Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Captive Wilderness is the first book of J.E McDonald and Mystic Owl’s Goldenlach Ridge Shifters series and features Brooke and Kane. Brooke wakes inside a cage with a collar around her neck. Her sister Sabrina is in the same predicament but manages to unlock their cages. Brooke realizes they are inside a plane and is terrified when Sabrina equips her with a parachute. As Sabrina attempts to find a parachute for herself, three men intervene to prevent their escape. Sabrina opens the door, causing Brooke to be pulled out of the plane. A badly injured Brooke finds a cabin where Kane tends to her injuries. When she asks him to help her, Brooke learns that Kane is mute. She is stuck for two weeks before a supply plane arrives. How is a bobcat shifter supposed to communicate with a mute bear shifter with anger issues?
Mystic Owl and J.E. McDonald’s use of Kane’s inability to speak forces Brooke to adapt. Her feeling of helplessness is easy to understand, and I think she envied Sabrina’s tenacity. Kane’s isolation in the cold wilderness would drive a person crazy. I admired his ability to create a life of self-sufficiency using resources from nature. The intense suspense that kept building was captivating. I was worried that the men from the plane would track Brooke down and ambush Kane. Brooke’s collar rendered her unable to shift and prevented her from healing quickly. The depiction of Kane’s shifter bear form was frightening and filled with boundless rage. I could not take a break from reading because of the multiple possibilities of who had kidnapped and hurt the sisters. I wasn’t able to guess why they wanted the girls. The ending made me want to jump into reading the sequel. Readers who enjoy shifter romances with a slow burn build-up will like Captive Wilderness.