Title: Pride and Joey
Author: Devon Rhodes
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 59 Pages
At a Glance: Vance and Joey captured my imagination and heart immediately, and made Pride and Joey a fun novella to read.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Vance thought his pride meant everything to him…until fate sent Joey into his lair and into his heart.
Vance grew up the odd one out in a macho and very insular pride of lion shifters. Differences like enjoying the cool fall weather are bad enough-his pridemates would kill him if they learned he was gay. Still, his pride is all he knows. He’d never even met a shifter of another type…until he discovers an unconscious cougar male in his lair.
Joey is on the run and wants to keep Vance at arm s length, especially since someone very close to the lion is the root of all his troubles. But there is something irresistible about Vance, something which has Joey wanting more than he ever dared to dream.
When their lives are threatened, Joey must choose whether to sacrifice himself, or try to live and keep Vance close…for the very short remainder of his life.
Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released by Pride Publishing. It has been revised, expanded and re-edited for re-release.
Review: Pride and Joey is my first read by Devon Rhodes and I must say she has a way of establishing some very sexy relationships in short order in this paranormal novella. The sequel has just recently been released, and I get to review it later this week. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to reading more about this pack of lion shifters because this first story was just way too short for my liking. Yes, there is immediate mate recognition and yes, it happens fast and furious, and yet, I got a real sense of an intimate connection between Vance and Joey, despite the speedy onset, and that made me able to more easily accept their instant attraction. Let me delve a bit into the story and explain why I liked it so much.
When the story opens, we meet Joey and find out he has been ill. This was such a rare, almost unheard of, phenomenon in any shifter story that it immediately aroused my curiosity. What an interesting change this was in the normal pattern of this particular genre. Although we are not given much information, we know Joey is a loner by choice and by genetics, cougars not normally begin pack animals. He has also been so ill that it has kept him house bound for some time. Almost immediately, the story is thrown into chaos along with its main character when Joey is kidnapped on his first night going out on the town since falling ill. He is set upon by three lion shifters—one of whom appears to be the pack alpha. After managing to escape, Joey is discovered by another lion shifter, Vance, when he stumbles upon Joey in the cave Vance often retreats to when he desires to escape pack life for a bit. The two are instantly aware of their attraction, and although it is not usual for a lion to mate outside his species, the pull is undeniable. When Vance’s best friend, Brady (the pack Alpha’s son), shows up, he is able to bless the mating bond. However, that doesn’t ensure Joey’s safety, for the very Alpha that orchestrated Joey’s kidnapping appears to be none other than Brady’s dad, Vance’s Uncle Garth. Now the three set out to solve the mystery of why Joey was taken at all, and stumble into a dangerous trap that will threaten all their lives.
What worked well in this fast paced story was the mystery surrounding why Joey was kidnapped and the subsequent scenes surrounding both his abduction and the resolution of the mystery. Also, I must once more mention the bond that formed between Joey and Vance was well done, if just a bit rushed. This story really would have made an excellent longer novel had the author decided to delve more deeply into the lion pack history and hierarchy as well as Joey’s past. As a novella it was quite good but fell just short of being outstanding due to the hastily explained ending that ended up changing Joey’s life irrevocably. Without ruining the surprise for you, suffice it to say that a critical part was left out of the story and hastily glossed over as the doctor explained it all to Joey. It really would have made for a good piece of drama if we could have seen what the Doc ended up briefly detailing rather than just hearing it second hand. However, as much as I would have liked more story with added details, I can say that Vance and Joey captured my imagination and heart immediately, and made Pride and Joey a fun novella to read.
You can buy Pride and Joey here: