Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review for Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

In this sixth entry in her Pride series Shelly Laurenston continues with her trademark humor and sexy interludes.  The readers re-entry into this world of shifters begins with a cute flashback that nicely sets up how the relationship between our hero and heroine will play out.  From page seven of Big Bad Beast...

"She's perfect for me, Uncle Van."
"No, Ulrich.  She's not.  From what I can tell she's just like her father and that means she needs to be avoided at all possible costs.  Understand?"
Ric nodded, carefully buckling his seatbelt and pulling out his book again.
"I understand, Uncle Van."
"Good," Van said, reversing out of the parking spot.
"I'll wait until we're both older," the kid went on, "and then I'll nail her."

Twenty-five years later and our hero Ulrich Van Holtz still wants Dee-Ann Smith.  But the long-standing feud between their families lends a Romeo and Juliet quality to their relationship and is a definite obstacle to their happy ending.  Another obstacle is Dee-Ann herself who is a strong-willed ex-Marine with a take no prisoners attitude who doesn't want girly attempts to win her heart.  Ric knows this and instead of doing the chasing he decides to let her chase after him.  Since she likes to be in control that's the surefire way to win her over, that and his exceptional culinary skills.  The two of them soon start burning up the sheets while searching for the criminals who are kidnapping hybrid-shifters to use in underground dogfighting matches.  The more time they spend together in their search leads to them becoming closer together in this fast-paced, witty, and entertaining read that focuses on their romantic chase more than the hybrid-shifter mystery.

This book has so many wonderful aspects!  The first is Ric who is super sexy and handsome and proud to be a Beta to Dee-Ann's Alpha personality.  He knows she can take care of herself and understands and respects her need to be strong.  If that's not a sexy quality in a man, I don't know what is!  And he can cook too!  Dee-Ann is a strong woman with an even stronger attitude.  A lot of people don't like her because of her gruffness, but she knows what she wants and goes after it.  And luckily for the reader, what she wants is Ric.  No matter their family obstacles, they come together with fireworks and are a wonderfully compatible couple.

The only thing that was a bit distracting to me were the numerous familial characters that were always in the way of Dee-Ann and Ric's relationship.  As a person who's read the previous books in this series, even I lost track of who everyone was.  For someone new to the series, they'll likely feel even more lost.  This shouldn't stop anyone from reading the book since this is a very small quibble and in no way takes away from the overall enjoyment of Ric and Dee-Ann's relationship.  The mystery of the hybrid-shifters is an interesting one that I would have liked to see more of as well, but it was definitely put on the back burner.

This was a very entertaining story with great humor and an immensely likable couple.  It's very lite on the angst and is the perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon.  It's an easygoing story that brought a smile to my face and is one that I recommend to those wanting to feel many warm fuzzies while cheering for an unforgettable couple.

My rating for this is an A.

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