Irene was a great character to be introduced to in In A Badger Way, she is clinical and terrifyingly brilliant. But you can tell that she actually cares about others, she’s just completely unable to show to, well, anyone. The fact that she has her own novella about falling in love decades before… it was even better than I imagined. Wonderful, funny and kind of sweet. A perfect novella.
As expected, Irene is all sass and attitude. Some of it is just pure personality, but some of it is the fact that she’s pretty protective of her feelings. And, you know, there are apparently multiple government agencies spying on her and watching her every move… all of this just meant that even as Irene falls in love with Niall, she is still sassy and feisty and everything I love in the character.
The wedding that finishes out this story is kind of perfect. I mean, it’s always nice to skip forward a little bit so that you can see how the couple ends up. But the fact that Irene genuinely forgets that its even her wedding day and cares not at all about it, was brilliant. It also pulled in the Jean-Louis Parkers into the story. And how that clan of terrifying geniuses had their beginnings too…
All in all, this was a wonderful novella. And I can’t wait to see what happens next in this story. Definitely a strong argument for continuing to fill my ereader with books by Shelly Laurenston.
I’m really not used to reaching any kind of story with incredibly Southern names in it. Names like Darla Mae, Egbert…. It took me a little bit to get used to reading such names. But, once I moved past that, I definitely enjoyed this story. Particularly when I realised that it’s a tale about Dee Ann’s parents. Who I’ve only really met in the Honey Badger Chronicles, but I know I will have a greater appreciation for as I delve into the Pride series.
I thought that this was quite a humorous novella. Kind of like the Laurenston stories that I’ve already read so far. It had me smiling and laughing, and just all round enjoying this storyline. I mean, it’s a story of two individuals falling for each other. But in the meantime, there is a whole lot of family drama, killers on the loose and siblings who are determined to put their nose into everything. The perfect combination for a fun and fast paced tale.
I loved how Darla was able to just… handle everyone. She might be the meeker of the sisters, but she is only like that because she doesn’t feel the need to fight. The moment her sisters step too far over the line, she happily shoves them back into line and handles their nonsense. A perfect match for a man who is a known killer. Then, she also finds a way to mess with Egbert’s brothers, family and race fast cars.
A great novella that has me ready to dive into a whole new Laurenston series. I’ll definitely be devouring this series just as quickly as the rest of the books on my shelves.
Like ever other book in this series, or, indeed, by this author,Badger to the Bone is freaking hilarious. It’s witty, cute, fun and humorous. Although, I did have a bit of a moment of regret – this is the last romance of the three MacKilligan sisters. But, it did also introduce Max’s basketball team and those four women also need their own stories, so I have another rabbit hole to dive into. Very, very happily.
As much as Max is totally a psycho, I’ve been dying to read about her since the prologue in Hot and Badgered. I loved getting more of an insight into just why she acts the way that she does. Particularly in her relationship with Stevie – finally, the way that Max is constantly aggravating her begins to make sense. Plus, Max is the only full honey badger of the three siblings, and this difference was incredibly fun to read about.
I love that although you know that Max is chaos personified, she is actually kind of a do-gooder. She hides it really, really well. And she refuses to let others in on her goodness. That, and the fact that although Max thinks that Charlie is unaware of many of her extracurricular activities, the older sibling is still completely in tune about the insanity that is her younger sister. Yet another amazing sibling moment that had me grinning from ear to ear.
ZeZe is a great counterpoint to the insanity that is Max. Where Max is just pure chaos and happy in her own skin, she is also a serious handful. ZeZe, being entirely cat is quite happy to just stand back and watch the insanity unfold. With humour. And feeling entertained. Much like a real cat would I imagine. His smugness and contentment (once he accepts what he actually is) made me an incredibly happy woman.
ZeZe’s journey in this, whilst totally overshadowed by my love for Max was fun. I love the idea that he doesn’t actually know that he’s a shapeshifter and anything about fitting into the world that he should have been born into. Likewise, the relationship with his grandfather is a little bit tender, but ultimately beautiful. A reminder that sometimes people do the wrong things for love. And a great way to get more and more glimpses into Laurenston’s world of shapeshifters. Now I just need to keep diving into these amazing stories.
