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I Belong


Review: Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Title: Beast Behaving Badly

Author: Shelly Laurenston

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Pride (Book 5)

Publication Date: May 25, 2010

Format: Paperback, 379 Pages

ISBN-10: 0758231687 (Kensingon Brava)

ISBN-13: 978-0758231680 (Kensington Brava)

Reviewed by: Shirene

Synopsis

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…

Quick & Dirty: Place an obsessive time keeper and neat freak with a slob that isn’t concerned with time but passionate about people, throw in a little paranormal and presto you have this story.

Opening SentenceThe face slammed into the protective glass, blood spurting out as cartilage was demolished, bone shattered.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Sometimes a synopsis or summary are spot on representations of books and other times not so much.  This synopsis is a bit off.  As the reader discovers in this first chapter our key players in this book had a brief meeting which means their eyes met and then Blayne made a run for it ten years ago.  Flash to the present and Blayne and Bo lock eyes again in the middle of a large stadium after a typically violent altercation on the ice hockey rink and this is where the fun really begins.

The interplay and chemistry between Blayne Thorpe and Bo Novikov is what continued to bring me back to this story every time I attempted to put the book down and get errands done.  I adored the fact that Bo was a studious time keeper and neat freak.  The fact that this is what makes him “tick”, I understood completely.  The fact that Blayne was so well intentioned but easily distracted amused me.  Putting such an unlikely couple together is brilliant because there was built-in complexities and challenges even before they started dating.

This book has a good story but being thrown in the deep end was at times a little disheartening because I had no love for the characters that Blayne considered family.  So for me there was an emotional disconnect.  However, Blayne and Bo’s story is well worth the challenge.

The main motivation of placing Blayne under surveillance to protect her was a bit much and I just wanted to reach into the book and strangle Dee-Ann Smith, who is providing under cover protection for Blayne.  Once I finally reached the end of the book, I didn’t hate Dee-Ann with the same level of passion that I did at the beginning, which I will not spoil for you here but thankfully she has redeeming qualities buried very deep.

Some of the interplay between the secondary characters could have been dropped from the story and it wouldn’t have suffered.  The addition of Bo’s foxes was kind of weird and I just didn’t get it.  Sami and Sander spend maybe 30 minutes total in the book to give Bo an easy exit, help Dee near the end of the book and that is it.  I don’t get why Laurenston even added them to this storyline but they are there.

One last “I don’t get it” is why the townsfolk of Ursus County, Maine didn’t notice all the new dogs that were appearing and check into this before the final chapters of the book.  I refuse to spoil this but this bugs me. Then again, I’m the type that likes to be on time which means early and will do a job three different times to ensure I get real results.

Finally, is this a book you should read?  Yes, even with my few quibbles and gripes. I spent an enjoyable day romping through the fields with these characters.  The story of Bo and Blayne was charming and at times hilarious.  Enjoy the book, but I would recommend starting with book 1 to ensure that you enjoy the entire ride with Bo and Blayne.

Notable Scene:

She walked toward him and he automatically backed up.  He couldn’t explain it, but he felt like if he didn’t move, she’d find a way to walk right through him.

“Well, see ya,” she said, heading down the hallway.

“Wait,” he finally called out to her when he’d finally recovered from her complete disregard for the importance of accurate timekeeping.

She faced him but kept walking backward.

“What about getting some coffee?”

She snorted, “God, no.” With that, she turned back around and headed off.

God, no? Did she just say “God, no” to me?  Normally he’d assume the worst with a statement like that, but with her he really couldn’t be sure.

Pride Series:

0.5 Howl For It

1. The Mane Event

2. The Beast in Him

3. The Mane Attraction

4. The Mane Squeeze

5. Beast Behaving Badly

6. Big Bad Beast

7. Bear Meets Girl

8. Wolf with Benefits

FTC Advisory: Kensington Brava provided me with a copy of Beast Behaving Badly. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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