Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 240 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: Fans of this unique take on shifters will undoubtedly enjoy this story as much as I did.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Jon Slade finally met his mate, but instead of it being the happiest day of his life, it became the saddest when wolf shifter Kelvin MacCurdy chose his obligations over their fated bond, leaving Jon to pick up the pieces of his shattered dreams. Lucky for him, Roman Howell, his boss and the owner of L’Ange, saw promise in the forlorn lion and put him to work so he wouldn’t have time to sit around and lick his wounds while he waited for his wounded spirit to heal.
Then the wolves make an official visit to L’Ange, and Jon finds out Kelvin’s pining for him is taking its toll on his position as the king’s champion. Though Kelvin’s training and the expectations of others steer him toward an intended mate, Jon has an unbreakable hold on his heart, and it’s no longer possible for Kelvin to keep himself from where he truly belongs.
But the conclave brings more than Kelvin to the château. It also brings a challenge to jackal alpha Quade Danas, a threat that Quade and Roman, Arman and Linus, and Jon and Kelvin may have to fight in order to keep L’Ange’s family intact. Jon never wanted to lead a pride, but the loyalty and devotion to one is ingrained in him. Kelvin was raised to punish anyone who questioned his king, but the calling to protect others runs through his veins just as deeply. To come out on the other side of the battle together, Jon and Kelvin will have to hold the darkness of solitary pride and broken hearts at bay—and find strength in belonging to something bigger than themselves.
Review: Chosen Pride is the third book in the series, and while it could be read as a standalone, I don’t recommend it. The story and characters definitely build on the previous two installments and are important to many aspects of this book.
We first met Jon Slade in book one of this series. He’s a down on his luck character that attempts to seduce Roman Howell, the de facto head of the town Corbett, Maine. By the end of that book, Jon has moved onto Roman’s estate, L’Ange, and is working for Linus, who runs the household. Jon is also part of the action of book two, were he assists Arman and Linus in finding justice. At the end of that book, Jon meets a wolf who intrigues him. Well, more than intrigues him, as it turns out. Jon has met his mate.
Kelvin MacCurdy is a Fenrir—the guardian of his pack—and as such, he must live his life in a very prescribed way. That definitely doesn’t involve a male mate, or one of another species, either. He must produce the next in his line as his heritage and rank demand. When he tells Jon this news after they meet, Jon is devastated. How can anyone walk away from a fated mate? But, of course, that isn’t the end of the story.
When the wolves need to conduct a conclave, the king reaches out to Quade, who allows the meeting to take place at L’Ange. That brings Jon and Kelvin together. Jon had finally been doing a bit better, but the proximity to Kelvin throws him completely off balance again. While he’s sad to see the toll their separation has obviously had on Kelvin as well, there is still a lot standing in their way.
Without being spoilerly, it turns out that there are a lot more secrets at L’Ange than anyone has any idea about, and it seems that Jon has some of the answers. And there are more mates about than anyone realizes too. Jon is still furious over the life that Kelvin has lived as the fenrir. He is further pained by the disdain he sees Kelvin treated with by the other members of the pack—including the king. And it seems that the mate bond may just be stronger than Kelvin’s desire to fulfill his destiny as the fenrir after all. But, there are dire consequences if he does not—and not to just himself and his mate. Many at L’Ange will be tested, and the bonds that have been forged in the first two books will need to be strengthened and trusted if everyone is going to survive this trial.
This book is full of lots of surprises! Many from the past, and some that will lead into the future. I really enjoyed getting to see more of Linus and Arman, especially. Their relationship is so unique and rather unpredictable. Of course, Quade and Roman have become nothing but stronger, but the best change is in Jon himself. Admittedly, he was not my favorite character initially; he did come off a bit whiny and bratty (as intended). But when push comes to shove and he needs to stand up, he does so in spectacular fashion. There are wonderful new wolf characters introduced that were revelations as well. Fans of this unique take on shifters will undoubtedly enjoy this story as much as I did. I hope that we get to see more of this world because it’s endlessly fascinating to me.
You can buy Chosen Pride here: