Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “He’s magical and a total shithead…”
Bowman O’ Donnell mated with Kenzie in order to retain leadership of the North Carolina shifter town. The combined strength of two alphas is unbreakable and they would do anything for the other as their relationship eventually grew from admiration to love. The only problem is the elusive mating bond has never emerged between them and this worries Kenzie more than she lets on.
When an unknown monster begins to hunt the pack, there are those who feel without the bond in place, Kenzie and Bowman won’t be able to keep them safe. Using their skills, strength, and trust in one another, Bowman and Kenzie strike out to save their pack and in doing so will either destroy what they have built together or finally allow them to see that love is the greatest bond of all.
I’m so glad to see Ashley write about an older couple in a long term relationship who are forced to deal with issues behind the mating bond. To often in PNR, the mystical mating bond occurs at first meeting and overrides everything else. You’re never ever sure if the couple is together because they actually like each other or because the bond forces that emotion on them.
Ashley builds her story on a couple who love one another and have built a life together despite the absence of something that essentially defines their world. For fifteen years, Bowman and Kenzie have lived and loved one another, along with their son Ryan. The bond is an inherent part of their life and the lack of it between them is like a minor toothache; not completely unbearable but always there, throbbing in the background. This rackets up the underlying tension that rides. Each fearing the other will meet their “real” soul mate and leave the marriage.
A solid well plotted storyline intertwines with the romance, using multiple subplots and an expansion of the world and subsequent arc to help strengthen what is already in play. Ashley uses some devious twists and turns, to force our protagonists to think beyond what they have been told has to be in order to hold on to what they have. And they what they have is pretty wonderful. The chemistry between Bowman and Kenzie is fiery and bold. Their love for one another is seen and felt in every scene they appear in; encouraged by sexy bold love scenes. I adore a couple whose affection is expressed in actions more than words. With each touch and glance, their bond is proven.
“Loved you from the first day I saw you. It doesn’t matter about the mate bond, or the Goddess, or any of that shit.”
The main conflict continues to address the long standing racism and antagonism that exists between the humans, shifters, and fae; drawing in and expanding the arc in fascinating directions. New enemies and allies emerge, each holding an important puzzle piece to completing the big picture while we see plenty of old faces and learn more about their roles in the storm that’s coming.
The ending is an intense, violent, action packed roller coaster ride of deception, betrayal, and reward as Bowman and Kenzie fight to protect their love and their family. Ashley continues to keep this series fresh and invigorating with new characters and story lines. I look forward to future installments. I recommend this series to all readers who love their heroes and heroines to be kick ass, sexy, funny, and always willing to cross the line for those they love.
Prior Jennifer Ashley reviews (historical and pnr)