Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review – Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

If you don't know by now, I tend to go all fangirly when a new book by a favorite author is released. That fangirlyness increases exponentially based on how long I have been anticipating the title. Since I've been waiting for Big Bad Beast for three years, I'll let you do the math as to how high-pitched that squee was when I got it in my hot hands.
I was introduced to Dee-Ann in Shelly Laurenston's The Mane Attraction and met Ulrich in The Mane Squeeze and then had to wait another two years before I got to their book. So my fangirly squeezing when
arrived two weeks early to my bookstore, probably set off many a shifter given the high pitch. 

To start, Ulrich Van Holtz is a chef who is an Alpha in the kitchen and a beta in the pack and doesn't let things like his father and brother hating his guts and plotting his death get him down. Add to this Dee-Ann Smith, enemy of his pack, super scary Alpha female and post Unit badass and you've got a story that looks like it's going to be a fight to the finish. Except Ric is wily and Dee-Ann is dangerous so it's probably best if you wear your blood splatter suit if you're going to read this story.

Like all good pairings Ric and Dee-Ann have a past, a violent one given their families hate one another, but a past none the less. Meeting when they were 6 and 10, respectively it went something like this:       

"What are you looking at, shorty?"

Yep, even at 10 years-old Dee Ann has no problems with calling it how she sees it. Luckily, as an adult Ric and Dee Ann can at least see eye to eye; since they're the same height (a respectful 6'2").

I have been obsessed with this series since I picked up the first book and each additional story gives me more to love about the characters. The women are MEAN, the men are violent, and the characters are unforgiving about their shortcomings; really it's not their fault that you're uncomfortable with how much the lions eat or the wolves picking your lock and showing up in your bathroom unexpectedly…that's YOUR problem. The humor is well placed and each pairing doesn't fade into the sunset when the story ends. But the real reason to love this series if you haven't already bitten the bullet is the consistency of storyline and characters. Big Bad Beast also has the Big Bad Cameo! in Sara Morrighan, Angelina Santiago and Dr. Irene Conridge; each character making an appearance with requisite bitchiness/snarkiness intact.

From the prologue, to the vermin infested apartment scene, the smoker's commiseration, to the 4th of July weekend festivities B3 lived up to all of my expectations and continued to remind me why I anticipate each book in this series. Dee-Ann and Ric were fun to read because they remained true to their makeup. Dee-Ann didn't suddenly become a pile of female goo when confronted with the hotness of Ric and likewise he wasn't seduced any more than he already was by her skill with a blade. The elements of the Pride Series Brand of Humor were present in helping them reach the goal of couplehood: character with OCD of some sort (for Ric it's cleaning and torturing Novikov...for Dee-Ann its killing and torturing her family, when see can stand being near them), some really good fights (or brawls) with friends (Malone and Dee-Ann rumble wherever they can), those embarrassing family moments that no one can get away from (Hello door meet Alder's head) and the possibility of death for anyone who gets in Eggie Smith's way (Time to start the killin') .

I could go on forever about this book.  Having it arrive two weeks before the release date (don't know how that happened, but I'm not going to complain) meant that I had time to devour the title 3 times...yep, that's right, 3.  I didn't even blink, I would get to the end and then turn the book back over and start again, and the only reason I haven't read it more is because the digital version refused to bend to the power of my mind and jump onto my nook color before the actual release date.  Dammnit!  However, after those three readings I can say with confidence this is another hit in the Pride series from Laurenston and I'm hoping…HOPING that the next book is Malone/Reed. I'll let you know if I'm right.

/end fangirly


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