Jennifer (Schenni's Book Nook)'s Reviews > Primal Bonds

Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley
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Apr 18, 12

Read from April 17 to 18, 2012

“Primal Bonds” is the story of Sean, younger brother of Liam (the hero in book 1) and Andrea, a lupine Shifter new in town.
I loved Sean in “Pride Mates” and I adored him in “Primal Bonds”. I just have a soft spot for the strong and silent hero type. And while he personifies that he’s still extremely affectionate and playful when it comes to Andrea and his family. His position as Guardian, where he has to make sure that all dead or dying Shifters can cross to the afterlife, confronts him with the mortality of his loved ones on a regular basis. It gave him a vulnerable touch, while making him extraordinarily strong at the same time. His protectiveness is honed to its maximum limit, which might make him seem overbearing at first glance, but in the end is just attributed to his deep rooted wish to keep everyone around him safe.
This lead to quite some confrontations with Andrea, who, in the manner of all “strong” heroines, obviously had to prove her independence by disagreeing with Sean on principle. But since that made for some steamy love scenes I’m not complaining too much.
Andrea was an okay heroine. She didn’t impress me too much, but apart from her typical quest for independence, she kept her attitude and behavior relatively drama-free, which I’m really grateful for. But seriously, she’s mated to a Shifter, which equals A LOT of animalistic and deep rooted instincts to conquer and protect on his side, so what exactly does she expect?

Unlike in “Pride Mates” the mating (the bonding of two Shifters) in book 2 actually got enough time to develop with a natural pace, but at the same time Ashley shortened the whole getting-to-know-each-other process, by cutting out the scene when Sean and Andrea first met. By the time the book started Sean had already mate-claimed her, which is the preliminary stage of the actual mating and Andrea has already settled into the Austin Shiftertown. So I don’t know what problem Ashley has with a natural and measured build-up for her relationships in this series, but it’s getting kind of exhausting. It’s so much harder to get into the whole love story if she refuses to give us time to accommodate to all the stages or rather doesn’t even give us all the stages.

Then there were the action elements of this book. And I have to say to me they felt rather random, I felt pretty much completely detached from them, especially towards the end. Again there has been so much going on that I wasn’t even sure what I was supposed to watch out for: drive-by-shootings on Shifter establishments, rival clan leaders from other Shiftertowns and then… faeries. I’m sorry, but that was just a bit… ridiculous. Why couldn’t have Ashley picked up one of the issues from book 1 instead of creating a whole new set of problems. Things that were a huge issue in book 1 weren’t even mentioned in “Primal Bonds”, for example the feral Shifters. It just doesn’t feel right since this is a series.
And even though I enjoyed the romance part of the book, it was kind of hard for me to bond with the book in general. If there isn’t a solid story to support the romance, not even the best love story can fix it (and like I wrote before, the love part was far from perfect).

I was happy though to revisit Glory and Dylan, who had a secondary plot line in “Pride Mates”. But since their issue was very satisfyingly resolved in “Primal Bonds” and since I had quite some problems with both books, I guess I won’t go on with the “Shifter Unbound” series. I don’t regret reading it, but I’m just not interested enough.
I definitely prefer Jennifer Ashley’s historical romance books which have been a delicious treat!
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Reading Progress

04/18/2012 page 165
55.0% "At least for now it's much better than book 1 in the series. I hope it will go on like that!"

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