Title: Dangerous Territory
Author: Cari Z.
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Pages/Word Count: 56 Pages
At a Glance: Filled with action and drama, the story moved swiftly and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: With his father barely in the ground and his sister married to a scheming bastard, Carter is on the verge of losing the family ranch. His only chance at holding onto his inheritance is to get his cattle to market before his brother-in-law. That means braving Mason Canyon, which on top of being snake-infested and easily flooded, is also shifter territory. Most clans would just as soon shoot humans as look at them.
His only hope of making it is to trust the shifter who’s agreed to help him, and pray that Rani won’t double-cross him. If Carter doesn’t go he loses everything, and if he doesn’t make it there his family is as good as dead.
Review: Dangerous Territory by Cari Z. is an extremely well done short story that left me wanting more. Filled with action and drama, the story moved swiftly and kept me on the edge of my seat.
When his sister’s husband threatens the livelihood of the family farm, Carter has no choice but to take the portion of the herd that is rightfully his and drive them to auction. The only problem is he has to beat his sister’s husband in order to get the best price. Without the best price, Carter will not be able to start his own ranch, and that is simply unacceptable. In order to get their on time, he has to go through Mason Canyon, which is not only home to some of the most poisonous snakes in the area but is also in shifter territory. After a farmhand Carter trusts sets up a guide, Carter is forced to make the trip through the dangerous canyon. Rani, the guide, is not only a shifter but also one of the sons of the leader of the pack. He has only accepted the job because he knows that this trip will establish him and his place in the tribe. Snakes and swift falling rain that will cause flooding and threaten the herd are something both Carter and Rani are prepared for, but a swift and jolting attraction to each other catches them both off guard.
The best elements in this story actually came from the driving of the cattle herd to auction. Written from Carter’s perspective, you could feel his worry over the fact that his whole future was balanced on the idea of getting this herd in on time. Cari Z. was careful to give us just snippets of what Carter’s life had become and how wrapped up his sister was in the fact that even though she’d married a bastard of a man, this was her last hope of marriage at all. The story was fast-paced, much like Carter’s life had become, all or nothing, nothing spelling disaster. While there was a description of what type of shifter Rani was, it was hard to understand exactly what he looked like. For me, that was really the only glitch in this cleverly written story. Yes, the attraction between the two men was swift, and yet there were no huge declarations of love; rather, there was a surety that Carter was Rani’s mate and, for him, their future was decided. Carter, on the other hand, was much more pragmatic but was ready to see where these strong feelings led.
I would love to see this expanded into a second novel, or even a second short story that would bring us into the future of these men and how the two of them deal with Rani’s shifter abilities. But for now, I will simply say that this was a really exciting snippet and, like any good book, left me wanting more.
You can buy Dangerous Territory here: