Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mini Reviews: The Mane Squeeze & Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

The Mane Squeeze
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Publication: BRAVA; Original edition (October 27, 2009)

Description: Growing up on the tough Philly streets, Gwen O'Neill has learned how to fend for herself. But what is she supposed to do with a nice, suburban Jersey boy in the form of a massive Grizzly shifter? Especially one with a rather unhealthy fetish for honey, moose, and...uh...well, her. Yet despite his menacing ursine growl and four-inch claws, Gwen finds Lachlan 'Lock' MacRyrie cute and really sweet. He actually watches out for her, protects her, and unlike the rest of her out-of-control family manages not to morbidly embarrass her. Too bad cats don't believe in forever. 

At nearly seven feet tall, Lock is used to people responding to him in two ways: screaming and running away. Gwen - half lioness, half tigress, all kick-ass - does neither. She's sexy beyond belief and smart as hell, but she's born protector. Watching out for the family and friends closest to her but missing the fact that she's being stalked by a murderous enemy who doesn't like hybrids...and absolutely hates Gwen. Lock probably shouldn't get involved, but he will. Why? Because this is Gwen - and no matter what the hissing, roaring, drape destroying feline says about not being ready to settle down, Lock knows he can't simply walk away. Not when she's come to mean absolutely everything to him.

Beast Behaving Badly
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Publication: Kensington Books (June 1, 2010)

Description: Some men just have more to offer. Like Bo Novikov, the hard-muscled shape-shifter hero of this wildly funny, deeply sexy new novel from Shelly Laurenston--part polar bear, part lion, pure alpha. . .

Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can't get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he's shadowing her in New York--all seven-plus feet of him--determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is. . .

Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it's good advice, but he can't leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness--or his hunch that there's more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn't yet begun to fathom--much as he'd like to. She may insist Bo's nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she'll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it'll be worth the wait. . .


Our heroine has run into the bathroom to escape our hero because she is convinced he is a serial killer (with no evidence at all) or someone else hazardous to her heart.
Blayne waited a bit longer, and having absolutely no patience to speak of, slowly crept closer to the door. She was only a few inches away when the door was ripped off its hinges and placed aside by the brute who'd done it.

Blayne squealed and stumbled back as Novikov stepped into the bathroom. Glaring down at her, he said, "Now we can talk."
My Thoughts: These were both great additions to the series. Both deal with hybrid female main characters who are best friends. 

Gwen is the younger sister of Mitch Shaw who is overly protective. She moves to New York from Philly to be independent and to form a plumbing company with her best friend Blayne. She meets Lock who is a grizzly and they fall in love. Her family problems including an embarrassing mother and overly protective brothers form a big part of the story. There is also the shifter version of roller derby!

Blayne's romance with polar bear-lion shifter Bo Novikov was the funniest of the series. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Blayne is a wolfdog who is everybody's friend. She has a huge heart and wants everyone to be happy. She is also messy, has no sense of time and is easily distracted. Bo is an OCD professional hockey player who is cleans and organizes when stressed and who makes and keeps schedules and lives his life timed to the minute.

The main problem is this story is a ring of full humans who are kidnapping hybrids to fight in some sort of fight club. Blayne has been targeted and her friends have her watched but they don't tell her. The greatly underestimate her intelligence and ability to take care of herself. Naturally when she finds out she is both hurt and angry. However, she does surprise her friends with her abilities.

These were entertaining and funny erotic romances. I recommend the series for lovers of shifter romances. 

Shelly Laurenston has written many books. You can check out her body of work here.

Challenges: E-Book Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge

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