Shelly Laurenston~~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Wolf With Benefits
Shelly Laurenston
Brava
Trade Paperback
978-0758265227
*****

     Tennessee good-ol'-boy Ricky Lee Reed, now transplanted to New York City, was a top security expert and a sexy wolf shape-shifter. The three Reed brothers owned and ran Reed Security. Rory was the uptight, older brother CEO, Reece, the fun one who was always getting into stupid situations, and Ricky was the laid-back, chick magnet with the slow drawl that women found irresistible. Ricky Lee liked watching Reece get into those stupid situations and Rory try to get him out. It was entertaining and, if nothing else, Ricky Lee liked to be entertained. But besides being an ace security expert, Ricky Lee was first and foremost a wolf with wolf instincts. Once he set his sights on something or someone, nothing would deter him from accomplishing his goals. And Ricky Lee had set his sights on Toni Jean-Louis Parker because she was one of the most entertaining females he had ever met, especially for a She-jackal.
     Toni Jean-Louis Parker had her hands full, but then she always had her hands full. She was managing her nine siblings, which was a full-time job on a slow day. Her mother, Jackie Jean-Louis Parker, had been a child prodigy and all of her pups, except for Toni, were prodigies with various problems, almost bordering on the psychotic. The house was always in total chaos. Jackie was in her own world and useless, and their father tried his best, but only Toni was able to stop the little monsters from killing each other or other people, arrange their practice schedules, keep their classes straight and everything else that involved the narcissism and OCD that made up her genius brothers and sisters. Toni had met Ricky Lee in the park where she was trying to watch her siblings and he was watching her. She wasn’t the least impressed and didn’t want to be bothered; she didn’t have time. Then her family's home was broken into, and a security detail was assigned to the family – one Reed Security.
     Wolf With Benefits is the next edition in Shelly Laurenston's super sexy shape-shifter novels. She mixes weird animal combination shifters together with full shifters and full humans with witty humor and great aplomb that makes all of her stories great fun to read. Ms. Laurenston creates some of the sexiest shape-shifters in the genre and Ricky Lee Reed is no exception. He is the perfect opposite to Toni's manic family and her attempts at keeping things under control. Throw in her new job of keeping the hybrid shape-shifter hockey teams happy while negotiating with difficult Russian bears and you have one hysterical read. Ricky Lee oozes sex and seduction and, even though this book is a little longer than her previous ones, it is well worth it. You will be laughing throughout the night.
Lani Roberts



Howl for It
(Anthology)
Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden
BravaTrade Paperback
978-0758273444

****1/2



     “Like A Wolf With A Bone” (*****) by Shelly Laurenston is the pre
quel to her other hilarious shapeshifter novels. The Smith wolf pack of the Tennessee and North Carolina hills were a wild bunch who fought, loved and protected fiercely anything and anyone they felt deserved it.
     Egbert Ray Smith, Eggie to his friends and Marine buddies, scared the living daylights out of everybody who met him. His eyes always seemed to be not quite human, even when he was in his human form, and he thoroughly enjoyed what he did for a living--killing. When Eggie was sent home and saw the She wolf stalking agitatedly around the front porch, he knew why. It was all the Smiths inside arguing over everything, and Darla Mae Smith wasn’t having it. She didn’t want to be
here either, but her boss, of the Van Holtz pack, had sent her home for a vacation. Fat chance. There were full humans hunting the wolves, lions and bears that resided on Smith property, and now they had Darla Mae in their sights. That is until Eggie saved her life and Darla declared that she wasn’t the least bit afraid of him. He was hooked for life.Ms. Laurenston definitely doesn’t disappoint with this prequel that explains where some of her favorite characters from her other books came from. Darla and Eggie are absolutely hilarious, as are all the other hybrids, shapeshifters and feudin’ families of the hills. It may get a little confusing trying to keep track of who is married to whom, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter it’s just good fun reading.

     “ Wed or Dead” (****) by Cynthia Eden is a high octane adventure
from start to finish. Kayla Kincaid knew her job was to get next to Gage Riley by any means necessary. But she hadn’t thought her boss seriously meant she had to marry the man! So why was she standing on the red carpet of the Forever Chapel in Las Vegas about to walk down the aisle? Then Gage smiled that perfect smile and she knew why she was marrying him. Unfortunately, she also knew she would have to betray him after the wedding. Gage was a shifter, a paranormal, and Kayla was a hunter who took out the monsters that roamed the night in the guise of humans, but weren’t. “Wed or Dead” will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire story. Gage and Kayla start out as antagonists…sexy, married antagonists…but find that they have more in common than they thought. A sexy adventure that will keep you up reading well into the night.



