Pub Date: March 25, 2014
Length: 384 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher
I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably not as critical as I should be with Shelly Laurenston's Pride series. I'm a huge fangirl and the books are such unmitigated fun that I let things slide past me that would normally elicit criticism. I have to say, though, that this book was one of the better ones in recent memory. All because of these two word: honey. badger.
The only other honey badger I've read in paranormal fiction is Ilona Andrews's Dr. Doolittle. These badgers aren't like him. In fact, they are more like indestructible Energizer Bunnies. But with teeth and claws and a taste for venomous snakes and criminal activity.
Livy, one of the few members of the family who makes her living legally, is dealing with some stress in her life. Not only has her crazy cousin moved in and is making her life hell, she discovers during the course of a job that her missing father is dead. Like, stuffed-and-on-display dead. To cope, she burrows into Vic Barinov's house and steals his honey. Something she tends to do whenever she's stressed, although neither she or Vic seem to want to examine just why that is.
While hunting for her father's murderer and coping with a photographer's version of writer's block, Livvy slowly becomes involved with Vic. I loved the way this relationship sort of crept up on both of them. Clearly, the foundation is there already. But neither of them seem to be aware of the deeper feelings until crisis forces them into closer proximity.
My second-favorite thing about Laurenston's books (after the humor) is that none of her heroines are in need of rescue. Not really. They are all pretty bad-ass in their way. Sure, they need help from time to time, but they hold their own just fine, thank you very much.
This book tickled my funny bone in a big way. All of Laurenston's books are funny, but this one was both covertly and overtly hilarious. Add in that this is essentially a friends-to-lover story with a large sprinkling of clueless man and you're left with something you can read over and over with a big dumb grin on your face.
If you're new to Laurenston, though, this isn't the place to start, because there are a lot of cameos from previous books and in-jokes throughout.
My Grade: B+
Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life's irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad's untimely and unexplained demise. That's where Vic Barinov comes in - or his house does. Vic can't step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he'll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge...