Cruel Mate by Sam Crescent

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0750-1

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The Alpha Shifter Collection, 18

Ashley is riding high after finally becoming a member of the pack. On that fateful night, the best and worst things happen to her. Not only does she turn into a wolf, but she finds her mate. None other than the pack’s nomad alpha, Phoenix. He doesn’t want her as his mate.

All he's ever needed was his bike and the freedom of the open road—until Ashley. Phoenix knows he's made a mistake by rejecting Ashley. Nothing else matters to him. Each time he visits the pack he hopes to see her, but she's perfected the art of avoiding him—until he decides to stay.

Ashley wants to stay mad at Phoenix to protect herself, but with every passing day she learns more about their aloof alpha. She wants to give herself to him completely, but will she be risking more than her body?

He left once. He rejected her once. He’d been cruel. Is there any chance that he's really changed?



Ben and Leah were already upset with Ashley’s decision to leave. They had voiced their concerns and their lack of support. They didn’t want her to leave, certainly not the pack.

No one would understand why she had to leave. It hurt. There was nothing but pain every single day she was with the pack. She had lived with that pain, hoping it would get better, hoping she’d stop thinking about Phoenix, or that she’d at least find someone to move on. But there was no way she could do that to Daniel, even though he offered himself all the time, which made her sad. He deserved someone better than her, someone who was going to love him for him.

“Is that what this is about? You want to punish your parents and your boss because of me?” Phoenix asked.

She snorted. “Get over yourself.” She grabbed her bag and started walking away, heading toward home.

Ashley didn’t get very far, as she wasn’t just stopped but thrown over Phoenix’s shoulder and carried none too gently away from the town. They entered the forest and when they were far enough away, she slapped his back.

“Put me down. I have no idea what you’re doing or why, but you put me down now!” She growled.

Anger worked its way up until she couldn’t control herself anymore and she bit him, on the ass. He was so infuriating.

“Ow!” He came to a stop near his home, where he lowered her to the ground.

Ashley wasn’t able to catch her balance and she ended up on her ass. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Don’t you see?” he asked.

“See what?” she asked, getting to her feet.

He spun her around, wrapped his arms around her body, and made her look across the forest at his home.

She noticed the leaves had been gathered up and made it look … neat. Ashley had always loved the old alpha’s house, not that she’d ever been invited or visited him while he’d been alive. While her parents were busy, she would wander the woods on her own and explore the outside of his home, which she loved. Even now, the house was beautiful. Set back as some kind of villainous fairy tale’s home, she found it had a certain charm about it.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to stay.”

She shook her head. “I don’t care.”

“Damn it, Ashley, what will it take?”

She shoved his hands away and spun around to face him. “Everything. Don’t you get that? You think because you’re sticking around this time and showing me a small bit of kindness, you expect me to what, lay down, show you my belly, and thank you for even giving me the tiniest shred of attention?”

He went to open his mouth but she held her finger up to stop him.

“Don’t even think of answering that with a smart-ass answer. I get it. You think … ugh, you think this is easy for me. Do you have any idea what it’s been like these past five years?”

She hated how her voiced wavered. She wasn’t going to cry. She refused to allow those tears to fall. It wasn’t fucking fair. He was so strong. He’d left town, multiple times. He’d gotten on his bike and ridden off into the sunset like it was nothing. All the time she had to focus on his cutting words of rejection. She had to live with being the first woman and wolf to have been rejected.

“Do you know you ruined one of the best days of my life? I was riding high from my transition. Not only had I graduated high school, I’d gotten through my transition. I was a wolf, finally. I had my place in the pack. The beer tasted rancid, but from everything that happened, I felt sick.”

“A wolf’s first time is hard,” Phoenix said.

“So I left. I … I think I felt you before you were cruel to me. Before you said what you did. Before you rejected me. I felt you, and then, what were you going to do?” she asked. “Strangle me? Get rid of the evidence that you had a fucking fat mate?”

Phoenix frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t do that,” she said.

“I’m not doing anything. I never once told you, you were fat.”


Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 86 ratings)
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Great new shifter romance!
Written by Toxic Coconuts Book Reviews on 27th Mar 2023

This was a great new 100% favorite of mine for sure, this was a great new shifter, mates romance. I highly recommend giving Ashley and Phoenix's suspenseful journey for sure. 10/10

Loved this book!
Written by Angela F on 27th Mar 2023

The characters were well developed and the story flowed really well. I thought Phoenix's reasoning around rejecting Ashley made a lot of sense though he obviously could have explained that to her in the beginning (although that would have completely negated the need to write the book!). Another solid read by Sam Crescent!

??? Phoenix and Ashley ???
Written by DebinOkla on 27th Mar 2023

??? Phoenix and Ashley ??? He's never known a pack and he's older. She has only known being a part of the pack and she's legal but just 18. He rejects her because of her age. She thinks it something else. Sam Crescent does an awesome job of telling this story as she always does

Phoenix and Ashley
Written by casvec on 27th Mar 2023

This is a good story that takes your heart on the road of rejection, self-understanding and forgiveness. When Ashley first turn and realized Phoenix, a nomad, was her mate. He rejected her not wanting a mate. Year later when he returned to the pack and sees the state Ashley is in, takes the steps to make it right. Ashley and Phoenix story is well written. It had me taking a moment to really thing about where Phoenix was and where he needed to be to be the one for Ashley.

