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Shelly Laurenston

Review: Bear Meets Girl (Pride Series #7) by Shelly Laurenston #PrideSeries #Shifters

“See,” Cella shot back, “that’s a ridiculous thing to say, because I don’t even know this guy or whether I like him or not. I was just going to kill him.”

Yep. The Smith wolf pack is back. Along with the van Holtz pack, the Llewellan Pride, all the members of the Carnivore Shifter Team, and everyone’s assorted friends, family and pack members. And any strays that happen along. But when you add in the Malone family, especially Cella “Bare Knuckles” Malone, She-Tiger, hockey enforcer for the Marauder, ex-Marine sniper, daughter to Butch “Nice Guy” Malone and hit-woman for Katzenhaus Securities, or KZS, the international feline protection agency. . . well, things get “interesting” in a very “Holy Homicide, Batman!” sort of way. Gotta love me some Cella!

Bear Meets Girl is another of Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series, and is just as good as all the others in the series. Although, I have to admit, the cover is really bad. As in, sticking “Cella” down there at Crushek’s feet like some prissy little weakling really sort of ticked me off. As IF Bare Knuckles Malone would whimper and mewl at some dude’s feet!

Anyway, off my “Hate the Cover” Rant Horse (and what is up with that wimpy title, anyway? Just sayin’.) and on to the story. I had read the book before I saw it on Netgalley, but who could pass up being able to read any of Shelly’s Pride series once more? I mean, the books are freakin’ awesomesauce!!! I love humour in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and Shelly always offers something fun. In this case, watching poor Crushek wake up from a horrendous hangover in bed with a feline of all things (He knew lots of felines, but he didn’t spend time around them because they were, as he’d already stated and everyone knew, totally untrustworthy. It was a fact. Look it up!) he only came to the party because, well, yeah, he was depressed. Well, he was getting transferred, of all things! And Crushek hates change. Like the fact that his favorite shoe store moved six years ago. And he still goes by and stares in the window and wishes that things didn’t change. At least, until the people in the tea shop called the cops on the meth dealer standing around outside the window and scaring them all. Well, when you are a 6’9” 350-lb polar bear shifter who works as an undercover cop (yes, normally as a meth dealer. Sometimes a hired killer. But mostly? Yeah, a meth dealer) that isn’t all that hard to understand. But that whole ‘change’ thing? Crushek just doesn’t care for it. Like, At. All.

Sigh.

But change is here, and what happens? He finds himself mixed up in all sorts of change. Oh, and poachers. And taxidermists. And let’s not forget Novikov. And Nice Guy Malone. And a whole lot more of his hockey heroes. Because while he may not be able to play all that well, Crushek is a serious (and I mean really serious) hockey fan. And the fact that Cella, who he is sure is a whacked out female who is a danger to her toddler daughter (Snort. Giggle. Wait till you meet Cella’s “toddler” daughter. . .) keeps pretending to be his girlfriend, sitting in his lap and basically driving him right out of his tree? Ha! Gotta adore some Cella!

Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series is in my top five of the best paranormal series out there. The characters are amazingly fun, diverse, and consist of quite a few asskicker women who don’t put up with any sort of garbage from anything or anyone. The underlying storyline of the families is well laid out and developed. But what I really like is her continuing story of how the shifters are working hard against humans, and even other shifters, who are running hunting camps where shifters, some as young as six, are turned loose on private preserves, hunted and slaughtered by anyone who has the money to pay – their bodies then stuffed, mounted, and kept in the homes of the rich and depraved. It isn’t the animals who are the true monsters.

The story gets deeper, and meaner, this time around. The BPC, the Bear Preservation Council, and their leader, Peg Baissier, are up to something. Isolationists, the BPC don’t like that Crushek works for the police department. Something bad is going down, and Peg seems determined that Crushek will fall into line. And if that means Crushek’s cover was blown, and Crushek himself blown-away, well. The hunters are bad enough. But Peg Baissier may be even more deadly. Especially to Crushek – her foster son.

If you are a lover of PR and UF and haven’t picked up this series after all the praise I have given it, why not? If you like humor, action, truly likable (and hatable) characters, solid world building, and a tight storyline, well, you can’t do much better.

I received this book from the publisher (and Netgalley) in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. I love this whole series!

Review: Wolf With Benefits (Pride #8) Shelly Laurenston

“My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.” – Christopher Hitchens

“I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me.” – Bob Dylan

Wolf with Benefits (Pride, #8)Antonella ‘Toni’ Jean-Louis Parker’s life is, well, let’s just say “unusual”. As the oldest child of eleven children, you would expect that a lot of the load for child care would fall to her. But when all your brothers and sisters are prodigies, totally absorbed in themselves, well, it is sort of like herding cats. Really spoiled, really demanding, really obnoxious cats. And everyone dumps their complete and total care (and really difficult scheduling) on Toni. ‘Toni I Want’, ‘Toni Do This, Toni Do That’ – nothing like being personal slave to ten little monsters . . . And sweet, gentle Toni simply takes it on herself to do it all, with no complaints. But she is getting pretty tired of it – especially when her mother tosses their lives into chaos once again, throwing all the careful plans and schedules out the window in order to keep the family in New York to stalk the wolf teenager across the street who lives with the Wild Dog Pack. Well, she really does want to mentor him! Being a music prodigy herself, mum is a little odd. Ok, let’s call a spade a spade. The whole freakin’ family is nuts – except for ‘normal’ Toni and their ‘normal’ father.

