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Review: The Mane Event (Pride #1) by Shelly Laurenston

mane
I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks – and the mystery was good too!

It is sort of silly on my part, reviewing The Mane Event. I mean, let’s face it, Shelly Laurenston is a well-known Paranormal Fantasy author (read, more shifter sex than shifter adventure, but there ya go). I really do try to review mostly unknown and Indie authors. This book has, as of this moment, 135 reviews on Amazon, and mine is just one more. But I have to tell you, the reason I am reviewing? Well, because I laughed my ass off!!! And I mean that in a good way, not a “I laughed because the book was so bad I couldn’t help myself.” Instead, I laughed because Shelly Laurenston is just darn FUNNY! I laughed long, and loud, and with tears running down my cheeks and the occasional “OMG I am going to have to change my underwear soon” sort of laughter I haven’t been able to enjoy in a very long time. There is, of course, a lot of sex in the book, as is to be expected from the genre, so one must keep that in mind. However, the dry wit, subtle humour, and occasional outright outlandishness of the book more than make up for the sex scenes, if you aren’t a person that likes that sort of thing. And if you do like that sort of thing? Well, those parts are well written and hot as heck – so what’s to lose by immersing yourself?

This book is really a ‘two-fer’ in that there are two complete, and yet tied together stories included. In Christmas Pride you first meet Mace Llewellyn, former Navy SEAL, now retired, and the only Pride Breeding Male of the Llewellyn line. Well, at least he would be a Pride Breeding Male if he would stand for that sort of bull. Instead, he is determined to track down and capture Desiree “Dez” McDemot, his true ladylove since the age of fourteen. Even if capturing requires ‘taking care of’ any other male who happens to have the misfortune of being in the path of his goal. Imagine his surprise, therefore, when Dez is on site as the lead detective on the murder case currently being investigated at the Pride home. Now, the chase is on, and Mace has no intention of letting Dez escape – Bronx accented, tough, Puerto Rican, full-human that she is. A chase that infuriates Mace’s sister, Missy, “f’king queen of the Serengeti” and leader of the Llewellyn pride. The very rich, very entitled and elitist, and very purist leader of the Llewellyn pride. Allowing Mace to claim Dez is absolutely NOT on Missy’s agenda – especially as Petrov, the only other Pride Breeding Male in residence has just been murdered.

While the mating chase of Mace and Dez is funny, interesting, and hot as a cast iron skillet just out of the oven, what is really interesting is the murder mystery. What happened to Petrov? How did someone get to him, and who-dun-it and why? There is something going on here, something that could put the whole Llewellyn pride in danger. And the fact that Dez is the person in charge of finding out what drives Missy right out of her ‘tree’ and leads to a plot that is much more serious than anyone could have expected.

Add then there is Mace’s friend and fellow soldier Smitty and his pack. “Pack and Pride, dog and cat’. . . the military created strange bedfellows.” Especially when Mace is rich and entitled, and Smitty is a no-holds-barred Tennessee redneck. With Smitty and his pack now firmly ensconced along with Mace in New York while they set up their security business, the opportunities for hysteria are numerous.

The second story in the book is Shaw’s Tail. We meet Brendon Shaw at the climax of the previous novel, as he is located in the tunnels beneath the city by Dez and the wolf pack. Severely wounded by a vicious hyena pack and barely able to stand, Brendon is rescued and taken to hospital – but not before getting a whiff of something wonderful, powerful, and delicious – and catches a glimpse of a pair of beautiful hazel eyes. Oops. Cats and dogs, anyone? For Brendon Shaw is a proven Lion Breeding Male, and his new obsession is in no way, shape, form, or fashion going to be acceptable to Missy! Because Ronnie Lee Reed is a redneck Tennessee Hillbilly Beta wolf, with attitude to spare.