4.5 Stars - Another Great Addition to the Series
Written by tburbr on 25th Feb 2023

Sam Crescent has worked her magic on this latest addition to the series. The character work and story line were well written and kept me entertained from start to finish.

Phoenix and Ashley
Written by Keaton W on 25th Feb 2023

I am absolutely devouring this series! Phoenix was a nomadic alpha who keeps returning to a pack he rescued, but doesn’t know why. Ashley was a newly-transitioned 18-year-old wolf. When the 40-year-old realizes his mate is practically a baby, he is unnecessarily cruel to her through their tormenting interaction and rejection. That’ll definitely come back to haunt him. I love reading about Sam’s wolf shifter series. It really holds in tension the fact that these shifters have undeniable animal instincts, but they are also people with feelings and emotions who don’t give in to their wolf’s every whim. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also hot as hell with an epic HEA.

Great shifter story!
Written by CatLady on 25th Feb 2023

I thought this was an entertaining and fun book. I loved the chemistry between Ashley and Phoenix. I also loved that when Phoenix came back into Ashley's life, he had to earn her trust. He was a great match for Ashley, I enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Overall, a fun, entertaining story!

good read
Written by hgrainger88 on 25th Feb 2023

I enjoyed this story Ashley and Phoenix are true mates but they have a past. They have a chemistry and I did enjoy this page turner.

Good Book
Written by Brandi C on 25th Feb 2023

Ben as a lone wolf who became Alpha of a pack he saved from the old Alpha who was horrible to his pack comes back home after some time on the road and finds his mate. Ashley is a young woman who just went through her first shift is devastated when her mate is cruel to her from the first moment they meet. This book is a rollercoaster of ups and down's. Worth the read. I received a free copy of this book via Evernight and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A long way back to trust
Written by HAPPYIN2SON on 25th Feb 2023

The shifter genre isn't my usual read. I have been drawn to them more and more. I usually avoid them because they are bland angsty messes. However I really enjoyed this one. Yes, there was plenty of angst. But I really felt the sting of Phoenix's rejection. She does her best to avoid him until he comes and hunts her down. He does a great deal of healing her emotionally and then building up their love. There was some good old fashioned heat and spice too. Great read.

Second chance shifter romance
Written by Brooke T on 25th Feb 2023

Cruel Mate was an entertaining and intriguing read. I loved both characters in this book. Sam Cresent's Alpha shifter collection is one of my favorite PNR reads this year. The world and characters that have been created are original, spicy, and action-packed. The main characters and minor characters have depth and were very well-written. I am working my way thru the beginning of this collection it is that addicting to read. Each book can be read as a standalone and will have you flip the pages to see what is happening next. Ashley is stubborn, witty, compassionate, and curvy. I loved her from the start. I loved how she stood up for herself and didn't let her hurt ruin her. Phoenix is a loner and is used to only answering to himself. Until he inherits something he didn't know he wanted along with a certain woman. I really enjoyed the push and pull each character had. It wasn't a quick fall-in-love type of romance. Ashley really put him through the wringer and he didn't back down. The spice in all of Sam Crescent's books are always super spicy and never disappoints and this book left me fanning myself. Cruel Mate was a great read. I love a second chance/age gap book. This book had a very original storyline. I was excited that this is also a shifter romance. It was the trifecta of my 3 favorite tropes in one book. This will be a reread for me.

Phoenix and Ashley, his rejected mate
Written by Maggi on 25th Feb 2023

Phoenix was a loner, he loved to travel the open road. It brought him to a town whose alpha was weak and he rescued the pack from intruders and became their alpha. Then he found his true mate, but she was very young, just turned 18 and had transitioned for the first time. He rejected her causing pain and loneliness for both of them. Now, he was back to try to gain her forgiveness and take what was his. Good storyline and wonderful characters.

Not quite what I e petted from this author
Written by RaeWoodland on 25th Feb 2023

I have read books by this author for years and apart from one line and a bit about the past it isn’t dark at all. It is a very sweet redemption second chance type of story between two characters that deserve happiness when they find one another. It is a age gap romance but pointed out many times that it is normal in their culture

Written by Isa Dal. on 25th Feb 2023

Cruel Mate is an enthralling, steamy and gripping book that has bewitched me from the very beginning. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone! If you're looking for an easy to follow, hot, steamy, sexy, smooth flowing read that captures your attention from the start. Congratulations my friends you've found it. The characters and scenes are realistic and believable. Twists and turns and unpredictable surprises that kept my eyes on the pages and on the edge of my seat.

Cruel Mate
Written by Amber J on 25th Feb 2023

Ashley has just officially shifted for the first time and is out celebrating with friends when her world is changed forever. She goes to leave, and someone follows her they share a kiss, and she realizes that this man is her mate. He pulls away and is very angry at her and warns her not to tell anyone that they are mates, or she'll regret it. Now years later he is in town again and has changed his mind about her but Ashley isn't about to give Phoenix another chance to destroy her. Will he fix things between them before its too late? This is a great story that will captivate you from beginning to end. This is a well written and very entertaining story. Its a book that any book lover would enjoy.

“Staring at her now, he couldn’t believe he’d been so stupid.”
Written by Anij on 25th Feb 2023

I’ve always loved Sam’s Alpha Shifter collection. The first book I ever read of hers was The Alpha’s Toy. I get excited every time I see another addition to the series. While a couple of them have been a disappointment, most of them are great and Cruel Mate belongs on that list. Phoenix is a great male lead. An Alpha who’s a biker and doesn’t live with his pack is a very unique idea. Once we find out why it was very easy to forgive him for rejecting Ashley like he did. Ashley was a wonderful female lead. I loved how she handled being rejected in such a mature, dignified way and also that she didn’t immediately cave in to him when he finally wised up and tried to mend his past mistakes. This book isn’t full of angst. Instead it’s a romantic story of a man who has always been alone finding love, family and a better life than he ever could have imagined.

Loved it!!
Written by Kimberly R on 25th Feb 2023

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fantastic read. I loved Ashley and Phoenix. They were really great characters. I definitely recommend this book.

Must Read
Written by Danee on 25th Feb 2023

Sam Crescent has written another great book, this is the 18th part of The Alpha Shifter Collection. I've always loved stories about shifters and this one is one of them. Sometimes it's easy to write a review and sometimes you think of reading it yourself and find out for yourself what you think of this book. The characters in this story hold your attention and even though there is drama, danger, action, suspense and plot twists, one thing is for sure the chemistry and the hot moment between the characters always prevail. I say go read this book is worth it especially if you like shifter stories.

Written by KMH Romancessessed Reviews on 25th Feb 2023

I love a good paranormal romance that has a little tension. This book was so good that it had me gripped at every turn, wondering what would happen next and how it would all work itself out. The storyline was intense and you found yourself not wanting to blink in case you missed something good. I really enjoyed these two main characters and I love how it was kind of a slow burn with the heroine not falling in line straight away and the hero having to work hard to get her. From the very first page you knew that this was going going be good, and you also knew that the tension would make it all worth it in the end!

Cruel Mate
Written by Stacii on 25th Feb 2023

Ashley and Pheonix’s story is a good second chance paranormal fated mates story. She gets the best and worst surprise on the same day. Her turns to her wolf form and discovers Phoenix is her mate. But he rejects her but when he keeps coming back and decides to stay will he get to win back his trust or will she reject him this time

A fantastic read
Written by dachief72 on 25th Feb 2023

Another fantastic read from Sam Crescent. Delightfully hot and steamy. Great characters, and a well written storyline. Would recommend.

Great addition!
Written by Diana R on 25th Feb 2023

The past couple books in this series were okay, but this one I really liked. The male main lead earned his love in this one. The grovel was great. That isn't always the case and I was happy to read a good grovel. I liked the interactions with all the side characters. And of course there was some steam. I enjoyed this book and can't wait to see the next one in the series.

Another great book
Written by Kathyjacks78 on 25th Feb 2023

Connie was a late bloomer . When she was 21 she was rejected by her mate , was leaving out of the pack and she lost her job. Truly heartbreaking and humiliated. Who better to step up to be her mate than the alpha of the pack and her mates father? Taboo but intriguing . Gage treated her much better. I liked his jealous and possessiveness but wish there had been more of it. Tanner Gage’s son was a jerk and didn’t deserve Connie anyway. I like this series and am a huge fan of this author.

Cruel Mate
Written by Loubie73 on 25th Feb 2023

Absolutely loved this book. PNR books are my all time obsession though I’ve been on a bit of a mafia and biker bender for the last few months. Oh how I’ve missed my shifters though this book doesn’t really have much to do with that side of their lives. The story is blindingly good and we can all agree that Phoenix was an idiot. I do admit that I kept waiting for something to happen for their shifter side to get involved in but it just didn’t happen. Still loved this book and because of that I wish it was longer.

Age Gap PNR/ rejected mate
Written by Renap on 25th Feb 2023

Typical paranormal romance by this author, which is not a bad thing one thing I thought that was different and interesting was the fact that the hero was a nomad biker who was drawn to the town because of the heroine. Their first meeting is when he cleans the town of the bad seeds that try to take over the pack, but she's very young. Phoenix is a typical a$$hole who is oblivious to the hurtful drivel he spews and the idea that his words have some severe consequences; he tries to justify himself by saying his cruelty is a result of him trying to "protect" her. Ashley's life changes drastically after his rejection and she finds herself isolating herself from the pack. Thankfully she does have a friend in Daniel, who despite his feelings for her, stays loyal to her. Realizing that she must leave in order to avoid Phoenix who has FINALLY decided to stay, she tries to move on. Will his words keep them from their future? Can he recover from his verbal garbage? Over all quick read and satisfying as much of this author's work is. Don't expect anything too different from her typical plot lines and characters.

Good Story
Written by Merry J on 25th Feb 2023

Ashley finally becomes a member of the pack. She turns into a wolf and finds her mate, but he doesn't want her. Phoenix knows that he made a mistake in rejecting his mate and when he tries to rectify it, she makes it hard for him. Will he be able to get a second chance with Ashley and will this time around lead to a happily ever after? I enjoyed reading about Ashley who is a strong woman and doesn't just roll over because he wants her back. I liked that he had to work for it to make it happen.

Rectifying a bad decision
Written by A Schofield on 25th Feb 2023

Phoenix met Ashley and made the worst decision of his life. Many years later he is back and ready to make amends. Ashley is mentally scarred from what happens and has to look derp 8 to her heart to see if she can forgive him.. This is a good book, with some great scene that have a good dynamic between the two leads and sone great dialogue. It leaves it open for possible books with other characters. This is a good book.

