Shifting Focus by Cassidy McKay

Shifting Focus by Cassidy McKay
Publisher: Changeling Press, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

As a lion-shifter, EMT Sophia Lorello has spent her entire life suppressing her wild side. The animal inside her is not only deadly, she’s worse than a horny politician with an unlimited supply of Viagra. And once her lioness gets out, she doesn’t like to let Sophia — or her rules — back in. That’s not a risk Sophia’s willing to take again.

Sophia’s control flies out the window when Special Agent Griff Monroe is assigned to investigate a series of local murders. The fact that he’s dead-sexy, “erases” people for a living, and shifts into a big, scary gryphon could be a problem. Her lioness wants a new toy, and the battle-hardened agent is even harder to resist than catnip. It’s a pity that darned serial killer keeps getting in the way…

When the race to catch the killer rivals their race to the nearest bedroom, shifting focus could be their only hope of survival… if she doesn’t kill him first.

I like Ms. McKay’s stories because there’s always a real story with depth, characters with substance and a plot that keeps the pages flipping. The icing on the cake is the hot romance. The bedroom door is nonexistent insuring that readers feel the heat from the passion and sparks whenever Griff kisses Sophia into oblivion. The author delivers what erotic romance readers seek while giving readers who like more developed plots something to sink their teeth into. Everyone can be happy while reading Shifting Focus.

I liked how Sophia tried to restrain herself. She was an expert at corralling her inner lion but was helpless about resisting Griff. There’s a reason for that, a paranormal one, and it’s a reason she had no clue about. The why of that comes from reading about her history. It really is amazing that she has the job that she does especially when her family history is revealed to the hero and readers.

Griff is a great hero; very take charge, alpha and head over heels in lust with Sophia. I enjoyed watching it morph into something more. His buddy, Hunter, was a fun character. He’s a great side kick yet is just as alpha in his own way. I cracked up when I discovered the reason Sophia seemed to have a bad reaction anytime he was around.

I was most impressed by the humanity of the main characters in the novella. Sure, they’re shifters and can heal fast but Ms. McKay imbued her characters with relatable restrictions on their strength and power that made them seem more realistic, approachable and believable. It was a nice touch and it made their fighting the villain that much more suspenseful, exciting and engaging. I could not stop reading.

Although Sophia reveals a snippet about her family, I found it hard to believe that she knew absolutely nothing about anything with regards to her being a shifter, especially at the age she was when she made the choice she did. Most teenagers not only have a clue but think they know it all at that age. I didn’t feel I was given enough to believe in her self-induced phobia even though it clearly worked as a plot conflict.

The point of view is first person but the author took turns with Sophie and Griff so readers really do get an inside look as to their motivations, fears and the process of their falling in love. I liked that.

Shifting Focus might be short on pages but it delivers a full story, a wonderful romance, the solving of a murder mystery and plenty of sex to blow off steam. It’s a fast read that is perfect for a before bedtime Apéritif of words or a nice way to spend an hour or so in the afternoon. Enjoy!

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