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Collared and controlled, Shifters are outcast from humanity, forced to live in Shiftertowns. But waiting within are passions that no Collar can contain.

Like most Shifters, Liam Morrissey has learned that trusting humans leads to no good. But when a beautiful attorney enters Shiftertown alone, Liam's alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.

Tasked with defending a Shifter accused of murder, attorney Kim Fraser is completely out of her depth in the mysterious world of Shifters. To prove her client's innocence, Kim will need the help of someone on the inside, even though relying on Liam goes against everything society says about Shifters.

And when an un-Collared Shifter threatens both Kim and Liam, the young attorney will have to learn to trust her unlikely protector and face the passion she feels for a man who can't be tamed.

304 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 26, 2010

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About the author

Jennifer Ashley

183 books6,870 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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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 987 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
October 28, 2012
It's important to remember, before you recommend a beloved book to me, that I am a salacious hellspawn deposited onto this earth for the express purpose of destroying all that you love and violating that which you hold most dear.

Pride Mates is a strange concoction of 3 parts instaloving alpha male, 2 parts nonsensical female MC and half a part of shaky world-building. Put them all together and they just kind of distill into a boring muckwater that you neither want to drink - or pour out into the sink in the fear that it leech into the wild and cause untold destruction.

It's not like Jennifer Ashley can't write, because I'm rather fond of her Stormwalker UF series by her other nom de plume, Allyson James. However, I'm also infinitely suspicious of writers with multiple names in pretty much the same genres. After all, the only real difference between PNR and UF is the ratio of sex to world building/storyline. Why all the pseudonyms then, huh?! It's not like people are going to be like, "Ewwwww, she writes books of the exact same caliber but containing marginally more sex! I HAVE NO INTEREST IN THAT AND AS AN ASIDE, WHAT IS THE COLOUR BLUE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU!?!?!?!?!"

But I'm off-track. Liam is hot and Irish, because to be otherwise would violate the laws of the romance industry.

Shane MacGowen
Ladies, the line forms to the left!

Kim is a lawyer trying to prove a Shifter, in a segregated and speciest version of today's society, didn't kill his girlfriend. The Shifters aren't being helpful, and within 24 hours Kim is "mated" to Liam who has fallen desperately in love with her.

Blah, blah, blah.

Look, I don't necessarily dislike the over-protective alpha male stuff - but, for me, it has to be balanced by the female protagonist. That's why Mac and Barrons is so awesome, or Kate and Currans. Because the dude does his over protective spiel and the female MC goes, "That's a nice little mantanty you had there, but I think I'll do what I like, thanks!"

And it's not like Kim didn't put up a fight every now and again - but it's that she is supposed to be a kickass lawyer and there was really no indication of that in the novel. "Oh, you're kidnapping me and holding me hostage? Look, I'll make out with you on the bed, stay the night then insist on being released in the morning, okay?" YOU'RE A LAWYER, WOMAN!

The segregation aspects, at first, proved to be the most interesting aspect of the novel. But, well, that didn't stick. You're not really dealing with inequality and themes of a segregationist society if the people being oppressed don't really give a shit, are you?

So my eternal search for good PNR smut continues. Alas, I shall have to leave this series on the wayside. Some things just weren't meant to be.
August 1, 2019
Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite authors. Ian Mackenzie melted my heart and will be one of my all time favorite heroes ever. So I have had this series on my tbr list for years now. I bought all the books and was ready to jump right in. I was a little worried going into this read because the series I first read from JA was historical romance and this was a pnr. I didn't know if it would be as good. I should have known better. Jennifer Ashley rocked it out. I loved the world build up, I loved the shifter background, loved the plot and loved me some Liam Morrissey. The only reason this book was a 4 and not 5 star is that even though I liked Kim I wanted to shake her at times. Still a really good read and I can't wait to start the next one!

Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,570 followers
October 26, 2010

Where can I find an "I LOVE LIAM" bumper sticker?

Pride Mates was a great start to a new series! The introduction into the Shiftertown world and hierarchy was interesting and never boring, which is no small feat for the first book in a series. The way the characters were developed and introduced into the story made me feel like I was meeting new friends, and not reading a who’s who of the Shifter world.

I loved Liam! I loved him so much that I want an I LOVE LIAM bumper sticker. He was such an awesome alpha, but also a wonderful man. Dylan, Sean and Connor will be excellent heroes in upcoming books, there’s no doubt about it.

My biggest problem with this book is that, as I said, it’s the first book in the series, and the only book of the series currently published. When I found that out, I was a tad miffed. Why can't these authors write faster?? Oh well, what’s one more series to have to wait impatiently for?
Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews977 followers
January 10, 2016
This was a re-read for me, and I am happy to report that my tastes haven't changed too much! I still thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer Ashley's shifters, especially their all consuming love they develop for their mates! This seems to be the biggest factor I am missing in the current reads today...You know...that love that is possessive, and forever?? I love that in my romance books, and the way the hero will love his heroine through everything. Some may say this isn't realistic; but the fact is that I read to get away from realism most of the time! I enjoy reading about the couple being together, and having hot and wild sex!!! LOL So, I am sticking to this series for now, and seeing what else comes up from it. The second book will be another re-read for me, and then I will be refreshed so that I can start book three! This has been fun to go back and see why I fell in love with Romance in the first place!

I am a firm believer that you can never go wrong with a book written by Jennifer Ashley...She is the best of the best in my opinion!!
Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,342 reviews1,247 followers
June 13, 2015
3.5 Lovin' Liam Stars

"A girl walks into a bar...
No. A human girl walks into a Shifter bar."

Pride Mates is my first read by Jennifer Ashley. I strive to read a variety of genres and authors. Although my preference seems to be a modern romance (with a hint of dark), I occasionally dabble in the paranormal sector of the book world. Pride Mates was quite an intriguing read.


Jennifer Ashley has created a world where Shifters (animals that can shift into humans and visa versa) are forced to wear a collar in order to curb their urges to live like animals. The Shifters are organized into prides and clans where they live separate from the humans. Shifters are not allowed to eat in the same places as humans. Shifters are not allowed to fly in planes. This element paired with the fact that this book happens to be set in non other then one of my favorite cities- Austin Texas. The irony is Austin is known for it's weirdness!


Liam is a powerful shifter. He and his family are from Ireland. Kim is a lawyer who has been hired to defend a shifter named Brian. Brian has been accused of killing his human girlfriend. Due to the requirements of her case, Kim ventures to Liam's Shiftertown in order to interview family and friends of her client.

“He looked like a man who'd invite you to rest your head on his shoulder while he made everything bad go away.”

When Liam meets Kim, there is an immediate attraction between the two. The Shifters are very physical with each other. The feeling of touch is critical for them to comfort one another. As Liam and Kim travel through Shiftertown, they form a friendship that is sure to bloom into more.

“You all sound like you don’t take this seriously, like you don’t want me to get Brian free. Brian’s mother is barely holding it together. You and Sean had to do the comforting sandwich with her, remember?”

Just like every great story with a hero there must be a dark nemesis. in Pride Mates there is an evil shifter named Fergus. He wants Kim to stay silent. In order to protect her, Liam claims Kim as his mate.


What works really well in this book is the family connections. I was completely enamored with Liam, his father, his brother, and his nephew. These men care so deeply for each other. Additionally, the passion between Liam and Kim was off the charts hot. I recognize that this was a definite love/lust at first sight and yet, the paranormal element allowed me to dismiss any qualms about these two connecting so fast. Therefore, Ms. Ashley was quite successful with this aspect of the plot. I wanted to join the fun with these characters. They were so likable and driven to protect each other. Additionally, Ms. Ashley does an excellent job of bringing forth a truly relevant issue through this PRN story. Because the Shifters are discriminated against so violently, it reminds us of the importance of accepting and loving one another.


The only problematic element in this read was Kim's inability to clearly identify her relationship with Liam. At first, she wants him and then she seems confused by what the mating process means. Finally, she decides she wants to be with him and then HE turns her away. I am all for a little cat and mouse play (what we call in the theatre world advance/retreat) action. However, this part of the story was a bit jarring for me and definitely distracted me from the core of the story.

Overall, I recommend Pride Mates to anyone who enjoys a good PRN romance. The plot was well developed and as I stated earlier I absolutely adored the characters. The action was intense and well distributed throughout the read. It is because of my love for these Irish Shifters that I have already started reading the next book in the series.

Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
247 reviews849 followers
January 23, 2023
Pride Mates

This book became strangely enduring with its hilarious characters and the events that happened that were just so random...so ridiculous...so what the fuck is happening… that you literally couldn’t help laughing and read it faster

Plus there was this one epic scene that was just some honest to god great writing:

"Our enemies had to pay. Those heartless, faceless others who had stolen so much. It was a fire consuming the dark. Fanning us wth its flames. Searing a brand right across our heart.
..perhaps that was why I didn't notice when one walked right through the palace doors"


Overall 2ish-3 stars. I won’t ever re-read this and will probably forget most of it except a couple hilarious 1-liners. But i’m still glad i read it because it was a filler book. Sometimes to read, enjoy, and not really think about.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,029 reviews2,343 followers
April 27, 2017
Before you get discouraged by my two star rating I just want to say that I will be reading the next installment when it comes out. There were just enough unique ideas that the author came up with that I want to continue reading. This series has a good premise but it's literally oozing with the cheesy trappings of the paranormal romance genre.

District Attorney Kim Fraser has a Shifter murder case dumped in her lap. The Shifter had a human girlfriend who got killed and he's blamed for it even though the evidence against him is lacking. Kim thinks he's innocent so she tries everything she can to try to insert herself into the Shifter community to learn its secrets. She meets up with tall, dark, sexy AND Irish, Liam Morrissey to get information that will help Brian go free. Needless to say, Kim and Liam get along quickly and become entangled in each other's lives.

Liam is a Fae cat, an amalgamation of all the best traits of all the big cats. Having met Curran in Magic Bites I have to say that Liam just isn't as menacing as he could have been. These shifters just don't come to life as they could, especially if you've read Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series; she has the best werewolves out there that I've ever read about. It might be unfair to compare this light and fluffy paranormal romance with the grittier story-driven urban fantasies I mentioned above, but it's hard not to wish for something more engaging and real.

One thing I did like was the way the author approached the idea of shifters in this world. The shifters are controlled with collars, thin necklaces fused into their skin that were forged by the Fae to keep the shifters from harming anyone. If they show any aggression their body is wracked with pain and they become basically immobile. So really, it's a fancy shock collar. The shifters are discriminated against and segregated from the general population, and they're not allowed to have new technology or attend universities. I appreciate that she's trying something different and not just writing another cookie cutter shifter romance.

There was also touches of humor here and there that I wish she would have inserted more often. I especially liked how Liam was going around Kim's office saying "Top 'o the mornin' to you," because he says that's what Americans expect him to sound like. It was funny but I just wish she had inserted similar moments like this, it really could have made the book better and less cliched.

Here's some other problems I had with this book. First, there's little to no sexual tension. The characters hook up within the first 24 hours that they know each other. Ok, so he has his whole animal instinct going for him and he is gorgeous so they can sort of be forgiven. One night stands do happen after all. But then, within the next 72 hours they're bound together as mates (this is on the back of the book and also part of the title, so don't worry, no spoiler here.) Liam falls head over heals for Kim in less than half a week and wants to have babies and grow old together. Strange for real life but unfortunately common in paranormal romances.

Another problem I had was all the emotions running rampant with, surprisingly, the men. I understand that shifters crave the touch of others* and are normally considered more affectionate, than say, vampires or zombies. But come on, do we have to hug it out every time someone argues, or after any sort of mis-communication, or before, during, and after any kind of celebration? And then cry as well? Honestly with all the mood swings and misty eyes you'd think it was the men's time of the month - and not even in a moon-called sort of way.

So I think if you can't stomach the caveman mentality of "mate, protect, procreate" then you should probably pick up a different book. Every now and then I don't mind reading something like this because it's normally got a hot man and even hotter sex and it's mindless fun. With a few changes this book could have easily been better, but it unfortunately fell short. I will read the next book though to see where she takes things. The first book I read by her, Mortal Temptations, was ok but not the greatest. She had some good ideas though so I picked up the sequel, Mortal Seductions, and I'm glad I did because I liked it a lot more. I'm hoping the same thing will happen with the sequel to Pride Mates and I do look forward to checking it out.

*in reference to Anita Blake's "puppy piles"
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews537 followers
November 26, 2012
*Originally Read 12/5/10*

After accidentally leaving a book I was reading at work I was restlessly prowling my shelves when I came upon this. I'd heard some pretty good things about the book and I enjoyed some of this author's other books, so I figured I'd finally give it a go. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it unfortunately didn't thrill me as much as it did some of my friends.

The premise of the book was one of the most interesting parts for me. I really liked the society the author described and how she didn't skim over the unattractive prejudicial parts of it. It was nice to read a book where that issue isn't neatly brushed aside in order for the hero and heroine to have a happily ever after. Sacrifices had to be made on Kim's part if she really wanted to be together. Liam also had to sacrifice, but that seemed pretty small when compared to Kim's potentially life altering choice.

I really liked the glimpse of the shifter politics we saw--although they were also pretty frustrating at times. It really made the shifter hierarchy seem constrictive and prone to misuse. The reasons that were eventually given for Brian's defense (or lack thereof) were quite interesting. I didn't really see that coming, but I liked it!

I liked getting to know the secondary characters. Sean's real struggle to reconcile his role in the pack with the impact it has on his family tugged at my heartstrings. I also really loved Connor--he was adorable. I think my favorite secondary characters have to be Liam's dad, Dylan, and their neighbor, Glory. I feel sort of bad for Glory as things currently stand and hope that their storyline continues to develop in the next book.

Liam was a fun character for the most part. I liked the way he would lay his Irish on thick occasionally. It amused me that it irked Kim so much. I liked how laid back and matter of fact about his circumstances he was. Especially when I learned how his family ended up being collared. It would have made no sense to portray him any other way. Having said that, I still liked the hidden anguish over it that he showed at the end. His decision there made him seem extremely strong, although I fear for the future of the shifters.

Kim was a little more irritating than Liam, although I still ended up mostly liking her. She started out feeling real with her fear and determination but quickly fit herself to the standard PNR heroine mold. It's not necessarily a bad mold, but it makes them pretty interchangeable. I thought I'd see more of Kim's drive and passion for her work, but it really just felt like a plot device to me.

That leads into some of my issues with the book. For one thing, when exactly was Kim going to actually be a lawyer? It seemed awfully easy for her to live in a vacuum other than a token visit or two to her office. That's another thing--what company allows their employees to have random companions while they work? I'm not talking about just shifters, I'm talking about anyone hanging out in your workplace all day long for no reason and with no prior approval. That seemed pretty fantastical to me.

I really wish that the author would have set the relationship over a longer timeline. It didn't really make me think much of Kim when she compromised her case by screwing with a lead. Maybe that could have happened a bit further down the road than a day or two after their first meeting? Another turn off was Kim's incessant comparison of Liam to Abel--it jarred me out of the narrative each time I read about it.

The end was an incredible disappointment for me. That's the reason everything magically fixed itself in their relationship??? I don't know whether to be repelled by Kim who thought that that would fix everything or to be appalled by Liam who proved her right.

Profile Image for Laura.
Author 14 books593 followers
April 4, 2018
Re-posted on http://www.gotfiction.com/book-review...

I loved this book! Kim is a defense attorney who drew the short straw and is defending a Shifter named Brian. Kim goes to Liam, the second in command of Shiftertown, TX and holds her own on a virile, hot Shifter male. They are all Collared, but what if someone wanted his off? what would happen? Liam claims Kim as his mate, and she wants him, but not all this mating business. Too bad her heart has other ideas. She falls in love with him and they take down Fergus, the clan leader and all around asshole...who has been creating feral shifters in his attempts to de-Collar them all...in order to enslave the human race. Liam gets de-Collared, and tears Fergus apart for daring to touch his mate, and then almost kills his brother Sean, instead, Kim steps between the 2 Shifter males and soothes Liam enough for Sean to leave, but then she and Liam have hot sweaty sex. But in a huge twist, Liam recovers, puts his Collar back on, then kicks Kim out of his life. For weeks they are both miserable until she decides she is his and that's that. Great story, great action without sacrificing the story and wonderful characters and world-building without being boring. LOVED IT!!
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,162 followers
August 23, 2018
Not too bad for an old timer...

The Shifters Unbound series has been on my radar for a while and I've finally gotten around to read/listen to it. I'm a sucker for shifter romance and this definitely brought something new to the table. It's not often that (in the reading world) shifters are expected to be tamed/held back/denied their natural inclinations. In Pride Mates we're introduced to shifters who have to wear a collar to identify and harness their strengths and natural abilities. These collars were created by the Fae and cause them pain if they try to remove them or act in a violent way.

So, to say I'm gobsmacked is an understatement. Why would I want the shifters that I love to see wild and uninhibited, be tamed? Well, luckily for me, we still get a bit of the wild. There's still the raunchiness, possessiveness and growliness I love, it's just a bit more controlled.

I enjoyed Pride Mates but admit that it's showing its age a wee bit. I can't pinpoint exactly why but it could be the language, or maybe even how the characters acted. The narrator does an OK job and I was able to follow the story easily.

I will definitely be back for more in the series as I enjoyed meeting this clan and hope to see a few more of the shifters find their HEA.
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,755 followers
March 11, 2017
This book's not my thing. Well, it should've been, but the way the story was written it is not. First, there's insta-love, second, there's this thing that I find shifters powerful (like: they are more than humans: stronger, faster, more possessive, more animalistic...) and the way the shifters were written in this book made me think there were...not exactly weak, but definitely not powerful, at least not in my mind. Being collared and all made them less...animals? Less themselves?
“He looked like a man who'd invite you to rest your head on his shoulder while he made everything bad go away.”

Either way, it just didn't work for me. Kim Fraser (27?) was stubborn, head filled with law and cute. She quickly adapted to the shifter world. Liam Morrissey (112?) was a charmer, who was kind, listen to what people said, and helpful. He just wanted to help and protect his people and love his new mate. However, he was too...cute and kind of my taste. I like my bad-boys. Overall; the story was interesting, but I didn't like the concept of humans tramping all over the shifters like they are nothing. Also, I didn't like the use of the word screw, I like the word fucking better. Screw just make me think of someone wanting to screw someone over... AND the sex wasn't hot. At all.
“A girl walks into a bar...
No. A human girl walks into a Shifter bar.”

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (Adult) Paranormal Romance
Series: - Series, Book One
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - Liam Morrissey?
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Unsure.
Would I recommend this book/series? - Unsure.
Will I read this again in the future? - No.
Rating - 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Maida»-(¯`v´¯)-».
1,666 reviews421 followers
May 14, 2019
RATING: 3 Sexy Liam Hearts!! :)

Pride Mates is an entertaining, fast-paced shifter story with all the elements that make up a "good" PNR read present – an engaging plot, likeable characters, and a steamy, sizzling romance. Liam is the ultimate Irish alpha male, and his protective urges and attraction for Kim are sexy as all get out. Simply loved him! Kim is a strong, take-no-shit from anyone, fierce heroine, and her personality is a refreshing change from the usual doormat heroines. We also have a cast of splendid secondary characters, and I can't wait to know more about their stories, especially Sean's (Liam's brother).