Cruel Mate!
Written by Mary on 25th Feb 2023

This is another stand alone read in the "Alpha Shifter" collection. This one is about Ashley and Phoenix. She has just changed when she discovers her mate is the nomad biker that has become their savor and alpha. He instantly rejects her making her think he rejected her for other reasons. This is a sweet and sexy story with some angst, a determined women and an alpha who wants to make a mends. I enjoyed this story. I understand Phoenix and I love his determination.

Written by Daffyrunner1031 on 25th Feb 2023

Love this series. Was interesting a great read. Loved the heroine and the alpha. Great setting can almost imagine being there

Cruel Mate
Written by Aldara K on 25th Feb 2023

I just love Sam Crescent stories, like they always are quick, simple reads, but that isn't bad that is good, because very often i read this books in one sitting,

Written by Mreads90 on 25th Feb 2023

Loved it! I just love this series so much! It just keeps getting better every time. Keeps my attention the whole time till the very end.

This was a great love story
Written by JudyCh on 25th Feb 2023

If you are looking for a short love story where the man or in this case wolf realized he made the biggest mistake rejecting his mate 5 years earlier and does everything in his power to win her back, this is a sweet no violence reading.

Second chance
Written by Redfaeryrose on 25th Feb 2023

This reminds me of the saying "sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind". That is what the MMC believed. The alpha had a lot of groveling to do. There was no grand gesture or big words but he made up for his cruelty with his actions and that is more than enough.

Cruelty and Regret
Written by BrightJacks on 25th Feb 2023

Perspective and understanding is everything in a relationship and this couple had a lot of work ahead of them. Phoenix made a huge mistake 5 years and is about to learn the true consequences of his actions. Im glad they got their HEA.

Cruel Mate
Written by Karen99 on 25th Feb 2023

He Really Tried But He Couldn’t Resist Her! The day Ashley turned eighteen and had her first shift into her Wolf was the day she met her fated mate the town’s Alpha Phoenix. He recognised her and rejected her all in one moment! For five years Ashley had hidden from him every time he came to town until she decided that it was time to move on. She didn’t want to leave her pack but the pain of knowing when he was around and living every day without her mate was too much! Phoenix knew the moment his mate had walked into the bar but he had to reject her, she was too young! For five years he tried to pretend everything was fine and lived with the hurt of being away from his mate. Now he had decided after fighting his inner self for years that it was time to claim his mate but persuading Ashley after what he did to her was proving difficult. She didn’t believe he would stay around after the heartache of the last five years. A wonderful hot steamy read full of passion with an age gap relationship!

This was sweet, sexy, and I truly enjoyed it
Written by Celeste H on 25th Feb 2023

Well honestly this evolved so much better then expected. The impact of being rejected was hard and I felt it, I appreciated his reasoning and his efforts to win her back. This was sweet, sexy, and I truly enjoyed it. Another successful read from this author.

great read
Written by Pauli on 25th Feb 2023

interesting plot and well written. A reluctant alpha, miscommunications and ultimately a happy ending, add shifters, a writer with a flair for the dramatic and a way to give charactets depth without having to resort to a lot of drama and you have a couple of hours of intense reading pleasure ahead of you. This author is definitely on my "re-read" list and I can't wait to read the other books in the series.

Love shifter stories
Written by RhondaVB on 5th Feb 2023

This is one of my favorite series by Sam Crescent. Phoenix and Ashley are mates but five years ago, he rejected her. Now he's back and has decided he wants to claim her. I liked the fact that she made him work for her forgiveness and didn't give in right away. But he slowly wins her over. It was a short read but full of all the shifter steam I love

I enjoyed the humor in this steamy story
Written by memes on 5th Feb 2023

I really enjoyed Ashley's personality and eventually began to like Phoenix. Phoenix hurt Ashley, but eventually does a good job trying to make up for his cruel rejection of her. I thought there was a good deal of steam intermixed with the story, I enjoyed the humor in this story the most though.

Redemption after rejection
Written by Nikki R on 5th Feb 2023

Phoenix is the alpha of the pack and also mate to Ashley. He rejected her once he realized he was her mate and he really broke her spirit. Ashley did not understand Phoenix’ reasoning for rejecting her so she made up her own. Consequently, she suffered without her mate. Phoenix is back for his mate but she is still hurt and angry. He has to redeem himself. He acknowledged that he was wrong but forgiveness is a difficult road for these two. Phoenix rises to the challenge and proves to Ashley that he loves her. Great read

Love Phoneix.
Written by Mary S on 5th Feb 2023

Love reading Phoenix and Ashley story so much. Phoenix deserves all the love even with the mistakes he has made he is so deserving of Ashley love.

Sweet HEA shifter romance
Written by Sarah ES on 5th Feb 2023

This book was pretty good. The two main characters were well thought out and described. At the beginning, I really did not like the Alpha because of how he was portrayed, but after getting through this book you can tell he is a good man. As for Ashley she is the sweet next door neighbor you would want your son to marry. After a bunch of drama they finally fall in love and live HEA with a few steamy scenes thrown in for good measure!!

Phoenix and Ashley
Written by Kimmijane on 5th Feb 2023

This is story stared out cruel and became sweeter. I like how the town loved her and accepted and loved him for what he did for the town. I love how he chased her down finally admitting yo himself that he needed love. So sweet!

Love the author but ...
Written by coffeesmom on 5th Feb 2023

Love the author but I've read this plot before. Even saying that is it going to stop me from reading this author's stories... NOPE! Like I said... Love this author. I will say that this story has some differences to make it stand out.

