Title: Pride Before the Fall
Author: Devon Rhodes
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 80 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: All in all Pride Before the Fall was just an okay story that lacked the same charismatic wolves found in the first novella.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: When Brady was given a free pass to sow his wild oats, as long as he’s back with the pride before fall, he never dreamed he’d meet his mate…or that his mate would be a man.
As the pride’s alpha heir, Brady knows the weight of responsibility. He’s expected to settle down, find a mate and have an heir of his own. But first he’s given the opportunity to travel and visit other prides, an unspoken opportunity to get his attraction to men out of his system before he comes home and does his duty.
Mason has his hands full fostering Jonah, an abandoned teen soon to have his first shift. He doesn’t have time to babysit a visiting alpha heir, but duty calls. As the second son of the alpha, he knows his place and when he’s given a task, he does it.
Brady and Mason realize almost instantly that they are mates…and both also know that it can never come to pass. With the expectations they need to fulfill, this short time together will be the only chance they have to taste what could be. But they are tied together by more than just instinct—old crimes and hidden connections come to light and they are forced to make hard choices between duty and love.
Review: Pride Before the Fall is the sequel to Pride and Joey, and while the couple makes a few brief appearances in this novella, this story really belongs to Brady. While Garth, Brady’s pack leader and father, has softened toward same sex matings due to Vance and Joey, he appears to be of one mind only where it concerns his son—go sow your wild oats and then get down to the business of mating a girl and producing an heir to ensure the dominant family line. Always the obedient son, Brady heads for the nearest pack in the city and discovers not only his mate but an insidious plot to take over his pack and destroy his father as alpha as well. Now Brady must expose the plan and knows that in doing so, he may never see his mate, Mason, again. Oh, if only there was some way to persuade his father to allow him to mate the man he truly loves.
I wanted to love this story as much as the first, but unfortunately, perhaps due to the main focus of the story being not on the mating but on the unraveling of the mystery, I failed to really sense a deep connection between Mason and Brady. For an insta-love/mating to work, there has to be deep and electric chemistry and this novella lacked the same spark that made its predecessor, Pride and Joey, such fun. Instead, the book managed to further develop the initial plot line of the first installment and fill in the blanks of what exactly Garth’s brother had been doing while away from the pack, and gave only lip-service to the romance element.
It was very satisfying to read further about this pack family, but as a story that should have also been focused on Brady and Mason’s burgeoning relationship, I am sorry to say that it fell rather flat. There was too little time to develop both threads, and when the mystery element took off, the romance piece suffered. Hence, I was not convinced of this strong bond between Brady and Mason, which led to the inevitable eye-rolling I so often do when it comes to paranormal stories in this vein, and the same pattern of less than satisfying results—unbelievable attraction, characters that are shallow and too swiftly fall in lust/love, and uninspired sex to seal the deal.
All in all Pride Before the Fall was just an okay story that lacked the same charismatic wolves found in the first novella. The mystery and attempted coup elements were good, and if there had been just a bit more time spent on establishing a deeper bond between Brady and Mason, this sequel would have been much more exciting and fulfilling to read.
You can buy Pride Before the Fall here: