fidelity. The heroines are strong-willed, opinionated, loving, and loyal to a fault but will still give as good as they get. I can't wait to go back to Mystic River to read Jax's story and see what happens. I'm hoping we get the details of what's going on between Asher and his father in the next book.
Profile Image for WereVamps.
175 reviews17 followers
February 10, 2023
It is a fantastic book. Defiantly a stand-alone. Very sad to see it end. The good news is there is a second book that continues on with his friend. and a third book after that. The main female character is a strong and steady woman. Who is able to stand her ground. I think she handles her husband well enough when she catches the lying, cheating, and spoiled man up to no good. Definitely, a strong woman than I, to not feed him to the wolves. Oh and it features a curvy woman. I absolutely love curvy female leads. The gorgeous Asher recognizes Nicole as his mate, but this headstrong woman pays no attention to warnings and finds herself in a predicament.

There is a reason why Delta James is a best-selling author and this new book series is no exception. The writing style is on point and the plot holds your attention. The flow is smooth and makes this an even read. The character development was good for me as it was a 200-page read. I was able to follow the characters. They were very likable, and I am looking forward to hearing little tidbits in the next book. I would highly rate this book to anyone who loves a small-town shifter book.

Stop By Were Vamps Romance for a showcase on the next book, for its release, on February 24th!
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February 15, 2023
Defiant Mate by Delta James is the story of Nicole the adrenaline junky and Asher the dominant forest Ranger. When Nicole goes to the ranger station to get a permit to climb the local mountain she meets Asher. She’s looking forward to her first solo technical climb. Asher tries to discourage her because he knows how dangerous that mountain truly is, especially in unfavorable weather conditions. Since I don’t want to spoil the story, though we all know what happens next, I will just say a whirlwind romance ensues. Ms. James writes stories with multiple species of shifters. Usually the books I read are only about werewolves, so this is a refreshing change. She includes more….personal and intimate….details most authors do not. She definitely doesn’t follow the usual werewolf trope of alpha’s fated mate is a lower ranking wolf whom he rejects. She sets up the foundation for the next books in the series which will focus on a bear shifter and a lynx shifter. I wish the author had provided more background regarding Asher’s father, his pack and the relationship Asher has with the bear and lynx shifters. There is a lot to be explored in both aspects. It would help the reader be more invested in Asher’s character. Perhaps she will provide this in upcoming books. Overall, a good story that doesn’t drag the reader’s emotions through the brambles. I was fortunate to be selected as an ARC reader and provide this honest review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Darla Taylor.
1,481 reviews
March 1, 2023
Nicole's husband left her for a younger woman, but she reclaimed her life. She's now a successful businesswoman with a love for the outdoors and no need for a man in her life. While she is in Alaska for business, she plans to do a solo climb up Pyramid Mountain and won't let anything stop her. So why is she attracted to the Forest Ranger who's telling her she shouldn't go? Asher has found his fated mate in Nicole and wants to keep her safe. However, as much as he'd like to stop her from climbing, he knows that she's determined so he sends an emergency beacon with her. Unfortunately, something goes wrong and Nicole uses the beacon. Can Asher get to her in time?

I received a copy of this book from BookSirens and this is my honest, unbiased review. This is the first book in a new series and it was excellent. It's also my first Delta James book, and I was very happy with my choice. Well-written with wonderful characters, this story fully engaged my interest from start to finish as I read it in one sitting. The captivating tale has both suspense and romance as well as some intrigue. The romance is steamy and a bit on the "naughty" side so if that's not for you, be warned. Still, there's true love and that HEA that you usually find in shifter stories. I truly enjoyed this book, which I highly recommend, and am looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Julie.
124 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2023
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters, Asher and Nicole, were developed with great care and attention to detail. There are several chapters devoted to Nicole's pertinent backstory, and readers get a good visual indicator of her appearance as well as her personality style. Some of the background on Asher is a bit of a guessing game until later in the book, but oh boy, it's a doozy! He is also not only a hot, buff Forrest Ranger, but also a genuinely nice guy who cares about those around him (even if he's a loner part of the time - just like Nicole).

Our characters meet when he tries to keep her from climbing a local mountain solo. His second attempt isn't any more fruitful, but she at least takes the beacon for emergency. Oh… and agrees to spend the day with him. As he falls further for her, she also falls for him but is determined to climb that mountain. When she sneaks away to make her climb, and ends up in trouble, will Asher get to her in time? What will the extent of the fall-out from her incident on the mountain be when it's all over? Will everyone's questions looming questions be answered? There is so much unknown… Read "Defiant Mate" today to discover for yourself.

I happily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by BookSirens.
704 reviews6 followers
February 24, 2023
Nicole left home to go to work so far there she realised she had left her vision board. When she turned around she intended to put her car in the garage and go in the house that way. When she opened it there was a new car inside as well as Kevin’s. When she went in the house Kevin was there with a woman. So after the presentation she met a lawyer to arrange a divorce. The discovered she was locked out of her house. Poppy got her a hotel then she found out all her cards had been cancelled. After the divorce she did quite well Then Judith asked her to move to Seattle and she would make her a junior partner after four years. Nicole had taken up outdoor sports including rock climbing so decided to go to Kodak in Alaska to do her first solo climb. Asher warned her not to climb alone saying as a Ranger it was too difficult for her. After spending the night with Asher she left while he was asleep to do her climb. She made it to the top but on the way down the rope snapped and even using her gear she fell. Landing on a ledge she set the emergency beacon on and coved herself with a thermal blanket against the falling snow. Now she waited for help. I’m not going to spoil the rest only to say I couldn’t put it down. I received an ARC for an honest review which I have given
Profile Image for Delta Vermeulen.
15 reviews
February 7, 2023
I honestly didn’t know what to give this book; it started out as a 5 ⭐️ rating, then by the middle of the book it went downhill.