Absolutely loved this story!
Written by Michelle C on 5th Feb 2023

Absolutely loved this story! I really enjoyed how strong the heroine was, her character felt genuine and I enjoyed watching her hold her own against the grumpy alpha. This book had that perfect balance of growly alpha with a big dash of regret/grovel. Definitely recommend

Love it
Written by Amanda1444 on 5th Feb 2023

Ashley was out celebrating her first transition when suddenly she can smell something alluring. She goes outside to get fresh air when suddenly he’s there, Phoenix. Phoenix is a part time pack leader in the sense he is the Alpha but spends most of his time on the open roads. Phoenix never grew up in a pack so after their first kiss Phoenix says horrible things that Ashley reads too much into. Five years later Phoenix is finding it hard to be away from his mate so he works hard to gain their relationship. I loved the chemistry between Ashley and Phoenix regardless at time they wanted to pretend it wasn’t there. You can’t go wrong with any book written by this author.

Love this series!
Written by Diana A on 5th Feb 2023

I dont know why, but I enjoy the stories of rejection and redemption. How the feeling evolve from confusion to wanting and love, and even more when is his need of her and not the other way. She was still living and avoiding him, miserable, but successful.

Cruel Mate Book 18 of The Alpha Shifter Collection by Sam Crescent
Written by mickala r on 5th Feb 2023


Cruel Mate
Written by Desiree E on 5th Feb 2023

what can i say. all books from Sam Crescent are the best. they make you swoon in some sort of way. these men are there for you and never leave your side. you are hooked.

Cruel rejection
Written by ObsessiveReader on 5th Feb 2023

Phoenix thought he was doing the right thing by rejecting Ashley because she was so young. He really was cruel about it so it isn’t a surprise when she doesn’t believe him when he comes back five years later to reconcile. It was nice to see she didn’t give in to him right away. He had to work at gaining her forgiveness.

Forgiveness and Love
Written by De'Anna on 5th Feb 2023

This is part of The Alpha Shifter Collection where each book reads as a standalone in under an hour or so with a sexy alpha dumb but sexy and the girl he hurt but needs to just breath right. Ashley is a curvy girl who struggles with her weight all her life but worse now that her mate rejected her right after her transition. Her mate pulled her to the side kissed her and said some extremely cruel things threating to kill her, and her family. So, she has struggled to lose weight by starving herself running around to avoid him each time he came to town. Phoenix sexy as all get out forty years old wolf who just scented his mate but finding out she is just a baby does something stupid like rejecting her condemning her to a life of loneliness and realizing five years later after the torture his wolf put him through, he heads pack to the one place that provides his soul a little peace just being around her sooth his soul making his wolf happy. I love that Ashley never gave in to his mess she made him work to show he was sorry and that he wasn’t going to run because she would rather live lonely than be with a man who make her hurt later on when his wondering ways come back but can he convince as well as show her that he is there to stay willing to do whatever to win her heart, will she forgive him, will she tell the world they are matted have been for five years, that he rejected her, will the pack forgive him, will her parents forgive him, and can they find the balance, the happiness they both deserve?

Ashley and Phoenix
Written by Bobcat on 5th Feb 2023

Phoenix is a nomad wolf shifter and has never belonged to a pack. Even though he comes and goes, he is considered their alpha since saving the pack years ago. When Ashley turns 18 and has her first transmission, they know they are mates. The fact that Ashley is 18 and he 40 bothers Phoenix since he was raised in human society. He was cruel when he rejected her. Now five years later, he is done fighting his feelings and wants to stay and build a family. Ashley has a hard time believing him, and puts him through his paces. Very nice read. Would read again.

5 Star!!!
Written by Amy J on 5th Feb 2023

Wow.. I loved reading Cruel Mate. This book was a page turner for me and I couldn’t put it down. Loved reading the story of Ashley and Phoenix. The chemistry between them was steamy HOT and I loved the ending!!!

A really sweet romance (with plenty of spice)
Written by Michaela B on 5th Feb 2023

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read a copy of this book! First, I am super picky about rejection stories because oftentimes what the man did is bad enough, in my opinion, for the other person to never consider dating/being with them again. Here, the author combined miscommunication with rejection in a way that caused emotional damage but didn’t make for an irreparable break in the relationship. The pacing was great, the build-up to reconciliation was better than I’ve seen in so many stories, AND it ended up being a really sweet romance (with plenty of spice).

Engaging read
Written by LBing on 5th Feb 2023

This is another fab story for the series. I loved how strong Ashley became after being so cruelly rejected by Phoenix. He didn't realize how much he needed his mate and also didn't realize how badly his verbal cuts to her were. He had a ton to make up for, that's for sure. As they worked through these issues, though, their chemistry popped and I was thrilled that he found the right words to fix things - and that she had the capacity to forgive him. With friends and family around, this really was an engaging read :D

Misconstrued words
Written by RahiaLeight on 5th Feb 2023

This was an interesting tale - pointing out the different ways people grow up and how the morals learned through childhood are displayed through our lives. In this case, a bit of insecurity and some misconstrued words were all it took to attach the title of "cruel" to the man that was to be her mate. Once they come clean with each other, there's still a few bumps to get over, but they are exactly where they should be.

