Shift by M.R. Merrick (The Protector #2)
Devastated by the loss of his mother, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else–a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world
In the second book in the series the author is able to maintain an intense storyline and great characters (Chase and Rayna are my favorites). Although there is really a ensemble of great characters in this story. They all have parts to play and fit perfectly together or against each other well. I always love a good story with a well written villain.
I also love a good action story with great dialogue and humor. So far I have been very impressed with the way these stories have been put together. The world building is fantastical and with each book we get a better look into it as well as the characters.
Chase is one of those main characters that really gets the reader to cheer for them. He's caring and unselfish, noble and a fighter. Chase is left in a very depressing state at the end of book one. This brings about alot of emotion into his character in book 2. We also get to see a little romance make an appearance which was not too mushy and very well done. Not a nauseating mushy romance, but actually makes sense and not added for extra fluff or a.k.a. love at first site syndrome.
Each new book bringing in additional information and more detailed relationships between the characters that is done just right to hook the reader a little more each chapter. There is not a lot of info dumps, we learn as the scenes progress and through the dialogue and interactions with each other. This type of writing style automatically gets a three star rating at least for me, when you add in the well rounded and combination of characters that work well together and the amazing world and storyline, I'm hooked. The 5 stars is well deserved and I hope this series continues on for several more books.
The end of this story had me on the edge of my seat. I love the fighting scenes and the addition of fighting with elemental powers, it adds a whole other level of excitement. Somebody please tell me why he is not published yet?!
If you do not follow the author on twitter, I suggest you do M.R. Merrick