Oct 26 2012 10:45am

No Wolves Allowed!: Non-Wolf Shapeshifters in Romance

Untouched by Sara HumphreysParanormal romances include stories about witches, vampires, were—did you think I was going to say werewolves? If you think the only animal form to take is that of a wolf, then you haven’t been keeping up with those sexy shapehifters.

Sara Humphreys brings us a vast collection of animal shifters in her Amoveo series, including lions, tigers, panthers, coyotes, foxes, bears, eagles, and gyrfalcon. In fact, wolf shifters are nearly extinct. In Untouched, sexy bodyguard Dante Coltare is a fox! No, really—he turns into a fox. He has just met his mate, model Kerry Smithson, who is as beautiful and graceful as her inner black panther. Humphreys's latest short story, Undenied, introduces Boris, a Bengal tiger. Rrrowrr!

In some stories, werewolves are insane and dangerous creatures. In Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protector series, Consumed gives us an indepth look at mountain lion shifters Jordan Pride and Katie Smith. They have spent decades dancing delicately around the feelings they have for each other. But now both of them have been infected by with a man-made virus that will turn them into mindless werewolf slaves—unless they find a cure by the next full moon.

Lord’s Fall by Thea HarrisonOne of Thea Harrison’s Elder Races is the Wyr. Harrison’s Wyrs consists of various dogs, wolves, lions, tigers, birds, but truly the Wyr encompasses any being who can change into another species. Some of these Wyr explain those creatures we once believed were only mythical. Many of these Wyr are as old as time and they have been worshiped as gods over the centuries.

There is no question that the oldest and most powerful is the Lord of Wyr, Dragos Cuelebre. Dragos is a very powerful dragon who lives in Cuelebre Towers in the heart of NYC, and is so old he was “born” in the creation of the earth. His new mate Pia is a Wyr so rare she is thought of as a myth even to the Wyr themselves. Dragos and his Wyr Sentinels, including his gryphons, gargoyles, even a harpie, protect the Wyr in his demesne. As her upcoming novel Lord’s Fall begins, NYC is gearing up for the Sentinel Games and all the Wyr are coming to fight, gladiator-style, for the honor to be among Drago’s new guardian Sentinels.

One of the hottest black panthers around has to be Kerrelyn Sparks’s Carlos Panterra. Carlos might all be sleek and sexy, but the man you really want to cuddle up to is Wild About You’s Howard Barr. He’s a were-bear that you just want a wrap your arms around. But if you want Howard as your own honey-bear, you better hurry before he gets his claws into TV’s Goddess of Home Improvement, Elsa Bjornberg.

No Mercy by Sherrilyn KenyonMore were-bears include the Peltiers at Sanctuary in New Orleans, part of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. They are all gorgeous and cuddly, but big brother Dev Peltier shows No Mercy to anyone who tries to make a move on little sister, Aimee.

Paranormals romances have come a long way and while Werewolves might not have stopped howling at the moon, they are not the only Weres out there.

Which were-what?s have you liked lately?


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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Hell Cat
1. hellcat
You can't forget Moira Rogers. Bree and Donna's got a nice variety with lions, mountain lions, coyotes...wolves are dominant, but they're certaintly not the only featured shifter. The first book is a non-wolf, as is the latest, whichs shows a care in balancing the power balance in universe. Sera's coyote is very different than Mac's shifter self. Sera bends while embracing her nature. Mac struggles with new knowledge and acceptance - in part because the animal halves are completely different kinds of predators.