Lani Roberts

.

Big Bad Beast
Shelly Laurenston
Brava, Trade Paperback
978-0758231709
****+

     When six year old Ulrich Van Holtz first met nine year old Dee Ann Smith, he knew he was in love. He was cousin to Niles Van Holtz, the Alpha Male of the Van Holtz Wolf Pack, and Dee Ann was the daughter of Egbert Ray Smith, supposed serial killer and deadliest redneck wolf of the Tennessee Smith Wolf Pack and lifelong enemies of the Van Holtz's. None of that mattered to young Ulrich; he was in love and determined to make Dee Ann Smith fall in love with him. Twenty five years later Ulrich is now head chef at one of the Van Holtz 5-star restaurants, owner of the shifter only pro hockey team, and supervisor of the Group. He has no memory of his six year old fascination with Dee Ann. Dee Ann is now as insanely deadly as her daddy, with a temper to match, as well as being a team member of one of the Group. She has no memory of ever having met Ulrich. Somehow, they both keep ending up together with Ulrich constantly trying to get her naked and in his bed. And for some unknown reason, Dee Ann doesn't try to kill him. But other things are more important at the moment. Somebody is running underground fight clubs, and hybrids are disappearing off the streets and later showing up dead and mutilated.
     The Packs aren't worrying about the full humans finding out about them, but even the purebreds of all the species are incensed at the inhumane treatment of the hybrids. For the
first time in shifter history, the various species are banding together to stop the heinousness.
     This is the continuation of a hilarious shape shifter saga of wolves, foxes, bears, and felines. There is inter species mating, resulting in hybrid pups of every kind, hillbilly fights at the drop of a hat for any reason, and giant polar bears playing pro hockey. Big Bad Beast can easily stand alone, but, if for no other reason than pure enjoyment, I would recommend reading the previous books by Ms. Laurenston.

Lani Roberts

Beast Behaving Badly 
by Shelly Laurenston
Brava
Trade Paperback
978-0758231680
*****

     Blayne Thorpe, hybrid wolfdog--part black wolf, part dog-- was her usual hyper self. When she was happy, which was most of the time, she could chase her tail for hours, just being happy for happy's sake. Practically everybody knew her and loved her, and she got along with practically all species. The only thing she had ever found that scared her right from the beginning was Bo Novikov, better known as The Marauder by all his hockey fans. Bo was also a hybrid, but a rare one. He was half-lion and half-Asian grizzly, supposedly a direct descendant from Genghis Khan. Over seven feet tall in his human form, he was a force to be reckoned with on and off the ice. He was brutal, regimental, adhered strictly to a schedule for everything in his life and didn't like it when anyone or anything got in his way for any reason. The first time Blayne saw him from her VIP box at the hockey games, she was convinced he was a serial killer and ran screaming from the arena. Over the years, she stopped running scared but was still apprehensive around him until she realized that he needed her special skills. He needed to learn how to love and be happy.
     Bo had always hated his particular combination of genes, but since he couldn't do anything about it, he took his aggression out on the hockey rink. As a lion-bear mix who played with several different species' teams, he was the super rock star of the hybrid hockey set. Nobody bothered him unless he wanted to be bothered--until he met this really cute, but extremely annoying little wolf dog that he couldn't shake. She would climb up his body and hang from his neck everywhere he went with some crazy idea that she could teach him how to be happy. But, she wasn't on his schedule, and one doesn't get where Bo was without adhering to a strict practice schedule; so Bo did what any good lion-bear would do; he ignored her. Since she didn't weigh much and he could tune her out while he practiced; he just let her hang on. Until she thought he was going to kill somebody and she didn't want to be around for that, so she got off his neck, but not out of his heart.
     Beast Behaving Badly, second in Shelly Laurenston's hybrid series, is just as laugh-out-loud funny as her first book The Mane Squeeze. The hillbilly wolf clans are still there, the bears and lions still fighting, the hybrids still as rowdy as ever and the little ADHD heroine "taming" the big, bad OCD hybrid Russian hockey player is just too hilarious to miss out on. Definitely one to put on the shelf with the keepers, Beast Behaving Badly can be read alone, but I recommend reading The Mane Squeeze first.
Lani Roberts