Great read!!
Written by Jilllovesbooks on 5th Feb 2023

Phoenix and Ashley make a great couple. Of course it was kind of a slow burn at the beginning with his rejection of her but thank you for getting them together relatively quick in the storyline. So not a total slow burn. I felt Daniel's story could be made into his own book, hint, hint, just saying

Alpha Shifter Collection
Written by Iva on 5th Feb 2023

another book in great great series...I so love alpha shifter series.....and I wasn´t disapointed.. Ashley is finaly of age..and is experiementing her first turning...and happy ending...she thinks...she finds her mate...but it is their nomat pack alpha...who reject her instatnly.. he is nomad alpha....and si suprised to find a mate...who is sooo much younger...he was raised among for him..age is important...but after many years..he is determinated to win his mate..but it is harder than he imagined..

A sweet, spicy story
Written by Michele G on 5th Feb 2023

This was a quick read but even so, the author was able to create a fun and solid story. Ashley is eighteen and has just "turned" for the first time when she and her friends are out celebrating, she starts to feel almost sick. The reason for her feeling "off" shows up soon in the form of her "mate" who also happens to be the pack alpha. He's forty and a nomad so he feels like their's isn't a good match and promptly rejects her after kissing her. After Phoenix rejects her, Ashley is lost, heartbroken and embarrassed. No one is rejected by their true mate so the only reason she can come up with is that Phoenix must not be attracted to her because of her weight. She starts practically starving herself and does everything she can to avoid seeing Phoenix. Several years later, Phoenix and Ashley are thrown back together and he decides that denying his and Ashley's connection is not only hurting him but appears to be damaging her as well. At this point, he has to find a way to work his way back into her heart and get her to trust him again. It's a sweet, spicy story and I read it in one sitting. Sometimes, I just need a fun little read and this fit the bill. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to read and review it and the opinions contained within are my own.

Rejected Mate PNR
Written by GingerLorMel on 5th Feb 2023

Ashley is a sweet young woman adored by members of her pack. She’s celebrating her transition and looking forward to her future as an official member. Her world comes crashing down when the pack alpha, Phoenix, realizes she is his fated mate and he cruelly rejects her. Five years later, Ashley has never emotionally recovered and the sting of rejection is always in the forefront of her mind. Phoenix returns after all this time to reclaim his mate and make things right. Ashley was such a lovely heroine. She was very likable and relatable. The author did a great job expressing how hurt she was after the rejection. I really disliked Phoenix. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that he was not in a place to take a mate, but he really damaged Ashley’s psyche. There was not enough groveling for me but since this was a novella, Ashley forgave him fairly quickly and things heated up quickly. There was no denying their chemistry and desire for each other. As always, this author writes some of the best spicy scenes! Tropes: Paranormal romance, fated mates, shifters, wolves, rejected mates, second chances, age gap, curvy heroine, happily-ever-after Heat: 3/5

Yep, still love Sam Crescent
Written by Amy T on 22nd Jan 2023

Yep, still love Sam Crescent. The conflict resolved in a way that seemed realistic and Phoenix's reasoning became clear and semi-understandable

This might be the best one yet
Written by Cindy V on 22nd Jan 2023

I have read the entire series and this might be the best one yet. When Ashley is 18 she gets her wolf and finds her mate, Phoenix, reluctant alpha of her pack. Phoenix is 40 and a nomad and doesn't think he wants a mate and cruelly rejects Ashley. Ashley then spends the next 5 years avoiding Phoenix when he comes into town and considers leaving the pack. Phoenix spends those 5 years regretting his decision but since he grew up among humans he had the human mentality that he thinks that he is just too old for Ashley. What he doesn't realize is that he words he said that day when he rejected her, had lasting hurt for Ashley. Phoenix spent most of the novel proving his worth and devotion by quite a bit of groveling to get Ashley's forgiveness. Ashley is no pushover and it takes her some time to get past the cruel words and actions from 5 years before. There was a depth of emotion in this book that is sometimes missing in past books in the series. I also liked the character development and the groveling and that Ashley didn't give in to easily.

Cruel Mate
Written by Eva H on 22nd Jan 2023

Huh... The rejection scene was... not kind. Poor Ashley. Unfortunately, on the day of her transition, Phoenix struck her with his brutal rejection. This shapes her accordingly and leads to the fact that she does everything in the following 5 years to avoid him. - Well, if Mister nomad biker didn't lay an egg with it himself. Because at some point you can no longer escape the pull of the mate bond. He also has to realize that Ashley interpreted his words completely differently than he meant them. - So what to do? - Grovel (Big time)! And be sneaky (The big boy plays the alpha card here). ... Ah.. I really liked that part. Also that the plot primarily revolves around the couple; without other distractions. That fitted very well here. The story was nice to read.

This was a fun quick read!
Written by Mary D on 22nd Jan 2023

This was a fun quick read! This is a second chance after Ashley’s (heroine) fated mate rejected her in a brutal way. They have to build a relationship and reconcile those lost 5 years. I loved both main characters. I felt so badly for them and Phoenix’s background was so tragic. I understand why he rejected her. Their chemistry was

ARC Review of Cruel Mate by Sam Crescent
Written by The Dragon Den Book Blog on 22nd Jan 2023

A shifter/mate rejection romance that is another added favourite from this fabulous author. Ashley has just turned eighteen and shifted into her wolf for the first time. Happy and excited, she did not expect to walk outside and meet her mate so sudden...and to be cruely rejected by him all at once after a steamy first kiss. To make it all the more complicated, her mate was her pack's nomad alpha, and after breaking her heart he has left again. Pheonix was too old to be with Ashley, a beautiful curvy young woman just having entered adulthood. Five years later, he's had enough of the travelling. His bike no longer appeals to him. The open road means nothing. He misses the little community he became responsible well as certain young wolf who is making sure to avoid him. He cannot keep ignoring her. The issue of her age still lingers but he can no longer fight the urge to claim her as his. Another fantastic shifter romance that I love getting from Sam Crescent. Having being raised from two different worlds really puts the perspective of the age gap issue into play, and how a love can overlook it. Love that Ashley's extreme dieting came up and how it can be very unhealthy.

