Reviewed by: Jill
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Kim Fraser is terrified, but she’ll be damned if it shows. She’s knowingly walking into a Shifter bar, not because she’s one of those humans who’s enamored with the Shifters; no, she’s walking into that particular bar due to desperation.
Kim is the junior partner at her law firm, and has been given the case that will make or break her career. A Shifter has been arrested for the murder of his human girlfriend. The humans are convinced of his guilt, and want to see all the Shifters punished for this crime, but Kim is sure that he’s innocent. She’s determined to find the truth, but is blocked by the prosecution at every turn.
Liam Morrisey, the Shifter bar manager, is the second-in-command of the Shiftertown near Austin, and takes his position very seriously. His top priority is the safety of his people, and to keep the secrets of the Shifters away from the hate-filled humans. Too bad Liam can’t seem to get that spunky, determined lawyer out of his head. He starts to betray his leaders, and break the Shifter’s rules just to keep this woman near him, and when her safety is compromised, he finds the perfect reason to appoint himself her personal bodyguard. Tensions reached boiling point and things are about to explode around Liam and Kim.
When Liam takes Kim to Shiftertown to keep her safe, we learn a lot more about the Shifters, their community, and their way of life. They are forced to wear Collars that magically paralyze them whenever they attempt to become violent, even if they are protecting themselves. The world was interesting, but seemed to lack in a sense of “epicness.” It felt like the focus was really narrow, but it has potential for the later books to open into a nation-wide struggle for all Shifters.
Liam and Kim are a very typical romance-book couple. He’s strong, powerful, dangerous, and sexy, and she’s stubborn, opinionated, and lonely. The chemistry was definitely there, but the connection lacked a bit. Instead of feeling like love, it just felt like strong lust. I really liked the Morrisey family and I’m interested to see what future books hold for them.
There was a good balance of mystery and romance in Pride Mates. The fact that Kim was a lawyer, and taking an active role in the ‘detective work’ around the case seemed strange to me, but it worked for the novel progression. While the writing in Pride Mates was decent, the problems raised seemed very narrow, focusing on just a few characters, and giving a sense that the situations aren’t truly dire. Also, the characters would respond strangely to a situation to allow the author a chance to introduce an idea, or new point, leading to some awkward dialogue.
Overall, however, Pride Mates is a fun read, and the romance is spicy and sweet, but not very attention grabbing. The book seems to be setting up for the next in the series to be about the brother, Sean Morrisey. His status as ‘The Guardian’ seems like an interesting secret that I would like to know, so I might be grabbing the next book.
Sexual content: Sex