Book: Pride Mates
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Rating: 4.5 stars
In Ashley’s world, shifters do not live side by side harmoniously with humans. To humans, shifters are little more than animals and not much is known about them. In fact they are sequestered in “shiftertowns” on the fringes of society. They cannot own businesses, share the same restaurants as humans, or have cable. The government has done their utmost to ensure that shifters can’t have access to technology. And the worst of all, they are collared. The silver collars, magically enhanced by the Fae, are required.
When a human woman is found murdered, local police and government are quick to point the finger at shifters and its up to attorney Kim Fraser to prove that they are wrong. But more than that, she believes in the innocence of the accused. And in order to defend him appropriately she must embed herself in his shiftertown, to fact-find, provide an alibi, or a motive of another in order to exonerate him. She’s not going to be able to do this on her own and that’s where dishy Liam Morrissey enters the picture.
Liam Morrissey is devilishly likeable as a hero. Part Irish cavalier, part lethal shifter, and with his father as Master of Shiftertown, he enjoys a lot of power. But it doesn’t go to his head. Ashley has painted him as grounded, a family man, and caring of his community. Kim Fraser is steely, facing situations head on and analytically. The combination of her strong inquisitiveness butting heads with Liam’s leashed lethalness is sexy and mesmerizing. Especially when the trail of the killer leads all the way up the food chain to the clan leader of the Felines of South Texas. Liam must make a desperate choice to keep Kim safe. Ashley does very, very, well building up the relationship between Kim and Liam. It is believable, anticipatory, and yes smoldering.
The most significant thing about Pride Mates is that the romance and paranormal aspects are carefully balanced…one does not take away from the other. Ashley has made them work together very well. This is why I enjoyed it so much because it was so skillfully balanced. I adore thrilling and exciting reads, as well as smoking hot romance, and Jennifer Ashley has given it all to us in one sizzling read. I am so looking forward to reading the next in the series. Will Liam’s shifters be able to cast off their bonds? That could be in the future…
A Fiendishly Bookish Review