Posted by Dec 14, 2011
in 3 stars, 3.5 stars, 4 stars, erotic romance, LGBTQ, m/m romance, paranormal romance, Rating A, Rating B, reviews
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| Tags: 1 Night Stand series
, Ann Mayburn
, Decadent Publishing
, Prides of the Moon Series
Prides of the Moon Series, Books 1-3
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Book Source: Publisher
Prides of the Moon #1
Release Date: July, 2011
Sabrina Wayne yearns for the perfect mates to fill the void in her heart. As a werepuma Beta, she is driven to find the strongest Alpha to submit too, or in her case, Alphas. Sabrina craves the delicious softness of a woman as well as the rugged strength of a man. She has almost given up finding the right couple when she takes a leap of faith and allows Madame Evangeline of the 1Night Stand matchmaking service to set her on what Madame Eve promises will be an evening she’ll never forget.
Alphas Nick and Madeline Turea have been searching for a woman like Sabrina for a very long time. After a disastrous relationship with a former Beta female, the couple has been extremely cautious to let anyone else get close to them or the Amber Moon pride. When Madame Evangeline contacts them about a possible match, both are eager to meet the beautiful woman who may complete their family.
A night of reckless desire and burning hot passion leads to an unknown danger that might destroy Sabrina’s one chance at a perfect love. She must learn to surrender to the power of her Alphas and gain their trust before it’s too late.
Prides of the Moon #2
Release Date: August, 2011
Ben Harkil had long ago given up on love, refusing to believe that he was worthy of it. When he is given the gift of a 1 Night Stand blind date he goes into it expecting nothing more than a night of savage pleasure. Instead he finds the missing piece of his heart.
Jude Carson has an impossible task in front of him. He has to convince the man that he hasn’t seen in fifteen years that he still loves him with all of his heart and wants him back. A task made even more difficult by the horrible circumstances that lead to their parting and tore their former pride apart.
Ben will have to learn that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is himself if he wants a second chance at the greatest joy he has ever known.
Prides of the Moon #3
Release Date: September, 2011
Werepuma and sheltered virgin Kara Vinsenz has no idea how to entice men, furry or otherwise. She contacts Madam Eve of the 1 Night Stand matchmaking service in a desperate attempt to avoid a terrible arranged marriage to a psychopathic shifter. In a daring move that goes against her confined upbringing, she poses as her twin sister to escape her family compound in the hopes of meeting an Alpha and Beta male strong enough to be her mates. She waits to meet them until she goes into heat and is totally unprepared for the consequences of her actions.
Ben Harkil and Jude Carson are on the hunt for the perfect Alpha female to complete their pride and when they meet Kara they believe their prayers have been answered. What starts out as a 1 Night Stand ends up being so much more when Kara realizes that her lies may have doomed from the start the only love that can save her and her pride from a madman.
I was given the chance to read the first three stories in the Prides of the Moon Series, and although the stories could be read independently, it’s well worth it to read them all in order and enjoy the entire progression of the series.
Throughout the series, which is part of the much larger 1 Night Stand series, Mayburn’s “shifters” defy stereotypical archetypes. They are all of varying temperaments, body types, sexual inclinations, etc., one of the only similarities between all three being the importance placed on the bond and the resulting dynamic between the Alphas and their Betas. All the characters are seeking the impossible, except that nothing seems impossible under the direction of the mysterious Madame Evangeline and her 1 Night Stand dating service. The final link between the three is werepuma Ben Harkil, whom I believe is the most well written character of the bunch.
Amber Moon is a M/F/F story about a pair of mated Alphas, one male and one female, and their search for the final addition to their soul-bonding. Sabrina is a Beta whose cat not only needs the dominance of another couple to feel complete, she needs them to both be Alphas, an elusive combination. Madeline Turea needs the softness of another female to join with she and her mate, Nick, but after her last relationship, Nick is more than a little skeptical.
Once Madeline disproves Sabrina’s preconceived notions about what an Alpha should look like, they engage in the test of wills and strengths that all Mayburn’s Alphas and Betas must endure. This ultimately enables them to join their spirits together far more meaningfully than sex alone could ever do.
Sex between the two females is HOT and intense, but very sweet as well. Another convenient characteristic of these shifters is that mates can physically experience everything that is done to their partners sexually as if it was being done to them as well. Once Nick gets his turn to prove himself as Alpha with his new Beta, a very happy time is had by all.
I have mixed feelings about the ending of Amber Moon, though. It’s the reader’s introduction to Ben, another Beta of the Amber Moon Pride, but the reappearance of someone Madeline and Nick thought long gone felt a little awkward.
Emerald Moon, on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. This is a M/M story about loss and second chances made possible by another 1 Night Stand. Jude and Ben are former lovers, and there’s an enjoyable simplicity to their rediscovery of one another.
In the fifteen years they’ve been apart, Jude has become a full-grown Alpha, and his “mating dance” (my phrase, not the author’s) with Ben is just lovely. Their familiarity with one another’s sexual needs adds a great deal to their tale, and there’s a playfulness and believable rightness to their union that’s not quite as developed in either of the other two stories.
I enjoyed the resolution of Emerald Moon more, as well. While a conflict from the past is certainly an issue, it’s an internal one, and both Jude and Ben put it firmly behind them. Their proving ground lies entirely in their future, not a past that’s come back to test their bond to one another.
In the last of the series, Turquoise Moon, Kara Vinsenz is a tough, female Alpha werepuma who’s been promised to a vicious and psychotic member of her pack. Unable to make her father, or anyone else, believe her regarding her unwelcome fiancee’s horrible nature, Kara conspires with her twin sister and runs away in search of two male werepumas to mate with who’ll believe her and protect her pride.
One of the highlights for me was more time with Jude and Ben. Here, they continue their search for the perfect female to complete their union. Mayburn explains that many shifters have multiple mates, but the desire to procreate usually leads males to search for and bond with a female. It just has to be the perfect female.
Kara is also in heat throughout Turquoise Moon, and her sexual need is a huge part of the story. Her reactions as an Alpha are often at odds with her hunger for the males, but they all find their respective places as the narrative progresses.
The dynamic between the shifters in this story is very interesting. Kara is an Alpha, but Ben is Jude’s Beta, and he must protect Jude from any threat she may present until she’s proven she’s the right one for them both. By turns, she must prove she’s Alpha enough to earn Ben’s submission before being considered a possible mate by Jude. It isn’t confusing at all within the story, and that part works out extremely well.
As in Amber Moon, the new trio’s relationship is immediately put to the test by someone from Kara’s past. To be fair, a big difference is that Kara’s nemesis will continue to be a threat unless he’s properly dealt with, so his arrival is fitting. A simultaneously gruesome, yet tidy ending promises a hopeful future for the three lovers, however, and the story ended on a note of teasing optimism.
All three stories in the Prides of the Moon series I had the pleasure of reading were quick reads and full of good, sexy fun. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all were clear and welcoming representations of the author’s imagination. Mayburn does very well with her shifters, and I fully intend to find out if the fourth is just as much fun as soon as possible.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)