Friday, May 6, 2011

Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

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. 

You probably won't believe me but I've had to physically hold myself away from the computer to not write this review too quickly. I love Shelly Laurenston. I just do. And like with most of her latest releases, I finished this book and immediately started reading it again because it was so much fun. I literally couldn't help it. There was nothing else on my shelf - besides possibly Beast Behaving Badly - that I wanted to read. But I wanted  my review to have some reflection. I wanted to give myself time to think and consider and know what I want to say about this book so I didn't find myself frantically TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THE BOOK WAS GOOD THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY TO EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR IT. 

Oh. [[cough]] Excuse me. I didn't mean to do that. 

After some careful reflection I'm able to say that this book definitely continues Laurenston's series is the best way possibly. Why? Because no matter what else is happening, these books are incredibly character driven. While Ric and Dee might be the central figures in this particular book we still get to see all the couples and friends that we've fallen in love with before. Plus, not only are we just seeing them, we're getting to see different facets of their personality because it's NOT all about them. For example, I couldn't have loved Lock more after his and Gwen's book. I wanted my personal Lock and if I'd had the money/science to genetically create one of my own, I probably would be sitting in his kitchen eating ice cream right about now. But here? He was a bit of a dick toward Bo and it wasn't always the most fun to read. But it was real. Bo can be a total OCD ass and as much as Blayne brings him into the social circle he can still be a little crazy - which makes it understandable that Lock wouldn't be able to take it all the time with a smile on his face.

Still, to go back to Dee and Ric: greatness. After seeing him circle around her in the past couple books it was simply terrific to seem him finally be able to switch roles and bring Dee after him. As unassuming as he can be on the outside he is still one of those 'wily' Van Holtz's and what he wants, he really does get. It's not selfish though, even if what I've just said makes it sound like it. Ric really does love Dee and wants her to be the happiest little assassin she can be. Which usually involves lots of food and lots of sex. Who's gonna complain about that?

True enjoyment of this book definitely comes after reading the whole series, so keep that in mind if you're picking this up as a stand alone. Each of the characters are just so much more vivid if you know what makes them tick. And of course while I'd LOVE for these to be released in mass market, because my wallet cries a bit at the trade paper size, I consider them totally worth the $15.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up!

Series - 4)  The Mane Squeeze 5) Beast Behaving Badly 6) Big Bad Beast