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review 2018-05-07 01:27
The Mane Event (Pride #1) by Shelly Laurenston
The Mane Event - Shelly Laurenston

Mace Llewellyn has changed a lot since his teenaged years - now out of the army and all grown up so very well (and his lion’s mane now growing out to its full glorious length) but he never forgot Desiree MacDermot.

 

When a murder in his mother’s pride brings him home, he is again reunited with now police detective Desiree. Their attraction burns - but there’s a murder to investigate and Desiree knows nothing of the supernatural - or the politics of werelion prides

 

While Ronnie Lee, werewolf, has had a wild life and she thinks she’s ready to make better choices and settle down. But does Brendon Shaw, werelion ready to leave the pride life count?

 

I love so many aspects of the world building here. So many books have sued the concept of the supernatural to justify all kinds of weird and regressive ideas (like alpha werewolves being abusive arseholes for romance and everyone considering it perfectly ok). Which is why I really like how the concept of werelions here is so turned on its head. A society where the men basically do nothing but breed with multiple women and get fed? That sounds so ideal for creating said abusive nonsense. But instead we see female dominated societies, men traded back and forth as breeding stock and discarded when they’re no longer useful (Brendan is considered less useful to the Llewellyn family because he’s already bred several times; they have children from him they don’t especially need him any more). The men live lives of relatively idle luxury but it comes with being treated as very hungry decorative ornaments who can fight really well. One of the linking elements between Brandon, Mace and Mitch is that they’re all heavily opting out of the Pride system because they object to this treatment and usage.

 

The Hyenas also look savagly interesting. Again a strong sense of community and culture from another supernatural group. If I have any complaint about the world building and these excellent cultures it’s that we focus so much on the romance between the characters that we don’t actually explore these cultures, this world building (and anything else that may be out there) as much as I’d like - there’s something really excellent here but we’re focused so much on the, admittedly fun, relationship that we don’t really delve into it.

 

I also like the plot lines which explore the worlds far more - the conflict between the shapeshifter groups, the importance of various characters and how certain actions are considered “cheating” even in relatively violent societies and how investigating requires territory wrangling - the plot intertwines excellently with this and is fun to watch. And I quite liked that there were two stories here - because when we focused on Mace we kind of ignored Brandon despite him being more centrally a victim. It was nice to step back and revisit the person who had taken the most hits here

 

 

I wasn’t a fan of the sex scenes. Not so much because they were bad but because there were So. Many. Of. Them. And, again, it got in the way of far far far more interesting parts of the book. I found it especially frustrating when Desiree learns about the supernatural and doesn’t particularly examine it or ask many questions.

 

I have… a niggle. It’s a niggle that comes having already read book 3 (because I managed to completely get the first book in the series wrong). The thing is, Mitch (the protagonist in Mane Attraction), Brandon and Mace all feel…. Pretty similar? Lions who have, for various reasons, opted out of traditional werelion society. Men who are pretty light hearted, jokey and hilarious.

 

And Sissy, Ronnie Lee and Desiree are… also quite similar. All tough women who prefer casual encounters to relationships and all are pretty severely adamant that they will not will not will not have a long term relationship (either in general or with this specific man). Until the above man continues pushing until she surrenders to the inevitable. The basic frame of the plot, the basic frame of the characters

 

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/04/the-mane-event-pride-1-by-shelly.html
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review 2018-04-19 00:00
Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers)
Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers) - Shelly Laurenston Absolutely loved it! I’ve missed these silly snark and crazy characters. So much fun and laugh out loud moments. I’m ready for more. Think about rereading the Pride series. I’ve missed this world.
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review 2018-04-16 12:16
Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
Hot and Badgered - Shelly Laurenston

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Ever since her mother died, Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan’s biggest job has been to take care of her sisters. Easier said than done and that’s before you take into account the three sisters’ no-good father who is constantly screwing up their lives. Charlie has never been able to rely on anyone, but all that changes when she falls – literally – into Berg Dunn’s life. Berg is a grizzly with a heart of gold and it’s in his nature to protect. After their initial meeting, he can’t get the gorgeous woman with a gun out of his mind. Charlie doesn’t like accepting help, but to protect her sisters she’ll do anything and her father’s latest “scheme” has landed them in more danger than before. And though she believes her family is cursed and doesn’t want to bring that kind of disaster down on the seriously cute Berg, she’s about to learn that this determined grizzly will do anything to capture her heart.

Hot and Badgered is totally bonkers, and I mean that in the very best way. It’s bright, loud, and wholly unique with a ton of zany characters who practically jump off the page and a slow-burn romance that made me smile.

I absolutely loved Berg. He’s big, strong, and protective, but he’s also so damn gone over Charlie that he made me melt. As for Charlie, she’s equally strong and just a bit crazy (partly due to being half honey-badger, partly because…well, take a look at her family). I loved watching Charlie and Berg slowly fall in love. I sighed and smiled as Charlie learned she could lean on Berg, that he understood sibling love and loyalty (he’s a triplet), and that he and his family could take on the MacKilligan crazy and keep rolling. Charlie and Berg’s romance slowly built over the course of the story and it was lovely to watch unfold.

