Book #59: Shifting Dreams by Elizabeth Hunter

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 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.

Shifting Dreams is the first novel in Cambio Springs, the new paranormal romance series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the best-selling Elemental Mysteries series.

Shifting Dreams is the first in a paranormal romance series written by Elizabeth Hunter. I originally found Elizabeth Hunter from her Elemental Mysteries series and fell in love with how she writes her characters. The Cambio Springs series only solidified my love for this author.

I’m not a big shifter community reader. A lot of urban fantasy books with shapeshifters, in my opinion, tend to have all shifter main characters and don’t deal with the idea of keeping a secret. We aren’t given much in that kind of tension with the main plot device.

For instance, the last book I read with shapeshifters, there was only a brief mention of normal people and even then there wasn’t a feeling that something could go seriously wrong if the secret was blown.

Elizabeth Hunter fixes that up with Caleb Gilbert, a man with a dark secret who unfolds secrets for his job. He’s the new police chief of Cambio Springs and has his eye on Jena Crowe. He was a male lead that had me smiling and getting excited.

Jena Crowe, is an equally strong female lead. She is a widowed mother of two and runs a business. She is stubborn and very loyal. She is an equal in every sense of the world for Caleb. They even have similar insecurities.

Hunter’s romantic leads aren’t your typical tropes. They feel real. That feeling helps make the shapeshifting be a possibility.

Another aspect that I loved about the book is that the shapeshifting has a mystical and Native American feel to it. There is a mythology in the book that even the town doesn’t completely understand. We may not get everything as readers, but we have the information that the town has and that makes the world have more substance.

The romance isn’t the only focus for the book, there is also a murder involved. Though I figured out who the killer was very quickly, I did enjoy how the investigation goes. The mystery strengthens the romance and the romance strengthens the mystery.

I enjoyed this book so much that I bought the next two and jumped on listening the second book.

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