Wolf shifters
Written by Barb K on 22nd Jan 2023

When Ashley was eighteen, she had her first transition into a wolf and found her mate. Phoenix was a nomad biker and a wolf shifter. He arrived in town just in time to save the pack and ended up becoming the Alpha. He never stayed more than a few days. One day he goes into a bar and smells something heavenly. He has found his mate but she's only eighteen and he says some things that hurt her. Five years later, Phoenix comes back to town and is ready to claim his mate. Ashley was terribly hurt by him and tries to avoid him. Phoenix will do anything to get Ashley to forgive him. Sex. A biker. A full figured woman. Secrets. Wolf shifters. * Received from Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it *

Cruel Mate
Written by Ines H on 22nd Jan 2023

I will say that any rejection from a mate is brutal and this was one of them. I didn't know what to expect but his reasoning was enough for me to forgive him. I liked how everything in the story unraveled and came together. I enjoyed reading it. It's sad for just a moment and then the warmth of instant mate connection is there.

5 Stars
Written by Adrianna L on 22nd Jan 2023

Still love Sam Crescent. There was a depth of emotion in this book that is sometimes missing in past books in the series. I also liked the character development and the groveling, and that Ashley didn't give in to easily.

Written by Bekitalent on 22nd Jan 2023

This shattered my whole heart, then piece by piece put it back together. Absolutely glorious writing, such a fun story with amazing characters. Highly recommend if you're a fan of shifters, spice & all things not-so-nice. If I could, I'd give this an extra star - it's that good

Written by Sua on 22nd Jan 2023

I love this read between Ashley and Phoenix. I truly felt the emotions and the connections with Ashley when she was rejected by her mate. It was interesting to see why Phoenix rejected her and the roots he finally felt he can put down with her and the pack, instead of being a nomad. definitely a great read from start to finish.

Written by Eve S. on 22nd Jan 2023

Cruel mate is a paranormal romance that starts off with a misguided heartbreaking Comments that directly had a negative impact on Ashley the main female character. Her self esteem and self confidence was torn to shreds with a few words from careless words from the Alpha Phoenix. Phoenix is over twenty years older than Ashley he hurts her because he does not believe he is worthy of her. Five years later he can not continue to convince himself being away from her is the best course of action. This book ends with an HEA but it one heck of a ride getting there.

Written by Anotherdayinparadise on 22nd Jan 2023

I truly enjoyed this story, of figuring out what it means to belong. I liked that Phoenix was open with Ashley about why he initially rejected her. You can also understand Ashley hesitation in believing him. Both characters are strong without being over the top.

I am IN LOVE with this book!! Off the chart!!
Written by Andrea R on 22nd Jan 2023

The only thing that would have made this better--and it is AMAZING--is if the Alpha could have groveled more. But the chemistry was simply off the charts--SUPER HOT!! This author never ever ceases to deliver a wonderful read--Everyone must read this for sure!

Love this series!
Written by Diana A on 22nd Jan 2023

I dont know why, but I enjoy the stories of rejection and redemption. How the feeling evolve from confusion to wanting and love, and even more when is his need of her and not the other way. She was still living and avoiding him, miserable, but successful.

Written by Becky J on 22nd Jan 2023

Sam Crescent is on my must buy list. I adore all work but shifters are my favorite. Throw in a strong Alpha and a curvy Virgin and you have me hooked. Cruel Mate was outstanding. Kudos!

Shifter rejected mate romance
Written by AmJoCo on 22nd Jan 2023

I'd say this book is between 3.5 to 4 stars. This book had a few tropes including rejected mate, age- gap, curvy, and shifters. This book is written in both of the main characters POVs. The MMC lives up to the title of the book in the prologue but his reasoning is inconsistent throughout the book. In the beginning it's seems that he has selfish reasons for it being that he doesn't want a younger mate and lives a life on the road but then he changes his reasons to he wanted the FMC to live her life. But geez, he didn't really need to say what he did which caused her to have self-esteem issues. His groveling was on point but I still think she gave in a smidge too fast using the excuse of how he grew up. There's no excuse in treating someone the way he did. The steamy parts were good except their first time they did the deed the scene didn't feel finished because she went into an inner monologue and then, bam, it was the next morning. Overall, I thought the book was good I liked both of the characters and the epilogue was very satisfying. Private feedback

Love wolf shifters
Written by Jill G on 22nd Jan 2023

This is definitely a different take on an Alpha wolf from any that I have ever read before but I really enjoyed this story. There is a major age gap between Ashley and Phoenix but it appears being fated mates age is not an issue. There is a HEA but Phoenix has to work extremely hard to prove himself to Ashley. I loved the storyline and the H/h are great together. This story is worth your time reading. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and are voluntarily leaving a review.

