OK, it’s winter. Yep. When you can’t get away to the mountains, cabin fever and darkness can be a real downer… So what do I do? Take a break from more serious reading and snuggle into HEA paranormal romance, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownies, hot tea, a pile of quilts and pillows, and classical music.
Hum… what HEA this year? Well, you can’t go wrong with Eve Langlais. And her Furry United Coalition (or, yes, FUC) was my choice for spoiling myself. Wry, snarky, and ironic, Eve’s dry wit is very much on display, dragging out barks of laughter and sly giggles at unexpected moments. The perfect ‘just relax and enjoy’ reads, a set of five interlinked stories of love and unusual matings meant to be just what they are – fun and relaxing.
The Furry United Coalition is a paranormal policing division, set to protect humans from the knowledge of, and attacks from, the hidden paranormal world. And FUC has a weird collection of paranormals of its own. The first unusual couple? In Bunny and the Bear Miranda is bubbly, bouncy, chatty, soft-and-cuddly bunny who makes the Energizer Bunny look like a dozy sloth. What is frowny, sleepy, grouchy attorney bear Chase to do? Especially when Miranda is kidnapped by a nasty mad scientist determined to design his own monster army. And breaking out requires bringing her saber-tooth bunny side to the fore – and a saber-tooth bunny suddenly becomes the ‘must have accessory’ for the Mastermind.
Book Two is Swan and the Bear. Chase’s brother, Mason, is a true ladies man and honeybun lover, a big playful teddy bear. But when he is assigned to protect a curvy swan, his whole world is turned upside down. Rich chocolate skin and a brilliant mind makes Jessie a rather unusual protectee for a sexy bear – especially when she turns down his sexy approach flat. Huh? Is the hot bear losing his pretty-boy mojo? Mastermind is determined to capture the brilliant computer specialist swan and Mason is just as determined to protect her. Just a warning, this second edition is filled with sudden bursts of uncontrollable laughter and snickering snorts . . .
Croc and the Fox finds FUC raiding one of Mastermind’s hidden laboratories. And when cold-blooded Viktor enters the underground bunker filled with experimental subjects, subjects begging for the release of death, he finds Project X081 – and this weapons collecting warrior is thrown for a loop as he is stuck with the care of Project X081, who has never even seen the sky – that huge, blue vastness which sends her scurrying and climbing him like a tree, clinging like a limpet, and turning his whole calm, isolated life upside down. This one is my favorite of the five – two broken people finding one another – and finding that life is more than they ever expected.
ASS gets involved in the storyline this time. Yep, FUC and ASS, or Avian Soaring Society. I told you she has a wry sense of humour. Lion and the Falcon is laugh worthy, as the massively spoiled Dr. Manners, chief physician for FUC and the only son of an obsessive lioness mother finds himself partnered with a tall, sleek and violent falcon shifter with tons of attitude and no patience for a self-centered, self-indulgent male lion who is a pain in her backside – especially when she is ordered to protect his spoiled backside from escaped victims of Mastermind who are determined to take down Dr. Manners, and any other doctor who comes their way. Well, doctors did turn them into the monsters they are now. . .
Nolan’s mother Brenda is a hoot, and Clarice the falcon’s sharp edged tongue and tough attitude is a pleasure – though the privileged and hair-obsessed lion is a bit too much for me – overall, the women really make this one.
Sooo sad, as The Doe and the Wolf is the last in the in the series (though I can’t help but hope she writes another…) Everett lost his job with FUC for his ‘all about me’ attitude which placed others in danger. Now the owner of The Lone Wolf Agency along with his sloth friend Tom, is asked by FUC to help track down and destroy the rest of the escaped prisoners from Masterminds vicious experiments. Injured and thrown over a cliff by a sadistic 8-foot-tall gecko, Everett is saved by one of the very victims he is determined to track down and kill for the bounty. Dawn drags him from the river and ties him to a bed in order to treat his wounds, and not be eaten by the big bad wolf. Escaping, to trek miles through the woods to the closest small town before disappearing into the woods once more, she is captured by said big, bad wolf . . . who finds himself drawn to the doe who seems so very normal to be the ferocious monster she is supposed to be. As they work together to capture the ‘not-so-normal’ gecko, Everett and Dawn suffer the wrath of Tom the sloth while Dawn desperately tries to hide the ‘monster’ that her doe has become. A chase through the forest, a sabre-tooth bunny giving birth in the woods, and a dramatic reveal of Dawn’s doe makes this edition both exciting and funny – and broke my heart when it ended, because it was the last one. Sigh. Weep.