ARC Review: Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston

Format: E-bookbearmeetsgirl
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Series: Pride, #7
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Hero: Lou “Crush” Crushek
Heroine: Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 27, 2012
Started On: September 23, 2015
Finished On: September 27, 2015

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston was a tough read for me to get into. There were those multiple conversation threads that I got lost in and the various characters that appeared out of nowhere which plunged me further into the abyss. I have read a lot of books midway into a series and still managed to get the gist of the characters involved without much of a problem. And those reads have at times even persuaded me to pick up a book that was published before that particular book in the series. But alas, Bear Meets Girl wasn’t one of those reads.

Lou “Crush” Crushek wakes up from a party, not his usual lifestyle mind you, wrapped up in the arms of a woman who instantly puts him on the edge. Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone (Cella) can’t help but have a little fun with the uptight polar bear until it all comes to the point where Cella is the one in need of Crush’s help to keep her well meaning family’s ministrations to help find her a “suitable” mate at a minimum.

Amid all this, there is some plot to hurt the bear population, Crush becoming a part of a new police force from his usual undercover work that has him going down in a bit of a spiral towards depression. Crush and Cella are two very contrasting characters, perhaps reason why I was drawn towards the book in the first place after reading the blurb. Cella, while is all out outrageous, Crush is the opposite. Someone who likes to keep to himself, who considers his home the haven of quiet & solitude that he requires after coming home from work. Cella and Crush do make the right fit, but I just couldn’t find myself all that interested in the rest of the story that was happening.

I skimmed through more than half of the story to just read the bits where Crush and Cella are together. Their dialogues with each other were refreshing. Their connection towards each other interesting, something that the author could have worked a bit more on to make the story more enticing. Because the rest of the stuff that was happening in the story just made my head whirl.

So given all the things that didn’t work for me in the book, one might ask, why did I still trudge on through the story? Well, there’s a magic to Shelly Laurenston’s writing that always makes me request her books even though the stories seem to come wrapped in a whole lot of characters and interactions between them, that tends to take away the focus from the main couple in the story. Which I seldom like, if at all. Bear Meets Girl having the exact same problem shouldn’t be a surprise, but then I keep hoping that this would be the time I would be proven wrong. I couldn’t skim through the rest of the chunks of the story fast enough to get to the bits where Crush and Cella were the focus. They make for a great combination. There’s enough spark, charm & adorableness to their coming together that makes it hard not to fall in love with them.

In my opinion, Bear Meets Girl is too seeped in details of all else that’s going on that it detracts the reader from the most alluring factor of the story; the couple in question & how their coming together works. I’m not saying other characters & scenes are not required to make a story more wholesome. No. It’s just that when a story gets bogged down with too much of past characters & extended family & whatnot, the reader who spontaneously picks up a book to read in the middle of a series can get a little lost in the midst of it all.

Recommended for fans of the author & fans of the Pride series.

Final Verdict: Bear Meets Girl; a story worth trudging through only because of Crush and Cella.

Favorite Quotes

She invaded his mouth with her tongue, fingers digging deep into the back of his neck and head, kind of holding him there. Crush’s entire body loosened, his arms falling away from his chest and to his sides, then reaching around her waist and pulling her off the chair. The chair ended up be- tween them, so Crush kicked it out of the way. Keeping a solid grip on her, he returned her kiss. But he wanted more.
Without thought to anything but the demands of his body, Crush pushed her up against his refrigerator, his body pin- ning hers there. He let his hands slip from around her waist and travel up until they could grip her breasts, fingers squeezing while his thumbs circled her nipples through her shirt and bra. Her entire body shook and then her hands were pressed against his chest, pushing him back.

Malone turned, saw them, and ran over. When she was about ten feet from Crush, she launched herself at him, hit- ting him hard, her legs wrapping around his waist, her arms around his neck. “Hi!”
“H—”
She didn’t let him finish, her mouth pressing against his, arms tightening around his neck. And for those few seconds Crush forgot about everyone else.
When she finally pulled her mouth away, Crush still had his eyes closed.
“I’m glad you came.”
Wait. He had? When?
“I was afraid you were going to bail on me.”
Oh! Came as in attend. Got it. He was there. He was okay.
He could handle this. Her. Whatever.
“I promised.”
“You did.” Still wrapped around him, she leaned back a
bit and gave him a once-over. “You’re kind of overdressed.” “I see that now.”

He wasn’t sure, but then she leaned in, sniffed his neck, and gently scraped a fang across his jugular. The last of Crush’s restraint snapped, his hands tightening around her waist. He lifted her up, pulled her in closer, and while staring into her eyes, slammed her down hard on his cock, at the same time bringing up his hips.
The feline roared, her head dropping back, her arms wrapping around his neck. She held on tight, breathing in deep and taking a moment before she looked at him.
Panting hard, they watched each other.
“Well,” she sighed, “that does feel good.”

She knew what he was doing, the tricky bastard. With every twist and tug and tease of her breast, her pussy tightened around his cock like a vise. His growling grew harsher, louder, and the vibration of it against her flesh had her nearly out of her mind. She panted, she mewled, she might have hissed a few times. Then she was coming. Coming so very hard that she cried out.
The bear lifted his head to gaze at her with those black eyes.
“You all right?” And she wondered if he realized he was still growling at her.
Unable to answer since she was still panting, Cella nod- ded.
“Good.” Remaining inside her, Crush slowly stood, releasing her arms so that he could carefully lift her legs and drape them over his forearms. “ ’Cause I’m not really done yet.”

“I need you to calm down, ma’am.”
Cella’s body began to shake, her knees weakening. “What is this?” he asked, fingers pressing, stroking. “Can
you tell me, ma’am? It’s better you come clean now rather than let me find out later. I can help you now.”
She shook her head, unable to find any words with her body unraveling.
“I don’t think you’re listening to me, ma’am.” He sighed, shook his head. “That’s a real shame.”
Cella didn’t know what he was saying, what was going on. She only knew what she felt and what she felt was that monumental orgasm ripping through her, so strong, she nearly threw the three-hundred-pound bear off her.

While Cella tried to get her breath back, the bear removed the cuffs, his hands rubbing her wrists. He stretched out on the floor and Cella collapsed on top of him. They lay in silence for long minutes until Cella admitted, “You have the biggest cock . . .”
Crush laughed, his hand slipping into her hair, massaging her scalp. “Why, thank you.”
“Just felt I should share that.”
“I have to admit, Cella, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of your after-sex pronouncements.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | eBookMall | iTunes

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ARC Review: Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

Format: E-bookbiteme
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Pride, #9
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Hero: Vic Barinov
Heroine: Olivia Kowalski
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 25, 2014
Started On: March 23, 2014
Finished On: March 24, 2014

Book 9 in the Pride series, Bite Me is my very first foray into this series. Having read just one book by Shelly Laurenston prior to this, I knew what to expect from her novels in the sense that I knew that if nothing else, the story would keep me entertained all throughout. Though Bite Me can definitely be read as a standalone, I think that the wholesome experience of all the characters that appear in this book can only be had if you read the series in order.

Half-Asian, half-Polish and a honey badger shifter, Livy Kowalski and her family of honey badgers are considered the most devious of shifters. The fact that Livy stands apart from the rest of her brood and doesn’t believe in the way of life of honey badgers had always been an issue of contention when it had come to her parents and extended family. A photographer by profession whose creative juice seems to have dried up, Livy finds it hard to confide in even the people closest to her the fear that churns in her gut every time she thinks of the loss of her zeal for the one thing that helps ground her. And when Livy finds the truth behind her father’s death, it sets off a chain of events which propels her into the life and arms of Vic Barinov, teaching her a thing or two about herself and her passion for the beautiful shifter who gets her juices flowing in more ways than one.

