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Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley
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4222725,093 (3.78)6
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I thought this was going to be awesome, but it wasn't. it had its moments, but the characters didn't have depth, the plot was simple and predictable. ( )
  msralways | Apr 20, 2017 |
Pride Mates
4 Stars

Scorned and feared, shifters are believed to be animals in human form and are kept on the fringes of society. Assigned to defend a shifter on murder charges, up and coming defense lawyer, Kim Fraser, is in over her head and seeks the help of shifter leader, Liam Morrissey. Liam’s charm and wit cannot conceal the undercurrents of power that characterize him and Kim will need his strength and protection both to unravel the mystery and for her very survival.

An interesting take on the Shapeshifter premise. This is the first book I’ve read in which the shifters’ animal traits overshadow their human ones and it is an intriguing perspective.

The conflicts and prejudices that characterize humans/shifter interaction and the social rules, hierarchies and norms of the shifter community are exceedingly detailed and add credence to the world established in the book. The manner in which Ashley presents the discrimination against the shifters and the problematic ethics of the collar is particularly thought provoking.

The characters are wonderful and the romance sizzles. Kim's honesty, courage and stubbornness make her particularly engaging and Liam can charm the pants off anyone. However, there are a few things that bothered me. First, Liam and Kim have an immediate attraction and there is very little development of their relationship before they are mated. Second, Kim does not seem to fully grasp the significance of events going on around her, and lastly, the constant physical contact between all of the characters, not only the primary couple, takes some getting used to.

The supporting characters are also appealing, especially Liam’s tortured brother, his emotionally distant father, and my personal favorite, his boisterous nephew, Connor. One character who did not live up to his initial characterization is the villain. While he is a nasty piece of work, he does not evoke anything more than mild distaste and never becomes the uber-villain that would contribute to the tension and suspense of the final confrontation.

The story is the weak point in the book. It would have been better if more effort has been put into the murder mystery and Kim’s investigation, especially since it turns out to be a pivotal aspect of the plot – I won’t say anymore so as not to ruin it.

Overall, this is an entertaining book and I look forward to reading the next installment. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
Really enjoyed it! I could hardly put it down. I love all the shifters. It think that Jennifer Ashley has created one of the most interesting shifter worlds that I have read. I'm excited for the next one. ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
Read for Fun (Library Book)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.00

First Thought when Finished: Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley was a fantastic introduction into a world I can't wait to delve into more. I am so glad that my library has these books. I am already starting book 2 and put a hold on the rest of the series. #LIBRARYSCORE

Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews ( )
  thehistorychic | Jan 8, 2015 |
"No Shifters Allowed!" - That's exactly what fascinated me in this book, this racist mentality both in law and society in general. Legally shifters aren't able to get high paid jobs or buy luxury items. Proprietors are allowed to ban shifters from their premises and racism against them is tolerated because they're "animals".

They're an oppressed people forced to wear collars that suppress their more aggressive animal personality traits and when they think about or are about to act out violence, are shocked by debilitating pain. Humans can hurt them but they can't defend themselves. It's disgusting. I abhor that kind of behaviour.

But then you read to the closing pages and you begin to understand why most shifters accepted the collars in the first place, after their existence was discovered 20 years ago. They were truly animals: killing cubs because they wanted to f*** their mother, murdering their rivals for food, territory or just because they felt threatened. Now, they're forced to live in communities (by law and for protection), their fertility rate has gone up (though their birth rate is still fairly low), they co-operate with one another and their race is no longer on the brink of extinction, after previously being hunted down "like the animals they are".

The cultural differences between the human and shifter communities are highlighted by Kim's and Liam's growing relationship. There was much they became confused over or misunderstood about each other's races. I enjoyed seeing those differences but the physical ones made me laugh. Kim asked Liam if he had a belly button, of course he had one but then Glory mentioned extra-large condoms... and then we found out why - 11 inches! OMFG!

Erm... What was I going to say next? Oh, yes... yes, Yes, YES!


I wasn't particularly fond of the main couple. Okay, I really like Liam. Physically speaking, yum! Personality, a very kind and charming man. It was Kim, I think. She was... I don't know, she wasn't a horrible person but I doubt we'd be good friends, more like acquaintances. I'm not sure about the chemistry between them, sometimes it was great and others, not so much.

The secondary characters were brilliant. Connor is sooooo cute! I just wanted to reassure him by squeezing the air out of his lungs with plenty of hugs and protect him from anyone who wanted to cause him harm, though I wasn't sure if I wanted to mother him or.... you know. ;)

Glory - major Buffy flashback. They may not be the same person but they both shove their sexuality in people's faces and say whatever comes to mind, no matter who it hurts. And that's where their similarities end, despite my worry that she'd become the predictable villain, betraying her neighbours, alpha & lover. I never believed Glory hurt people just to hurt them, she didn't "glory" in it. It felt more like a defence to keep everyone except Dylan at arm's length.

Liam's father, Dylan, that poor man. He'd lost his mate, his son, and his daughter-in-law. He was about to lose his alpha position in his community, was guilt-ridden over his affair with Glory and the way he treated her, and he was constantly goaded and humiliated by Fergas, the top Alpha, and was being pressured into challenging him to ensure the safety of his community. He had a big secret and it was so sad when it was revealed. Liam was crushed but he handled it with grace and respect. Thankfully, their father-son relationship managed to survive.

So to sum up: great world-building and secondary characters. Clichéd writing, in places, got in the way of my enjoyment. The plot was interesting and tied into the world building and character development perfectly. I was completely surprised by the big reveal. Liam was one tough cookie to overcome his instincts and return to his former life.

I will definitely be reading the the sequel [b:Primal Bonds|8112340|Primal Bonds (Shifters Unbound, #2)|Jennifer Ashley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1282180001s/8112340.jpg|12907462] for the stoically quiet and tortured story of Sean (Liam's brother) although I'm not a fan of the fae but his woman's only half-fae, hopefully that'll make a difference. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
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Book description
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 beautiful attorney Kim Fraser enters Shiftertown alone in order to prove her client's innocence, Liam's alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.

“Mysterious, heartfelt, sensitive and sensual...two big thumbs up.” —Barbara Vey, Publishers Weekly on The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

“This sizzling new supernatural series begins with a bang. Ashley does a stellar job setting up the paranormal premise and delivering a blazing-hot love story.” —Romantic Times BookReviews on Immortals:The Calling

“Romance at its best.” —Romance Reviews Today

“Jennifer Ashley continues to deliver those to-die-for heroes while weaving a tale that you can’t put down.” —The Best Reviews
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When Kim Fraser enters the lair of shifter Liam Morrissey to get answers for a client accused of murder, she is unable to resist her attraction to him, and discovers he is the only one who can save her from a feral shifter stalking her.

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