Big Bad Beast

Shelly Laurenston
Big Bad Beast
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Publisher
Kensington
Release Date
May 2011
ISBN
9780758231703
Series
Book 6 of Pride Stories Series
Genre
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

SUMMARY
Seeing is deceiving. And Ric Van Holtz, the wolfishly sexy hero of Shelly Laurenston's sizzling, wildly entertaining new tale, is nothing you expect--and everything you want. . .

When it comes to following her instincts, former Marine Dee-Ann Smith never holds back. And this deadly member of a shifter protection group will do anything to prove one of her own kind is having hybrids captured for dogfights. Trouble is, her too-cute rich-boy boss Ric Van Holtz insists on helping out. And his crazy-like-a-fox smarts and charming persistence are making it real hard for Dee to keep her heart safe. . ..

Ric can't believe his luck. He's wanted this fiercely independent she-wolf from day one, but he never expected teamwork as explosive as this. And now is his last chance to show Dee what she needs isn't some in-your-face Alpha male--but a wily, resourceful wolf who'll always have her back in a fight. . .and between the sheets.

Book Review by Michelle R
May 26, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
223 people found the following review helpful
Put me on a deserted island and tell me I only get to read one author for the rest of my life, and Shelly Laurenston would be my pick.

The woman just does it for me. She has it all. She can make my funny bone ache, my libido soar, my heart swoon, my hair stand on end, and my nails dig into the skin of my book. I have a lot of favorite authors, but Shelly Lauenston is my fave of the faves. And judging by the wildly popular success of her series, I am not alone.

So imagine my glee when I opened my mailbox to find her newest book in the Pride series, BIG BAD BEAST. Whooot! Kids are eatin' pizza tonight. Momma is going to finally learn how that hunk of wolf Ric Van Holtz is going to snare my crazy-ass gal, Dee-Ann.
And boy did I!

Now, for those new to the series, let me enlighten you a bit. Spoiler free, I promise.

Ms Laurenston's Pride series takes place in New York City. It all began six books ago with, THE MANE EVENT. A story about a lion shifter and a human cop. To be fair, it really began over on the west coast with her shifter series, Mangus Pack, which is still my all-time favorite. But Ms Laurenston widened our shifter horizons by traveling to NYC where were-bears, wolves, dogs, lions, tigers…heck, if it is predatory, they love to call the east coast home. Their jobs and interests are as varied as yours and mine, but they all do seem to have a thing for hockey. And shifter hockey, well it is extreme hockey. Extreme, extreme hockey. And the girl teams are even more fun to read about than the men. Oh. And Karaoke. Those dawgs do love to howl.

The two rules they all seem to agree upon: 1) Humans really don't need to know they exist. 2) They police and protect their own.

Now I have to be honest. You CAN read BIG BAD BEAST without having read the other ones. Ms Laurenston is really great about writing books that can stand alone. If you are climbing on a plane and this is at the local newsstand—grab it! No problems there. But you are going to meet all kinds of cool characters that you'd like to know more about, and that is going to send you right back to book one.

For those of us in the know, Ric is not only the master chef of the finest steakhouse in Manhattan, he is also the team leader for the local shifter protection group. Dee-Ann, an ex-marine, is a member of his team. She is an assassin, hard to the core, and Ric has been in love with her since he was a kid.

The only problem—think Hatfield's and McCoys. Long time feuding wolf packs. A Smith can't mate with a Van Holtz.

Ric is forced to team Dee-Ann up with she-tiger, Malone, and human detective (from book 1) Desiree McDermott to uncover who is using half breed weres in underground fight clubs. Malone and Dee have a volatile history, and as marines had to be separated. Their challenge to get along really makes for some funny moments.

I have to give it up to Ms Laurenston. Dialogue is very hard to write. Making it sound natural is an albatross for most writers. But she does it with ease. And not only does she manage to give each character a unique, believable voice, she never fails to get the laugh. I just love Ric's plain, calm demeanor to Dee's over the top responses.

The two of them have chemistry in spades. Yin and yang. Opposites attract. The way they attract like magnets is simply yummy. Not to mention all Ric's wonderful cooking and how he is constantly worried Dee-Ann doesn't eat enough.

Swoon.

The protective, rich alpha-wolf is taking care of the girl who protects and cares for everyone else. Who would have thought that the assassin had a soft side?

Yep. Those two made this book another page-turner.

But they weren't the only stars of the show. The half-breed minors who have been rescued have quite a few funny and endearing moments, and scenes from all of the past couples, including OCD hockey player Novikov, kept me on my toes, eager for more.

So for all of those paranormal romance lovers out there, grab this one. It will make a wonderful summer read. Get a couple of extras and giggle with your girl friends. It has mimosa's and sunscreen written all over it. Enjoy!
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Book Review by Chrizette
Jun 02, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
216 people found the following review helpful
If you like your heroines headstrong and feisty and your heroes in the shifter variety, you will love this zany series by Shelly Laurenston. The Pride series are filled with crazy shifter characters of all varieties and hot, exploding chemistry. I finished this sizzling book in two sittings – I just couldn't put it down!

Dee-Ann has been a difficult character to like from the beginning of the series. She has been a downright bitch for the most part but in this book, she shows him (and us) her softer side. She is still true to herself and always ready for a fight but when it comes to Ric, she just melts (don't tell her I said that!!).

Ric is part of the rich Van Holtz family and they are not too keen on inviting this hillbilly into their lives but Ric will not be swayed.

It was fun, seeing the male strategizing about ways to win his mate this time around. Of course, Ric did announce that Dee-Ann was the one for him when he first met her at age six, so he knew what he wanted. He just needed to convince Dee-Ann to chase him (and she did!).

Most of the characters from the other books also make appearances in this book and it is great fun seeing them interact again. I especially loved reading about the beloved bubble-head, Blayne, trying to help Ric win Dee-Ann.

Apart from the romance, there is also some tense moments while Dee-Ann and her team try to catch the ringleaders behind the shifter hybrid dogfights. There's never a dull moment with the team always just a second too late!

The tense drama is balanced by laugh out loud humor. You will be roaring with laughter while reading about Dee-Ann's search for a formal dress.

I loved this book (as with the rest of the series) and you will not be disappointed. You do not need to read the series in order (or at all) but you will be missing out if you do not read the other characters' books.
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