Sunday, January 20, 2013

Novel Review: Pride Mates (Shifters Unbound, #1) by Jennifer Ashley

Genre: Adult Paranormal/Supernatural Romance (with Smut)
Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Book)
Spoilers?: No/Very Minor

Goodreads Synopsis:

To most, they are animals even when in human form. They are to be collared and kept on the fringes of society, scorned because they are feared, hated for their extraordinary powers. And attorney Kim Fraser has to go right into the heart of their lair.
It is her job to defend those in need. But there is absolutely nothing defenseless about Liam Morrissey. His soft Irish lilt and feline grace can t disguise his sheer strength. Nor can the silver chain at his throat, designed to control the aggression of his kind, completely reassure her that this man has been tamed.
Yet when a feral shifter begins to stalk them both, Liam is the only one she trusts with her life. She'll let him claim her for her protection, for her pride, and for a passion that knows no bounds.

Available on Amazon.


I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. This was my first Jennifer Ashley novel, and it’s really just luck that I ended up getting the first book in this series, but I definitely plan on reading more.
In the world of Pride Mates, shifters have been made public, have been given collars to control their violent urges, and are treated as severe outcasts, given little areas where they can live and certain jobs they are allowed to have. Pretty much, it’s ridiculous, and I did not like it. That’s probably my least favorite part of the book, because it just angers me so much. Aside from that, though, I rather enjoyed this book.
It’s about Kim, a lawyer working for a shifter, trying to prove that he didn’t kill his girlfriend. Trying to find some sort of proof, she goes to Liam, the son of the head of the pride, who everyone goes to when they need help. And then, you know, things get messy and romantic from there.
I didn’t feel too strongly about Kim, in general, but I did like some of the things she did. She tried standing up for herself to Liam and his family (his brother, nephew, and dad, all of whom live together), but overall tended to let him win. Liam didn’t really let her push him around, let her take charge, but he did let her go out on her own, make her think that she was on her own when he was really right behind her. In a way, that’s not very good, but in another way, it’s kind of sweet. My biggest problem with their relationship, I guess, is how she didn’t push hard enough for what she wanted, for what she thought was right.
There was a scene near the end where she was being kind of dumb, goading him to see if he really wanted to run off (you'll understand if you read it), and then near the end when he pushed her away, right when she’d gotten used to being with him and had accepted it, she just let him and left. At the end she came back, but I don’t really like that she let him push her away, that she just took it when he pushed her around. There’s also the fact that she let the whole binding together thing happen, which overall was a good thing, but she did it without really knowing or questioning what it meant.
Now, saying that, I did like the romance. I liked the two of them together, and the smut was very nice. I liked their relationship, and am happy with the ending. And I did really like Liam, despite what I mentioned above. He was sweet and charming.
I also really liked his family. His dad was alright, and I found his relationship with Glory to be very interesting, and kind of wanted to know more about it. I know that Sean, Liam’s brother, has his own book (the next one in the series), and I plan on reading that soon, and am looking forward to finding out more about him. Then there’s Connor, the nephew, who I totally love. He’s adorable and sweet and funny and I want more of him. I want Ashley to write him his own book, but I don’t think there is one. There needs to be.
This book was a bit of a surprise, in the world created and the characters and even some of the plot, really easy to read, and I generally just really liked it, even with its faults. I’m looking forward to reading more.

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