I mention the Southern Arcana series because I like the non-wolf shifters since there's so many varieties of creatures to choose from. I mean, the likelihood of me finding an orca shifter is slim, but how many other land critters are there? The trend seems to be predators, and there's a lot of options out of our habitable continents.
2. JacquiC
I get a kick out of Shelly Laurenston's books, and one of my favourites is "The Main Squeeze", which features a bear shifter as the hero. He just so bear-like, even when he is not in animal form, it is quite funny.
3. Veronica Scott
I love shifters of ALL kinds, the more the merrier! Cynthia Eden actually got me started on shifters and I love Nalini Singh's PSY Wars, as well as Shelly Laurenston (The Main Squeeze is as terrific as JacquiC says IMHO)...I have a crocodile shifter in one of my I need to go try some books by the other authors recommended above - whee!!! Fun post!
4. Rose In RoseBear
Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound series is, for me, a new and tasty treat! Besides showcasing sexy Fae cats and Fae bears and Fae wolves, some of the stories are based in Austin, where I've lived over twenty years. It's so much fun reading about places you know!
Elizabeth Halliday
5. Ibbitts
Don't forget Christine Feehan's Leopard Series ... Yum!
6. Kareni
Recent favorites include Dragon Bound as well as Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega stories.
Cathy M. Runke
7. ccr0816
Shelly Laurenson (G.A. Aiken) Dragon series.
Lora Leigh's Breed Series... Lion Jonas and Rachel
Cerese Sanborn
8. flowerpower
Naked Dragon by Annette Blair is so HOT!! Dragon shifters are just plain sexy! I love Sherrilyn Kenyon's WereHunters books because she writes about all kinds of shifters.
10. Nikki H
My favorites are Thea Harrison, mentioned above, and Shelley Laurenston, mentioned in the comments. I also just discovered Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound series.
Eva Millien
11. evampire
rachel sternberg
12. rae70
Nicky Charles and her Law of the Lycans series.. new author and her books are free on smashwords..
Karin Anderson
13. AquarianDancer
I liked the dragons from G.A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series. I also love Mercy from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (a coyote).
Lucy Dosch
14. LucyD
@evampire - I have Marjorie Liu's Dirk & Steele series on my I Wanna Read list. Keep trying to get to them.

@rae70 - I read the first of the Nicky Charles's stories, a wolf shifter book. It was good. I have the next two downloaded on my Nook. Gotta get back to them.
15. filkferengi
Don't forget the Tales Of The Sazi series by C. T. Adams & Cathy Clamp. There're shifters of every kind to go around!
16. Gracie
I'm actually trying to remember the title and author of a book I read before. It's about a woman who's boyfriend cheats on her and then she and her best friend goes camping in the woods and meet a surly bear shifter and his wolfish friend. I can not for the life of me remember what it is called but I loved it so much! If anyone could even think they might know, please, please tell me!!

If you want a good Dragon story try Jory Strong, I really enjoy her novels, or Allyson James.
You should also try reading R.E. Butler, AnnMarie McKenna, Celia Kyle, Mina Carter, Lexi George, Eve Langlais, Liz Craven, Marisa Chenery, Laurann Dohner, Vivi Andrews, Sara Humphreys, Mandy Harbin, Silvia Violet, Dana Marie Bell, Vivian Arend, S.K. Yule, Terry Spear, Cynthia Eden, A.C. Arthur, JB McDonald, Kinsey Holley, Lauren Dane, Selena Blake and Carrie Ann Ryan among others already stated.

Have fun reading these authors, I did!
17. Adwinamo
Not sure if anyone is still monitoring this, but just wanted to throw one of my fave non-wolf shifter series out there: Rachel Vincent's Shifter series is the superb romantic tale of a werecat and her pride. Also I have to agree with those who mentioned Shelley Laurenston - she has a wonderful assortment of non-wolf shifters including not only the bears but lions, hyenas and cheetahs!
Jennifer Proffitt
18. JenniferProffitt
@Adwinamo, we're always monitoring (and only slightly in a creepy way). Thanks for the suggestions. Shelley Laurenston is great--as is her alter-ego G.A. Aiken, which I think deals with dragon shifters (or at least dragons). Hvae you read Jessica Sims? Her Midnight Liaisons series features were-cougars, were-bears, and other assorted shifters.
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