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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.

320 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 7, 2015

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About the author

Jennifer Ashley

214 books7,011 followers
NY Times Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley writes historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance, historical mysteries, and urban fantasy as Jennifer Ashley, Allyson James, and Ashley Gardner.

Jennifer's novels have been translated into many different languages, and earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly. More about her books at http://www.jenniferashley.com and http://gardnermysteries.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Ashley.
Author 214 books7,011 followers
March 17, 2015
Mate Bond is the story of Bowman, of the North Carolina Shiftertown, and his mate, Kenzie. Bowman and Kenzie have a "mating of convenience," coming together to keep the Shifters in the rural town from battling each other. They have a cub (Ryan), who knows he'll be Shiftertown leader next. Kenzie and Bowman smoke up the pages, but the one thing they haven't found is the mate bond (the magical twining of hearts). They won't give up on each other, though, and have each other's backs, while they fight Shifter enemies and seek the final bond that eludes them.

Bowman was introduced (briefly) in Tiger Magic, during the meeting of Shifter leaders that Liam attends. He returned in Wild Wolf in another Shifter leader meeting. You will see Shifters from the other towns! The saga ain't over yet.
Profile Image for Carmel (Rabid Reads).
706 reviews380 followers
April 2, 2015
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads.

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!
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,518 followers
August 22, 2016
The book where the shifters from North Caroline are introduced. Different surroundings this time in comparison to Austin and Las Vegas. More trees, forests and wild nature for the wolves especially to run free.
There is also the story of Bowman (the shifter town leader) and his mate Kenzie. A bittersweet love story, I have to say, but very passionate!
So we are visiting another shifter town. The shifters and their groupies are having fun at the local bar and a suddenly a weird violent mythical creature with mismatched features attacks them. The story is full of mysteries from the start:
-What is this thing that is attacking shifters. Has somebody created it or was it born.
-Who is this pseudo groupie appearing at the bar behaving strangely and who is the veterinarian real groupie who helps.
-Who is the cop that Kenzie trusts straight away for no particular reason and makes Bowman crazy with jealousy. And more importantly
-Why two people who are mated, obviously in love, feel content and are perfect for each other, do NOT SHARE a mating bond.
Bowman and Kenzie are both scared that any time, one of them will form a bond with a different shifter and they will have to be separated. Bowman admits that this fear tears him upside down, messes with him until he can't sleep or think or feel.
I loved this addition to the series. Though there is this love story that dominates the book, the book has also adventures and mysteries. A few additional very interesting characters are playing a vital role and are helping to save the shifters. We also learn that besides the Faery and the Summerland, our world has also misty pockets which held a piece of the world beyond.
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews415 followers
May 1, 2015
This romance is gritty, bittersweet, and lovely in the end. The hero and heroine are both strong and very much themselves. They love and respect each other and are wonderful partners and parents.

The mystery and side characters are engaging. The sexy times are passioniate, a bit feral, and real.

I stopped reading this book on and off and will confess to skipping around a bit because the conflict was too much of an ache times. I read the book out of order-- opening, closing, and middle, and closing again.

This book stays away from a five star read for me because the villian when he is revealed becomes cartoonish, the other mystery person becomes sequel bait and I want to know more know than what I am given here or missed in a previous book and mainly I didn't really buy or understand how the conflict of the lack of mate bond was resolved. I just didn't feel enough time explaining what was the problem (trying not to spoil) and what resolved it was in the there to redeem all the hurt.

None the less, it is a good book and great addition to the series.
Profile Image for Tori.
2,825 reviews478 followers
April 8, 2015
Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2015/04/review-...

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.

Profile Image for Sheila Melo.
1,797 reviews46 followers
September 8, 2016
"We're good together," he said in a soft voice. "You and me."

THE STORY: Bowman and Kenzie O'Donnell are mates without that mystical mate bond that binds shifters together forever with their mate. Bowman and Kenzie married in order to help bring the divisive parts of their pack together. The two wolf shifters expected that their attraction and care for one another would result in the mating bond eventually developing. Fifteen years and one cub later, Bowman and Kenzie have a great relationship but still no mating bond. The lack of that bond is keenly felt by Bowman and Kenzie who live in some fear that eventually one of them will develop the mating bond with someone else ending their relationship. There is also danger because there are some creatures who endanger the shifters who seem shifter-like but are mindless monsters and Bowman and Kenzie work together to discover what is happening.

