The Beast WithinTitle:  The Beast Within
Series:  Woodland Creek Collection
Author:  Rachel M. Raithby
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Published:  November 15, 2015
Publisher:
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  Borrowed, Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

Trapped in an abusive relationship for two years, leaving could prove deadly for Becca Kian. But when she’s pushed a step too far, Becca has no choice but to flee.

After an accident that leaves her unconscious, Becca wakes to find herself in the cabin of a man who’s as entrancing as he is dangerous. Because this man makes her want to dream — dream of a world where Alex Scar doesn’t exist.

Both Minotaur and human, Aster Tavros is a shifter in hiding. Living in Woodland Creek, he’s made no effort to form relationships, too afraid to allow others to see his true nature. Because when they do, they run.

Yet when Becca comes crashing into his life, he ignores every one of his rules. Passion ignites between them, but when secrets and pasts collide, Aster has a choice. He can hide his identity, or reveal his true self to save Becca, all the while, risking losing her forever.

Read on for my thoughts on The Beast Within.  No true spoilers, promise.

Aster has hidden in the outskirts of Woodland Creek.  Here no one ask questions he doesn’t want to answer.  He’s aware that he’s not the only shifter in this small town, but he feels no need to invite anyone else into his life.  His beast is all too often very close to the surface.  The overwhelming desire and need to find his mate is partly why Aster is now in hiding.  Yet, when he shows his true self others run in fear.  So while his beast tries to take control to find their mate, Aster resists knowing that should that mate run from him, he would be lost forever.

Becca’s life has always been rough.  In the foster care system as a young girl, she barely manages to stay in the last foster family until she turned 18.  The roving hands of the man who was supposed to protect her finally made the decision to hit the streets much easier.  She thought she’d found a man to care for her – and realized far too late that his kind of love was merely a prison from which she would long to escape.  When that final last straw happens, Becca takes her lost courage in hand and runs as far as she can – until destiny runs her off the road and into the arms of Aster.

The motorcycle came from out of nowhere and before Aster could hit the brakes the bike and its rider had hit the pavement hard.  As he runs to help the rider, Aster comes face to face with his mate.  An angry mate who doesn’t back down from telling him what an idiot he is before she passes out.  As he helps Becca heal from her physical wounds, Aster must find a way to heal the inner wounds that Becca never allows anyone to see.

His desire to protect wars with his fear that she will run from him when she knows what he really is… and neither he nor his beast will let that happen.

The Beast Within shares the story of a creature of mythology.  As a minotaur shifter, Aster knows that revealing himself to anyone is dangerous.  Yet, Becca is his mate and even though she holds secrets of her own, he is determined to keep her at his side, safe forever.

This story is a tender revealing tale of two wounded souls who are exactly what the other needs, but each is afraid to trust.  The desire between Becca and Aster is off the charts hot and steamy – and slowly Becca begins to lose some of her now natural fear of the future.  She knows that there are monsters in the world and one is looking for her right now.  But for the moment she is content to stay with Aster and hope for a different future.

I enjoyed this story very much.  A different spin on the shifter type, but Aster was an excellent character who keeps his dual selves in check, for the most part.  Becca is a strong woman, she might not realize it but Aster sees her strength and her stubbornness.  They are indeed a perfect match for each other.

If you enjoy shifter Paranormal Romances then both The Beast Within and the Woodland Creek Collection that it is a part of should be on your “to be read” list.

Available for the Kindle