The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston
Series: Pride #4
Also in this series: The Mane Attraction, Wolf With Benefits, Beast Behaving Badly (Pride, #5)
Published by Brava on November 1, 2009
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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.
I have a slight problem. I hoard Shelly Laurenston books. I dole them out to myself like they are expensive and rare specialty chocolates (actually they are more like a moon pie, not fancy just yummy, good, and fun), saving them for when I absolutely positively need a pick me up. SL books are guaranteed to make me forget about bad books or crappy days because they are just so wacky, you can’t help but laugh. Between a grizzly bear who likes to play with his toes and the hysterically funny but violent shifter roller derby, I’m happy to say The Mane Squeeze not only did not disappoint when I was in dire need of a good laugh, it had me giggling half the night away.
Ms. Laurenston always gives us a strong, quirky, extremely snarky, OTT heroines. Gwen’s a half lioness, half tiger shifter raised on the tough streets of Philly. She has the usual crazy family, including a former roller derby queen mother of questionable morals and Mitch (The Mane Attraction) as her suddenly over-protective half brother, and now Bren (The Mane Event – Shaw’s Tail) who has decided to adopt her too. There’s a family feud going on and suddenly her Mama’s biggest rival has decided to put Gwen in her evil crosshairs. She also has to contend with some hybrid haters who think they should all be exterminated. Then there’s a smitten grizzly who she just can’t quit thinking about for many different reasons.
“Oh, my God,” she gasped.
“It is bigger.”
Lock peered down at his cock. “Well,” he offered as explanation, “it’s in a good mood.”
“You’re a grower and a show-er.”
“Gwen? Are you crying?”
Lock, an extremely laid back, goofy as hell grizzly bear shifter, has set his sights on Gwen and he is determined to keep her safe from anyone and everyone who is gunning for her. I loved Lock. He was probably the most endearing Hero yet of the series. I loved how he could happily chill out one minute and the next beat someone into submission without a thought. It was….sweet in a rather violent kind of way.
Lock grinned at Gwen. “He’s fun,” he said, reaching out and cuffing Mitch without even looking at him. “He just keeps trying to get back up.” Bam! “It’s great.” Bam! “Like ‘The Little Lion Who Could.'” Bam!
You also get Jess and her wild dogs, lions, tigers, more bears, and of course the crazy Smith wolves to add to all the fun. And did I mention the shifter roller derby? They have girls whose only job is to clean off the blood from the glass safety wall, hilarious!
Yes, you always know what you’re going to get from a Laurenston series, but that’s one of the things I love about them. No surprises, just good, consistent fun that you can count on when you need it most. I’m just sad that someday soon, I will have burned through my hoard and then I don’t know what I will do for those days I need my snarky fun shifter fix.
Rating: 5 Hilarious Roller Derby Stars
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