OPINION: This book is unexpected in many ways. Unlike most novels there isn't a boy meets girl and then fall in love scenario. The hero and heroine are long since married in this book (although readers get a glimpse at their courtship). Neither is it a book where the marriage is troubled. Bowman and Kenzie really do love one another. They have a good marriage and are happy with their son. There is nothing wrong with their life except that they are not sure that they will be together forever because of the lack of the mate bond.

This is one of the most wonderful married romance novels. The drama in the relationship comes because they already know that they are right for one another and really want to have that mystical connection that will bind them forever. The characters are smart, act rationally, don't get in stupid arguments or fail to talk to one another. They are mature and responsible.

Kenzie is a great mate for her position. She is smart and strong and a partner to her mate. She is not a damsel in distress. At the same time, she is vulnerable and caring. The character feels vibrant and well-rounded and complex. She feels pain from the lack of a mate bond, but she is not desperate or grasping. When she is jealous or afraid, she acknowledges her emotions and deals with them.

Bowman is just a wonderful hero. A dominate alpha male, he is not a jerk. He is a wonderful father and husband. He is not afraid to show how much Kenzie and their son mean to him. A definite strong adult man.

I loved Kenzie and Bowman both and their son is adorable. This is a book that definitely about grown ups with grown up problems and feelings. The drama comes from the fact that these two love each other so much that they don't want to be torn apart but fear they might be.

I just felt good reading every page of this book and it felt so different from most books in the genre and even the series -- and in a good way.

The external drama story regarding the mysterious monster was interesting and created drama that was resolved in a reasonable fashion.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book takes place primarily in a new Shiftertown from what readers have known before although there are some mentions and cameos from old favorites.

FINAL DECISION: I absolutely loved this book. Kenzie and Bowman love each other from the beginning and have built a wonderful life together as partners. This book is about them discovering that themselves and realizing how much they mean to one another.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MATE BOND is the seventh book in the Shifters Unbound series. While there are references to other characters and the overarching story of the book, this book introduces readers to a new Shiftertown and so can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this one 5 stars.

NOTE: I received and ARC of this book as a prize in a contest from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews818 followers
April 7, 2015

In Jennifer Ashley’s seventh book in the Shifters Unbound series, she starts things off with a bang. A major threat is terrorizing Shiftertown and it’s big enough that it’s taken Bowman O’Donnell down. In his wake Kenzie steps up but as strong as she is, the people are wondering if they will be able to stand against such a major threat without a mate bond in place.

Though Bowman and Kenzie show affection and friendship, the fact that their mate bond isn’t steady becomes a major issue in the book. However for me, in the first few pages I didn’t think it would be such a major obstacle. They’re chemistry is very much evident when Kenzie steps in when a shifter groupie tries to move in to her man.

Bowman and Kenzie are fabulous together. Both have this stronger alpha element to them, but I think they work even better as a team. There’s this almost motherly and fatherly quality to them, but I also think that has to do with the fact that both have kids of their own as well. As a result, you definitely get the familial element in these books because of the pack.

As all the actions occurs, there’s this almost subtle thread that lines each scene. Now I know that might some strange but the only other series that I can compare this to is Patricia Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series. It’s quieter, less dramatic? But not in the way that it’s boring if that makes sense. The action is more controlled; there’s purpose and I enjoyed reading about the dynamics of the pack.

So if you’re a fan of Patricia Brigg’s Alpha & Omega series, do yourself a favor and pick up MATE BOND. You won’t be disappointed.

*ARC provided by publisher
Profile Image for SheLove2Read.
2,852 reviews181 followers
April 13, 2015
This was great. I can't really review it without giving away the plot, but I have to say Ashley really ramped up the emotions in this one. A+
Profile Image for Laurynne Gouws.
336 reviews101 followers
January 30, 2015

This is the first Jennifer Ashley book I've ever read and to add to that, I've sort of come in through the backdoor - only having read this one, the 7th installment in this series. I was so relieved to discover that it didn't matter that I hadn't read the prequels... I found it easy to get into and I loved both Kenzie and Bowman - I really had an awesome time reading this!

My full review will be posted closer to the release date of this book which is April 7th, 2015 - and until then, I'm off to read the previous books in the Shifters Unbound Series :)
Profile Image for Ami.
5,864 reviews496 followers
April 8, 2015
Bowman and Kenzie, are leader mates of the North Carolina Shiftertown. For fifteen years, they have shared a home and a child. They are mates in every way except for the lack of mate bond, the illusory magical connection that ensures two Shifters are partnered for life; it is the bonding of the heart more than just physical and emotional side of love.

The absence of the mate bond, in addition to Bowman and Kenzie being an established couple with a twelve-year old cub, makes Mate Bond – the seventh novel in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound – different than the previous books. There is no instant-attraction and the fast-paced process of mating. In its place, there is heartfelt desire, that most of the times feel solemn, from both Bowman and Kenzie, that anguish of not being blessed with mate bond, even if they have been mated for more than a decade. Because there is still possibility that one of them will find a mate bond with others – if it happens, they have to let the other go. I found that very compelling. I loved reading about them, and their cub, Ryan, was so adorable. It is clear that Bowman and Kenzie love one another so much – the idea that they might have to be separated just breaks my heart as a reader, and of course drives the romance tension in the book.

As for the action element of the book, it comes from a mysterious monster that comes out of nowhere and is destroying the area. The investigation into where the monster is coming from, and the reveal of the bad villain behind it, brings readers to a very satisfying climax. As a reader who has followed this series since book 1, I thought that Ms. Ashley built an interesting expansion of the Fae myth to the series. In the beginning, the Fae connection is mainly that they are the maker of Shifters, but for the past couple of books (and novellas), there seems to be a more complicated threat from Fae towards the Shifters, in addition to the danger from humans, of course.

The later development sure keeps me intrigued, especially since Ms. Ashley also introduces newer appealing characters – like the enigmatic Gil Ramirez, Kenzie’s Romanian wolf uncle, Cristian, a fae woman Brigid, along with other pack members. So many possibilities of new couples!

A Guest Review for The Blogger Girls

The ARC is provided by the publisher for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.7k reviews447 followers
April 23, 2015
When this one started out I was a bit lost, I had a hard time figuring out who Bowman and Kenzie were, how they were connected to the shifters I was used to. Finally there was a throw away comment about how he went to the last couple of alpha meetings and I sort of remembered. Wish I had realized going in that this book was with a whole new shifter clan.

With how this book opened up I found myself not liking Bowman, thought that Kenzie would have done better for a mate than one that seemed to settle for her to calm the clans. However, as I read I changed my mind, got really pissed on their behalf. That the goddess could/would allow them the mate, yet not allow them the precious mate bond. It seemed so unfair as they truly loved each other and wanted only each other. They had a great understanding of their mate and allowed their strengths to prop them up.

You could see how well the couple worked together as they fought the monster and searched for what/who was behind it. They were tenacious, not letting things go when they seemed right. Turned out that was a good thing.

It was interesting the way that things shook out with the monster. It was fairly obvious who was behind things and the reason. But I was a bit stunned with the last experiment, the choice that Bowman had to make was a choice no one should have to. I was very happy that Bowman found a way around things by working with those he loved.

The very last surprise that Kenzie and Bowman got was great, loved that it gave all of Shiftertown a reason to celebrate!
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,308 reviews161 followers
August 12, 2022
Mate Bond
3 Stars

While the book is enjoyable overall, it seems that Jennifer Ashley has lost the focus of her series. Too many shifts in location and inclusion of new and unrelated characters, which appears to be the direction of the future installments as well, have made it difficult to retain interest.

In terms of this specific installment, Bowman and Kenzie's romance is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. On the one hand, they have incredible chemistry and their obvious love for one another and for their cub is palpable. On the other hand, the lack of the mate-bond has resulted in an inability to communicate with one another. It is difficult to accept that a couple that has been together for 15 years and shares a child has never had a proper conversation about their future or love for each other.

The suspense plot involving the beast attacking the Shiftertown and the machinations of the individual responsible is convoluted and disjointed. There are simply too many unconnected threads and points at play to form a cohesive picture of events.

In sum, despite the promising romance and interesting world, the loss of focus has me seriously considering discontinuing this series.
Profile Image for Mara.
2,485 reviews248 followers
July 16, 2015
3 1/2

A great pnr, with a very refreshing couple, a married one. I was going to give a four star rating until the end. I'm more than a bit picky on details, and I'm all ready to believe in magic, but a mustache twirling villain sours my mood. Above all when s/he's set in a world where no one realizes what s/he is doing. Sometime I wonder how author fail to realize that a flat villain weakens the good guys too..
But this is a personal nit. Otherwise I'd recommend this book to all PNR fans out there.
Profile Image for Carolyn F..
3,423 reviews51 followers
August 27, 2015
This book was pretty but the mate but not really thing bothered me. Especially when it was written how Bowman would sometimes get abruptly up after sex and be gone for days and how Kenzie understood. Um, I don't understand and I would have been totally pissed off. 3-1/2 stars
Profile Image for Stephanie  G.
1,122 reviews302 followers
April 9, 2015
Fifteen years ago, Bowman and Kenzie agreed to mate in order to bring their North Carolina Shiftertown under control. Since then, they've had a strong, healthy son and their love and commitment to one another hasn't changed, but they have yet to form the mate bond. It's a bond that unites them on the most intimate level and some in their pack see this as a weakness. What others think of their personal matters is the least of their worries when a monster is released near their home. Bowman and Kenzie need to find who created the heinous creature and stop them before they release another.

Mate Bond is different from previous books in this series in that the hero and heroine are already mated. Bowman and Kenzie are a lot alike and make sense on every level. They're dominating, confident, devoted to their people, and open with their love to each other and their son. Not sharing the mate bond puts doubt in their mind and fear in their hearts that one day the other will form the bond with another. Bowman and Kenzie are great characters and add their own flavor to the Shifters Unbound mix but I've gone back and forth on how I feel about the romance. If it’s never mentioned they don't share the mate bound, I wouldn't know because their chemistry is palpable and they sizzle just being in the same room. Them not having the bond makes no sense and every time it's mentioned it takes me away from enjoying what they do share and makes me wonder again and again 'what's the point?’
There's a creature on the loose near their Shiftertown but the real monster is the one who created and unleashed it. The search leads to new places and introduces new characters, such as the Shiftertown's guardian and Bowman's trackers. They're wisecracking, loyal males with strong personalities and the one that stood out the most is Kenzie's uncle Cristian. It's well known he wasn't happy that Bowman was placed in charge and is vocal about wanting the position even now. One might think that since I like Bowman, I wouldn't like Cristian but I found him to be a great addition. He's mad about losing the title of leader yet helps in the investigation, more so than anyone else and his knowledge of the human world and openness to learn about it sets him apart. He's a little bit of a hero and a little bit of villain and the attention he gives to an unexpected person towards the end leaves me hoping he'll get at least his own novella.
My rating comes down to the romance because it is so central to this series and the mate bond is at the heart of that. Bowman and Kenzie appearing to not have that bond and the characters thrown in to stir that particular pot make this book feel different than previous ones and not in a good way. There have been seven books and just as many novellas so I see the need to want something different but for me, this wasn't the way to go. I didn't have the urge to put the book down because I did find other things to enjoy, like their sweet and surprisingly mature son Ryan and Cristian, and I will continue on but this is my least favorite book so far.
- Stephanie
Profile Image for Nikki .
809 reviews105 followers
May 20, 2015
Part of Ramblings "Down and Dirty Quickie" reviews - http://www.ramblingsfromachaoticmind....

I really enjoy this shifter series, but Mate Bond blew me away! I loved it! I think it mainly had to do with the fact that these two, Bowman and Kenzie, were already mated and had been for quite some time. Yet that elusive bond that shifters share was no where to be found. It was clear from the beginning that they had feelings for each other that ran deep and even had a child, but for whatever reason were unable to complete the bond. When their town is threatened by an unknown, genetically engineered, shifter Bowman and Kenzie must figure out the hows and whys as the alphas/leaders.

Mate Bond had more action in it than we’ve seen in previous books making this a real page turner. Humans have been trying for several books to build their own shifters so it was really no surprise that story arc has continued here. As in the “real world” humans don’t know when to leave well enough alone and end up creating something that was never meant to be. There is a wide array of supporting characters giving Jennifer Ashley more stories to tell in the future (I hope).

This can be read as a stand alone but in order to enjoy the full story line, you should start from the beginning. Jennifer Ashley has another winner penned with Mate Bond!

I give Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley 4 stars!
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,105 reviews159 followers
October 17, 2015
4+ stars -Mate Bond twists the typical shifter mate bonding of the series and offers up something different but still good. Set in yet another Shifter Town the leads this time are already an established couple with a child, with intense chemistry, but with no mate bond. That lack of bond is the elephant in the room that they don't talk of but that causes them both pain, because even without the bond they love each other but they both fear what should happen if the other runs across their true mate.

I like this pair together, and I like the intensity of their relationship. I wouldn't say that Bowman is my favorite leading man - he's sort of generically ultra alpha - but Kenzie is great, and they way she manages Bowman is entertaining - she lightens things up with her playfulness and I like that she holds her own and more with Bowman.

The background plot with the mysterious giant hybrid creature is interesting and I liked the potential for the series offered by the new shifter town and it's new players and since Ashley has managed to keep her series from getting stale even after seven books, I am still looking forward to more.
Profile Image for TheGeekyBlogger.
1,458 reviews177 followers
June 15, 2015
Listened for Review (Tantor)
Overall Rating: 5.00
Story Rating: 5.00
Character Rating: 5.00

Audio Rating: 4.00

First Thought when Finished: Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley is now my favorite in the series. Would have never guessed that going in but WOW what a story!

Quick Thoughts: You know that moment when you could just say "NAILED IT" in a review and it would encompass all you feel? That is me with Mate Bond. It is no secret that I pretty much binged this series this year. Mate Bond was the cream of the crop! The fact that Jennifer could take Bowman and make him lovable to me was just amazing. She found the perfect female for him and their story just gelled. PLUS: all the overall storyline push forward! It was shifter heaven for me and I hate that I am caught up. Hold me NOW!

Audio Thoughts:
Narrated By Cris Dukehart / Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins

This is the first one in the series that I have listened too. Chris did a pretty darn good job. I would have liked a little bit more "alpha" male sounding but otherwise pacing/emotions were nailed!

Final Thoughts:Why did I have to catch up!
Profile Image for  Reading In Pajamas .
1,044 reviews92 followers
April 7, 2015
✦Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: MATE BOND (Shifters Unbound book 7) by Jennifer Ashley http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2fc
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna
Rated: 5 Stars

I loved this installment of the Shifters Unbound series. It added a different perspective with the addition of the ‘monster’ and another character that keeps you guessing until the end. I really couldn’t figure out what tightened my chest more, the love and hot romance or the danger that surrounded them. This book was a great blending of people you come to love, care about people you didzn’t really like and hate the bad guys. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride.

*Review copy provided by Berkley/NAL in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Andrea Heltsley.
Author 16 books327 followers
July 20, 2015
I really enjoy the books in this series. The author does a great job penning a fantastic story. I loved the characters in this installment. They were strong, caring and fiercely loyal. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a great shifter read! <3
Profile Image for The Book Junkie Reads . . ..
4,902 reviews141 followers
June 11, 2017
Bowman and Kenzie did not have the traditional mate bond but they find that there was something very special about there bond that no one could understand. They had something very special. We get to see a different side of the country and more shifters and more of some old friends with new enemies and a crazy doctor that may just take the study of shifters to a different level of crazed.
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,672 reviews171 followers
April 5, 2015
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 7, 2015

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.


REVIEW: MATE BOND is the seventh full length installment in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound paranormal romance series. Jennifer Ashley’s shifters are persecuted and discriminated against by the humans but the humans have help in their attempts to bring the shifters under control using collars and segregated towns. This is shifter wolf alpha of the North Carolina Shiftertown Bowman O’Donnell, and his alpha mate Kenzie O’Donnell.

SOME BACKGROUND: Thousands of years in the past ,the Fae created the shifters-a cross between beast and man-and in the ensuing time the Fae lost control and power over the creatures they created. There is a war encroaching-one that will see humans side with the Fae in a battle for dominance, and their first line of defense was to collar and corral the shifters.

Approximately twenty years ago shifters were exposed to the human population. Out of fear, discrimination and specieism, the shifters were collared, in the belief that it would control aggression, then they were forced into segregated communities known as Shiftertowns. There are several Shiftertowns located throughout the world where shifters live in a relative but strained peace amongst their own kind.

