Tag Team Review: Chosen Pride (L'Ange #3) by Mary Calmes

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.

We're back with another Best Buddy Read Ever!  In this episode, we explore the world of the shifters of L'ange.  So much growly action we could barely contain ourselves!

JL:  Are you ready for some more Calmes Crack????????

Red:  I'M READY!! Do you realize with this series and Warders we will technically read 9 Calmes books in less than a month?!?!  Ack!

JL:  That's not nearly enough.  I think we can fit in a few more. whatcha think?

Red:  Well I still need to read the last Miro and Ian book and I really wanna read Mine...
Red’s Review:

Gah! The title of this, Chosen Pride. I get giddy when I GET the title of a book and this seems simple on the surface but it oh so much more and it makes me smile so big thinking of it.

So…*whistles and twiddles thumbs*

Where to begin, where to begin.

Hey, I’ll start from the beginning, how about that?

From the beginning, I mean Old Loyalty New Love when we first meet Jon Slade as the guy who was hired to seduce Roman and failed because we know Roman is the mate of Quade. But Jon, he was interesting but not really a likeable character in that book but then again, he couldn’t compete with Quade but he was someone to remember. In Fighting Instinct, we get more of Jon as he now works at L’Ange and we get to know him and what kind of shifter he is. Jon begins to form into this tangible and loyal man to both Quade and Roman as well as Arman. But it’s the end of this book that makes you take notice to this king of the jungle and it’s what breaks your heart. I fell hard for Jon at the end of Fighting Instinct and knowing he would indeed get his story told made me happy.

BUT… this is Mary Calmes and while she kicks ass with fated mates, she still implements TMCSS in this but thankfully it’s 99.5% off page. Don’t misunderstand that it doesn’t gut you just because it’s off page because it totally hurts but as per the norm, the reunion is worth it.

Now, this was different for me in the beginning and I have to be honest, if it weren’t for my girl Jenni Lea buddy reading it with me I might have stopped. You see, I am used to the separation and the longing but Mary, she did this different thing and had me caring about someone else deep and fast and I didn’t want to see them hurt. I should have known better and know that Mary would never hurt someone she made me care about but the way she goes about it? Pure brilliance I tell you.

Red:  I'm so confused and really sad.  I don't know what to do.  I want Jon to be happy but I want [SPOILER] to be happy too and they are sweet together.  Ugh.

Linus and Sheridan ribbing Jon for not noticing the other shifters is adorable. The king of the jungle kinda has his head up his ass. 

Okay, I'm stopping where [SPOILER].  I have to clean up dinner and get ready for bed so I can read. 

But my heart... I am so lost and the angst hurts.  I'm wondering what she put in this to give the no spoiler directions????

Red:  Okay.  I'm crying just thinking about [ANOTHER SPOILER].  I don't know if I can take this JL.  This book... What is going on?

JL:  I dunno, but I'm really excited to find out!  Trust in the Calmes.  You know she won't lead us astray.
This book is really hard to review without spoiling. I mean, you know from the blurb and if you have read the series – which I highly recommend you do – that Jon has met his mate in Kelvin MacCurdy but Kelvin turns him away and breaks Jon’s heart. When Jon learns that Kelvin is coming to L’Ange it gets interesting and then it gets exciting, a bit violent and bloody but the whole book is really this cinematic story telling that gives this series an amazing story line.

JL:  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All is right in the world again!  You can breathe easy.  I knew Mary would make this right. Keep reading, good things are about to happen!

Red:  I hope you're right because I kinda don't wanna read anymore tonight...I don't want [BIG, FAT SPOILERY SPOILER]. Ugh.

JL:  just keep reading…
Jon, you were this bit of a slimy character when we first meet you but seeing you change, shift for the first time *swoon*, mourn the chance to be with your mate and then just step up in every way imaginable was beautiful. The way you want to stand up for Kelvin and smother him with love, affection and family was adorable and the way you fold into your pack was just stunning.

Red:  My heart!

"I carried the kernel of hope with me, my mother’s promise, my father’s, that my mate was out there and he would find me. It was too bad that when he did, he didn’t want me."

JL:  I know!  That was when I teared up

Red:  Linus is so mean right now! Jon is heart broken and he keeps drilling in the fact that Kelvin doesn't want him.  Ugh.

JL:  I know, right?  What happened to my sweet, loveable Linus?
Kelvin, my Scottish ginger brother how can I not fall at your feet and roll over for a belly rub? Seriously! When we learn of your life, of what it means to be the Fenrir I wanted to stuff you in my pocket because you need a mother’s care but I know I would have a fight on my hands with Jon if I touched you so I will just pretend. But really, seeing you again as you make it known who and what you want, all your declarations to Jon and what you give to him made me fall so much in love with you it was a bit painful. 

JL:  Don't mind me, I'm just over here about to die from all the swooning...

Can you imagine what this will sound like on audio???

Red:  Just hit the break in Chapter 5, Gah  I love  this. The Gaelic and my heart business . .swoon
I said it in my review for Fighting Instinct that Mary Calmes does not get enough credit for these worlds she creates with her shifter characters and I am saying it again. We don’t just get one breed of shifter here, we have so many and each one has their own set of laws that don’t get confusing or run the risk of being carbon copies of the others. This new world with fated/true mates of different shifters is stunning in its complexity but Ms. Calmes makes it so easy to follow and just be amazed by all of it. The new twists to the story, things we learn about those who champion L’Ange for what it was meant to be sat me down hard. I wasn’t quite ready for it but I loved it and that end, the whole deal with… yeah. It was beautifully brutal and again, truly cinematic in the way I saw it all happening as I read.

JL:  you know,  Mary has a brilliant gift for tactics and strategy.  oh, how the tables have turned!

Red:  “I understand now, Ard-Righ. You didn’t come just to hold your ceremonies on my land.” “No, alpha, I did not,” Cahill answered, his voice thick with meaning. “What is it you hoped to find?”  [THE SPOILERIEST OF ALL SPOILERS TO HAVE EVER SPOILED]

Wait . .what  and Ack!!!

JL:  Just wait! There's so much more! And then Quade's idea is awesome.

Red:  [YEAH, NO]...all this coming out right now and I am floored!

JL:  I know, right??? I didn't even have an inkling of this!  Gah, Mary is so good with the plot twists.


JL:  I loved this part so much.  Just wait until you read Quade's response and his idea.  It's epic!
We get more of everyone in this book, Quade/Roman, Linus/Arman as well as family and new shifters that show up and even learn more about who really works at L’Ange. It was a pure joy to read and to feel the romance between Jon and Kelvin as they learn to give in to being mates and move forward to bigger and better things. 

While the story ends nicely and wrapped up, I am not ready to be done with it yet. But that’s pretty much me after finishing every book by the author.

JL’s Review:

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved this book.  The romance, the intrigue, the dialogue, it was everything I could have ever wanted out of a Mary Calmes book.  I had a fellow reader ask me about this book on GR which led to me basically writing my review in the comments section.  I would like to now share it with you:

Fellow Reader:  For some reason I'm skeptical about this series. How does it compare to Change of Heart?"

Well, that's hard to say. Change of Heart was the very first book of hers I read so it will always hold a special place for me in my heart. Objectively, it is a bit different from the CoH series, the main difference in that each book is about a different couple rather than following the same one throughout. They are classic Mary Calmes though. She doesn't veer too far off her normal path. I'd say that in this series she eases you into the world, the world building a bit more organic than CoH. For instance, you don't get nearly as much rules and regulations as CoH and you won't need a glossary for it. The world building gradually increases with each book so you're not thrown in all at once.

The main underlying theme seems (to me) to be about differences, about opposites attracting and not judging a book by its cover so to speak. Also about overcoming obstacles in the sheer face of adversity. One of the things I loved most about them is that each MC actually has a unique voice. They're not all the same, recycled character. This book in particular, the main protagonist Jon is laugh out loud funny. He is the epitome of what kind of animal he shifts into. It was very refreshing to read.

JL:  OK, I think Jon will most likely be moving into my pocket.  He's such a little shit!  He's goading Linus to make him mad because he thinks he looks pretty when he's angry.  And what a smartass!  I've already fallen in love with him.

Red:  I can't wait to start.  I loved him at the end when he walked straight up to Arman and touched him but when you find out [SPOILER FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOK] I knew I needed him to be loved and mated.

JL:  He is so very heartbroken right now.  It made tears come to my eyes already

JL:  Oh. My. God.  She did NOT just go there!  TELL ME WHEN YOU GET TO 8%.  I MUST DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU!!!!!  She just added gasoline to the fire.  HOLY CRAP I'M PISSED!!!  Not at Mary, of course, she's a goddess who can do no wrong.

Red:  I'm just in the prologue... I have about 9 or so pages to go.

JL:  Lemme know when you get to the part where it's October
She also does something in this book that she has never done before in any of her previous books but I can't say what it is without spoiling.

JL:  Wow, Mary has never done THIS in her books before.  Never has she had [KINDA, MAYBE A BIG SPOILER?], it was only mentioned in past tense, we never saw it.
She also revealed to me what a mastermind she is. If you read these back to back you can actually see the progression in her writing skills. This book really blew me away.

JL:  Damn, this story is giving me whiplash with all the twists and turns.  I just got to where [POSSIBLY ANOTHER SPOILER].  It's making my head spin...

Red:  This is cinematic right here! [HOLY CRAP, WHAT A HUGE SPOILER!] OMG! She is amazing. How are we going to review this???

JL:  I have no freaking idea. there's so many spoilers.
I highly recommend this series. I know a lot of people gave lower ratings to the first book and I think that, even though they might not have said so in their reviews, the reason for this IS because it was slightly different from her norm. People expect her books to be a certain way and this series veers off that path a little. This is just my (biased) opinion, of course . I'd say give it a chance.

Another Fellow Reader:  "I haven't read the second book. Do I need to read that one before this?"

Yes, these are not standalones. The characters from the first book are still part of the second one and both couples from the first two are an integral part of this book. They all three have an overall story arc.

Yet Another Fellow Reader:  "You hit the nail on the head with your explanation. I struggled with CoH because of the initial world building and strange words... I never had that problem with this series."

You see a bit more of it in this book because the wolves have a detailed, rich hierarchy but it is easier to follow along with since you've already got an idea of how this world works from the first two books.

I loved this book so much I honestly didn’t want it to end.  I was legitimately sad when I got to the last page.  I could feel a sense of finality to the series as I read the ending. 

Red:  You think there is more in the series???? That was so good and I loved Kelvin's accent! Swoon.

JL:  I dunno.  it kind of had a sense of finality to it, don't you think?  I hope she's not done with this world yet.

Red:  it did but I want more. I loved this. It was so good and it was not just the romance/fated mates between Kelvin and Jon, it was the whole FAMILY that they have become.
I had such a HUGE hangover after reading this that the only thing I could do was to read another Mary Calmes book.  Thankfully, Mary has plenty more gems out there like this one.  Mary, what would I have to do to get you to write more in this series?  I don’t want to let them go yet!



  1. Thank you for the fun/interesting post!

    1. You're welcome! We had so much fun reading this. 😊