Sadie Becker is not herself. A 40-year-old, divorced mother of two, Sadie wakes up one morning and realizes that she looks and feels like she did in her twenties. Suddenly she’s unable to walk around in her new town of Cougarville without men falling at her feet. Confused and alone, Sadie isn’t sure who to turn to…except answers to her problems might reside with her broodingly handsome reclusive neighbor, Mathis. An alpha shifter, Mathis lost the love of his life, and he knows he’ll never find another mate. But his innocent new neighbor clearly doesn’t know the danger she’s in, and he’s the only one who can save her. But when the attraction pulls too strong, will Mathis’ animal nature be unleashed and claim Sadie for his own?
When Lime sent a list of books out I kind of jumped at the chance to review this. From the blurb I felt that a female main character who was 40, in a place called Cougarville had immense promise. A twist on the shifter trope where the woman had control maybe, and something in there about women over 40 having agency in romance.
The reality of the book was disappointingly for me not like that.
Sadie has inherited a cabin from her mother and moves there after her divorce. Her children are at college and she’s been traded in for a younger woman, and within days of her arrival she starts not just to look younger, but to feel it too. Her breasts are perky, and where are those troublesome grey’s and the stretch marks? Gone! Her dark, broody, and moody neighbour Mathis doesn’t seem to like her, but literally every other man in town does. Although she’s puzzled by this, and doesn’t really relish the attention, because she kind of likes Mathis, she lets it happen and goes with it.
Sadie does not really have a distinct personality apart from the most superficial. She likes looking younger, and wants to attract Mathis, but there is no feeling of anything more than that. Even when she has sex she doesn’t seem to have any control. Things just happen to her, and she doesn’t seem to be a participant in her own life. Clearly Sadie is undergoing a paranormal transformation of some kind, but even this seems to be controlled by a man.
Mathis is pure Alpha male material, dark moody and claimy. He is attracted to Sadie, but feels that she has been sent to live near him as some kind of trap. His kind of shifter mates for life, except he does seem to have a loop hole on that.
He undergoes a bit if internal struggle, then he’s all in. Again I found him pretty one dimensional, sublimating his desires, then boom – letting them run free.
The blurb has been written without any spoilers or revelation as to what Sadie’s transformation will be, so I’ve tried hard not to let the cat out of the bag, and I appreciate that at the start of a series there can be more world building going on. But there were parts of this book that truly bothered me. Sadie effectively went from a woman of 40, to one of 20, reinforcing just about every stereotype there can be about women aging, because of this, and finding a mate, her attitude towards having children completely changed. At no stage does she show any independence of individuality and neither she nor Mathis experiences any growth for me.
Overall there was nothing new or interesting here.
You can buy a copy here.