Title: Chosen Pride (L’Ange, #3)
Author: Mary Calmes Narrator: Tristan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 6th March, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal/Shifters, Romance
Length: 8 hours and 13 minutes
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 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.
For the first three-quarters or more of this book the main characters walk up and down the stairs in the chateau at L’Ange several times. Okay, it’s three flights of stairs and they are talking and doing other things at the same time, but even so, the main shifter ‘action’ doesn’t happen until the last couple of chapters. The story centres around Jon and Kelvin as they sort out their fated bond and whether they can be together as they desire. There’s lots of emotion and choices to be made, especially as the wolf pack has complex laws that need to be abided by before Kelvin can be released from his duty by the king. I was pleased that Roman, Quade, Arman, and Linus all have significant roles here. Ooh, and Sheridan and Enoch have a sideline plot too. So yes, there’s plenty going on and not just walking up and down stairs!
I loved the consuming attraction and hot scenes between these guys. There’s a long gap between the first and the second sex scene, and boy, did Mary let them make up for lost time near the end! I just wish the dialogue throughout and some descriptions had been pared down because there’s a lot of repetition of ideas and characters interjecting with “What?” as a means of explaining a point further.
Having said all this, I enjoyed listening to this intricate story, despite being frustrated at times. Tristan James has such an amazing voice. It’s perfect for narrating strong alpha males and passionate emotions. He portrayed Kelvin’s Scottish brogue and the Gaelic sentences wonderfully. Great job as always.