Looking forward to whatever more this series has in store!

Definitely recommend when in the mood for something light and of the supernatural (shifter) variety! :)

Posted: June 16, 2015
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,426 followers
July 30, 2016
Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Kim and a big bad shifter called Liam - only the girl was a strong minded lawyer and the shifter was not really that bad.
And he used to have a castle in Ireland but now he lived in a very small, poor home somewhere in US and loved drinking Guinness.
Oh yes, and he had never been kissed, but when finally Kim kissed him, he did not become prince or frog - he just loved her more.
And there were fae, not nice fae who used magic to make shifters suffer.
And there were also stupid humans who were afraid of shifters and made them live in shifters' towns isolated and discriminated.

What a wonderful fairytale and what a wonderful world the writer has created - but I did not expect anything less from Jennifer Ashley.
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,794 reviews27.8k followers
February 6, 2015
I struggled to get through this book for some reason, but I can't quite put my finger on why. It had lots of elements I love: paranormal shifters, good world building, mates...but there was just something missing for me. I will probably give the second book in the series a try though, provided I can get it cheap. Hopefully I will connect with it better as it seems I'm in the minority in not really liking this one.
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,907 reviews216 followers
August 24, 2019

Pride Mates was an easy book to listen to but I was honestly so bored with the whole thing. Thankfully it was on audible romance.. but other than that I don't really know what else to say about this book. In it, you will meet Liam and Kim. They were kind of cute but this whole book had me saying 'what the fuck is actually happening' or 'what was this book supposed to be about again?'. Let's just say, I was hilariously confused about things.

Now I like shifter books but I absolutely hate insta-love. Ugh, there's like a rare blue fucking moon when I do like insta-whatever.. but it didn't work for me this time. Their romance was just meh to me. I honestly didn't care for it one bit which is probably why I was so bored with everything that was happening.

Overall, no idea if I will continue on with this series. Unless I need some background noise for something.
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
828 reviews393 followers
July 13, 2014
"No Shifters Allowed!" - That's exactly what fascinated me in this book, this racist mentality both in law and society in general. Legally shifters aren't able to get high paid jobs or buy luxury items. Proprietors are allowed to ban shifters from their premises and racism against them is tolerated because they're "animals".

They're an oppressed people forced to wear collars that suppress their more aggressive animal personality traits and when they think about or are about to act out violence, are shocked by debilitating pain. Humans can hurt them but they can't defend themselves. It's disgusting. I abhor that kind of behaviour.

But then you read to the closing pages and you begin to understand why most shifters accepted the collars in the first place, after their existence was discovered 20 years ago. They were truly animals: killing cubs because they wanted to f*** their mother, murdering their rivals for food, territory or just because they felt threatened. Now, they're forced to live in communities (by law and for protection), their fertility rate has gone up (though their birth rate is still fairly low), they co-operate with one another and their race is no longer on the brink of extinction, after previously being hunted down "like the animals they are".

The cultural differences between the human and shifter communities are highlighted by Kim's and Liam's growing relationship. There was much they became confused over or misunderstood about each other's races. I enjoyed seeing those differences but the physical ones made me laugh. Kim asked Liam if he had a belly button, of course he had one but then Glory mentioned extra-large condoms... and then we found out why - 11 inches! OMFG!

Erm... What was I going to say next? Oh, yes... yes, Yes, YES!


I wasn't particularly fond of the main couple. Okay, I really like Liam. Physically speaking, yum! Personality, a very kind and charming man. It was Kim, I think. She was... I don't know, she wasn't a horrible person but I doubt we'd be good friends, more like acquaintances. I'm not sure about the chemistry between them, sometimes it was great and others, not so much.

The secondary characters were brilliant. Connor is sooooo cute! I just wanted to reassure him by squeezing the air out of his lungs with plenty of hugs and protect him from anyone who wanted to cause him harm, though I wasn't sure if I wanted to mother him or.... you know. ;)

Glory - major Buffy flashback. They may not be the same person but they both shove their sexuality in people's faces and say whatever comes to mind, no matter who it hurts. And that's where their similarities end, despite my worry that she'd become the predictable villain, betraying her neighbours, alpha & lover. I never believed Glory hurt people just to hurt them, she didn't "glory" in it. It felt more like a defence to keep everyone except Dylan at arm's length.

Liam's father, Dylan, that poor man. He'd lost his mate, his son, and his daughter-in-law. He was about to lose his alpha position in his community, was guilt-ridden over his affair with Glory and the way he treated her, and he was constantly goaded and humiliated by Fergas, the top Alpha, and was being pressured into challenging him to ensure the safety of his community. He had a big secret and it was so sad when it was revealed. Liam was crushed but he handled it with grace and respect. Thankfully, their father-son relationship managed to survive.

So to sum up: great world-building and secondary characters. Clichéd writing, in places, got in the way of my enjoyment. The plot was interesting and tied into the world building and character development perfectly. I was completely surprised by the big reveal. Liam was one tough cookie to overcome his instincts and return to his former life.

I will definitely be reading the the sequel Primal Bonds for the stoically quiet and tortured story of Sean (Liam's brother) although I'm not a fan of the fae but his woman's only half-fae, hopefully that'll make a difference.
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,730 reviews1,477 followers
April 17, 2018
3.5 Stars

I’m a fan of Jennifer Ashley’s Historical romances and I was in a paranormal mood so I decided to give this book / series a go. The reviews were right and Pride Mates isn’t my favorite book, but you kind of have to start with this book to help with the world building.

The main flaw of this book was the lack of chemistry between the two main characters which really disappointed me because Jennifer Ashley is so good at sexual tension. I just hope this is the only one as I will continue with the series.

The book isn’t too steamy, but I read it for the paranormal politics, and tension between the two characters. In this world the shifters have to wear collars that suppresses the animal urges and the humans know who the shifters are. I’m not sure I’m keen on this type of world but I feel like it’s going somewhere and I’m curious to where the direction is going.
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
October 21, 2013
I've had this on my Kindle so long I nearly forgot about it. Years! But I finally cracked it this weekend and I'm kicking myself for not getting on board earlier.

First an admission. I love shifters. I'm more a shifter girl than a vampire girl. Vampires -- usually -- are dead. That kind of bothers me. Oh, I can get over it for Bones, Spade, Vlad and Mencheres, but mostly ... ew.

That said, not every shifter story is good. I've read a lot of stinkers, which has made me leery of starting anything new when I have my favorites I can trust. So I was nervous to start this book written by one of my favorite historical romance authors.

Silly me. She's good at this too!

It's Austin, Texas and the shifters of the world have come out. Rather than trying to integrate them in society, they were hunted in some countries and then herded into their own towns in the US. Liam Morrisey, his brother, his nephew, and his father, all live in the "Shiftertown" on the outskirts of Austin.

Kim (last name irrelevant and I forgot it anyway) is an attorney working to save the life of a shifter accused of the murder of his human girlfriend. Since the shifter won't talk to her she's got to find other ways of getting information and she finds herself face-to-face with Liam. Immediate attraction, insta-love, but it works.

The shifter likely couldn't have murdered his human girlfriend because all the shifters wear collars that cause them intense pain when they feel rage or the instinct to kill. This is all part of the fascinating world building that pulls the reader in. The shifters present one face to society, but they have a very different life beyond the facade. They're oppressed, that's for sure, but they're also healthier in many ways than their oppressors.

Liam and Kim click. By the end I totally believe the insta-love and I can't wait to see what happens in the world as this book not only launches the series, but launches a world game-changer as well.

I've already bought the second book of the series and plan to start reading it today.

This is a 4.5 read. If you like shifters, I don't think you'll be disappointed. :)
Profile Image for Gina.
753 reviews108 followers
April 7, 2013

OMG OMG OMG!!! I have been looking for a paranormal series to get into and I finally found it! I have had this book forever and have been ignoring it, what an idiot i was! This is my first shifter book as well, so I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a non-stop, heart racing, lots of hot steam sex and OMG swooning, I love these two story!

Let's start with Liam....Liam....OMG....Liam! I love this guy, he is a true leader, strong (mentally and physically), compassionate, fair, loyal. And of course he is tortured by events in his past, they way shifters are treated like second class citizens and the collar they have to wear.

And of course Kim, I love this woman as well. She is human and a lawyer, fights for the underdog. She has dealt with her own heartaches in her life, and not a lot of emotional displays of affection from her family or the men in her life.

And i loved the secondary characters in this story, and I can't wait to see some of them get their own story!

I read this book in two days, I just couldn't put it down. I was taken away to another place and i couldn't just savor this story. I have to blow right through it, I was compelled to, I had to know what happened next, right now! This instant!

*Swoon*  photo brlove_zps506b9d72.gif
Profile Image for Crystal Cook.
735 reviews1,198 followers
February 3, 2022
Really unique take on shifters. Collars are worn by all shifters to control they're beast instinct, although they can still shift. They live in designated towns for shifters. A human lawyer woman comes to help clear the name of a shifter accused of going rogue. Liam, (a FLIPPING SWEETHEART) falls for her, protects her, wants to have babies with her.

The big detractor for me with this book was the fated mate aspect. It didn't have enough development for me to be believable and the heroine took a loooooong time to get on board with it.
Profile Image for Sunny.
1,423 reviews
May 22, 2017
I am a little disappointed in this book. I can't decide whether it is because this author's style didn't translate well from historical to PNR, or if it is just not a great story. The world building is interesting, anytime humans think they can control anyone or any species usually ends up in disaster. I will expect that from future stories, but the set up is good here. However, I did not like the characters. I The heroine is a little too whiney for me and maybe a little too naive considering she is a hotshot attorney. There were times when I found myself saying, "oh come on." I might try another one just to see if it was these particular characters that I didn't like.
Profile Image for Holly.
430 reviews334 followers
February 11, 2011
I thought this book was absolutely wonderful!! I am a huge Shifter fan, but this book was more than just Shifters. It was a wonderful story about love and family! I loved the characters, their strength and their vulnerability. This book made me cry and laugh right out loud, I can officially say I am in love with a big Fae-Cat named Liam!! LOL :) But I truly can't believe I have to wait over 7 months for Sean's story (which sounds phenomenal btw!)
Profile Image for Luana ☆.
491 reviews73 followers
September 23, 2021
This storyline was better than I expected and I only want to know where can I find a hero like Liam? What a sweetheart! I want one hehehe.

I really enjoyed the fact that this story starts 20 years after the shifters showed themselves to the humans. That it explore all the prejudices and hardships of living among them. I am intrigued at where the plot will take this story.

4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Sun Goddess Moon Witch.
141 reviews19 followers
July 16, 2017
Ugh....this book was SO bad! I struggled to get through this book like a stranded woman dropped off in the Sahara dessert. The main characters Liam (Irish protagonist and Fae big cat shifter) and Kim (heroine and law attorney) fell head over heels into insta-love land even though Kim has a boyfriend. I had issues with Kim's character because the author would bounce back and forth between portraying Kim as headstrong and independent but then would put her into situations that made her seem pretty stupid and teenager-ish in her thought processes. For example, Kim admits she knows very little about shifters and their culture. Yet she willingly allows herself to be coerced into bonding with Liam in a couple of days after meeting him! She just goes with it without much of any fight even though she is a lawyer who understands the vast discrimination shifters face in society and the toll it would take on her professional career. I wasn't buying this at all. Another reason I did not like this book was due to how the shifters in the story were represented. I love shifter lore but this book gave me a bunch of emotional shifters. These men were hugging, touching, mood swinging and crying a little to much for my liking to be considered alpha. Honestly, if I had to read Liam say "love" while speaking to Kim one more damn time I was going to puke..... The plot really didn't offer any of the shifters an opportunity to shine as powerful predatory animals and instead the book fell into a "mates for life" sort of category. The whole, he knew she was his mate the first time they met and she just needed to come around to his sex appeal in order for their life to be perfect. This book fell short in so many ways. It could have been a gripping urban paranormal story that touched on the issues of supernatural prejudice, discrimination and racism. But instead it was a stereotypically cute "mates for life" paranormal hook-up story with a throw away sub story thrown in. In addition, it was very tame even in the sex scenes and I was bored the entire time I was reading it. Nothing in this book is exciting and I would probably not read another book in this series because I'm used to much grittier and edgier paranormal books. For paranormal newbies only and even then you've been warned!
Profile Image for Laurie Garrison .
711 reviews172 followers
February 5, 2010
I simply loved this book. It has everything that I enjoy in a good paranormal romance. Let me give you a small list; some violence,(lets just say this book is not for the faint of heart in some parts), some humor, a mystery, excitement, sizzling hot sex, and a shape shifting world unlike I have never read before.

Here is a small list of things I liked; Liam and Kim have the right amount of sizzle, each is stubborn at times, then they are totally working together in their romance. So you don’t get to much of roll over and give in or stubborn in either one. I also like how the shape shifting world is explained not to over the top, plus it doesn’t take away form the romance or storyline. I like how the claiming of mates is done, it’s very different from most shape shifter books.

Here is a little about what I like on Liam and Kim. I love my alphas to have respect to all those around him and Liam has that. As a hot alpha he can bring down the best of them, but never disrespects his family or friends. Kim is wonderful the way she can stand up to the shape shifters, but still have a heart for all that’s around her in the shape shifting town. I also liked,Sean and Conner, Liam’s brothers. They are very hot.

The only drawback was Kim at some points keeps comparing Liam and Able to each other, it’s not much, but it still got under my skin.

This was a very hot sexy PNR with all the right stuff for me. Now, I just need the next book……
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books305 followers
January 19, 2023
In a world where shifters have been controlled with collars built by fae and live in shifter-towns, given few rights, a human woman is trying to defend a shifter accused of a crime against his human lover. But with complicated clans, multiple shifter breeds, complex laws both in the human and shifter worlds that dictate Kim’s every move, things quickly spin out of control.
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,299 reviews718 followers
January 21, 2010
Twenty years ago, shifters came out to the public and since then, they have been portrayed as wild, reckless creatures that have limited rights and are discriminated against by many humans. If they don’t want to face immediate death, they must were a fae-made collar, one that expands when they shift so it is always on them. This collar supposedly keeps the shifters from acting violent, giving them severe pain if they cross that line.

