Every time I pick up a Shelly Laurenston, I know I’m going to laugh. I am so in love with her world of arrogant, over the top shifters. They delight i...moreEvery time I pick up a Shelly Laurenston, I know I’m going to laugh. I am so in love with her world of arrogant, over the top shifters. They delight in violent behavior and irritating others. They have no shame and are completely at home in their lust. Really, what’s not to love? Especially when you throw in a large dose of immature humor. ;)
Going into this book, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it quite as much as I have some of the other ones in the series since Cella is friends with Dee-Ann, the heroine of Big Bad Beast, who I did not like very much. I didn’t get to see that much of Cella in BBB, but I was afraid that she would be similar to Dee-Ann since they were friends. Luckily that wasn’t the case. In fact, Dee-Ann and Cella are the kind of friends where it’s hard to tell if they actually like each other or not. They grate on each other and get into honest to God fist fights. At one point Cella tells Crush
”Don’t try to understand our friendship,” she said to Crush without looking up from her paper. “Just accept it.”
and I think that’s good advice. Actually, that’s good advice for a lot of the friendships in this series. :)
I’ve seen Crush infrequently during the series but I never knew much about him beyond the fact that he’s a polar bear. It was so fun getting to know him! He was so orderly and resistant to change, and his obsession with hockey was downright adorable—especially because the players he worshipped did not include Cella, much to her irritation. Poor Crush finds himself moved to the special shifter division of the police and partnered with Dez, from The Mane Event, much to his despair—like I said, the poor guy doesn’t like change. His chemistry with Dez is great and it was fun getting to see them snipe at each other. Plus, it gave us a nice chance to discover some previously unknown information. Who knew that polar bears would become so angry over being offered a honey bun? :P
After waking up naked with Crush in the beginning of the book (a hilarious scene), Cella becomes determined to loosen him up. Just like any cat with a secret attachment, she delights in annoying Crush and burdening him with her presence. She torments him in front of his coworkers and likes to tell everyone that they’re dating, even when they’re not.
”Why don’t you just say you don’t know how to deal with a nice guy?”
“I know I don’t know how to deal with a nice guy. That’s why I’ve been torturing the man every time I’ve seen him. But I don’t feel like torturing him at the moment. I feel like shooting him in the head.”
“Do you ever have small emotions, Cella? Little ones? That don’t involve either sex or death?”
“I’m a tiger. I’m either fucking or killing something. I can’t be all sitting up in a tree, lounging around like you people.”
But that’s just Cella for you. She just slowly works her way under your skin until one day you realize you’re in love with her. Of course, sometimes it takes a while to get to that point. Until then you’re just stuck being put into awkward situations and being conned into pretending to be her boyfriend.
I absolutely loved how completely unimpressed Crush was by Cella’s antics. He was flustered and befuddled at times, but for the most part he regarded her as something he was determined to escape.
"I'm trying to figure out if you're just a dick or if you're really an uptight, overthinking good guy?"
"How about I make the decision for you."
Crush stepped around her and walked out, determined to get away from this insane feline. And, as the door closed behind him, Crush heard her bark, "Well I guess it's just you being a dick then, huh?"
It was fun watching him be so relentlessly cornered. His irritation with her also gave us a nice opportunity to watch their friendship slowly develop before they did anything about their attraction. Speaking of friendships, we also got to see Novikov (from Beast Behaving Badly) get a friend. Shocker, I know. :D Novikov and Crush’s unlikely friendship was one of my favorite parts of the book. It was just so unexpected and adorably awkward. I mean, Novikov is not the easiest guy to get along with, yet both Crush and Cella do. That right there tells me that they were made for each other.
The only thing that kept this from being an A book was the suspense portions of the book. I didn't really care about those parts and was more interested in getting back to the humor and drama of the other characters. But that's just me. I'd rather just read about the antics of the shifters without all the rest of it getting in the way. Maybe that's why I loved The Beast in Him so much. Regardless, I had a blast reading the book and can't wait for the next one.
"KZS is made up of cats. In general, we're a lazy species. So we don't do what you'd call actual"--she made air quotes with her fingers--"'investigations'."
"Then what do you do?"
"Someone says, 'I'm thinking they're a problem'...and then they send one of us in to eliminate the problem."
Scowling, the bear demanded, "You do that for every situation? Even nonlethal ones?"
"Oh, God, no! Of course not. If you just irritate us, then we just come to your house and pee all over everything." She shrugged. "Sometimes shit in your shoes." When the bear only stared at her with his mouth open, Cella quickly added, "Not me, though. I've never done that. Not ever. Because it's...it's..." She thought a moment. "It's 'morally' wrong." She smiled, proud of herself for remembering the phrase.
"Did you just air quote morally?"
Not sure how to answer that, she said, "Just for clarity?" Probably would have sounded more believable without making it a question, but God, the bear had so many damn rules! How was she supposed to keep track of so many damn rules?
Hilarious as always. Mitch and Sissy were awesome together. I was nervous about reading this one since I was not Sissy Mae's biggest fan after hearing...moreHilarious as always. Mitch and Sissy were awesome together. I was nervous about reading this one since I was not Sissy Mae's biggest fan after hearing about her in Bobby Ray's book. Everyone was right, she's mellowed a lot and she's much nicer in her own book.
Once again this author has had me laughing so hard I'm practically rolling on the floor. The constant hilarity, the one liners, and the sheer crazines...moreOnce again this author has had me laughing so hard I'm practically rolling on the floor. The constant hilarity, the one liners, and the sheer craziness of this family of dragons cracks me up! The over the top zaniness of the dragons and their antics is a nice change of pace from my regular reading. Every once in a while I just want to sit down with a book that is meant to be pure entertainment. I want to howl with laughter and torture my husband by reading scenes to him. This series fits the bill for me consistently.
Talaith is having a pretty rough day. First she gets dragged out of bed in the middle of the night by an angry town determined to kill her for being a witch, and then she gets saved by a dragon! She's stuck flying around with a tail holding her expecting to eventually be eaten. Imagine her surprise when it turns out the silver dragon is actually Briec the Mighty (no he did not give himself that name).
Briec has noticed that his brother, Fearghus, seems especially happy these days. Briec has concluded that it must have something to do with his human mate, and he decides he needs to try one out too. Briec has always been rather aloof from humans. They're pretty far beneath his notice and really good for nothing more than hunting. Not that he's hunting any these days, Fearghus hooking up with Annwyl changed all that. So, Briec sees Talaith, rescues her, and now considers her his.
Briec and Talaith have a very fun relationship. Talaith is opinionated and cranky, and enjoys nothing so much as arguing constantly. She's also an incessant talker, which drives Briec insane. Briec is insanely arrogant and believes that the world was created to cater to him. He is very frustrated by Talaith and her refusal to heed his demands. These two bicker and lust and have hilarious dialogue constantly. The fact that both of them get turned on by their arguing is a definite plus for them. I cracked up watching them invent reasons to get mad at each other. Just so they could make up, of course. :)
I loved watching Briec try to justify keeping her to himself. He couldn't promise her forever, just two hundred years, okay, maybe three hundred. Alright, five hundred, but that was it! But it's not forever! LOL! The fact that he didn't let Talaith in on his couple hundred years plan led to a very cranky situation for Briec.
I also liked seeing the day after the crazy moon. It was quite amusing watching everyone crawl around. I also really enjoyed watching Talaith get over her fear of Briec (or any of his family) in dragon form. The scene where Briec makes her touch his fangs is particularly hilarious.
This is the book that really solidified my love for Gwenvael. How can I not love the little horn dog? Every time I turned around he was trying to spy on them or flirt with Talaith. I loved how confused he was that everyone kept hitting him! I need to reread his story again.(less)
Well, I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this. This family was insane! Hilarious for us, but quite dysfunctional.
Pretty mu...moreWell, I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this. This family was insane! Hilarious for us, but quite dysfunctional.
Pretty much everyone in the family, except the odd man out, David, works as a private investigator for the family company. Privacy is an alien concept to the Spellmans. To keep information to yourself in this family you'll need to lie, dodge tails, and constantly check for bugs. It's an interesting lifestyle, but it's getting exhausting for Izzy.
Izzy had an interesting childhood. She ran wild constantly and worried her family. I didn't mind hearing about her previous escapades, but I did find it odd that her parents were so accepting of her alcohol and drug use while she was still a minor and living in their house. I also found it odd that Izzy seemed to fondly reminisce about those memories like the "glory days."
I loved the author's style of writing. The lists and numbers referring to her ex-boyfriends were hilarious! I was pretty surprised at the book's format, although it wasn't an unpleasant surprise. I thought it was really nice that we got to see so much back story on the family. Even though Izzy is the narrator, the family itself seems to be the main character, not a single person.
I couldn't believe the outcome of the kidnapping at the end. I know that we were prepped for it from the first page, but I was still surprised! And then to see how it all turned out... I was really surprised that Izzy took it so well. I wouldn't have.
