Expected Release Date: May 25, 2010 (March 4, 2013 Reissue?)
Author’s Website: http://www.shellylaurenston.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Pride Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Casual Public Nudity, Quirky Heroine Crossing the Line Into Obnoxious
Favorite Tropes: Opposites Attract, Heroine Constantly Underestimated, Bad Reputation (Hero), Sports Celebrity
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…
What Worked For Me:
- It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Shelly Laurenston, and I’d forgotten just how much I’d enjoyed her brash sense of humor. As bold and as brazen as the writing style comes off, the humor is often surprisingly subtle, and the sense of kinship between the characters is palatable.
- I loved how Blayne insisted that Bo was simply “misunderstood” when he was a total jerk to absolutely everyone.
- Bo was so much fun. A millionaire, with unbeatable physical prowess, he was complete putty in Blayne’s hands, and it was such a joy to watch her lead him on such a merry chase.
- I loved, too, that Blayne had her own hidden depths, and kept surprising both me as a reader and the other characters as the story progressed.
- I loved Blayne’s father as well as Bo’s uncle, and how the relationships between the characters all played out.
- The sub-plot with the kidnappings was very entertaining as well, and kept things interesting without really taking away from the romance, character development, and comedy that had been established early on.
- I also liked the fact that this was technically an interracial romance. Yes, yes, I know, most “shifter” romances are “interracial”, but Bo is a big, blond haired, blue-eyed bear-lion and Blayne is a tiny dark-skinned wolf-dog. The whole “opposites attract” thing is what really drew me in, because for Blayne and Bo, they were opposites in absolutely everything, and were utterly perfect for each other.
- The steam was perfect for the story. While it had its hot moments, the bedroom antics between Bo and Blayne were really more fun than anything else, and honestly, that fit with the rest of the book better than if it had suddenly switched gears and been nothing but erotic three quarters of the way in.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Shapeshifter or not, I’ve never been comfortable with casual nudity in romance, and this was no exception. I cringed every time Blayne and/or Bo was seen naked by someone else, even though neither one of them cared in the least.
- While for about 95% of the time I loved Blayne’s quirky, spunky behavior, there were a few times that she crossed the line from fun into obnoxious, and what had earlier been amusing was suddenly rather annoying. Luckily, that didn’t happen often, but it was often enough to mention.
If you have never read anything by Shelly Laurenston, be forewarned — there’s nothing else like her books. With a wicked sense of humor, utterly unique characters, tons of snark, more than a touch of casual violence, and just a hint of steam, this book was, in a single word, fun.
Though this is the fifth book in the series, the only real obstacle to a newcomer would be the almost overwhelming cast of characters to keep up with, but overall, I think that it worked quite well as a standalone.
I loved the dynamic between Blayne and Bo, but more than that, I loved all of the shifters and how the interacted with each other. The rivalries between species, as well as the major differences between Blayne and Bo certainly kept things interesting, as did the sub-plot with the kidnappings and pit-fighting.
Highly entertaining, the only real things that pulled my enjoyment down were the casual public nudity and the occasional departure from quirky and into annoying with Blayne’s behavior. Overall, however, I couldn’t put it down.
A very solid 4/5 Stars.