Backwoods Asylum

Title: Backwoods Asylum
Author: Megan Derr
Cover Artist: London Burden
Buy link: (Second Edition)
Genre: paranormal romance
Length: novella (17.000 words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Larissa

Review Summary: a cute little story about abandoned shifter pups and the snake shifter who cares for them with the help of one sexy wolf shifter.


Skylar is used to the way people think of him as frightening, mean, and dangerous. Snakes are not the most popular shifters around and the fact he grew up wild doesn’t help. He knows the way he’s chosen to live alone in the woods only makes things worse, but he didn’t think it meant people thought him capable of killing a couple of wolf puppies.

Determined to find the real monster who left them to die, Skylar calls up the only wolf he knows, a man he always wished would see him as more than a snake …


Megan Derr is an author who is known for writing characters that are down on their luck or who are outsiders or loners. Their life is not easy, but they make the best of it without getting emo, needy or angsty. Backwoods Asylum is such a story. Skylar is a snake shifter who is shy, but also mistrusted because of the negativity surrounding snakes. His chronic shyness coupled with bullying in his youth makes him an outsider. Living alone in the woods makes him an easy target for shifters with less than honorable intent.

Megan Derr is an author also known for the initial miscommunication/misinterpretation of interest between the heroes of a story. Therefore it’s not surprising that Skylar and Brady think the other doesn’t like him, but the truth couldn’t be more different.

While the above is a common thread in stories by this author, it doesn’t take away from the whole of this story at all. Backwoods Asylum is a nice, cute little story that may be a little over the top in its sweetness. But sometimes you just need a story that has just the right amount of drama and a whole lot of romance and cute heroes (with a pair of cute pups).

Backwoods Asylum may not have a whole lot of length – though I think it’s just right – but it’s a well worked out story. The author doesn’t give an info dump on the world our heroes live in, but instead lets the reader find out how ‘it is’ through the story itself (and nope, not going to share!). It makes for an interesting shifter world and I would love to see more of it in the future.

Brady and Skylar make a cute couple once they get over the initial miscommunication. They are characters in their own right, with their own voice. Skylar is the shy, but strong introvert with a big heart and Brady is the ‘steady as a rock’ type who cares for the people in his world and willing to go the extra mile.

The one thing that does take a little away from this story are the ‘bad guys’. They are the typical evil villains – with the exception of Mrs. Grey, who is an ignorant bitch, but she can’t help that – with no redeeming qualities. Their only function in the story is to be, well, the evil villains with their own selfish goals. It does work out in the whole of the story and considering the length, but it was a little easy.

Of course there is also the editing. I love this publisher and some of their stories fall into the ‘wicked awesome’ category, but they could be great with a little better content editing.

Overall, this is a story I can definitely recommend if you are not on the lookout for something serious and angsty, but rather sweet, light and romantic.



  • I just finished this novella (which I’d picked up based on your review.) Even though I liked it, I’d have knocked off the rating to three stars. The shifter angle (with snakes in addition to wolves) was creative. I enjoyed reading the story from Skylar’s POV. His connection to Hansel and Gretel was sweet.

    That said, I felt that the relationship between Skylar and Brady skirted the edge of insta-love. Also, the villains were, well, rather weak. Like you mentioned in your review, they were a little by-the-numbers.

    In truth, I wished the novella had been a little longer. Perhaps that way it would have had fewer moments of having two characters narrate what had happened off-screen as it were. Despite my niggles with it, I liked it enough to take a look at what else this author has to offer. So, win/win situation, right? 😉

  • Nononono, I was so proud of myself for being good with my book budget and then you write this review and now I have to get this book – and some more by the author, I really liked the free ones I have read… :grumble2: And once I am off buying books I just know that a few more are going to end up on my ereader. But a snake shifter – how could I resist?? I just love shifter stories that are not only about wolves or big cats.

    • Hahaha sorry about that Andrea! If you’re on a budget, I can recommend her novels. They are longer and most definitely worth it. Start with the Lost Gods 😛

      • Hmm, that will have to wait until next month… sadly. I did get some of her free ones and a dragon one (dragons are even better than snakes! 😀 ) – and some more books by other authors… But I will definitely have to go and put the Lost Gods novels on my wishlist – in addition to the fairy tales…sigh, it keeps growing all the time. But I still love you guys! 😀

        • Yes, it does. Especially when you come across an author you like and start reading every book on their backlist.

          • Too true! But at least I won’t run out of books to read…and it is always so much fun to discover another really good author.

  • Larissa
    I will definitely read this one. I know how much you love this author. wow, someone who can make you love snakes. 😀

    Always love your reviews. 😆


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