Stray by Rachel VincentStray by Rachel Vincent


byRachel Vincent

Mass Market Paperback | January 19, 2010

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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….
Title:StrayFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 6.62 × 4.21 × 1.27 inPublished:January 19, 2010Publisher:MiraLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0778329070

ISBN - 13:9780778329077

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE IT!!!!!! This has to be one of my favorite books!! First time I read it, I couldn't put it down. The idea of cat shape shifters is what really turned me onto this book. It is well worth the read!!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stray by Rachel Vincent Stray is the first book in the Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I truly enjoyed this book and continued to read the other 5 books in the series as well. This is one of my favourite series. Faythe Sanders is the main character in this book-series and is a strong, independent and headstrong young woman who tends to land herself in trouble (or trouble comes looking for her). This book (and series) is a perfect blend of drama, suspense, action, intrigue and romance with a strong, kick-ass heroine instead of a simpering damsel in distress. I love the fact that, apart from the shape-shifting, there is nothing supernatural about the story. No witchcraft, mind control, demons etc., just good old fashioned love, back stabbing, revenge, kidnapping, murder and action.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stray Loved it can't wait to start the next one
Date published: 2014-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stray If you like Armstrong or Mead then you will like this book. Well written and good characters.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stray Have read this book over and over again!! It's a different supernatural story then your use. The main character is bad arse and can stand on her own to feet, doesn't mean she doesn't get hurt, a lot. This book is for early twenties and up. Story lines are to heavy for young adults.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This kitty has claws. This book is awesome, and I cannot wait to start reading the other books in the series. Faythe is the kind of girl that all girls should look up to. She denies being held back by men and for a man and instead walks her own path to discover the life that she truly wants not being under the thumb of anyone else’s rule. Add in the fact that she is a supernatural create, and a rare female one at that and you have a very awesome book. Now lets put a cherry on top by adding that back home she has a guy that was ready to marry her and still loves her and she manages to give her those sexy little smirk, oh and another guy who sure knows how to smooth talk and girl and flirt who is also vying for her attention. Lets add in some over protective brothers that she is not afraid to get into a physical fight with, and then an all-powerful father and your have a recipe for greatness. The novel encompasses the supernatural with a young woman who can defend herself and is searching for her self while attempting to be independent, and creates a world that all readers want to be invited to. It has messed up families, close families, ex-boyfriends, old friends that want to be friendly and a girl who feels like she has the future of an entire pack sitting on her shoulders. And the dry sarcastic humour that the author brings out of the pages, mixed with some seriously dark events makes this book one that will be sitting on my top shelf and makes me eager to jump to the rest. Thank God I picked now to start reading the series, all books are out and accounted for ready for me to read them. Good: Faythe: Any girl who says hello to her ex by kicking him square in the stomach and knocking him to the ground is ok in my book. Marc: He’s jealous. He loves her. He is willing to throw a table through a wall for her. He’s got a devilish smirk, and a wink that makes this chick swoon (and I’ve only every read about it). Man I love this guy. Jace: You smooth talking flirt you. You can pick me up in a bar with your cheesy opening line anytime. You sexy boy. And you’re pretty determined. I like it. Bad: Faythe: She does some seriously stuff ass-hat stuff. You don’t really recognize it, but she does make some morally wrong things. However, that can’t necessarily go against the book because it makes her character and is apart of the story lines. It’s bring something to the table that makes this book quite good. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall I loved it. I could picture Faythe doing her victory dance (finger point and all) in the middle of a serious situation, I could see Marc running down the hallways asking where the hell is everybody because he wants a witness to something Faythe said. I can see the smirks, the stern faces, and I could understand the feelings. I have some mad love for the characters that were created in this story. I love the independent and determined Faythe who is willing to sacrifice her well being for others. I love the world that Rachel Vincent created and the story line was one that did make me sit back and cry out in shock. There were twists, there were moments that were predictable, there were moments that made you wish you could shake the fictional characters hands, and moments that you wish you could slap them yelling “Check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Overall the book was so enjoyable I managed to somehow read 618 pages in under 48 hours while going to work. Awesome. Just awesome. View more of my review and others at my blog:
Date published: 2012-07-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad (The Chapters-Indigo website has been deleting my ratings so: I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars/leaves.) In general I thought this one was decent but not extraordinary. Good points: Faythe, the main character, showed some promising character growth during the story. This was particularly satisfying in my opinion, as she evolved as a character and matured as a direct consequence of the things that happened to her. Also well done, IMHO, was the relationship with Marc (her main love interest in the novel), as well as how strong and interesting she did turn out to be in the end. Bad points: Faythe, as well as her immaturity, did grate on me for a good part of the novel. All in all however, this one was good enough to make me pick up the sequel. Similar recommended titles (given here because of the weird problems I've been having with the Chapters/Indigo website and which they STILL haven't fixed): -Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre -Stardoc #1, by S.L. Viehl -Cry Wolf (and the prequel short story in the 'On the Prowl' collection by different authors), by Patricia Briggs -Stormwalker, by Allyson James -Dragon Bound, by Thea Harrison -The Shadow Reader, by Sandy Williams -The Demon In Me, by Michelle Rowen -Angels' Blood, by Nalini Singh -Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
Date published: 2011-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Stop Reading the BOOK! I loved Stray. Faythe and Marc won me over with their werecat, kick ass attitude. Every character in this story is endearing even Ryan who ends up being the Pride's disappointment. I'm a werewolf fan but after reading Vincent's STRAY - I may actually consider werecats as my favorite! I plan to read the whole series and wait for up coming books. It was a great story.
Date published: 2010-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful Surprise! I have had this book on my shelf for almost a year but kept passing it up for my Vampire novels. I wasn’t sure about the werecat idea and really wasn’t sure I’d like it. WOW was I wrong. I LOVED IT!! This book has a wonderful strong female character that I just adore! I have many favorite characters and they are all very well developed. The intimate scenes are very well written with none of that silly nonsense I always giggle at in harlequin romance type novels. I find a lot of these paranormal romances are just sex, sex and more sex with a little bit of story thrown in. Stray has it all with an excellent page turning story filled with action. If you love supernatural books I know you will love this series. I can’t put it down and will be so disappointed when it ends.
Date published: 2010-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good story to pounce on! Faythe is brought home to her father’s pride because tabbies are going missing. Faythe’s father is the pride’s alpha, and even though the love each other they hardly see eye to eye. Faythe wants a future away from the pride, and her father wants her to eventually take over the pride. Tabbies are far and few between to keep the race going tabbies have the most important role. Faythe wants to be more than a womb, much more. Before Faythe even gets home she is attached, but fights the stray off. Marc, her ex, is the person that brings her home, and Marc hopes that they can get back together. When one of the tabbies is found murder and put on display the whole werecat community is on alarm and morning. After a brief reconnection between Faythe and Marc, she leaves the pride to figure out what she is wants to do. She does not want to stay, but she wants Marc and she loves her family. While Faythe is working her problems out she is catnapped. Faythe awakens in a cage, with her cousin (hurt and abused) in the next one. They learn that the persons taking the tabbies are intending to sell them to alphas in South America where life will be abusive and filled with bearing children. Faythe is able to kill one of her captors and frees herself and Abby. They call the pride and they are both quickly rescued. Now Faythe wants revenge. They know which tabby the kidnappers are going after next, and Faythe is going to put herself in that tabby’s place. One way or anther Faythe will not let another tabby get hurt. This is the first book in the werecats series. I liked that it was a little different from traditional “were” series’ because they were cats and not wolves. I also really liked that Faythe is strong and sticks to her guns. She is a tabby living in a man’s world. I also love Marc. I think he is great for all that he goes through and puts up with. There are some secondary plots that should lead to some great storeys. Good start to the series.
Date published: 2010-04-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from " Lacking...." I was seriously disappointed after reading this book. It's definitely a concept I was looking for - werecats and a strong female role but the main character, Faythe has no depth and no learning ability. She takes the attitudes of "I'm right everyone else is wrong, it's my way or the highway and I'm a tough chick and i'll prove it". Yet she can't seem to fight - maybe she's banking on her looks as a weapon.... I just didn't connect with the character as she is too stubborn and rigid. This type of book is the reason I stopped reading romance novels.
Date published: 2010-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fiesty Feline Heroine Stray Rachel Vincent Brilliant first outing for the newbie writer Rachel Vincent. Vincent writes a convincing tale of a Pride of Were-cats that live in central Texas, and follows the character of Faythe Sanders. Faythe is beautiful, tough spunky as all he!! and slightly spoiled. Faythe is indulged by here father when she decides to leave her sheltered and secured life on their remote ranch, and go to college. Faythe's life is turned upside down when she realizes her fathers enforcers are following her and some strange smelling Rogues. Now, females from hers and other Prides around the US are disappearing, and Faythe may be next. So Faythe' s freedom is about to end. Female Were-cats are very rare, because very few survive the turn, and even fewer are born and survive their first turn, which makes them very valuable not just to their prides but as breeders to other nefarious prides. Faythe, is expected to settle down in a politically advantageous marriage and breed more were-cats. But, Faythe wants more from her life. She wants a life of her own in her father's organization, and possibly on the council. But, the old boys network is going to be tough to breakdown old prejudices. So when Faythe's cousin is taken and eventually herself, Faythe must find a way to save not only her cousin and herself, from a life of servitude. Her family's worlds is going to be further rocked when the scheme starts to unravel. All in all this is a solid first outing for a writer. Even though the subject matter is paranormal. The characters and subject matter are written in a believable fashion. The writing is fast paced and exciting, with a good balance of well written plot and characters and not too much violence. There is good tension between the characters, and the plot and myths of Vincent's characters are well thought out and written. I couldn't possibly think about one thing I would change about this freshman effort from Vincent
Date published: 2010-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fun take on the werewolf genre I really enjoyed this book. It is about a Pride of werecats. It had a good storyline with lots of suspense and action. I enjoyed the relationship between the pride members, how they were like one big family. And I also enjoyed the relationship between Marc and Fayth and the love triangle with Faythe, Jace and Marc. Faythe is a strong independent female character and i loved to hearing her view on how things played out in the book. I think Stray is an awesome start to what i'm sure will be a very exciting series. I can't wait to read the next book.
Date published: 2010-01-20

Read from the Book

The moment the door opened I knew an ass–kicking was inevitable. Whether I'd be giving it or receiving it was still a bit of a mystery.The smell hit me as I left the air–conditioned comfort of the language building for the heat of another north–central Texas summer, tugging my backpack higher on my shoulder as I squinted into the sunset. A step behind me, my roommate, Sammi, was ranting about the guest lecturer's discriminatory view of women's contributions to nineteenth–century literature. I'd been about to play devil's advocate, just for the hell of it, when a shift in the evening breeze stopped me where I stood, on the top step of the narrow front porch.My argument forgotten, I froze, scanning the shadowy quad for the source of the unmistakable scent. Visually, nothing was out of the ordinary: just small groups of summer students talking on their way to and from the dorms. Human students. But what I smelled wasn't human. It wasn't even close.Absorbed in her rant, Sammi didn't realize I'd stopped. She walked right into me, cursing loud enough to draw stares when her binder fell out of her hand and popped open on the ground, littering the steps with loose–leaf paper."I could use a little notice next time you plan on zoning out, Faythe," she snapped, bending to gather up her notes. Grunts and more colorful words issued from behind her, where our fellow grad students were stalled by our pedestrian traffic jam. Lit majors are not known for watching where they're going; most of us walk with our eyes in a book instead of on the path ahead."Sorry." I knelt to help her, snatching a sheet of paper from the concrete before the student behind me could stomp on it. Standing, I took the steps two at a time, following Sammi to a brick half wall jutting from the porch. Still talking, she set her binder on the ledge and began methodically reorganizing her notes, completely oblivious to the scent, as humans always were. I barely heard her incessant chatter as she worked.My nostrils flared slightly to take in more of the smell as I turned my face into the breeze. There. Across the quad, in the alley between the physics building and Curry Hall.My fist clenched around the strap of my backpack and my teeth ground together. He wasn't supposed to be here. None of them were supposed to be here. My father had promised.I'd always known they were watching me, in spite of my father's agreement not to interfere in my life. On occasion, I'd spot a too–bright eye in the crowd at a football game, or notice a familiar profile in line at the food court. And rarely—only twice before in five years—I caught a distinctive scent on the air, like the taste of my childhood, sweet and familiar, but with a bitter aftertaste. The smell was faint and tauntingly intimate. And completely unwelcome.They were subtle, all those glimpses, those hints that my life wasn't as private as we all pretended. Daddy's spies faded silently into crowds and shadows because they wanted to be seen no more than I wanted to see them.But this one was different. He wanted me to see him. Even worse—he wasn't one of Daddy's."…that her ideas are somehow less important because she had ovaries instead of testes is beyond chauvinistic. It's barbaric. Someone should…Faythe?"Sammi nudged me with her newly restored notebook. "You okay? You look like you just saw a ghost."No, I hadn't seen a ghost. I'd smelled a cat. "I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach." I grimaced only long enough to be convincing. "I'm going to go lie down. Will you apologize to the group for me?"She frowned. "Faythe, this was your idea." "I know." I nodded, thinking of the four other M.A. candidates already gathered around their copies of Love's Labours Lost in the library. "Tell everyone I'll be there next week. I swear.""Okay," she said with a shrug of her bare, freckled shoulders. "It's your grade." Seconds later, Sammi was just another denim–clad student on the sidewalk, completely oblivious to what lurked in the late–evening shadows thirty yards away.I left the concrete path to cut across the quad, struggling to keep anger from showing on my face. Several feet from the sidewalk, I stepped on my shoelace, giving myself time to come up with a plan of action as I retied it. Kneeling, I kept one eye on the alley, watching for a glimpse of the trespasser. This wasn't supposed to happen. In my entire twenty–three years, I'd never heard of a stray getting this far into our territory without being caught. It simply wasn't possible.Yet there he was, hiding just