My rating: 5 of 5 flames
I got this as an ARC from Jennifer Ashley (who fully rocks!)
In the world Jennifer Ashley built in Pride Mates, I went through so many emotions. I loved the characters, and I was pissed at our government for not allowing the Shifters the same rights and freedoms we humans have. In Primal Bonds, those feelings intensified. I went through several moments where I was furious that the Shifters couldn’t have cel phones, or cable, or computers, let alone the freedoms we enjoy.
But that is one of the best reasons to love this book. The segregation of Shifters being shoved into Shiftertowns, the separate drinking fountains, the “we don’t serve your kind” comments, this book is so much more than a paranormal romance.
Sean Morrissey is the Guardian. He wields the sword that sends Shifter souls to the Summerlands. And it’s a lonely job. When a half fae/half lupine shifter needs out of her Shiftertown, the only way is for some male to mate-claim her so no other males can sniff around her. Sean is tired of being lonely. Sean feels that while he may never lack for a bed partner, he has yet to find a woman who wants more than a fun romp. Mate claiming Andrea Gray was the best thing Sean could have ever done.
Andrea has spent her whole life being told she is nothing. Her mother died young, and her step-father loves her to pieces, but he’s not very high in his pack, so he doesn’t have any say. The Alpha’s son Jared is constantly berating Andrea, and smacking her around for any reason he can find. His favorite is that she looks him in the eye. He’s an Alpha, she’s at the bottom of the pack; she should look down. But Andrea is no submissive wolf. When Jared starts stalking her and leaving her little dead presents, she finally tries her best to leave. She has soo much red tape to cut through to get out, since we humans feel the need to take away as much as possible. She can’t even drive or fly, she has to ride a bus from Colorado to Texas. But having Sean mate-claim her might get her out of her Shiftertown, but it doesn’t mean Jared will let her go.
Another thing I loved about this book, is that Sean and Andrea did have tension, and hot sizzling sexual chemistry, but they liked each other. I enjoyed watching them learn to love each other. So often it is “You my mate. We have mate heat. We have The Sex now.” This had so much more than just that.
The trials faced were more than just dealing with their budding relationship, an obsessive ex, and the government keeping Shifters down. There were also the Fae. Yep, remember, Andrea’s father is fae. But wait, there’s more! We also have Shifters mixing things up and humans doing drive-by’s. And the Collars. I won’t say anything else about them, but remember in Pride Mates, they tried to take them off…I’m just sayin’.
And yet, with all of this going on, I was never confused. Jennifer Ashley writes such a smooth and seamless story that anyone will enjoy. And with this book, it’s so easy to forget what’s going on in real life (like little kids who might need dinner…ahem, or so I’ve heard, because I would never forget to feed my kids).
The Shifters Unbound series is on my auto-buy list, and it’s a shame I have to wait til next year to get the next installment.