Reviewed by Kay and Anne
Anne and Kay are both huge Laurenston fans. This is their joint review.
Kay: Ricky Lee Reed is one of those "Reed Boys". He's a wolf shifter from the Smith pack. He has recently relocated from Tennessee to New York to work security for Llewellyn Security, a shifter run company. Oh, he's also a slow talkin', swagger walkin', non blasphemin' Southern redneck hillbilly.
Antonella Jean-Louise Parker is a jackal shifter and very much a little girl lost in her family of prodigies. She's the eldest child of her family and has devoted her life up until this point to them. She constantly handles and protects every aspect of their lives. Let's not forget, these are shifter children, so to say they are handfuls, is an understatement.
This couple's romance builds slowly. It never boils but it was still precious to read. I was afraid I'd have unanswered questions at the end of the book but I didn't. I got to find out not only who the culprit was but what kind of shifter Livy was. This book had a little of everything. Romance, mystery and suspense.
Shelly Laurenston is a phenomenal author! This latest edition to her Prides series is a masterpiece. This is writing at its finest. Her best book by far and I say that every time she releases a new one. She has hit her stride and keeps on improving book to book. I am worshipping at the alter of Ms. Laurenston. At a time when I was asking myself who my favorite paranormal author is, I now have my answer. If you have never read a Shelly Laurenston novel yet, what the heck is wrong with you?
Anne: I love Laurenston, too! Her books suck me in and take me away from my real world! I love the swearing and violence – though there was a little less swearing in this one due to Ricky Lee’s delicate sensibilities. :) I don’t think I’d call this Laurenston’s best book yet, though. For me that will probably always be either Irene and Niles’ book (“Miss Congeniality” in When He Was Bad) or Bo and Blayne’s book (Beast Behaving Badly.) The fact that Wolf With Benefits has Irene AND Bo and Blayne as secondary characters is what pushed it to an A rating for me.
I thought Ricky Lee and Toni’s story was ok. I wasn’t blown away by it. I thought the story was more about Toni’s relationship with her family, especially her siblings. So, on that basis it would have been a B for me, but when you add in the siblings, Bo and Blayne, and Irene… well I KNOW I’m going to read it again. So it bumps to an A.
What did you think of Toni's oldest sister, Delilah? I thought she was horribly creepy!
Anne: Delilah’s story line made me sad. I really, really was hoping for redemption. I mean, here she was in this wonderful family, and I wanted that to be enough. I didn’t really like the resolution with Delilah either. Oddly, I think it was too complicated for me. There was a very simple ending that I wanted. I understood what they did, and even why they did it that way, but I didn’t like it.
Kay: And what about when they had to go looking for Miki?
Anne: While I vaguely remember that they did go see Miki, I don’t really remember it and can’t find it easily on my reader.
Kay: DeeAnn goes to find Miki, who is part of the Magnus Pack. DeeAnn is the only one not afraid to risk the wrath of Sarah, the alpha female of the Magnus Pack. When she came out with the gun on the porch in her long T-shirt, I laughed so hard.
Anne: Oh, yeah! That was good! I bookmarked some favorite parts. I LOVED this coversation between Kyle (Toni's 11 year old artist prodigy brother) and Bo Novikov:
(Novikov asks) “So do you play hockey?”This exchange between the two of them, and so many more scenes with Toni's siblings were just hilarious! I also really loved Ricky Lee's wolf patience while pursuing Toni. He was content to be with her and wait for her (or her family) to provide entertainment. He saw through to the heart of things with her quickly, but was patient enough to let things play out over time. I really enjoyed that. Did you have a favorite part?
“Really, How come?"
“Because I plan to use my brilliance for something real and important, not something petty like sports."
“See, what I like about what you do,” the boy explained, his hands accenting with each word, his voice intense, “is the raw rage and violence. I can use that in my work. And while you’ll probably be forgotten soon after you retire, which is the way of you athletic types whose happiest years are usually when you’re in high school… my legacy will live on for centuries. People will study my work, copy it. My work will start a new art movement, a new wave of creativity born out of blood and violence and rage. And you… youMr. Novikov will be my David."
"Like Michaelangelo’s David? But instead my piece will be called Jean-Louis Parker’s Novikov, and it will be the greatest art anyone has ever seen. And you… you, Mr. Novikov, will be my muse."
Kay: I also enjoyed the scenes where people tried to guess what Olivia was. I was a little irritated with how Blayne was treated and am shocked that Bo put up with it. I love Blayne and Toni being mean to her did not sit sell with me at all.
Anne: Olivia! She was awesome! I was so afraid we wouldn't get to know *what* she was. And when it was finally revealed, I laughed and laughed!
I actually kind of appreciated that someone didn't fall in love with Blayne immediately. I've always thought she was annoying, though in an endearing way. :) It was hilarious that Toni couldn't remember her name!
Back when we started this review, you said Laurenston just may be your favorite paranormal author. I think that’s true for me, too. I really love her books, and this one is one of her best – not so much in the romance for me, but the overall story and humor. Awesome book!