Monday, August 6, 2018

Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley ~ Review

Together but unbound, they must learn what it means to love completely, in the latest novel from the New York Timesbestselling author of Wild Wolf.

To cement the leadership of his North Carolina Shiftertown, Bowman O’Donnell agreed to a “mating of convenience.” Two powerful wolf shifters, he and Kenzie keep the pack in order and are adored by all. Bowman would do anything to protect Kenzie, for in each other’s arms they’ve found far more than friendship. But as strong as their attachment is, they still haven’t formed the elusive mate bond—the almost magical joining of true mates.

Now with a monster ravaging the countryside and threatening the Shiftertown community, some in the pack fear that a pair without a true mate bond isn’t strong enough to lead. Bowman and Kenzie will have to rely on their instinctive trust in one another to save their Shifters—and the ensuing battle will either destroy them or give them the chance to seize the love they’ve always craved.

This is a different kind of book inside this series.  It's the only one I've read so far where the couple are already mated.  And I wasn't sure how I felt about that.  There was a problem with their relationship - lack of a mate bond.  They mated to settle the different wolf packs.  They had a cub.  And the lack of the true mate bond left them at risk as a couple.  If the other's true mate showed up, then things were done between them.  And I really wasn't sure how I felt about this.

Combined with a different issue with the couple is the facts that there's a strange monster on the loose and add to that two possible people are around that risk their relationship.  Yeah, I wasn't sure how I left all about this at all.  But that's not all.  Things fall apart right and left.  It's clear this shifter town, this couple are being put to the test. 

But here's the thing, Bowman needed this kind of story.  It's his story.  And he's just the kind of guy that needs this type of story.  Yeah, he's a uber alpha male who leads this pack.  And no one tells him what to do.  So he needs a story that's strong enough to get through his hard head to understand what he has all around him.  He protects.  He leads.  No one messes with him.  Which makes it all the more satisfying that his Mother Goddess and fate had their own ideas about how to get through to him.  Hehe.

As for Kenzie, I like her lots.  She's always loved Bowman from the first moment she saw him.  She's exactly what he needs as the mate of the leader.  She's strong and able to lead herself.  Their cub is a huge priority to her and she's sad that there's only been one cub.  

Both of these strong characters is fearful that the other will find a true mate bond with another and leave.  Tortured really because both of the love the other fiercely.  It's just that pesky mate bond that's missing.  It's also their own natures that's preventing it.  Joining two packs may have been the reason for their mating in the first place, but they need to drop their own barriers and become one leading couple to get what they really want.  It's incredible what it takes to make that happen with these two stubborn people.

I loved that this story came from a totally different approach than the rest of the series.  I loved seeing a new shifter town with new characters to love and hate.  Uncle Christian is a pain in everyone's back side though I'm sure this author could help me learn to love him.  I just enjoy all the strong characters all over the nation making the possibility of more books to come very real.

Again, I loved this one.  Love the series.  Love shifters.  If you are a shifter lover and haven't discovered this one, you need to.  Soon.


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