Virgin Prey by Harper Jewel

Virgin Prey by Harper Jewel
A Seeker’s Story
Publisher: Horny Devil Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Anal Play, Menage
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

In the bowels of humanity, hidden deep from society, a race of bird shifters dwell. Never forsaking the rituals of old, virginal Aviana Byrde becomes of age, and a suitor is selected in the way that is dictated by those very traditions.

Outshining the rest, Andor Malar craves to bond with Aviana. When that secret desire comes true, he cannot get enough of the innocent shifter.

After an explosive night full of carnal abandon, Aviana is kidnapped and held prisoner in the cruelest of ways before the new mates had fully slaked their lust for one another. Will she meet her death before true love takes hold? Will Andor’s fevered search prevail, or will a kind twist of fate intervene when their world is rocked on its axis by a startling chance discovery?

Birds of a feather flock together…well, something like that. In this story, its more like shifters with feathers stick together. It doesn’t matter what your inner bird may be, in Aviana Byrde’s close knit community, any bird shifter is welcomed—though most are birds of prey. Living as they have for centuries, her family and friends still follow many traditions of their ancestors, one being the customary ceremony for finding one’s life mate. When Aviana awakens on her eighteenth birthday—the day she’ll discover who her mate is—she is filled with a mixture of giddy excitement and nervous anticipation. Though the fates will determine who her mate will be, there’s only one man she secretly covets in her life and in her bed, and that’s Andor Malar. If the fates are with her today, he’ll be bathed in a purple glow, only seen by her—the sign of her true mate.

Unbeknownst to Aviana, Andor too prays for the coveted purple glow. He’s had his eyes on Aviana for quite some time. Despite their age difference, he longs to have her as his mate. She’s beautiful, smart, and truly a fine specimen when in her bird form—traits in a female any man would be proud to claim. When the two come face to face at the gathering hall, there’s no mistaking their claim, it’s visible for all to see. After their mating ceremony—similar to a wedding—they share a wonderful night of exploration and passion. Despite Aviana’s naiveté, her eagerness and desire to satisfy her mate makes her all the more lovable. But to Andor’s horror, Aviana is gone the next morning. Distraught and confused, he desperately searches for her, wondering what could have happened after such as perfect wedding and equaling satisfying night of lovemaking. Had he done something wrong or mistakenly read her response to him?

Like most shifters, the birds have a common enemy: Robert Farrow. Known for his brutal hunting tactics and even more deplorable falconry, it doesn’t take long for Andor to figure out what might have happened to Aviana. The odds of finding her are slim, but with the help of several members of his nest, they set out to rescue his beloved mate.

Aviana awakens to find herself in a terrible state indeed. At least she’s not alone. Seems Robert Farrow has collected quite a few birds. Unfortunately for them all, the living conditions are terrible. Dirty water, minimal food, and cages soiled with excrement are just the beginning. Unable to shift and escape, Aviana is forced to wait and pray someone comes to her rescue. When he does, it’s in a form she never anticipated. Seems the fates have other plans for Aviana and her mate.

Virgin Prey is the first bird shifter story I’ve read. One thing that rather struck me was how different they are than other shifters. Wolves, lions, tigers, and most large animals are usually aggressive and powerful, true forces to be reckoned with. Birds, on the other hand, while graceful and majestic in their shifted forms, are still small and limited in strength, making them more vulnerable to their enemies—though I’m sure a mouse shifter would beg to differ. It gave me a lot to think about, which is a refreshing change. The overall story was enjoyable to read, but there were some things that felt a bit too unrealistic. Perhaps they were just too rushed to be believable. Without giving away too much of the story, I guess my only real dislike was how easily Andor accepts Bertrand. My past experience with shifters is that they are fiercely protective and very “alpha” about their mates—something I love about shifters. I would have expected more challenge from Andor regarding Bertrand’s relationship with Aviana. I can say the ending proved quite entertaining and…stimulating. You’ll just have to read it yourself to find out who Bertrand is. *smile*

To sum it all up, Virgin Prey is a nice change of pace from the typical shifter story. Harper Jewel’s males may not display the normal alpha characteristics commonly found in many shifters, but it’s obvious their devotion and love for their mate is no less fierce. There are several sex scenes, heating this romance into a high temperature erotic tale. It’s a quaint story that provides an entertaining read.

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