Series: Shifters Unbound #7
Published by Berkley on April 7th 2015
“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.