I must admit, I’m kind of completely obsessed with the Honey Badger Chronicles, because… well, honey badgers. But also, Laurenston writes amazing romances that are filled with wonderful friendships, strong women and a whole lot of humour. They make me smile with every single page turned and leave me incredibly happy that I’ve had the pleasure of discovering such amazing books. The fact that this continues to follow the MacKilligan sisters, who are most certifiably insane and completely lovely, well, that made me dive right in. Actually, it took me a little while to actually get to this – because I can’t seem to put these books down once I start reading them.
I love that this story is about Stevie, who is most definitely the most neurotic of the MacKilligan sisters. I particularly enjoyed that she just… decides that Shen is her boyfriend. He is such a chilled being and kind of just meanders along. The dichotomy between Stevie’s intensity and inability to relax, and Shen’s calm nature worked really well in this relationship. It was fun getting to know another species of shapeshifter in this series – Shen’s enjoyment in upsetting the other bears with his bamboo chomping in particular. There’s also the way that, although Shen is so damn calm all the time, he is also not exactly the kind of being that you want to mess with… kind of making him the perfect laid back balance to Stevie’s high-strung reality and tendency to find herself in dangerous situations.
Stevie’s other form is definitely terrifying and intense – as demonstrated in Hot and Badgered. It was thoroughly enjoyable getting to know more about just what Stevie is capable of in this form. And just how much damage she can truly do. Although, the moment when she realises that she is actually a badass with DNA that eats other DNA… I thought this was freaking fantastic. And may have laughed for a good minute after reading this. Stevie’s ability to finally accept a part of herself that she’s both feared and reviled was a really nice moment. Definitely gently helped along by Shen’s quiet presence, but also just finally growing enough to realise that just because you’re scary, it doesn’t mean you’re bad.
This might have been a romance about Stevie and Shen, but, yet again, it’s the MacKilligan sisters and their honey badger kin that really steal the show. I genuinely loved the parts where everyone attends a honey badger funeral… there’s a truck vs. badger collision, Charlie wanting to kill her father (again), and a whole bunch of snakes thrown into the mix. It’s not quite what I expected, but fits in completely with the idea of honey badgers being certifiable, down to the last one. I honestly don’t want to stop reading about any and all of the crazy honey badgers that are running rampant through this series. But, it’s not just the honey badgers that steal the show, it’s all of the sibling pairs. Laurenston has a wonderful way of writing about sibling relationships which just feels genuine – there’s loving and affectionate antics, but also those that are about just pushing each others’ buttons, because that’s always fun. I’m honestly hoping that Shen’s, Berg’s and Kyle’s siblings all get their own stories as this series continues on….
This was such an amazing paranormal romance. Not just for the wonderful, steamy sex. The beautifully matched couple. But also the high jinx and shenanigans. Every time I read one of the wonderful stories written by Laurenston, I’m transported to a wonderful world that has me smiling and laughing. Also having all the feelings, because that’s what you should always have in a good romance.
This is a very simple and sweet contemporary romance. It’s definitely got absolutely no surprises in it and was a total breeze to read. One of those stories that I thoroughly enjoyed, but wouldn’t necessarily want to reread again and again.
Ian and Petra both have quite a few issues to get over for them to finally get together. In fact, the way that they meet and the ethical / moral greyness around this is actually the least of their worries. Petra might fixate on this, but ultimately, it’s actually their own nonsense that is a massive hurdle.
Having said that, I do love that this story brings up the morality of daring a patient. I mean, that’s how they meet and get to know one another, but there is nothing untoward throughout. In fact, Ian does everything he can to make sure Petra doesn’t look like she’s doing the wrong thing. In fact, it’s all of those nuances of doctor patient relationship that I liked. It’s a similar difficulty I’ve faced working in disability – you form connections with people being around them that much and in their lives, but you somehow have to also remain professional. It’s a hard line to walk.
I knew that Danielle (the ex) would be an issue in this story – I mean, there was nothing really all that great about her from the beginning. I didn’t actually anticipate just how low she would stoop and what she was likely to do though. It kind of made my teeth hurt if I’m being honest.
Sometimes this was a frustrating read (because people getting in their own damn way), but all in all I did enjoy this. It was a nice, light and fluffy read with just enough questions about morality to make me intrigued and happy.