Rejected mate
Written by Michele77 on 22nd Jan 2023

An alpha rejects his mate when she comes of age for his own reasons. Five years later, he is ready to take her as his mate and asks for forgiveness. This story revolves around that path to forgiveness. I was very glad to see that Ashley didn’t immediately forgive Phoenix, but made him work for it. Lots of emotion, and heat. Great read.

Incredible shifter romance
Written by NikiG on 22nd Jan 2023

Phoenix and Ashley have been mates since tge first day that she shifted. But he thought she was too young snd rejected her. After five years, when he finally sees her again, he knows there’s no way he can get back on the open road. He’s finally found his home… it’s wherever Ashley is. Will she ever be able to forgive him for tearing her out? Can he convince he’s never leaving her again? A fantastic, page turning, dramatic and romantic read!

So good!
Written by Mistie Best on 22nd Jan 2023

Ashley and Phoenix were so good. Phoenix brutally rejected Ashley when he discovered that they were mates. She was so devastated that she spent the next 5 years avoiding him at all costs. Phoenix realized his mistake almost immediately but could never fix it because she avoided him. Watching him figure out how to overcome the hurdles of his mistake was really good. I love a good redemption story and this one was very satisfying.

Cruel to be kind
Written by Bookbunny on 22nd Jan 2023

Ashley’s transformation went smooth. Unfortunately, her mate was cruel. And let me tell you I was crying. Phoenix was a lone wolf. He didn’t need a pack. But this town needed to rid itself of the evils of the one they had. He was too weak. Now he is their alpha. However, he certainly didn’t expect to find his mate. He didn’t want one and made sure that Ashley knew it. But the only problem is his wolf wanted her and he couldn’t stay away. Now he needs to fix a wrong and show his mate that he truly does need her. Ashley isn’t fooled. She remembers and she keeps her distance. I really felt for her. It’s hard being a BFF woman and to feel rejection from the beginning doesn’t make it easy. Phoenix could have be less cruel. I personally wanted to slap his face. We do learn about his past and it sort of helps but not. He needed to win her back and prove he really wanted her.

Too young or too old?
Written by Laura S. on 22nd Jan 2023

Another good Alpha shifter story from this author! Phoenix was named Alpha to Ashley's pack after he saved the pack from an attack and killed their cowardly alpha. He wasn't sure how to be an alpha though, since he was pretty much a nomad. One of the times he came back to visit the pack, he smelled his mate, Ashley, who was celebrating her 18th birthday and having her first shift. Phoenix was 40, which he thought was too old for her, not realizing that werewolves aged slowly and age wasn't an issue in their world. Before too long, Phoenix realized he messed up big time! Will he be able to win Ashley back? He has his work cut out for him, since Ashley want's nothing to do with him! Will love overcome their differences? Can he learn how to be an alpha with or without Ashley? Read on for another hard hitting Alpha romance!

Cruel mate
Written by Chandee on 22nd Jan 2023

Spoliers**** MY NEW FAVORITE OF THE 18 OF THE SHIFTER COLLECTIONS. Sam did not disappoint with this book of the alpha shifters collection. The pain Ashley went through being rejected by phoenix , i felt that to my core. When she reminded him of the exact words he said to her, it showed the reader that she definitely felt them to her core. I think Having the parents make comments of their daughter’s behavior since her transition night made phoenix realize have badly he actually hurt her, and how his rejection of her without telling her at the time why he was rejecting , did some actual emotion damage. The heart to heart talks they had during the reconstruction of the alpha house definitely paved the way for reconciliation in my opinion . I also feel the Daniel expressing anger in Ashley keeping the mating with alpha and expressing how lucky she was really changed her mind. This is definitely my new favorite!

Great story
Written by PHOENIX96 on 22nd Jan 2023

When Wolf shifter Ashley first turned she discovered her mate was no other than nomad pack alpha Phoenix, but he made it clear he didn't want her as his mate Now 5 years on, Ashley has avoided Phoenix on his brief visits to the pack over the years, but this time he wants her but is he to late? Well written steamy fated mates, rejected, second chance, shifter, age gap romance.

This was a quick and spicy read!
Written by Amanda P on 22nd Jan 2023

This was a quick and spicy read! Couldn’t put the book down and finished it in two sittings! I like a fast read in between looong books. It was easy and accessible language and I had such a good time reading it. I love a good paranormal/fantasy romance, it’s my fave genre. Never read anything by this author before but now I’m looking up her other books to read!

Not your typical shifter romance
Written by Allison R on 22nd Jan 2023

This is not your typical shifter romance. Ashley grew up as a member of the pack and was eagerly awaiting finding her mate. The night of her first shift she found him and the attraction was off the charts for Ashley, unfortunately her newly found mate was the pack’s nomad alpha Phoenix, who didn’t seem to feel the same way as Ashley. Fast forward a few years of steadfast avoidance by Ashley and her worst nightmare has been realized. Phoenix is putting down his nomad roots and moving to the pack permanently, however she soon finds out there’s no way to avoid their predestined relationship. So at first Phoenix seems like the biggest jerk but when you find out what has hardened his heart and realize his cruel taunts were made out of desperation you come to realize he was trying to do right by Ashley. Those of you familiar with this author will not be disappointed by the super hot connection between the two leads and the steamy flirting attempts from Phoenix will have you looking for a fan. My only wish was that the story was a bit longer as everything seemed to happen super fast, especially give the flash forward of time, but still a nice quick and steamy alpha male (literally in this instance), shifter romance. 4 stars. I voluntarily read and reviewed an arc copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.