Review - The Mercenary by Johanna Rae

Title: The Mercenary
Author: Johanna Rae
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: August 28th 2012

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Blurb

When twenty-three-year-old Jodie Fletcher realizes shape-shifters are real—and that they’re trying to kill her—she finds herself thrust into a life of danger and unimaginable intrigue. With her parents away and her alcoholic and newly single brother, Luke, camped in her spare bedroom, Jodie feels like she’s drowning in a world she doesn’t understand. The only thing she can count on is the leopard who has apparently taken it upon himself to protect her. She cannot ignore the raw emotion he awakens in her, and she longs for more. The leopard becomes not only her savior, but her escape.

Mysterious and unpredictable, leopard shifter Danny Archer hides behind his dimpled smile and pretty boy fa├žade. What’s more, he has a second job the human population doesn’t know about—the one that leads him to Jodie and Luke. Archer feels an instant connection with Jodie, and he must find a way to balance his volatile lifestyle to include her.

Luke Fletcher became an alcoholic long before his wife left him. Now he faces the brutal reality that his past has caught up with him. He made a series of bad choices while under the influence, and these choices have placed him, his sister, and his two young daughters in danger. Luke must try to find the man he used to be if he is to survive the chaos he’s inflicted; he knows he won’t be able to live with himself if anything happens to his family.

My Review

Where do I start…… The Mercenary was just mind-blowing!! Once I picked up this book I found it incredibly hard to put down, I just wanted to continue reading until I was finished. It had everything I love in a shifter novel, action, passion, plenty of fights, danger and all round fun! It has an original storyline, which I loved, (considering that there are so many shifter novels out there) and plenty of twists within the plot which left me thinking, what else could happen? And just when I thought I knew where it was going, BAM! Johanna throws something else into the mix.

Ok, so a bit about the story…… A lot happens in the first chapter and I think that is why I was addicted to the book. Jodie gets home from work to find her brother Luke drunk again and his best friend Zach watching over him. The housework is not done, dishes are everywhere and washing is still on the line. When Luke passes out Zach and Jodie decide to get the housework done. Jodie heads out side to the clothes line and finds her washing is scattered everywhere, when moments before, it was all on the line. She hears a grunt behind her and a growl from over the fence and a pale grey leopard jumps over to scare away the boar, which is in-between herself and the safety of her house.

Once the boar has left, Jodie finds herself very curious about the leopard which has saved her life and even though she is scared out of her mind, tries to pat the leopard and for an unknown reason, thanks it before retreating into the house. Once inside she notices that her house has been demolished and Zach said that he locked her brother Luke in the bathroom. Even though Zach tries to warn her, she opens the door and lets another boar out, which crashes through her window to escape.

That is how Jodie finds out that shifters are real!! Believe it or not, but that is not all that happens in the first chapter. I was left amazed by the end of that first chapter because if all that happened to me, I’d be a wreck, but Jodie takes it in her stride and continues on! So it comes as no surprise as to why I had to keep on reading!

Jodie is a great person. She has a heart of gold and puts everybody else’s needs before her own. She is a very tolerant person and is able to accept things that are out of the ordinary without batting an eye; not just anyone would be able to stitch up a gash in a mans leg after being attacked by a boar, or talk to a leopard! She is an amazing person and I really liked her. There is so much that she needs to learn now that she is exposed to the shifter world and there is definitely trouble coming her way. I also love it when she tries to talk to a good looking guy; she loses all of her abilities to speak and is a blubbering mess.

Danny is a mysterious character and I found him a very strong and powerful person, but until I found out more of his story, I didn’t realise how powerful he can be. He is a very private person and doesn’t keep many personal items as he doesn’t want to be attached to anything or anyone. There are a number of things that Danny does which had me cranky with him, but you can see that he is a very smart person and does things the best way he can.

There is a scene in the middle of the book that was so emotional for all characters involved that I was simply left speechless, and flicking the pages to see what was going to happen. What I found the most believable was that Jodie didn’t forgive immediately. It took her time to come around and to forgive what was done to her.

What I loved about this story was its unique storyline. It is not the usual alpha/pack scenario, it is more a well organised group, but I don’t want to tell you much more as it isn’t disclosed immediately. I thought that Johanna did an astonishing job writing this story which is far from finished. It wasn’t left on a cliff hanger per se, but I was left wondering what is going to happen next and left with plenty of questions. I even emailed the author to ask when the next book is due and was informed in the first half of 2013…… I CAN”T WAIT!!

About the Author

I've always had a passion for writing, even at a very young age. When I was five years old, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer was: A writer and an artist. I think I can safely say that I haven't deviated far from that mindset.

I am a busy wife and mother of three, and I am heavily involved in my kids schooling. I assist in the classroom with the children's writing groups, and I also work with them in other assorted activities. I participate in the ACAR program which is an assisted reading service for children with learning challenges.Here the children get one on one tutoring so they can catch up to mainstream levels.

I love being a parent, and I find working with the school children both rewarding and fulfilling. However it is when I have the laptop in front of me, and can unleash my creativity that my soul is truly awakened. Writing is the core of who I am, and my quest is to share that with the world.

I was born in a small town in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand) and I now live in the city of Hamilton.

You can find Johanna online at


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