Kim Fraser is an attorney who has been handed a shifter murder case, the first time in twenty years that a shifter has been on trial. Brian has been accused of murdering his human girlfriend, but as Kim collects evidence, she is pretty sure Brian is innocent. She goes to a local shifter Brian recommends, Liam Morrisey who she knows can help her gather support for her cause.

Liam is second in command of the alpha pack, his father Dylan is the master, second only to the leader, Fergus. Dylan doesn’t do small talk, and Fergus is feared by everyone, so most come straight to Liam with any problems. Liam lives with his father, his brother Sean and his nephew Conner in Shiftertown. Kim is frightened to enter Shiftertown, but she soon realizes it is a town like any other. Kids are playing in the front yards, people are swimming. She also witnesses the discriminations against them first hand. It is hard for many shifters to find suitable employment. They also are not allowed advanced cell phones or cable television, for fear more knowledge will make them a bigger threat to humans.

Liam and Kim have an instant attraction, and Liam starts sharing secrets about the shifters that he trusts Kim will never release to other humans. When Fergus gets wind of a human nosing around the shifters, he gets involved and things start to get messy. Liam will do anything to protect Kim, even if that means going up against his father and shifter law.

Besides Pride Mates, I’ve read two other books by Jennifer Ashley. Mortal Temptation, an erotic romance written under her pen name Allyson James which I did not like. Then last year I read her historical romance, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and it is absolutely one of my favorite books I have read. So, I was very interested to read a paranormal romance by her – unfortunately I am not a fan.

My biggest problem is with Liam and Kim. In some paranormal books I have read, the shifter’s animal mates without the human having much say so I can understand the immediate “mine” attitude and quick attraction. That is not necessarily the case here. Liam, the human is attracted to Kim and in less than 24 hours he is professing undying love and devotion to her.

It struck him suddenly that he’d been waiting for something like this. Maybe all his life. He’d told himself he’d passed up potential mates to give other Shifter males a chance at happiness, but he realized now that he’d simply not found a woman he wanted to be with. Easy to be altruistic when he wasn’t making much of a sacrifice.

But when this sassy human female had walked into his office yesterday, with her blouse buttons straining, her short gray skirt smooth over her sweet rump, when she’d started laying out a heated, well-reasoned argument why he should help her before Liam could even speak, his well-ordered world had overturned.

For Kim’s part, she is a well educated lawyer, and Brian and Liam are the first shifters she has ever met. She repeatedly says she doesn’t know a lot about shifter culture and she is somewhat scared and hesitant around them. Yet, she allows this romance to happen and even though she doesn’t have control of the actual moment Liam bonds with her, she accepts it and just goes with it. I just don’t buy it. The character of Kim also tries to come off sassy and fearless, and I read her more disjointed and annoying.

I also thought the mystery surrounding Brian in prison and the resulting confrontation with Fergus and others to be anti-climatic. In what should have been an intense scene with Fergus, fizzled. I had no investment in Brian sitting in prison, no reason to root for him to get out. There is also an overabundance of lustful thoughts between Liam and Kim. I am all for sexy glances and appreciative remarks between the protagonists, but it didn’t matter what situation Liam and Kim were in – whether they were being threatened with violence or working on Brian’s case, there are constant sexual thoughts and it really took away from the story.

I did enjoy the supporting characters of Dylan and Connor. Dylan lost his mate years ago and is struggling with accepting a new love. He is also getting older and losing that edge he needs to stay dominant in the pack. Conner on the other hand is very young, and eager to show off his skills, although he is strong and with time will hone his muscles, he is quick to temper and quick to show immature emotion, which I thought played off really well again the other mature, dominant males.

Pride Mates is a disappointing paranormal romance. I am still eagerly anticipating the next in her Mackenzie historical romance series, and I think I will be sticking with her in that genre only.
Profile Image for Inna.
1,350 reviews158 followers
March 17, 2022
3 stars.

This would have been 4 stars, but the ending was frustrating and unnecessarily dramatic. The hero absolutely needed to beg the heroine to get her back, because he had been a giant dillweed…but instead, the heroine went back to the hero and just fell right back into his arms & life. 🤡🤡

The other thing that really irritated me in this book was the cheating. The heroine cheated on her FWB/boyfriend or whatever he was with the hero. I don’t know why the author would make this decision… there was no reason why the heroine couldn’t have ended the relationship one day earlier. I did let it slide for the most part bc the OM wasn’t really involved in her life (more of a FWB than a real relationship).

SWE; heroine not a virgin, read above about her technical cheating on OM. Hero has a lot of experience with shifters in “cat form” but he had never been with a human so it was a new experience for him. No cheating between H&h, no major OM/OW drama that actually caused angst for the couple, no scenes with om/ow.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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