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This review is from: Pride Mates (Shifters Unbound) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm not really sure what to say about Pride Mates...It wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't great... I had great expectations for Jennifer Ashley's contemporary stories after I read the MacKenzie family series. But somehow, Pride Mates lacked that little extra that connected the characters, the plot and the flow of the story. At some point I just though 'plot what plot?'. Most of the pages consisted of how hot Liam was, how muscled he was or how sassy Kim was. It made me sigh in exasperation. Even when Kim was in a really scary situation or in a highly dangerous one, she always found time to admire Liam's body before going back to being scared or hysterical.
I feel there's a pretty big difference between Pride Mates and Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series - even though both is about finding ones mate and conflict between races, the Singh's series kinda lifted its gaze above the mating/sex stuff and also had a damn good development in overall plot throughout the books, in addition to a great character cast. The heroes in Psy/Changeling were all different and so was their mates. In this Shifter Unbound series Sean is just another Ronan who's just another Liam and so forth. Same with the heroines. And it was several places it was mentioned how sassy Kim was or Elisabeth (Bodyguard) was - I don't want to be told, I want to read!
Lastly, I just want to express my surprise in how the quality of the writing and the story is so different from the MacKenzie series...it's almost like there was two different authors...In the MacKenzie series I felt the characters connecting beyond the physical. In the Shifter Unbound series they never really fell in love, not in a way that made me really feel it, even though they announce it all over the place how much they care about their mate. The backstory of the Shifter's is also somehow half-done, almost like Ashley just put it in there so that the characters had something to talk about...