Review: Mind Mates by Mary Hughes

Review: Mind Mates by Mary HughesPublished on August 23, 2016
Published by 7th Octave Publishing
Source: NetGalley

Pretty little shifter, wizard prince—their taboo love could burn the barriers between worlds.

Shifter Emma Singer has more problems than she can shake her pretty little wolf tail at. Her heirloom journal is missing, her pack alpha wants her for his harem, and her family plans to sell her to him. Even her wicked little crush on her hot boss is doomed—why would six-and-a-half feet of handsome royal wizard want a boring, good-girl iota shifter like her? Not to mention her only power is going berserker—that's a real relation-shipwreck!

Gabriel Light is a wizard prince who turned his back on his exceptional powers after he was accused of causing his parents' death. Now he pours his intellect into his tech business, and hides his naughty, forbidden lust for his pretty shifter clerk. But when his sister is imprisoned, and Emma is kidnapped, it's time for this alpha geek-wizard to decloak with all laser cannons blazing. Only one problem—how can he be sure Emma won’t get caught in the crossfire?

Then Gabriel and Emma stumble on hidden magic, a key to power beyond imagining—if they can stay alive long enough to use it. But if Emma unleashes her berserker wolf on their enemies, can Gabriel draw her back from the brink before she destroys everyone in her path?

When I stumbled upon this book I immediately knew I would like it based upon the blurb. Wizards and shifters…the paranormal fan in me was jumping for joy.  After reading Mind Mates I realized that this book was really so much more than I originally expected, though. It was funny, like really funny and it was long and involved and complicated. It took me almost a week to make it through the whole thing. Was it worth it? Yes, completely yes.

This book revels in the details. Since I hadn’t read the previous Pull of the Moon book it felt a little like jumping into the deep end. Mary Hughes wonderfully explains the world in detail in order to get you caught up, but readers are thrown into this complicated (and beautiful) world from the word “go”. I had to slow my reading pace down to understand the eccentricities of the world. The wizarding rules, the shifter normalcies…this book just takes time to get through. In the end, you are left with a crazy big sense of Hughes’ vision. Guys and gals, it’s glorious. However, as someone who likes to cruise through books, it was a bit too long for my taste. The details, along with a complicated plot, left me itching for this book to be finished much sooner than it actually was.

The best parts of this book were the interactions between our hero and heroine, Gabriel and Emma. Their relationship was complicated since they started off with a false understanding of each other, but it was fun to see them overcome their humble beginnings and make a real start of things. Gabriel is a total alpha hero in a nerdy disguise and Emma is just really really likeable for the get-go. Emma is sweet without being sickening and a little low on self-confidence which only endeared me to her even more. These two don’t have a whole lot going for them at first glance but as we got to know them even more and more I realized that their almost magnetic pull towards each other was very well crafted. I was totally rooting for them by the halfway point.

If you are a fan of paranormals with a bit more “heft” this book will be right up your alley. Fan of fast reads may want to skip this one, but if you have the patience this book it is totally worth the time and energy. 3.5 stars!


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Owner of the Choice Buy store in Michigan, wizard prince Gabriel Light sees his employee, wolf shifter Emma Singer, fall off a tall ladder. He’s just managed to catch her and set her on her feet when her angry pack alpha shows up.

Bzz-bzzt. A buzz like an angry hornet stung wizard prince Gabriel Light’s ears the moment the predator slunk into the store.

Cap’n Crunch me. Gabriel had magically alarmed the door for just such an event, but why now, when he’d finally gotten a semi-innocent excuse to wrap his arms around this warm bundle of soft, sweet-smelling heaven?

Emma. It felt like he’d been dying to hold her forever. Now, with her in his arms, was the first time in months he could breathe.

But that buzzing alarm told him the approaching beast was male, a wolf shifter, and, from that level of sting, Emma’s alpha. The beast was not going to appreciate seeing her in another man’s arms.

She started trembling, no doubt in response to the alpha’s rampant fight-club stench, a musk even Gabriel could smell. He tried to ease her tension with a joke.

“Hey, Emma. How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?”

She skewered him with a disbelieving stare, icing his flesh. He’d blundered, she didn’t understand he was trying to comfort her, nobody gets my skewed sense of humor… Then she gulped and said, “Eight? Like, um, eight legs?”

Immediately his world brightened. “Nope. Ten tickles. Get it? Tentacles?”

She managed a tiny laugh, tinkling bells to his ears, and her body relaxed slightly under his arms. “That was such a dad joke.”

He loved that she, of all the people he knew, actually laughed at his jokes. He smiled into her eyes like a besotted fool.

Of course, that was when the he-wolf prowled into view.

Gabriel wondered how far he could get with the wolf by protesting his intentions were honorable. Probably not far. The creature was only barely in human form.

The wolfman was medium height but had a face like a dented shovel and a body like a trash compactor, his muscles-on-muscles popping in a stringy T-shirt that barely qualified past no-shirt-no-shoes-no-service.

Worse, with the hair sprouting everywhere, nose elongating like a snout, and lengthening canines, this alpha was dangerously pissed.

Hard to reason with a pissed-off wolf. They tended to bite first then ask questions…never.

Yet instead of releasing Emma, Gabriel’s hand dropped from her clenched jaw to open protectively on her back.

“The fuck?” the wolfman snarled.

Something inside Gabriel snarled right back.



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three-half-stars

About Mary Hughes

As a girl, Mary Hughes spun romantic, happily-ever-after stories to get to sleep. A husband, family, two degrees and a blackbelt later, she’s delighted to spin them for readers.

She’s lived with love and loss, in bright times and dark, and learned we can all use a break from reality every now and then.

So join her for action, sparkling wit and red-hot love. Strong men. Stronger women.