It’s taken me a little while to get to the next book in the Fighting for Love series, mostly because there are just so many amazing books on my shelves and I get very easily distracted. And it was just as good as the first book in this series. Kate is an amazing writer, and as with Stud Muffin, I loved that they have a genuine understanding of the world of MMA and the dedication that it takes to go pro. Plus, Frankie and Gunnar are a wonderful pair of leads that had me struggling to put this book down from the very beginning.
Frankie is an incredibly prickly female lead, absolutely nothing like Tempests firey nature, she’s just… prickly. And somehow the name Frankie just highlighted how damn prickly she is. I loved how well the name suited her from that very first appearance. And then, there’s the mystery of just who her dad is. The little hints that are shown throughout this novel had me constantly guessing. But, when her scars are revealed, I did guess. And correctly. But, even then, Frankie’s journey of discovery and acceptance were fantastic and incredibly emotional.
Then there is Gunnar, he is wonderfully driven. Not just in his MMA career, but also just how he is willing to drive himself to keep working at the relationships in his life. Not just with Frankie, but also the rest of the Erikson brothers. He is so adorably driven, but, he is also constantly checking for Frankie’s consent. Making what is sometimes a bit of a creepy trope into something that was wonderful and actually quite sweet. He also is willing to take that step back to let Frankie process her demons. I love that the couple actually take a little bit of time apart in this story so that Frankie is able to work on herself, rather than relying on somebody else to prop her up.
Getting your head screwed back on straight can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. I mean, admitting how messed up you are and then opening up is ridiculously hard. I loved how Frankie had the guts to face up to that and do the damn work. And, it is hard work. Both Gunnar and Frankie put in a whole lot of hard work throughout this story, not just towards their relationship, but also towards their own health and goals. I absolutely loved this story and will most definitely read it again multiple times.
The Assist is a very cute college romance. It’s an easy read, new adult romance. The fact that it also features a jock and an overly bubbly sorority girl just made it that much cuter. Plus, I love that Blair, whilst being a sorority girl is surrounded by positive female relationships. A lot of the stories I read feature not-so-healthy female relationships, ones that I’m annoyingly familiar with, but want to see less of, lets normalise the female relationships in this story – the ones that are supportive and have your back no matter what.
I love how from the very first moment, Blair is able to completely put her foot in it. She makes assumption after assumption and just… speaks before she thinks things through. Yet, somehow, that blundering assuming thing that she does is really quite endearing and cute. Rather than coming of as judgy and entitled, she comes across as a little bit oblivious and kind of sweet. She also has the loyalty towards Gabby, and I love how the prologue introduces their friendship, while the rest of the story continues it on. It also helps to set up how she’s going to fit into the world in later books…
The Assist highlights the horrors of sexual harassment. It starts out as a challenge to overcome, and difficulty in Blair’s way. But, as a nice dark counterpoint to the niceness of the romance it works really well. Blair’s plight shows just how horrifying sexual harassment and online harassment can truly be. And also the long-term ramifications and impacts which can occur. The abusive ex in Blair’s history is horrible, and I love that whilst he does actually get his poetic justice, there are still many lingering effects on Blair’s life. Sometimes it’s just a little too hard to put the genie back in the bottle.
As a counterpoint to Blair, Wes is kind of an absolute idiot. He is confident in his role in the college and has a brilliant statistical mind. Yet, he also is completely unable to look on the bright side of things. He’s also so oblivious to the ramifications of his actions to Blair that it’s almost painful. However, for all of his self-centred idiotry, he does eventually get his shit together. And I love how he is able to figure out a new future and find a way to move on from his dickishness. Definitely a fun completion to this story and one that I will probably read again in the future.
Amalie and Lexington are yet another fantastic couple from Helena Hunting. I love that they actually get a Meet Cute before the events of this book. And, in the fun little novella Getting Down, you can already feel the tension and attraction between the two. It very, very quickly builds in this novel, but you already kind of feel it before you even open the first page. The fact that they also have to face a whole lot more drama and horribleness than Ruby and Bane in Shacking Up just makes it incredibly difficult to put this book down.
