Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's Treasure: Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley

ISBN-13: 9780425240786
ISBN: 0425240789
 Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Mass Market Paperback , 320pp
Pub. Date: March 2011

Two decades ago, Shifters announced themselves to mankind. However, their revelation was met with fear and skepticism. Collared and forced to live in shiftertowns, these non-humans are treated as second-class citizens, or worse.

Feline Shifter Sean Morrissey is a Guardian.  Wielding a sacred sword, he aids dying shifters on their journey into Summerland. It’s a lonely calling, considering very few females want to be bound to a male whose life revolves around death. When a half-Fae, half-Shifter female seeks refuge in Sean’s shiftertown, he mate-claims her, sight unseen. 

Andrea Gray is in need of a protector. Though she agrees to the Guardian’s offer, Andrea is given the freedom to accept or reject his claim at any time. Her intense attraction to sexy Sean Morrissey is something Andrea never expected. Neither is Sean’s determination to turn a proposal into a committment.

Primal Bonds is dark and delectably decadent. Dealing with issues of inequality and prejudice, it has a certain grittiness that rubs likes a grain of sand in your shoe.  Down-trodden, but not despairing, these characters are doing everything they can to make their lives better. They’re fiercely loyal and never do anything half-way. Especially fall in love.

Sean is intense in his pursuit of Andrea. Before he even meets her, Sean makes a commitment to love and protect Andrea. He’s strong, persistent, kind and caring.  I fell in love with Sean’s character because he committed to love before sexual attraction entered the scene. He wants to love and be loved.  His actions are based on that need rather than desire.

Andrea is the perfect girl for Sean. She isn’t the submissive little she-wolf everyone expects. She gives Sean as good as she gets. When he becomes over-protective and bossy, Andrea lets him know it. She doesn’t cower away from confrontation.  She looks it in the eyes without hesitation and without fear. Beyond the mating frenzy that nearly overwhelms them at time, Sean and Andrea build a solid relationship while dealing with a Shifter uprising and a Fae who wants to steal Sean’s sword.

The setting and circumstances of the shiftertown gave the story a rawness that rackeled my sense of fairness. The story seemed alive and continued to engage me page after page.
I loved Primal Bonds for its fresh and interesting presentation of shapeshifters in a society where they thrive despite oppression of their basic civil rights. The story is action-packed, seasoned with the realities of living with injustice, and the power and perseverance of true love.

Jennifer Ashley, NYT and USA Today Best-Selling author, writes historical, contemporary and paranormal romances. She also writes mysteries as Ashley Gardner and paranormal/urban fantasy as Allyson James. Whatever name she’s penning, Ms. Ashley is fast becoming one of my favorite paranormal authors. I can hardly wait for the Shifter Unbound saga to continue. 

 Gold Coin Rating:   4.8
 Heat Level:             Bonfire

Reviewed for The Season.

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Trisha said...

This sounds rather nice :)

Tracy said...

Oh, gotta admit. Just from reading the initial blurb it may or may not have been a story that I decided to add to my TBR pile. But when I got down to the part where you mentioned Sean wants to love and be loved before the sexual stuff even gets involved...I was hooked!

That and I stopped back by the blog so I could check out the supernatural hunk of the month again ;o)

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