The Mane Attraction 
by Shelly Laurenston
Brava
Trade Paperback
978-0758220387
*****

     Lion shape shifter Mitchell Shaw knew he had to lay low for a while when he discovered the two million dollar bounty on his head. He had been working undercover trying to gather evidence against the O'Farrell crew of Philadelphia, to absolutely no avail, when, quite by accident, he witnessed old man O'Farrell commit cold blooded murder. Now Mitch was the only thing that stood between O'Farrell and life in prison. The problem wasn't the bounty on his head though. It was the fact that the safest place he could hide was in Smithtown, the hometown of his best friend, Sissy Mae Smith's pack--wolf pack--and it was in Tennessee. He wasn't real sure how the canines would feel about a feline in their midst, but the choice was taken out of his hands when he was suddenly shot. The next thing he remembered was waking up in Sissy's bed in Tennessee with one totally pissed off she wolf nursemaiding him.
     Sissy Mae Smith knew her brother Travis would be angry when she showed up in her old hometown with a big wounded cat, but she had no alternative. Mitch was her best friend--he made her laugh, he was silly (even for a lion), and Sissy knew whatever mess she got herself into, Mitch would always have her back. But he was also a male lion and, consequently, constantly horny. There was nothing Sissy Mae could do about it, could she? The feelings she had been having couldn't be acted on, could they? Mitch acted this way around Sissy Mae all the time, but it didn't mean anything, did it? Mitch couldn't be feeling the same way Sissy Mae did; after all they were best friends.
     The Mane Attraction is a hilarious switch on the standard shape shifter romance. Sissy Mae and her pack are straight out of the Tennessee hills with moonshining, insane drag racing and hill people competitiveness that will have the reader falling out of her chair in laughter. And when our two protagonists finally act on their feelings, things get even more out of hand and hilarious. Ms. Laurenston has outdone herself with this refreshing, extremely sexy change.

Lani Roberts

 

The Mane Squeeze 
by Shelly Laurenston
Brava
Trade Paperback
978-0758231666
*****

     Lachlan MacRyrie of the Clan MacRyrie was trying desperately to sneak out of his friend's wedding. Well, he wasn't actually sneaking. After all, the bride, herself, had told him that he looked so miserable he could leave. Lock had always felt uncomfortable at large gatherings. When he was at full-human gatherings, his seven-foot, three hundred pound size would strike awe in some and shock in others, but when he was with his own kind--shifters--they knew they were looking at a ten-foot, fifteen hundred pound grizzly bear. And all shifters were taught from childhood to run as fast as they could from any kind of bear, grizzly, polar, brown, any kind, which really hurt Lock's feelings. The rumor mill had been going for years about the instant rage of bears. How they would tear you apart without any provocation, beat you up, drag you around, and then finally eat you. How ridiculous! Lock's parents were both PhDs, his sister a neurosurgeon and his favorite food was honey and ice cream, not shifter or human. He was a thinker and a gentle giant, and the only thing he wanted was someone to love him for himself.
     The first time Gwen O'Neill saw Lock was at some wolf's wedding. The only reason she had gone was, as usual, to keep her mother out of trouble. And Roxy had not disappointed. Gwen had ended up having to keep two drunken lionesses from fighting over some crap that Roxy had told them. But when she stepped between them, they turned on her. Gwen wasn't the least surprised. After all, she was a hybrid, a liger, a crossbreed between a lion and a tiger and an outsider. She had noticed the bear but had paid him no attention. After all, she was a Philly girl fighting Jersey cats, so she really didn't need any help. But, my, oh my, he was a big one!
     The Mane Squeeze is one of the most laugh-out-loud, delightful books I'VE read in a long time. Though I am a long-time fan of shifter romances, the idea of a grizzly bear shifter had never crossed my mind. Ms. Laurenston does an outstanding job of combining sizzling, hot sex with the more comedic aspects of a bear and liger trying to get together despite the prejudices of the other shifters. Gwen's full lion twin brothers discover that some of what they say about bears is true as Lock has a tendency, after having to beat them up a little, to drag them around in his arms without realizing he's still holding them. This rollicking tale of shape shifters has a little of everything--hybrids, hillbillies, Russian intellectuals and roller derby. What more could a person ask for?

Lani Roberts

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