Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Romance Book Review: The Mane Squeeze

Author Shelly Laurenston
Series Connection: Pride Stories/Shifters 7
ISBN: 978-0758231666
Genre: Contemporary romance/ shifter
Publisher: Kensington Brava


Shelly Laurenston continues her shifter series introducing two new characters and bringing back a whole array of previous characters from her other books. While this book can be read without reading the rest of the series, I wouldn't recommend it because it is important to keep all the characters straight and knowing who they were in previous books makes this book all the much more amusing.

One of the great parts about this series is the author's attempt to keep the shifters personalities close to their animal personas. Many of the funny scenes in the story relate back to the fact that the lead hero character in the book is a bear shifter. Lock is a grizzly shifter to be exact, and the author gives him a lot of qualities that a bear would like, complete with being addicted to honey, playing in bee hives and having many of the other shifters totally frighten of him. All except for the heroine in the book, Gwen. Gwen is a mixed breed shifter, who knows how to take care of herself, if her family would just let her. The problem is that someone doesn't like mix breed shifters and this means trouble for Gwen.

While previous books in the series developed the story around the couple in each particular story, The Mane Squeeze, begins to develop a back story that involves more shifter politics and even opens the door for a continual story line, other than just reintroducing characters from previous books. As with many series books, that part makes the book run a little slow in parts, but it is well worth getting to the end. It will be interesting to see how Shelly continues on with the series and who she picks to write about next.

For those looking for an entertaining and funny read, this one will do it for you. There is a little of the author's erotic side showing through, but this book is tamer than previous stories. That doesn't translate into bad, just different.

Growing up on the tough Philly streets, Gwen O'Neill has learned how to fend for herself. But what is she supposed to do with a nice, suburban Jersey boy in the form of a massive Grizzly shifter? Especially one with a rather unhealthy fetish for honey, moose, and…uh…well, her. Yet despite his menacing ursine growl and four-inch claws, Gwen finds Lachlan "Lock" MacRyrie cute and really sweet. He actually watches out for her, protects her, and unlike the rest of her out-of-control family manages not to morbidly embarrass her. Too bad cats don't believe in forever.

At nearly seven feet tall, Lock is used to people responding to him in two ways: screaming and running away. Gwen-half lioness, half tigress, all kick-ass-does neither. She's sexy beyond belief and smart as hell, but she's a born protector. Watching out for the family and friends closest to her but missing the fact that she's being stalked by a murderous enemy who doesn't like hybrids…and absolutely hates Gwen. Lock probably shouldn't get involved, but he will. Why? Because this is Gwen-and no matter what the hissing, roaring, drape destroying feline says about not being ready to settle down, Lock knows he can't simply walk away. Not when she's come to mean absolutely everything to him.

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