This is Shelly Laurenston, so I always know when I pick up one of hers I am going to enjoy it. Especially her Pride series. These books are hugely fun. I skipped around more than a bit, reading and reviewing the first in the series, The Mane Event, then the ninth, Bite Me and I got tremendous pleasure out of both of those, (though I admit to enjoying Bite Me more than The Mane Event – the female character was more likeable to me in that one, and I feel like she hadn’t really hit her stride in the first book. And Wolf With Benefits keeps the humor going – I literally laughed uproariously the whole time I was working on stripping down and cleaning every inch of my kitchen all day. What made it even better is that I listened this time instead of reading, and Charlotte Kane made it all just that much better. As I said in a previous review, “I read the first two of Shelly Laurenston’s “Pride” series quite some time ago and remember liking them, and finding them rather funny. “Bite Me” is sooo much more! I laughed so hard all through the book I had tears running down my face. The story is great, but the characters make the book. From Tennessee hillbillies (and proud of it) to savants in everything from art to music to science, Shelly takes what could be cliché characters and make them so much more. There is tremendous humor here, but also depth – the love of family and friends, the sacrifices friends are willing to make, and a lot about love and duty, greed and egotism – and the best way to break into an unbreakable vault, of course. No breaking into unbreakable vaults this time, but when one of the children is taken, family and friends will move heaven and earth to get him back.

If you are in the mood for laughter, if you are feeling blue and need a lift, and want a story populated with quirky characters, you can’t go wrong with the Pride series. The first two were more of the typical ‘paranormal romance’ with some humor thrown in – lots of sex and not as much story. Bite Me and Wolf With Benefits? LOTS of story, lots of laughs, and a tiny bit of very well-done sex – lagniappe rather than main course! Ricky Lee Reed is one of the infamous Smith Pack – hillbilly redneck wolves with good hearts, hard heads, lots of fight and really, really scary family members. But Ricky Lee is a bit different from his brothers – in a very good way I found quite appealing. He is perfect for this story as Toni’s bodyguard when she travels to Siberia to meet with the Russians Bears – who happen to loath canines. And of course, a Jackal and a Wolf are not going to get the friendliest of welcomes . . .

I know where my Audible credits are going to be going for a bit – grabbing up the rest of the series in audio instead of simply reading them. Charlotte makes the stories come alive!

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Review: Bite Me (Pride Series Book 9) by Shelly Laurenston

Bite Me (Pride, #9)“Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” – George Carlin
Poor Livy. Being a honey badger shifter is really the pits sometimes. Let’s take her father’s funeral.

“So how did it go?

“Fistfight on the casket. Poisonous snakes in the backyard. My father’s ex-girlfriend head-butted by my mother… The usual really.”

Wow. Growing up in a family known for being enemies to … well … everyone, isn’t actually all that easy. Especially when you have no interest in learning the finer skills of pickpocketing at age three or how to best break in to a safe, steal the swag and get away clean by the time you are a preteen. Huh. Livy isn’t interested in the family business of breaking every local, state, federal and international robbery law on the books – she just wants to be a photographer. And she is a really good one at that. But family business rears its ugly head, no matter how carefully Livy tries to stay away. And her father’s death will lead to a return to the family business, will she or nil she. Thank goodness she has good friends to back her up. And, believe it or not, her family as well. Of course, when her old friend Vic, a bear-tiger hybrid, shows up along with his friend and sometimes business partner Shen, the giant panda, things get even stickier.

Livy: “Your feline is showing.”
Vic: “Because you’re not being rational and there’s an eight-foot four-hundred-pound whiny baby over there begging me to claw the holy shit out of him.”

Polar Bear Hockey Player (and aforementioned whiney baby): “You are Rude!”

Livy has no interest in a ‘relationship’ with anyone – especially when said hybrid makes her insides feel funny. But sometimes what we want and what we need are very different. And having a mammoth sized hybrid on her side turns out to be rather a good thing after all.

I read the first two of Shelly Laurenston’s “Pride” series quite some time ago and remember liking them, and finding them rather funny. “Bite Me” is sooo much more! I laughed so hard all through the book I had tears running down my face. The story is great, but the characters make the book. From Tennessee hillbillies (and proud of it) to savants in everything from art to music to science, Shelly takes what could be cliché characters and make them so much more. There is tremendous humor here, but also depth – the love of family and friends, the sacrifices friends are willing to make, and a lot about love and duty, greed and egotism – and the best way to break into an unbreakable vault, of course.

Yes, the first ones were OK but Book Nine? Priceless! It is now on my “to be read immediately when feeling sad” shelf. And I am going to go back and read the rest as well. The first two were more of the typical ‘paranormal romance’ with some humor thrown in – lots of sex and not as much story. This one? LOTS of story, lots of laughs, and a tiny bit of very well-done sex – lagniappe rather than main course!

Highly recommended. Have fun! Oh, and please note. Just because Shelly’s wonderful cover artists couldn’t figure out the best way to make Vic look sexy in his hybrid form, (he really is quite terrifying in his shifted form! All. That. FUR!!) and put that gorgeous tiger on the cover instead, doesn’t mean that Shelly doesn’t respect her friends, the hybrid shifters!

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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