I loved every moment with Charlie and Berg, so for me the one downside of Hot and Badgered is that they did at times feel pushed out of their own story. Max and Stevie (Charlie’s sisters) are every bit as important to the story as Charlie. They’re wild, over the top, interesting characters and I can’t wait to read their books. Max and Stevie added a lot of humor to the story, but they were a whole lotta personality and they did sometimes seem to drown out Charlie and Berg, who were the relatively calm voices. And while Hot and Badgered is the first book in the Honey Badger Chronicles, this series is a spinoff of Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series. As I haven’t read that series, the sheer amount of Pride characters popping up pulled me out of the story a bit, especially when it felt like some cameos were shoehorned in. Perhaps if I had an emotional attachment to the characters I wouldn’t have felt that way, so if you’re a Pride fan you might feel differently than I.

The plot of Hot and Badgered is pretty much impossible to talk about because there are so many storylines and characters that there’s no real way to summarize it. Multiple storylines, at least one of which looks to be a series-long arc, action, danger, and a ton of colorful characters keep the book moving at a breakneck pace. In the hands of a lesser author, this book would have spun out of control, but Ms. Laurenston deftly juggles everything in a truly inspiring way. This was my first foray into Ms. Laurenston’s work and I will definitely be coming back for more. If you’re looking for a paranormal romance that’s unique, Hot and Badgered definitely fits the bill.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/04/review-hot-and-badgered-by-shelly.html
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review 2018-04-05 16:15
#Audiobook Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers) - Shelly Laurenston

Hot and Badgered, the first book in Ms. Laurenston’s new Honey Badgers Chronicles is a crazy ride full of over-the-top shifters with a thirst for blood… and honey. While it is a new series, I learned from others after I started listening, that it is set in the same world as and features characters from her Pride series. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Hot and Badgered more had I read the earlier series, because one of my issues was the sheer volume of characters and side stories. It was confusing and difficult to follow at times. The story is shared from multiple POVs and can make your head spin a bit.

 

Hot and Badgered is billed as the romance between Honey Badger/Wolf shifter, Charlie MacKilligan, and Bear shifter Berg Dunn; however, there is very little romance in the book. The story follows Charlie and her half sisters, Max (full Honey Badger) and Frankie (Honey Badger/Tiger), as the run for the lives from an array of dangerous threats. Their father is a major lowlife, who is constantly putting his own kids’ lives in danger, and the Irish MacKilligans are a crime family. So… there is a lot to run from. Good thing Charlie and her sisters know how to fight and take care of themselves. Their adventures are outlandish and there is never a moment’s rest. Eventually, there is a bit of courting between Charlie and Berg - who are adorable together - but the romance is a very small part of the overall story.

 

While the tale itself was somewhat interesting, definitely exciting, and mostly entertaining, the characters could be mildly annoying. They are always fighting, and they are all completely over-the-top. Everything is outlandish and dramatic. I will admit that after a LONG while, the Mackilligan sisters and Dunn triplets grew on me, but the story went on way too long and had too many side characters and subplots.

 

The narration from Ms. Odom was solid. She used distinct voices for each character, easily recognizable whenever I picked up the book and started listening. Some of the voices felt cartoonish or exaggerated at first, but as the book went on, I realized that those voices fit the nature of the characters. She pulls of several accents, some better than others, but again, narration suits the craziness of the characters. 

 

In the end, I found myself enjoying Hot and Badgered, silliness and all. It was a rough start and a bumpy journey, one that I wish had fewer supporting characters and storylines, but I found it entertaining, and anticipate I will pick up the second book.

 

My Rating: B-

Narration: B

 

Review copy provided by Tantor Audio

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review 2018-04-05 10:00
New Release Review! Hot and Badgered (Honey Bear Chronicles #1) Shelly Laurenston!
Hot and Badgered - Shelly Laurenston

 

 

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.
 
Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

 

 

The first book in the Honey Badger Chronicles which takes place in the Pride Stories world will keep you in stitches with a fun filled and action packed romantic adventure.

 

As usual Shelly Laurenston provides such a fun read that I just can put the book down until I have wrung every last chuckle from every page.  The zany and wonderful characters of her shifter worlds are always strong, compelling and full of snark while they tie readers in knots with laughter, they always make it easy for the readers relate to and become captivated by each and every one. So, needless to say Charlie and Berg stole the show in Hot and Badgered with their sizzling but prickly chemistry as they entertained readers with their quick witted dialogue and funtabulous but dangerous attitudes but don’t think that’s all these characters are about because they also some deep seated emotional issues that while they add to the fun also add depth to their personalities and captivate readers.

 

The fast paced and super charged plot keeps readers on the edge of their seat with lots of thills and intrigue and there is no predicting what will happen next. There are several action filled events that gets the adrenaline pumping but also provide some chuckles and since there is lots of hated family members and plenty of enemies, there is never a dull moment to be found in this electrifying story.

 

I have been waiting very impatiently for this story to be released as I love Shelly Laurenston’s books (p.s. I also love her alter ego – G.A. Aiken’s stories as well) and let me tell you that I was quite pleased with Hot and Badgered, she introduces new characters to her fascinating world and maintains her diabolical use of snark and fun to keep readers thoroughly entertained and I can’t wait to read the next one.

 

 

Hot and Badgered is the 1st book in the Honey Badger Chronicles which is a spinoff of the Pride Stories.

 

Hot and Badgered is available in print or ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   Hudson   BaM   IndieBound   GPlay   Kobo   eBooks   iBooks

 

Shelly Laurenston can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   GAAiken   BookBub   Facebook

 

 

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