Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wolf with Benefits (Pride #8) by Shelly Laurenston

Ricky Lee has no plans of getting serious about anyone, but he will protect Toni Jean-Louis Parker. Not just because he’s been hired to do so, but because it’s the right thing to do. And if that means traveling around the country with one complicated She-jackal, dealing with chocolate-eating wild dogs, instigating trouble between his brothers, and having the most amazing sex he’s ever had…well, who said his job didn’t have perks?

Toni doesn’t know how she keeps getting herself into these situations. But even she has to admit there’s something about Ricky Lee Reed that she finds kind of interesting…and downright sexy. Now they just have to survive long enough to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for…

Type: Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Damn, I missed this world! It's silly and light hearted and just hilariously brilliant. And I'm not even the least bit ashamed that when I was handed an advanced copy of it I squealed. Like a girl. Right in the middle of Barnes & Noble. I was so darn excited I dropped everything to dig into Wolf with Benefits and gah, yeah, I loved it.

If you haven't read the series it's really not like any other shifter series I've read and is hands down my favorite one. It's got that gossipy small southern town feel to it that I think is incredibly entertaining because everyone knows what's going on with everyone and isn't afraid to stick their noses into each other's business.   They say things like darlin' and sugar and half the characters have that double name thing going on like Ronnie Lee and Sissy Mae. She also mixes up the shifters so there's bears with wild dogs, wolves, kittehs and jackals. And a bunch of Southern shifters moving up to the North which all makes for some damn priceless interactions.

It's a quirky bunch of good-hearted characters that may pound on each other more often than not and that talk smack all the time and tease the hell out of each other but they do it in a charming as hell way so that you  just can't help but laugh and smile at all of their antics.
"The main problem was that he couldn't understand the connection I have to my family." 
"Of course he couldn't." the wolf said flatly. "Do you really think some full-human gal can understand leaving my bed some morning, walking out into my living room, and finding my entire Pack snoring on my floor or eatin' my yogurt while they watch the Brickyard 400?" 
"Am I supposed to know what that is?" 
He sighed, long and deep. "Poor, pretty Yankee. That's NASCAR, darlin'. You do know what that is, right?"
Alright so Ricky Lee and Toni. Where to start. These two were just the perfect opposites. He's a laid back, go with the flow, always in control, let the entertainment come to you kinda wolf and she's one stressed out she-jackal that's spent her whole life keeping her insanely brilliant and socially awkward family all in one piece and is finally getting the chance to live her own life a bit and is freaking out because of it.

I loved these two. He's completely smitten with her and she really wants nothing to do with the wolf at first. But he just won't give up and suddenly he's a big part of her life and the one who is sent to protect her when she's sent into another country to do her new job of winning over some very grumpy Russian shifters. I really loved that he was always there for her, encouraging her when no one else really was and calming her down when she panicked. Hell if that's not just incredibly sexy to me. Their romance was fun and sexy and had some playful added into it too.
"This is beautiful," Ricky finally said.  
"Yes. It is." 
"But I can't really enjoy it because all I can think about is getting you back to the hotel and naked." 
"Thank God!" Toni exploded. "I thought it was just me. I've been asking myself. 'How can you not enjoy all this beautiful nature?'" She looked directly at him and admitted, "But, you look so damn good naked." 
He took her hand in his, stared deeply in her eyes, and said, "We both do. And how are we supposed to focus on anything else when we both look so dang good naked?" 
Toni laughed. "You're ridiculous." 
"No. My baby brother is ridiculous  I'm just a little goofy. A fine mix between Reece's ridiculous behavior and Rory's uptight lifestyle" He tugged her hand and had the audacity--audacity-- to tip his head down and look up at her through his rather long eyelashes.  
"Come on, darlin'." he coaxed. "Let's go back to the hotel, get naked and be all awed about how good we look."
There's some drama, some excellent guest spots by previous characters, a little danger and mystery surrounding her family and some odd goings on around them, some good lovin' and a huge helping of sarcasm in this one and it's just an excellent combo.

I always feel like I'm visiting with old friends when I'm reading this series and Wolf with Benefits reminded me of all the reasons why I love these shifters and their crazy world so much. It's so easy to fall into their world and get lost for a spell. I always end up laughing until it hurts and leave the book smiling and completely charmed. Shelly's a master at writing feel good, fun reads that I'd recommend for any shifter fan.

What say yall?
Have you read Shelly Laurenston? Have a favorite book/character?
What's your favorite shifter world?
Have you tried Shelly's Dragon series as G.A.Aiken?

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