Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
Mary Calmes’ L’Ange series became a favorite of mine from the very first story Old Loyalty, New Love. An old chateau, a mix of shifters, dark men with mysterious and painful pasts? Yes, yes, and hell yes! And as with my deeply loved Mary Calmes stories and series, a connecting story thread that both pulls at your heart and mind. A vast estate that seems to beckon to isolated, wounded shifters and an Alpha set to rule them all. An estate huge enough to hold the promise also of mates for them all as well.
Jon Slade, a lion shifter, was one such lone male without a pride who was taken in by Roman and Quade (after a rocky start). His story began in the last amazing tale,Fighting Instinct (L’Ange, #2). Chosen Pride picks up in the resulting aftermath.
If you had to ask me why Mary Calmes has such a large and loyal following, I would point to her ability to create characters such as Jon Slade. Golden, strong, and unbelievably beautiful on the outside and yet now broken by the rejection of his mate. Calmes makes Jon and his heartbreaking situation so real, so painfully cruel that you almost bleed for Jon, Doesn’t matter how pretty, how strong Jon is because those qualities won’t help him here. Not even the strength of a lion can bring him his mate. The irony. The author has the reader so invented in Jon and his plight that you can’t even think about putting this book down, not for a minute.
There is also an equal tragedy going on with wolf shifter Kelvin MacCurdy. He’s caught up in a vicious tradition that regards him as little more than a beast within his society, something to be breed for size and strength, nothing more. We’ve gotten to know him during the last story too and become wrapped up in his complicated life and turmoil that led to him rejecting Jon to Jon’s and our astonishment and pain.
In Chosen Pride, Calmes brings out the best in her characters, and her series thread. Other main couples appear in strong supporting roles necessary to both this story and the series. There also a fox shifter that’s a sexy delight. The minute I finished the story and went back and started it all over again wanting to see what details I had missed the first time around.
There’s several clues here, about the journey to another kingdom, the perils that await there. I expect that Mary Calmes will use that in an upcoming book. She doesn’t lay false trails. Now I’m anticipating a journey that will make my heart stop and angst as well. I can’t wait.
This is an amazing series. So don’t start here. Go to the beginning story and proceed from there. It will become a favorite of yours as it has mine. Its one I highly recommend.
Cover Artist: Reese Dante. Such a gorgeous cover. Its perfect for Jon and I love it.
ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: December 26th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634779010 (ISBN13: 9781634779012)