While McKenna Dean's plot in "The Panther's Lost Princess (Redclaw Security Book 1)" was interesting enough and the "mix-n-match" mates (a mate could be a species other than one's own and who knows what offspring might be, should they have any - for example, male lead Jack was the child of a bear shifter father and hawk shifter mother) was off-putting at first but actually kind of grew on this reader; however, a promising storyline became a tedious read for me due to telling the entire story and not showing. Too much telling and not enough showing. I don't want to be told protagonist Ellie is frustrated, I want to be shown by her lips pinching together or rapidly tapping her fingers on a countertop or scrunching up her face and then releasing it simply trying to calm down... the same with Jolene's envy - show us with body language and movements, don't tell us, and so on, for each character given some importance to the tale. It gives a reader a better chance to learn who this character is when we can visualize temperament traits and eventually empathize with or for them... especially when allowed to read the way they handle some situations is likely similar to how we as readers handle some situations we might face. Don't tell me how angry Jack is when Seth puts his hands on Ellie, have Jack show me by his tightly clenched fists, the corded strain in his neck, the trembling of his bunched muscles, etc.
There were a few spelling, grammar and punctuation errors found throughout the book, mostly in the form of an extra word in a sentence or a misused word, such as "off" when clearly "of" was meant. Dialogue often felt like information dumps instead of listening to two people talking, so did not have a natural tone or authenticity to it. Various settings were physically described, some with simile or metaphors that almost brought them to life... but not quite fully hitting the mark.
McKenna Dean does show her own personal creativity with this story, via an interesting plot and the start of some intriguing characters. Jack was slightly less developed than Ellie, he had a slightly stereotypical feel to him, yet both did show some form of growth by the end of the tale. If being told a story instead of being able to experience through showing details doesn't bother a reader, then perhaps they'd greatly enjoy this story. I mean, c'mon... alligator, beaver, mice, bird, bear, big cats and of course, dragon shifters! However, for those readers that want to truly feel a part of a story via visualizing details, then perhaps this story isn't for you. Either way, it wasn't a bad start to a series. It simply wasn't this reader's cup of tea, as they say. ** Review originally posted to Amazon reviews on December 2, 2017 and Goodreads on the same date. **