Joint Review: Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

Bite Me (Pride, #9)       
Grade-C+(Kay) B(Anne)
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-Pride #9
Genre-Paranormal
Reviewed by Kay & Anne
384 pages

From Kay:I got approved to read this book from NetGalley and was so excited. I’m a huge fan of Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series and have enjoyed most of them. I love the humor she brings into every story. Yes, sometimes it’s over the top and ridiculous but that just seems to endear it to me even more. This installment is about Vic, a tiger/bear mix and Livy, a honey badger. I know what those of you that haven’t read a Laurenston novel are thinking. Wtf?

In this book you get love, suspense and as I mentioned before, hilarious humor. I belly laughed quite a bit as I always do. Livy’s fight to be accepted for who she is and the career she wants was very fun to read about. I mean, she’s from a crime syndicate family and could probably lead that family but no, she wants to be an artist.

Vic has a law enforcement past and is an all around nice guy. His reactions to Livy are very sweet. He’s very much the calm to her storm.  He dives right into helping her with no prodding. I loved the behavior description of Vic in the story. He’s laid back, like a bear, until he can’t be anymore. He has feline moments where he’s kind of a hot mess.  Now, Livy is a hot mess all the time.

There were a couple of creep factor moments for me in the story though. They both had to do with during or after their lovemaking and his tail would pet her. Eww, I don’t like mid-shift love scenes. That was my big complaint with this novel. If I had to pick the main reason for my lower than normal review rating for a Laurenston book, I just didn’t warm to the characters as much as I have to other ones in this series.

I don’t want to give too much away because this author can really tell a story and fans of this series want to savor every word from her. I am so very sad that she is going to take a break from this series for a while. What will I do without an update on my favorite characters from her other books? Mace, Dez, Smitty, Sissy Mae, Ronnie Lee, those Reed boys, Gwen, Cella, Irene, the Van Holtz family, Blayne, Toni and her siblings? Or my very favorites, the Shaw brothers, DeeAnn Smith and Bo Novikov? I’m already in mourning.

Side note- Anne, I will not get over my mourning by reading this author’s Dragon Kin series, so don’t even suggest it yet. I’ll get there eventually.  (Note from Anne: you read my mind!  But I’ll keep my mouth shut!)

In close, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from this series.

“You just carry around piles of condoms?”-Vic“In case I feel like taking on the hockey team one night. You know, when I’m bored.”-Livy

“I can see it in your big, dumb cat eyes.”“Well, that was unnecessarily mean.”

“I don’t ask the hyenas to do it.”“No. But you associate with the Smith Pack, Demon dogs of the Underworld.”

From Anne:I was also really looking forward to reading this book.  Shelly Laurenston is one of my favorite authors, in my top ten for sure.  This was certainly not the best book in the Pride series, but I really liked it.  Usually Kay and I text Laurenston quotes back and forth to each other as we read.  It’s taught me to be very careful about texting.  It’s a little awkward when you text your 20 year old son a line from a Laurenston book.  So, yeah, my Laurenston reading time is generally punctuated by careful texting.  That didn’t happen so much in this story.  It was really funny, but not so many of the one liners we text to each other.

For me the weakest part of the story was the romance between Vic and Livy.  The sex was hot, but their romance wasn’t really memorable.  I did have the same issues with Vic’s tail as Kay did.  I don’t have have half-shifter issues, but a tail with it’s own mind… yeah, that didn’t work for me.

I did really enjoy Bo having a decent role in this book.  And the panda shifter, Shen was the best new character introduced to the series since Bo.  Well, Livy, too.  Best new character since Livy.  His panda ways really kept me laughing!

Even though we didn’t text about it, we did share some emails, so here’s our conversation:

AnneI thought Bite Me read more like a Sci Fi book with a romance sub plot.  I mean, their relationship is clearly the focus of the book, I guess it just wan’t really romantic for me.  What did you think, Kay?