Told from third person point of view, MATE BOND follows the search for a monster; a hybrid shifter whose genetic makeup is completely wrong ; a beast of unknown origins who attacked a bar full of shifters with the intent to hurt and kill. Because the beast was found and eventually destroyed on the North Carolina Shiftertown territory, Bowman sets into motion a plan to hunt the person(s) responsible for the abomination but finds himself in a dilemma when more than one supernatural power is discovered in the search.

Bowman O’Donnell is a mated, alpha male but he and his mate Kenzie, as well as most of the North Carolina pack, believe there is no mate-bond holding the couple together. With each sexual encounter, loving touch and even the birth of their son, Kenzie and Bowman hope for the elusive mate-bond to take hold. Kenzie and Bowman’s relationship is highly sexual as are most shifter couples but in this, the lack of a permanent bond ensures that someone else may be their true bonded match. Kenzie and Bowman’s mate-bond plays a major factor in the storyline development.

MATE BOND has an ensemble cast of supernatural and magical characters including shifters, Fae, hybrids, humans and a previously unknown paranormal being. The colorful and complex supporting cast of characters incorporates many of the previous storyline shifters as well as a couple from the Vegas Shiftertown Pack who are called in to help with identifying the beast’s connection to the Fae. We are introduced to Kenzie and Bowman’s twelve year old son Ryan who will one day take over the leadership of the North Carolina Pack; Police Officer Gil whose true identity and purpose is questionable; as well as Kenzie’s Uncle Cristian whose dislike of Bowman is well known by all.

MATE BOND continues to build on the Shifter’s connection to the Fae. There are moments of betrayal and heartbreak; family and love; discrimination and mistrust. Jennifer Ashley seamlessly blends the supernatural with the human world in a series where suspicion and prejudice are at the heart of the series. The shifters are discriminated against for their differences and the fear of the unknown.

MATE BOND is an entertaining and engaging storyline; an enjoyable and thrilling read with imaginative characters and a dramatic theme. The Shifters Unbound series is passionate, sensual, intense and romantic-an intriguing series that is a must read every time.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Profile Image for Izy.
838 reviews77 followers
December 15, 2015
This will be a short review because this was my first DNF for the year. I was looking forward to this book, unfortunately it was less than steller or maybe it was just me. [EDIT: From other reviews it seems I'm the odd woman out.] My main issue was that both the hero Bowman O’Donnell and heroine Kenzie are mates, they became mates out of convenience though from the start it was obvious that Kenzie was in love with Bowman before they became mates and they also have a child what they dont have, is a mate bond. When I started reading the book I thought that the achieving of the mate bond would be the whole point of the story which it was, just not what I expected and not in a good way either.

The book starts of with the guy figuring out that some new groupie is not here to mingle so he leads her on, takes her outside and exposes himself to her later and this was in the first chapter. I was immediately turned off/ disgusted from Bowman, especially more so when I found that he has a child and it just argh why I mean, what was the point of that scene. Did it show his commitment to his mate? no Did it show that he loves and respects his mate who by the way he knew was following him? no.

I tired to get past all the this but it kept bugging me than there was fighting and some kicking ass to this weird shape shifter creature and then they are back at home where’s theres jealousy first from Bowman and then Kenzie and then they have sex and all through everything that has happened they both thinking that the don’t have the mate bond which made me sad especially because kenzie was so upset but didn’t want to show her feelings of disappointment.

Then Kenize meets this guy from the police who is interested in her this leads to Kenize suspecting that she might be feeling the mate bond towards him. By this point I was done, I really dislike love triangles and I just not feeling the book, the characters and I felt that Kenize deserved a lot better mate than Bowman. I didn’t feel like he loved her at all. I skimmed some to get a general idea of what was happening or what happened at the end but I sort just meh about it all. This was a bummer, hopefully the next book in the series is better because I quite enjoy the series and love the authors historicals.

I really cant do short reviews can I? They always end up being normal or even longer length than my usual ones. -_-
Profile Image for Kim Pruitt.
312 reviews
July 18, 2015
**Book provided by the author for an honest review**

Mate Bond was an interesting twist on a storyline based on a shifter community. The various shifters in this story were forced by the human government to live in "Shifter Towns" in order to keep a close eye on them and keep the masses safe from the very powerful and dangerous creatures, (according to the humans). Each town has a pack leader, and Bowman of the North Carolina Shifter Town is the focal point of this book. I have never read any of the books in this series, but it can be a stand alone book.

