Urban fantasy is by definition mostly light reading even when dark. Jennifer Ashley's Pride Mates will give you a quick, enjoyable read, but that's not to say it's a simple, one-note book. It's just a quick, straight forward read in comparison to Landy's Skulduggery series [dense] and Martin's Ice and Fire crew [denser].
Kim Fraser, an up and coming lawyer, has battled to represent a career-making case to defend a despised Shifter, who she think is innocent of murdering his human girlfriend. Fraser seeks information about the secretive group, and her world turns upside down when she meets, Liam, the son of the Austin Shiftertown leader. Once the platform is set, Ashley layers on the complications.
I liked Ashley's take on Shifters. No cliched weres for her, but engineered playthings of the Fae, who abandoned them when they retreated from our world. The Shifters were in danger of extinction until they came out and agreed to wear collars to curb their violence.
For example, the simplistic villains would be the prejudiced humans. Ashley builds her conflict on the aspirations of a subjugated group ... which don't necessarily have to be evil. Evil is as evil does. Ashley presents disagreeable people without them being ultimate villains. In short, Pride Mates gives the reader a three dimensional world even if it's based on the girl meets boy- problems rear their ugly heads-boy wins girl formula.
This book is going on my trade pile, but I'll probably buy Ashley's next book if I notice it.