Series: Shifters Unbound #1
Published by Berkley on April 26, 2010
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 8 hours 17 minutes
So I already knew I liked Jennifer Ashley, but I was shocked to discover that I liked her PNR even more than her HR. Turns out, she’s got a talent for coming up with a unique fantasy world with vibrant characters – I’m not sure what I liked more in Pride Mates because both were fantastic.
Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain.
Like most Shifters, Liam Morrissey has learned that trusting humans leads to no good. But when a beautiful attorney enters Shiftertown alone, Liam's alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.
Tasked with defending a Shifter accused of murder, attorney Kim Fraser is completely out of her depth in the mysterious world of Shifters. To prove her client's innocence, Kim will need the help of someone on the inside, even though relying on Liam goes against everything society says about Shifters.
And when an un-Collared Shifter threatens both Kim and Liam, the young attorney will have to learn to trust her unlikely protector and face the passion she feels for a man who can't be tamed.
I think Pride Mates is the first PNR I’ve read where the supernatural characters – in this case, shifters – are voluntarily “submissive” to humans to save themselves from dying out. I just loved the story of how they came to be (boy would I like to read that origin story – which would be an awesome Fae series!) and the ways that Jennifer Ashley pulled on real wild animals to define the interactions between shifters. Their struggles for survival were very much a result of their animal instincts, which I loved. Yes – they’re more powerful and have better senses and naturally longer lives than humans. But its come at quite a cost. She also pulled on some of the things you see in prides and packs that is endearing too, which was weird at first, but became awesome.
And then there’s the characters. I loved Kim – she’s all human but don’t let that make you think she’s weak. She says things when she should he afraid and keep her mouth shut, but her fear and stubborn passion for what’s right won’t let her cower. And Liam is just to great. And not just because he’s sexy, but he somehow manages to be both alpha and respect Kim’s strength and own alpha-like behavior.
And that just skims the surface, not even mentioning the mystery (which was compelling and not easy to solve) and the complexities of human-shifter relations. Or the sex 😉 There were a couple of things about Kim’s job that kind of seemed unbelievable and made my eyes roll, not big things but coupled with the tolerable semi-instalove (it makes sense and isn’t pain free, so it worked for the most part) it’s enough to knock this down to a 4 star read, which is still pretty great.
I’ll definitely be continuing with this series as soon as possible!