Stuck with babysitting duty in the hospital with Shaw by her Alpha female, Sissy Mae Smith, Ronnie is in for a lot more than just babysitting duty. When Shaw takes down two strange humans with jackal scent all over them in his hospital room, Ronnie whisks Shaw away to her aunt’s house in Long Island, only to have Shaw’s ‘healing fever’ cause a world of trouble for her, and a world of hysterical laughter for me. Can we all say “full grown lion doing the Mamba in the neighbor’s front yard?” And then there is always the doggy “play bow,” front down, ass in the air (and do you think he is EVER going to live that one down . . .?)
There is action and adventure in this story line, hot nookie and laughter, and a good dose of mystery and suspense. All in all? I am now deeply addicted to Shelly Laurenston and her Pride Series. If you like paranormal romance with a good dose of mystery, action, and laughter, you can’t go wrong!

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SHOWSTOPPERS IS OUT IN PAPERBACK! WOO HOO!

The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers is out in paperback on Amazon!
The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers is out in paperback on Amazon!

The holidays are nearly here, and what better gift than beautiful copies of SHOWSTOPPERS for all your friends and family? Heartwarming, funny, and all around lovable, these canine companions, along with their Angel Guardian, her Angel Mentor, and their favorite FBI Agent are on another adventure!

Travel with them, from New Orleans to New York as they track down the evil people who are kidnapping famous show dogs!

The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers is out in paperback on Amazon! Click the link above and you can purchase copies for everyone on your list!

 

Review: To Murder A Saint (Saints Mystery Series) by Nicole Loughan

to murder a saint
Good Reads site.

I picked up “To Murder A Saint” as a ‘freebie’  from one of my e-mails of “free and discount books” that I receive on a daily basis. I always appreciate these, as it often leads me to a new author I may not have otherwise discovered. Sometimes I am happy I found the particular book. Sometimes? Not so much.

In this case, what caught my eye was the cover. It is beautiful, as you can see. Well, that and the fact that the book was set in Louisiana, a total weakness for me. I can say that the potential is definitely there, hopefully to be fulfilled later. The author, Nicole Loughan, is a recognized journalist and syndicated humour columnist, which offers potential as a writer of fiction. In this first installment of her series, Nicole is writing about my home area, the bayous of southern Louisiana. She does a fairly good job of setting up the novel. My three-star review is based on several issues I had.

Nicole’s writing tries very hard to speak the language of the Bayou. However, with no experience with the area (she went to school in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia) her attempts at Cajun fall flat. She starts ‘Cajun-Speak’ but then falls back into ‘journalism-speak’ within two sentences. Cajun is an extremely unique language, a mixture of French, English, a bit of African and bits of Native American tribal languages (Choctaw, Quapaw, Caddo, etc.). It is also difficult for a northerner to comprehend the cadence and flow of southern speech patterns. Her precise use of language as a journalist makes it difficult, without doubt, to fall into the patois of the south, where ‘can not’ comes out ‘kaint’ and bonjour is much more common than hello, “How’s it going?” is
Comment ça va?” and the best response to that is “Ça va. Et vous-autres?” i.e., “It’s going OK. And ya’ll?” Or, in my case, “Ca va. Ah dah’tse?” i.e., “It’s good. How are you?” (A mix of Cajun with a soupcon of Quapaw.)

Overall, this reads as a first attempt at a novel, somewhat stilted and rough, but with good bones. I have put the next book on my to-read list to see if the roughness inherent in the first novel smooths out. I would have appreciated more development of the storyline. I felt it was somewhat choppy and not filled out well enough for my tastes. Again, that ‘journalist’ feeling – “Just the facts!” that was sort of off-putting for me, but others seemed to like in their reviews. In my opinion, if I am going to read a novel, I wish to fall into the book and be able to see it in my mind – the characters, the background, the world around the players. Humans are defined by their surroundings, and limiting those surroundings limits the movie that is developed in my mind. If I did not have such a strong connection with bayou country, it would have been very hard for me to feel any connection with the story or its characters.I will check out the second in the series when I get a moment and make a decision from there whether to leave the author on my ‘TBR’ list. I hope I can come back with a great review on that one!

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