Vic is a crossbreed,  part grizzly bear and Siberian tiger which makes him unique. Vic doesn’t know why he lets Livy burrow all the way into his home and finish off his precious honey whenever she feels like she needs a place to crash, but Vic would rather not admit that he has a soft spot for Livy, the one person who doesn’t even try to invoke that sort of emotion in anyone. That doesn’t stop Vic from trying to cheer Livy up and in the end finds himself embroiled in a passion as deep as complex as the woman Livy is. And in between, there is of course her crazy family to contend with and the chase to bring the man responsible for Livy’s father’s death to justice.

Though I really enjoyed what Bite Me had to offer, there were times that I felt that story dragged a bit here and there. But what made it all worth it was the witty and sarcastic banter that fills the pages, making it impossible to skip even a single page of the unfolding story. I loved both Vic and Livy to pieces, Vic was a mix of alpha and sweetness with a bit of grumpy hotness on the side. Livy was a heroine of the reticent type, whose very thought processes alone made me burst out into laughter.

Recommended for fans of Shelly, fans of paranormal romances with lots of humor and fans of the Pride series!

Final verdict: One word; entertaining!

Favorite Quotes 

“Livy?”
“Yeah?”
Vic leaned his head back, his chin still resting on her chest. “Some days . . .”
“Yeah?”
“Some days you make me want to drive a railroad spike through my head.”
Then he was gripping Livy’s legs again and yanking her lower half up, his cock pressing against her. He paused. Just long enough to make sure he had Livy’s attention. Then he pulled Livy closer and thrust hard. So hard, so mercilessly, that Livy started coming again. And at this rate, Livy wasn’t sure she’d ever stop.

Holding her tight, Vic turned them so that Livy was underneath him. He braced his arms on either side of her, his big, long body looming over her. “Bring your legs up,” he ordered. “High on my waist.”
When she did, he growled and powered into her, his cock buried deep inside her pussy. Livy’s back arched. Nothing she could remember had ever felt this good.

“You make me want to burrow,” Livy told him, her arms moving down to his waist as she snuggled into his chest. “Usually I want to burrow away from people,” she murmured. “You’re the first I’ve ever burrowed toward.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo | Kobo | iTunes

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Review: Miss Congeniality by Shelly Laurenston

Format: E-bookwhenhewasbad
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Magnus Pack, Book 3.5
Publisher: Brava
Hero: Niles Van Holtz
Heroine: Professor Irene Conridge
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: June 1, 2008
Started On: June 13, 2010
Finished On: June 13, 2010

Oh my god! This has to be one of the most hilarious and witty romances that I have ever come across. Van, a wolf shape shifter, who would one day become the Alpha Male of his family’s pack doesn’t understand the reason why he has always hunted after Professor Irene Conridge ever since he had locked onto her scent seven years back.

Van’s family being one of the richest families in the area, frequently turns up at the fund raising functions for Irene’s university and even the opening dialog itself had me smiling. Irene is a genius physicist who has no time whatsoever for the frivolities in life. She couldn’t be any more different from the sexy and compelling Van even if she tried. Though she had always found Van a trifle bit annoying to say the least since the guy seemed to turn up at every function she attended to discuss her choice of undergarments, one of her experiments puts Irene in danger and it is Van and his pack that rescues her from being devoured by a pack of lions and hyenas.

Van has no choice but to mark her as his mate, though Van doesn’t believe in the folklore that surrounds the concept of marking a mate for life. Currently as happy as a clam with his mission of screwing anything that stands around long enough, Van all of a sudden finds himself uninterested in the plentiful female company that seems to surround him.

Its hilarious to read how these two try to stay away from one another but the simmering and oh so hot attraction that is unleashed right from the very first kiss is enough to keep you warm for all winters to come. Van is the type of hero you cannot go wrong with, someone who is tender, caring, protective and possessive to the right extent whilst understanding the complex genius of a woman Irene is.

With interesting side characters and a bit of danger that crops up every now and then, this is as good a romance can get. I couldn’t seem to put this book down once I started and I am definitely going to check out other books by the author. Her writing style is something you don’t come across every day.

A hot, funny and sensual read that makes for a beautiful romance, and an epilogue that I absolutely loved, this book is highly recommended even for those who do not read paranormal romances.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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