Within the first few pages of this I was hooked, loved the characters, loved the imagery, it was just perfect.

Then around the middle of the book, I found that everything was moving too fast, for instance:

Day 1: Has sex

Day 2 (basically): I love yous

Day 3 (or was it day 2 still): Will you marry me?

Further, the FMCs attitude changed and it seemed to me like she was acting a little too entitled.

There were lots of repeats, about 5x there was the whole “you almost died, you need to be punished, I am alpha” type thing. I can understand max maybe 2x it being brought up, but it seemed a bit over the top to me.

Anddd finally, while there was a *plot twist*, I found the ending pretty predictable - especially if you watch FBI/CSI type shows.

All in all, this started out good, but I wish more time would have been taken to really develop the characters and their mate bond, and to delve further into their amazing world.

** I received an ARC for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily**
Profile Image for Karon Price.
633 reviews21 followers
February 12, 2023
I am in love with this new series by this author and her clever way she references other series. Nicole dumps her cheating husband and becomes a better, more adventure version of herself, taking on a new role at work and fulfilling tasks on her bucket list. Heading off to Alaska for work she decides to attempt her first solo climb of Pyramid Mountain. Asher Wells, wolf shifter and US Forest Ranger immediately recognizes Nicole as his fated mate. After an initial bad meeting, they hit it off and spend a hot smexy night together. Nevertheless Nicole heads out for her climb. There is a great mystery regarding her "accident" that left us guessing. But the most amazing part of the story is Nicole's almost complete acceptance of the secret shifter world. I loved how the author delivered this storyline. I'm totally engrossed in the mystery of Colby, Asher's Lynx friend and Jax, the bear shifter. And I was hoping to see Asher's dad somehow, someway redeem himself, but unfortunately it looks like he's just a jerk (too bad for his wife and Asher's mom, Gemma). Great HEA and I'm looking forward to more.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Anika.
206 reviews1 follower
March 24, 2023
"Defiant Mate: A Small Town Shifter Romance" by Delta James is the first book in the Mystic River Shifters series. This book is a paranormal romance story that follows the relationship between a human woman, Nicole and a shifter, Asher, in a small town setting.

The author weaves an intriguing plot, filled with suspense, action, and steamy romance scenes that will keep readers engaged until the end.

Nicole is a strong and independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, while Asher is a protective, possessive and caring alpha male who will do anything to keep his mate safe.

"Defiant Mate: A Small Town Shifter Romance" is a well-written and engaging paranormal romance story that will appeal to fans of the genre.
The book is well-paced, with an intriguing plot and likable characters. It also sets the stage for future books in the series, leaving readers excited for what's to come. Anyway, I can't wait and I'm about to start the next book. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a steamy romance with a touch of the paranormal.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Patricia Hoffstaetter.
3,132 reviews39 followers
January 12, 2023
This is a splendid start to a fascinating new series and it is an amazing, adventurous shifter romance that is definitely worth reading. The plot has good world building & is quite intense with several well-described intriguing situations and/or events. The characters (a Forest Ranger & alpha male wolf shifter, Asher Wells) and (a very strong-willed divorced human female, Nicole) are likable & endearing with their determination to succeed with their individual goals. The secondary characters play good supporting roles throughout the storyline.
There is: wolf shifters, humans, fated mates, mystery, unexpected twists & turns, adventure, action, drama, intrigue, suspense, humour, deceit, betrayal, complications, defiance, discipline, spankings, danger, threats, enemies, protectiveness, determination, unexpected surprises, love, contentment, steamy scenes & a well-deserved, happy conclusion. I look forward to the next book in this series with great anticipation & would definitely recommend this book.
884 reviews4 followers
January 14, 2023
WOW, another winner from Delta James. In this start of the Mystic River Shifters series, divorced Nicole was planning on a solo mountain climb at Kodiak Island's Pyramid Mountain. She was partner in an event planning company, buying in after her divorce settlement, with her running a branch in Seattle. Since a lot of customers wanted a more rustic venue, she went to Alaska to look at partnering with local area businesses. She met Asher when he tried to talk her out of making the climb as started easily, then got harder in middle, then very hard technical climb on upper third...as the head of Alaska's Forest Rangers on seeing Nicole, Asher was startled to sense that she was his fated mate...both immediately drawn to the other, and stubbornly set in their own ways...but could he save her if she didn't heed his warning of white-out blizzard heading their way the next day when she was determined to summit Pyramid Mountain??? I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Amy Reads Romance.
801 reviews7 followers
January 14, 2023
After leaving her cheating ex-husband, Nicole has little use for men. She's worked her tail off to build a successful events business in Seattle, and when she gets the opportunity to go to Mystic River, Alaska, for work, she takes the opportunity to make her first solo climb up Pyramid Mountain. There she meets Asher, and is instantly drawn to him. He knows right away she is his fated mate.

This is a little bit different from Ms James' other shifter stories. Nicole is not the least bit freaked out by being a newly turned she-wolf. She's read the books. I love her unflappable approach to life. I also love the cast of characters that show up from previous series. This is a fantastic start to a new series, and while it may be read as a stand alone, you're not going to want to miss the next couple of books. Delta James' books are like potato chiips. You cannot stop at one. Don't miss this one!

I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving my honest review.
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