KayI felt something was missing from the book. I was left wanting more. The humor was there but not in the over the top way it usually is. I have commented before about her heat level declining from earlier books in the series but now the humor is too. I read somewhere that she was taking a break from this series and maybe that’s a good thing. Get some fresh ideas. Write about the Reed boys but include the Smith pack. Write about Marisa’s Shaw or Mace’s sister. Or Irene’s kids. 

This is still worth reading but for the level of excitement I had, I couldn’t help feeling let down.

AnneWas there anything you really liked?  For me it was the relationship between Bo and Vic.  It just cracked me up!  I also really liked how she was always hiding in the cupboards.   

Anything you didn’t like?  For me it was Vic’s tail.  The thought that it had a mind of it’s own, even jokingly, pretty much squicked me out!

Kay

I did like the relationship between Bo and Vic. Also the cabinet hiding was great and I totally agree about the tail. Ewwww.

I liked Toni’s part a lot, she made me laugh. The Panda was hilarious too.

In closing, we both enjoyed the story and would recommend you read it.  If what Kay heard about Laurenston taking a break is true, I’m sad!  But I’ve always got G.A. Aiken books to read, so I’ll survive!
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Withstanding Me by Crystal Spears

Withstanding Me (Breakneck, #2)

       

Grade-B
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-No Kink
Series- Breakneck #2
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kay
264 pages

I had to read some other reviews to see if people felt the same way I did about this book. I found out several people did feel the same way I did. There’s plenty of chaos here, violence, steamy sex scenes and filthy mouths.

ZZ aka Zig Zag aka Mason is another member of the Breakneck MC. He lives that lifestyle to the fullest. He takes care of his family despite his daughter’s attempts to constantly test his patience and sanity. He balances this well enough but his focus is distracted because of Storm. Storm is a former sex slave that the MC rescued. She works for the Prez’s wife and is enrolled in school for a business degree.

ZZ wants to take her to bed so bad but she rejects him at every turn. You see, she wants more. More than he is willing to offer her right now. She tells him he’s gonna fall in love one day and it’s gonna be with her. He insists that he has no desire to be a one woman man. She tries to date and he blows a gasket. He even runs her date off. You have all the elements of a Crystal Spears’ book but it felt kind of scaled down. It wasn’t as emotionally engaging as Seize me. It was emotional but not as much. It wrapped up some ends and opened more story arcs for this continuing series. I’m very invested in what goes on from here on out but I want the same intensity as Seize Me.

I hope that in the next book there is some of that but am scared because of Shadow being a sadist. That is one of my very least favorite story lines but I’m gonna trust her not to disappoint. Spears writes really badass heroines so Tatiana is going to be fun to read about and I await a release date.

Six Brothers by Lili St. Germaine

Six Brothers (Gypsy Brothers, #2)

          

Grade-B
Hotness Level-Inferno?
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-Gypsy Brothers #2
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kay
100 pages

Oh, man! Why did I devour this so quickly?

Book two starts with the funeral of the eldest son, Chad. Dornan is miserable and devastated over the death of his son. He’s ready to go to war with whoever supplied Chad with the drugs that killed him. As Juliette/Sammi consoles him during his grief, she smiles on the inside. She’s giddy with happiness. It’s still very difficult to put my finger on what draws me to this series. I’m a romance reader and this isn’t really as romance. I mean I see one continue to develop between her and Jase but how screwed up will they both be by the end of all this?

My heart breaks with the flashbacks of first loves, horrific loss and this woman’s emotional and physical descent into the bowels of Hell. Seeing Dornan become more and more poised on the edge of lunacy is so extremely frightening. This book does some explaining as to the why of his obsession with Juliette/Sammi which was very helpful. As she sets her sights on Maxi, the next son in line she’s gonna kill, your heart pounds and your pulse races. Can she pull it off? And what will she have to sacrifice of herself to do it? How far in the quest of revenge will she go?

I was reading a great historical book when I found out this was available and I immediately put the other book on hold and started this one. I figured that since historical romances are a balm to my soul, I’d probably need it after this book. I finished this book with a heavy heart and a small sense of satisfaction for her character. I can’t wait for March 10th!

Two down, five to go.