I have the feeling that this series is going to be a wild ride filled with hijinks and sleuthing and hilarious situations. I can't wait to read the next book! (less)
What a fun book! There's just something special about reading a new twist on a classic story. The romance developed faster than I usually like, but I...moreWhat a fun book! There's just something special about reading a new twist on a classic story. The romance developed faster than I usually like, but I was expecting that going in. Cinderella doesn't spend months with the prince before falling in love, so how can I expect something different from Kate?
Katherine Daltry, or Kate as she prefers to be called, gets suckered into pretending to be her stepsister, Victoria, for a few days by her stepmother. Kate would be the first person to tell you the deception wouldn't work, but she bargains her cooperation for help for one of the tenants. After Kate's father died her stepmother started letting the estate run ragged and not doing properly by her tenants.
Kate doesn't stay with her stepmother and stepsister because she couldn't go somewhere else. She could, she has nothing against going away to be a governess. She just can't stand to abandon her duty to her father's estate. What would happen if she wasn't there to help at least a little? But duty can weigh heavy after a while. Kate is ready for a change.
The beginning started rather slowly for me. I found myself bored up until we got to the castle. I wasn't discouraged though. I find that Eloisa James doesn't really shine until there's heavy character interaction and dialogue. When that shows up the book just starts to pop!
I was amused by Gabriel and Kate's interaction. They had so much humor and fun in their conversations. I loved all their flirting! Gabriel was the romantic and Kate was the realist. I thought it was hilarious when Gabriel quoted one of Romeo's lines to Kate and she ruins the moment by asking if he kills himself right after that.
The author kept a lot of the original story elements. There were glass slippers and a midnight ball and even some rats running around. Although the rats aren't literally rats, thank goodness! There's even a godmother, who has to be my favorite character in the whole book.
The godmother, Henry, has a sad past, but she doesn't let it rule her life and she's the best adviser that Kate could ever ask for. She's open to whatever her niece decides, and even encourages her to embrace her naughty side once in a while. I loved watching her interact with her husband. They seem like they have a great relationship, even if he does have a problem or two. I loved how honest Henry was about everything and how she was there for Kate no matter what. I loved the talk she gave Kate about giving Gabriel one more chance to man up and then what to do if he didn't. I've wanted to give that speech to so many romance heroines!
If you're bothered by historical inaccuracies, let me help you out. The author discusses her free and loose use of period language in the Historical Note at the end of the book. I wasn't bothered by it, but you might be.
This wasn't my favorite book by this author, but I still enjoyed it. I felt the relationship was underdeveloped, but what was there was a lot of fun. The ending was a bit too cutesy for me, but I don't blame the author for wanting to go out with a very sweet HEA for her fairytale.
P.S. The "bosom friends" were hilarious. I need to google to see if they really did that!(less)
This was my least favorite of all the Dragon Kin books. I admit, I wasn't looking forward to reading about Keita in the first place. The appearances s...moreThis was my least favorite of all the Dragon Kin books. I admit, I wasn't looking forward to reading about Keita in the first place. The appearances she made in the previous books didn't really endear her to me. She came off more like the female characters in the Mangus Pack books - extremely bitchy. Also, that girl got around a lot. Gwenvael got around a lot too, but he came off as sweeter and funnier, and less crass. That made all the difference for me.
But, I was still extremely excited to read this book. I love this author's blend of hilarity, action, romance, and sex. She is the only author I've read with a style like this, and I love her campy books that don't take themselves seriously. Her characters are always over the top and you can't help but love them for those qualities.
This book was considerably longer than most of the previous books in the series, and there was a lot less focus on the relationship in it. I think that was the problem with the book. This one spent so much time on other events that we never really got any alone time with Keita and Ragnar. Their relationship and interactions seemed to be sprinkled in between interactions with the other characters. We also spent a lot more time in other people's pov's. That's not usually a problem, but it felt intrusive because the main romance was so underdeveloped.
When the book ended it felt like their relationship wasn't complete. I wonder if the author has plans to continue their relationship in another book. It really felt more "happy for now" as opposed to "happily ever after." There was no claiming or relationship resolution like in the other books. Keita's resistance to any sort of permanence precluded that. I just felt unsatisfied with it. I can't help but fear she'll one day dump him because everything got too heavy for her.
But, if you ignore the relationship this is still classic Aiken/Laurenston. That's why I gave it three stars instead of a lower grade. The humor still pops and the family antics are hilarious. I loved getting to see more of the previous characters. I was very amused by Gwenvael's jealousy over Ragnar. It was cute! I also loved how touchy Briec was about his daughter smiling. Little things like that made this whole book worth it!
There was a lot of new developments on the Izzy/Eibhear front. I loved all those scenes! I can't wait until we get to see them in their own book. I was really glad the whole thing developed like that. He needed a reality check that she's not a little girl and she's not waiting around forever. I also hope we get to see more of Ren in the future. I find him very interesting.
I can't wait to get my hands on the next one! (less)
I am big fan of Nora Robert's writing style. Even when I don't love her books I still enjoy them. It was more a case of enjoyment rather than love wit...moreI am big fan of Nora Robert's writing style. Even when I don't love her books I still enjoy them. It was more a case of enjoyment rather than love with this book.
One of my favorite things about Nora Robert's writing is her skill in creating interesting, believable friendships with the characters. I tend to stay away from contemporary books because I always feel like I'm reading about the Twilight Zone. No one seems to cuss, people seem to be naive to the point of stupid or just way too Pollyanna. Who are these people and what world are they living in??? I don't need to relate, but I have to be able to believe. I never find that problem with Nora Roberts. Her characters are not always nice, but I like them that way. It makes them real. Everyone has a bad day and acts cranky now and then.
I loved the relationship between all four friends involved in Vows. They bickered with each other and disagreed. Mac had some moments where she knew she acted horribly and had to apologize to her friends. Truthfully though, that's how real friends are. The interactions between Carter and his friends were just as hilarious though. I loved when Mac found the list that Carter's friend had made for him. It was adorable. I love reading little moments like that.
Now... on to what didn't work for me. Well, the relationship between Carter and Mac was pretty flat for me. I don't feel like I got a good enough picture of why/when they fell in love. I totally got that they liked each other, but I never really felt it cross over to love. That kind of thing is so subjective for the reader though.
Mac grated on my nerves a lot. I thought she needed to grow up and get a reality check. It was really hard for me to read her caving into her mom and feeling like crap about it. It drove me insane. That's not to say that I didn't find it authentic though. I have a friend just like Mac. Watching her act like that drives me insane too.
I felt like the ending was really abrupt. All of a sudden Mac has an epiphany and boom it's over. It just felt wrong.
One thing that I did like though... Obviously I know who the female leads of the next books will be. However, I like how the male leads weren't thrown in your face. I had my suspicions about who would pair with who (which I confirmed when I read the next book) but it wasn't blatant sequel baiting.(less)
I've been in the mood for funny lately and have been on a marathon of Laurenston's books. This is definitely one of my favorites in the Pride series....moreI've been in the mood for funny lately and have been on a marathon of Laurenston's books. This is definitely one of my favorites in the Pride series. Lock and Gwen are so cute together and they are one of the most sane couples we have seen to date. They're sweet and happy together and most of the hilarious situations come from their dealings with their friends and family.
I absolutely loved Mitch through this book because I practically died laughing every time he was in a scene! He was constantly leaping out of closets or sneaking up on people trying to catch them scheming about Gwen, his sister. He was way overprotective and was against her hooking up with a bear. It was hilarious to watch him trying to rat Gwen out to their mom (even though she's 26) and trying to control the situation with Lock. It never went his way and he always ended up chickening out and (literally) throwing his brother, Brendon, under the bus and screaming, "take him!"
Blayne and the wild dogs were great as well. Honestly, anything with wild dogs in it seems like it will be a hit for me. They're so happy and fun, and it's hilarious to watch them get startled, scream, and run into each other while they try to run away. I really liked the strong sense of caring friendship Lock had for the wild dogs and Gwen had for Blayne. Plus, Lock's friend Ric (of the Van Holtz Pack) was great to read about. Watching him turn into a drooling idiot over Lock's old marine buddy was funny.
I really enjoyed getting to see a whole new type of shifter. Laurenston is great at giving her shifters characteristics like the animals they shift into. Lock was no different in that aspect. He was so sweet and cute until startled or angry. Then you better run! Plus, how can you beat an adorable Beta hero who isn't ashamed to admit that he likes to play with his toes?
This book didn't really improve my opinion of Ronnie (from The Mane Event) but it did warm me up toward Sissy (from The Mane Attraction). I skipped over her book because I really disliked her in the past books, but she seems more mature and less flat out mean here so I might backtrack and give her a shot.
If you haven't read any of the previous books in the series then I strongly recommend you not start here. There are so many prior characters in this book that new readers might be confused and not really get some of the jokes.
The only thing that I found perplexing about this book was the lack of mating/marking. What was up with skipping that? I thought that was one of the building blocks of this series.
P.S. I cracked up every time Gwen did that thing with her neck. The reactions were priceless. (less)