out of sight in the alley. Like a coward.I could have called my father to report the intruder. I probably should have called him, so he could send the designated spy–of–the–day to take care of the problem. But calling would necessitate speaking to my father, which I made a point to avoid at all costs. My only other course of action was to scare the stray off on my own, then dutifully report the incident the next time I caught one of the guys watching me. No big deal. Strays were loners, and typically as skittish as deer when confronted. They always ran from Pride cats because we always worked in pairs, at the very least.Except for me.But the stray wouldn't know I had no backup. Hell, I probably did have backup. Thanks to my father's paranoia, I was never really alone. True, I hadn't actually seen whoever was on duty today, but that didn't mean anything. I couldn't always spot them, but they were always there.Shoe tied, I stood, for once reassured by my father's overprotective measures. I tossed my bag over one shoulder and ambled toward the alley, doing my best to appear relaxed. As I walked, I searched the quad discreetly, looking for my hidden backup. Whoever he was, he'd finally learned how to hide. Perfect timing.The sun slipped below the horizon as I approached the alley. In front of Curry Hall, an automatic streetlight flickered to life, buzzing softly. I stopped in the circle of soft yellow light cast on the sidewalk, gathering my nerve.The stray was probably just curious, and would likely run as soon as he knew I'd seen him. But if he didn't, I'd have to scare him off through other, more hands–on means. Unlike most of my fellow tabby cats, I knew how to fight; my father had made sure of that. Unfortunately, I'd never made the jump from theory to practice, except against my brothers. Sure, I could hold my own with them, but I hadn't sparred in years, and this didn't feel like a very good time to test skills still unproven in the real world.It's not too late to call in the cavalry, I thought, patting the slim cell phone in my pocket. Except that it was. Every time I spoke to my father, he came up with a new excuse to call me home. This time he wouldn't even need to make one up. I'd have to handle the problem myself.My resolve as stiff as my spine, I stepped out of the light and into the darkness.Heart pounding, I entered the alley, tightening my grip on my bag as if it were the handle of a sword. Or maybe the corner of a security blanket. I sniffed the air. He was still there; I could smell him. But now that I was closer to the source, I detected something strange in his scent—something even more out of place than the odor of a stray deep inside my Pride's territory. Whoever this trespasser was, he wasn't local. There was a distinctive foreign nuance to his scent. Exotic. Spicy, compared to the blandly familiar base scent of my fellow American cats.My pulse throbbed in my throat. Foreign. Shit. I was in over my head.I was digging in my pocket for my phone when something clattered to the ground farther down the alley. I froze, straining to see in the dark, but with my human eyes, it was a lost cause. Without Shifting, I couldn't make out anything but vague outlines and deep shadows. Unfortunately, Shifting wasn't an option at that moment. It would take too long, and I'd be defenseless during the transition.Human form it is.I glanced quickly behind me, looking for signs of life from the quad. It was empty now, as far as I could tell. There were no potential witnesses; everyone with half a brain was either studying or partying. So why was I playing hide–and–seek after dark with an unidentified stray?My muscles tense and my ears on alert, I started down the alley. Four steps later, I stepped through a broken tennis racket and stumbled into a rusty Dumpster. My bag thumped to the ground as my head hit the side of the trash receptacle, ringing it like an oversize gong.Smooth, Faythe, I thought, the metallic thrum still echoing in my ears.I bent over to pick up my bag, and a darting motion up ahead caught my eye. The stray—in human form, thankfully—ran from the mouth of the alley into the parking lot behind Curry Hall, his feet unnaturally silent on the asphalt. Pale moonlight shined on a head full of dark, glossy curls as he ran.Instinct overrode my fear and caution. Adrenaline flooded my veins. I tossed my bag over my shoulder and sprinted down the center of the alley. The stray had fled, as I'd hoped he would, and the feline part of my brain demanded I follow. When mice run, cats give chase.