It was love at first sight for Bowman and Kenzi, so why the mate bond has eluded them is beyond anyone's understanding. After several years together and a cub, Ryan, they are as passionate about each other as the first day of the mating frenzy, but are deathly afraid of not having experienced the undeniable feeling of the mate bond. While they are constantly struggling with this, an unknown creature comes into town looking for a fight. The hunt is on to try and figure out what the hell that thing is and find out where it came from! The sleuthing involved was intriguing. The background of the relationships and development of the shifter towns and characters was very entertaining.

During the course of the investigation, we are given the history of how the shifters were born, who bred them, and the nasty evil that tore them from their homes. I really enjoyed this part of the story. However, what I found quite annoying, which is how my potential 5 star rating came to be 3, is that the constant mention and worry over this mate bond and the hatred Bowman and Cristian have for one another. Every single time Bowman and Cristian were in the same space it was a pissing contest! As for Bowman and Kenzi, my GOD! For two people who've had the hots for each other from day one and have mind blowing sex to this day, how could you be so blind! I get what the author was going for here, really I do, but it overshadowed the plot of the story a bit for me. On a high note, the ending was fantastic! I can and will recommend this book, only if you can stand some repetitiveness over the main characters' worrisome mate bond issue.
Profile Image for Angela (Angel's Book Nook).
1,572 reviews875 followers
December 24, 2015
~ 4.5 Mate Bond Stars ~

Mate Bond is book seven in the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashely. It can be read as a standalone. We are brought to a new Shiftertown (North Caroline) and the troubles they face.

Another amazing read. The plot, action, and secondary characters are all fabulous.

I love the Shifter Unbound series. Each book brings us new and exciting couples and adventures. The world-building is remarkable. We get an assortment of shifters to fall in love with and great dynamics between the shifters, packs, and couples. The plot was interesting and kept me engrossed. All the secondary characters are captivating. They leave you wanting to read their stories and to see what will happen next.

This novel brings in a whole new mate concept that has not shown up yet in this series. I am not sure how to put this relationship into words. Bowman & Kenzie got married to unite Shiftertown, but they never formed that special Mate Bond that can happen when they find their one and only mate. After fifteen years they still have not formed this bond and each still holds a little back from the other, but it is clear that they love each other deeply. I felt sorry for this couple throughout the novel. It was so hard to read about them. It’s complicated and that is what made it so gut-wrenchingly emotional.

Mate Bond was an wondrous read. I highly recommend picking up this series. I am looking forward to more.

Profile Image for Cheesecake.
2,716 reviews391 followers
November 14, 2015
Bowman and Kenzie. Another great read in the series! This one was particularly romantic. Bowman and Kenzie are mated but have never experienced the mate bond. They worry about it and it causes some friction, but there's no doubt in anyones mind (as their boy, Ryan points out), that they are crazy in love with each other. I have to admit I checked the end before I started the book because I just couldn't stand not knowing, and then I enjoyed the book (audiobook) in it's entirety. . Their lives are thrown for a loop when a monster shows up and beats the crap out of everyone. Where is the monster from? What is the monster? Where did the monster go? Will it come back? I loved both MCs. Kenzie is just as much an Alpha as Bowman and they lead their shifter town as a couple, bringing the disparate factions together. There's great action, mystery and intrigue. Some new characters of all sorts and some old that show up to help out. My only complaint is that the violence during the climax was pretty extreme. but the ending was fantastic!!!
Profile Image for Linda.
2,042 reviews62 followers
January 9, 2016
Bowman and Kenzie entered a mating of convenience years ago, for the better of their Shiftertown, and even though they care deeply for eachother and have a cub of their own, no matingbond has appeared. Even though they love each other, not having the bond is a source of fear, for what will they do if another comes along with the capability to bond?
Still trying to live their life, a threat comes along, in a monstrous shifter that could take on them all. Is it a shifter, or are the Fae trying a scheme again? When new allies are willing to help, will they take on the new enemy or is it too much for them?
PNR Romance, action, suspense and smutty fluff in a great combo. Loved this mature couple =)
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