Stray (Shifters #1)


by Rachel Vincent
4 of 5 stars

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .

And I’m one of them.
I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them . . .

Main Characters

Faythe Sanders: Female werecat (one of eight) who wants to get away from life in the Pride. Trying to be independent but still strongly linked with her pride.  Not very likable at first, but she grows on you.

Marc Ramos: Werecat (by way of being scratched) who was taken in by the Pride after he was turned. Dark curly hair, golden eyes, thick lashes and a muscular frame. Is not interested in human females. Protective of Faythe and very territorial not to mention thoroughly in love.


One of my favorite things about good shifter romance novels is the mix of human and animal behaviors. Ok, so there really isn’t a way to write that without it sounding like bestiality.  I’ll try again… I like how the shifters have subtle differences in their behavior due to the fact that they are shifters.  For example, being more ‘touchy feely’ with each other and the strong bonds within their pack or pride. The way that they display their loyalty by following the rules of the alpha unconditionally.

"When mice run, cats give chase."  Stray, Rachel Vincent

“When mice run, cats give chase.”
Stray, Rachel Vincent

Faythe is trying to be independent and distance herself from her pride, but she is doing it quite poorly. She does not want to be the “little woman”, which is what her family and pride want for her.

“The queen was my favorite chess piece. Unlike the women I knew in real life, she was powerful. Her job was to defend her husband at all costs, because while he was weak and practically defenseless—only allowed to move one square at a time—she was the strongest player on the board, hindered by no restrictions at all.”

I was very frustrated with her for a lot of the book. It helped to remember that this is simply book 1 of 6. Faythe must (and does) grow up significantly throughout the series.

I do love the aspect of Faythe and Marc’s relationship. He is so devoted to her without coming off as whipped.  When you think about it, that is pretty hard to manage.

This was certainly not my favorite book of the series, but it was still a wonderful book and an excellent introduction to a fantastic series.

Book Info

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Point of View: First person, narrated by Faythe
Length: 400 pages
Price: $1.99 on Amazon (as of 1/22/15)

Series Contains 6 Novel -all following Faythe
Stray (Shifters, #1)
Rogue (Shifters, #2)
Pride (Shifters, #3)
Prey (Shifters, #4)
Shift (Shifters, #5)
Alpha (Shifters, #6)

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