Amalie’s husband / ex, the horrible man that instigates all of the crap in this is actually freaking terrifying. I mean, horrible and manipulative exes are a pretty common story point. But the way he is so damn entitled, knowingly abusive and borderline stalkerish. That is seriously scary. That, and that he actively admits to grooming her with his emotional abuse. And that the only reason he ever showed an interest in Amalie is to one-up Lexington. I mean, seriously, there is no end to the horribleness that is this man. And the discomfort I got from reading about him.
This might start out as a bit of a holiday romance, but it is immediately clear that this couple is going to be in it for the long haul. I kind of hate that everyone jumps to some kind of horrible conclusions about Lexington’s motives. Yet, it’s Lexington is happy to be involved with Amalie in whatever way works for her, with no pressure or expectations placed upon her. The constant comparisons that can be made between Lexington’s treatment of her and the ex-who-shall-not-be-named helps to drive home the difference in a healthy relationship and a seriously unhealthy one.
I’m glad that although there are obviously some scars that Amalie carries from her wedding gone bad, but it was such a short stint that it’s not so horrifying. Both members of the couple are able to start to move on from the past pretty quickly, making this a fairly easy read still. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely filled with a whole lot more heart hurting drama than Shacking Up, but definitely not as much as some of the other angsty books on my shelves.
This is a fun novella and a nice follow-on from Shacking Up. It gives more insight into how Ruby and Bane are continuing to negotiate their relationship and find their happily ever after. Plus, it is a great way to revisit not just Bane and Ruby, but also Amie and how her relationship is going. All through a Halloween party and the insanity that is trying to organise a massive event.
Getting Down also provides a nice way to lead into Hooking Up. Not only does it highlight the challenges that Amie is already facing in her relationship, it also shows some of the connection she feels for Lex. The way that Amie and Ruby’s future mother-in-laws are constantly contrasted and their treatment of the girls just further drives home all of the difficulties that Amie is about to face.
Like Shacking Up, this was a fund, easy and light novella. One that adds to the series by providing closure and a foreshadowing of what is to come. Definitely a fun read, and one that I will revisit in the future.
This was one of those instances that I bought a book that looked interesting and got excited to read it. Only to find out that it was the fourth in the series, so then, of course, I had to buy the first three. And you know what? I’m not disappointed with this mistake at all. As the FIRST in this series, this was such an amazing story. It was fun, clever and cute. A tale that I most definitely enjoyed and will most likely read again in the future. One of those wonderful, easy reads that lets you go off on an adventure, without being so intense that you actually have to concentrate.
Ruby is a wonderfully off-kilter, loveable and sweet heroine. I love that although she comes from money, she is determined to make her own path in life. One that makes her happy and gives her her own sense of fulfillment. She is a wonderfully driven and content character who, although she is slowly and steadily falling for Bane, manages to still do it with her independence intact. I particularly love that when she realises her feelings, rather than continuing to “shack up” with Bane, she chooses to find her own place. That streak of independence is so damn admirable, and made me love the character that much more.
Bane (Bancroft) is kind of the perfect partner for Ruby – he’s also a little bit out of the “norm”, and so immediately accepting of Ruby’s decisions in life. In fact, he chooses to admire her for her wish towards independence. And, when he realises that some of his actions make her feel like her independence is being impinged upon, he takes a step back and lets her try and make her own way. Even his response to Ruby’s job as a burlesque dancer is driven by his hurt at being lied to rather than her actual job. I’ll be intrigued as to how Bane and Ruby’s relationship shows up in Hooking Up. Particularly since some of Bane’s forced cohort seem like absolute, complete and total wankas.
I love that Bane and Ruby originally find their common ground in Bane’s ferret. Any cute, show stealing pet is going to be a winner for me. And the way that she is able to drive some of the dialogue as the two get to know each other is really sweet. Actually, this whole enforced roommates romance is made all that much sweeter in the fact that Ruby and Bane, although they have the insta-attraction, spend time actually getting to know one another. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some wonderful, witty and steamy banter from the very beginning, but they still actually spend that time conversing before taking that final plunge.
There is a very obvious set up for Hooking Up in this in that Ruby’s best friend is obviously going to have her own story. I mean, the jerk fiancé? Puh-lease! And then there’s Bane’s brothers who are also getting a few parts of their backstory set up. It makes me want to dive right into the next tale in this series! Although, I do say that for almost every good book that I read…