Shifting Dreams (Review)

17332690Title: Shifting Dreams (Cambio Springs #1)
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mystery
Publisher:  Self Published
Release Date:  March 5, 2013
Format:  E-book
Acquired:  Amazon Purchase
Pages:  260

Date Finished: December 4 , 2014
4 Stars

Goodreads Description

Some days, 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 looking for change, and the quiet desert town seemed just the ticket for a more peaceful life. He never counted on violence finding him, nor could he have predicted just how crazy his new life would become.

When murder rocks their small community, Caleb and Jena will have to work together. And when the new Chief of Police isn’t put off by any of her usual defenses, Jena may be faced with the most frightening change of all: lowering the defenses around her carefully guarded heart.

My Review

Ok, I am not a romance-y kind of girl.  I like action.  I like suspense.  I like gloom and doom with a lot of grit added for good measure!  My best friend tells me I don’t like books unless there is the threat of world annihilation.  I have to admit there is a grain of truth to that statement, however…

Elizabeth Hunter’s urban fantasy is deliciously clever.  She has written books that completely satisfy my need for action and suspense, yet somehow slip in romance that doesn’t make my eyes roll.  I started with Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series.  I’m not sure what made me pick it up other than the fact that vampires were included, but I’m so glad I did.  It was a fresh, unique take on vampires and I totally got sucked into the Elemental world.  I still wait with bated breath for every new release.  With all of this in mind, I decided to try the first of the Cambio series.  I was again surprised about how much I liked it.

Jena is a shifter with attitude.  She has a tough exterior, but it’s a defense mechanism to protect herself and her family from unnecessary hurt.  Her relationship with her grandmother is one of the things that really drew me to her.  Jena’s rooted, solid personality made me connect.  Caleb, the hottie of the story, comes across as a hot-shot police officer who thinks a lot of himself, but ends up showing a good bit of depth.

The plot was good, the pace was perfect, and the characters were relatable.  It’s everything I love in a good book.  Throw in some shifters and it’s the making of a love affair.

Wrap-Up

I know a lot of people shy away from self-published writers because of bad plots, bad characters, bad writing, bad editing, etc., etc.  I’ve heard it all, but I really urge you to give Elizabeth Hunter’s body of work a chance.  Where most people rehash the same mythology, Hunter has brought something new and fresh to the urban fantasy genre.  I have not read a bad book by her yet.

Other Work

  • Elemental Mysteries:  A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, A Fall of Water, All the Stars Look Down
  • Elemental World:  Building from Ashes, Waterlocked, Blood and Sand, The Bronze Blade
  • Elemental Legacy:  Shadows and Gold
  • Irin Chronicles:  The Scribe, The Singer, The Secret
  • Cambio Springs:  Long Ride Home, Shifting Dreams, Five Mornings, Desert Bound
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