Review: Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley

Posted April 7, 2015 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews, Werewolves / 19 Comments

Review: Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley
Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #7
Published by Berkley
Published on: April 7, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Together but unbound, they must learn what it means to love completely, in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling 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.

Howling Good Tear Jerker 2015 Favorite

Bowman & Kenzie’s relationship is near impossible to put into words; they got married to unite Shiftertown, but never formed a metaphysical connection even after fifteen years together, and a cub. The romance had a forbidden fruit / dead spark feel to it, however not because they can’t keep their hands off of each other, and live in constant fear of forming a link with someone else. Needless to say, it’s complicated, and that’s what made their story so gut-wrenchingly emotional. And, I haven’t even touched on the plot, action, or secondary characters yet! Yes lovelies, MATE BOND is in the running for my top werewolf read of 2015.

This was only my second encounter with Jennifer Ashley’s writing, and I was reminded once again why I NEED to one-click the rest of her SHIFTERS UNBOUND series ASAP. The world-building is top shelf, there’s an assortment of weres to fan-girl over—I’m partial to the wolves—and the dynamics between pack members, couples, and outsiders are exceptional. The author smoothly fuses humour, romance, and adrenaline while also going above and beyond in areas such as pop culture references, and mythology. I enjoyed the Guardian tidbits, and the DRESDEN FILES & IRON DRUID CHRONICLES hollas were just straight-up fun.

The protagonists are going to tie you up in knots with their crisis-of-the-heart, so brace yourselves for waterworks! Shifters place the mate bond above all things, and because Bowman & Kenzie have yet to form one, it’s expected that they call it quits if ever they find it with another. Both of them are tested in this book, and I was furiously cursing Ashley at certain points while mentally preparing myself for an ugly cry free-for-all. I loved the two leads, and how the author drove me into becoming wholeheartedly invested in the final outcome.

I liked how far reaching the story was from Ryan’s challenges as the son of an alpha, to Cristian’s problems with no longer being head honcho, and Gil Ramirez’s battle to find happiness. The villain’s depravity knew no bounds, just when I thought that his deviousness had reached its max, he pushed the envelope even further, and the last blow was godawful. Every minor thread was as all-consuming as the central plot was which made this novel seem as though it was superglued to my hands because I couldn’t pry it from my fingers.

MATE BOND was ahh-wooooooo-some!

Shifters Unbound

My Review

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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19 responses to “Review: Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley

  1. I read Pride Mates when it first released and LOVED it. But as happens sometimes, I went onto other series while waiting for the next book and for whatever reason never went back. I’m thinking this must be rectified. When an author can evoke such strong emotion, as she seems to have done for you in Mate Bond, I know it’s something I want to read. I’m glad it was such an awesome read, Carmel!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Tuesday Teaser ~ #63

  2. This sounds brutal in the best possible way Carmel! My heart hurts for the two of them already and I really, REALLY want to know why they haven’t formed a bond in all their years together. And what a stressful way to go through life – wondering if the next day is the one where you’re partner will find the one they’ll actually bond with. *shudders* Must read this!

  3. What a fabulous review! It makes me want to read this one so bad. I’m on the waiting list at my library, but I’ve got quite a few ppl before me. Oh well, I’m not yet ready to cry my eyes out yet. I hope you do get around to reading the rest of this series. It is interesting to see how Ashley develops the world, other shifter towns, and shifters.
    Angela recently posted…Fury of Obsession (Dragonfury #5) by Coreene Callahan {Tour} ~ Excerpt/Giveaway

  4. I’ve been a fan of this series since reading the first book. I pre-ordered this book back in September! lol I should have it in my hands in a day and I can’t wait. I wanted the print book because I already have all the others on my shelf and it just wouldn’t be right not to have this one too.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Alternatives to Animal Testing

  5. You got me at 2015 fave! I have!’t read any good PNRs and the plot of this one sounds so original. I’ve never heard of an arranged mating before! This is 7th in the series though, and I’m guessing this isn’t a standalone? I’ll check the first book 🙂 awesome review Carmel!
    Amir recently posted…Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

  6. Oh it’s great that it’s still so good after many books like that. I have the first one in French buT I still need to read it. I’m a little late lol. Great review!

  7. This is one of those series I always meant to pick up, but didn’t, and in the meantime, the series has grown to the point where I find the sheer volume intimidating. I love the review, though. I’ve heard other people praising Jennifer Ashley’s writing too… I’m obviously missing out here.
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