Title: Bite Me [Pride 9]
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Humor
Rating: 5 Stars
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…
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I received this book directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I did not expect what I got out of this book. I love paranormal romances, so when I saw Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston floating around NetGalley, I immediately requested to give a review. I was expecting your typical shifter-romance with a brooding, animalistic hero, and a very overwhelmed heroine. that’s how these things normally go. I haven’t read any of the previous books of this series, or other books by this author, and I didn’t read the synopsis—and I’m glad I didn’t. Bite Me was not like the other paranormal romance books I’ve read, but it didn’t take me long to realize how much I was going to enjoy it.
The book was written in snarky tongue-in-cheek humor throughout, and I outright laughed more times than I didn’t. The Characters were vibrant and exaggerated personas of their animal counterparts, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with all of them—especially the main characters, Livy and Vic. Honey Badgers are not a species of shifters you see in a lot of paranormal romances—in fact, this was my first time experiencing them—but they quickly became my favorite of all the shifters. Getting to know the outrageously strange Livy (who sleeps naked in other people’s cupboards and hoards honey) was like watching the most entertaining drama-filled reality show ever imagined. Her family was a train wreck of absurdity that made me grin from ear to ear. I adored these characters in a way I don’t think I have in almost any other book.
Livy may be the most entertaining female lead in a book I’ve ever read. She was rude, violent, uncaring, sometimes even downright blood-thirsty, but it was balanced out with a strange naiveté about polite society that almost gave her an edge of innocence (but please don’t tell her I said that, I like my eyeballs in my head, thank you). I adore Livy and all her strange quirks. Unlike most heroine’s, she was balanced in a way that didn’t make me question her intelligence or even her morals (and let’s be honest, she doesn’t have many of those). I believed her as a character without question.
Vic on the other hand, was a bit of a strange character for me. I’m used to strong, broody males in books like this, and that doesn’t quite describe the tiger/bear hybrid. He was essentially a very big teddy bear most of the time… if teddy bears had prehensile tails and could throw cars. He was strong when he needed to be, but the rest of the time he was laid back and soft—which may have been what made him a perfect match for Livy. Other times, he was just as violent and overbearing as his little Honey-Badger girlfriend, and at those times, she was downright giggly. Their dynamics were fantastic, and though I normally like my hero’s to be a little more broody and a little less cuddly, I think in this instance, I have to concede the point to Ms. Laurenston. I can’t imagine this couple any other way.
I will admit, there came a point when I stopped being able to remember character’s names and species. There were a lot of characters. For instance, I can’t name a single one of the Jackals, wolves, or various cats… but the Honey Badgers and Bears? Totally on my speed-dial. unfortunately, that’s a side effect of having a thrilling plot like this one where characters were running around all over the world in different groups. I don’t know that I’d say there was an abundance of unneeded characters, but there were certainly more than I’m used to dealing with.
The plot itself was an action-packed thrill ride complete with a shifter mafia, hockey teams, crime rings, art dealers, and poachers that didn’t let up until the end (and let’s not forget the steamy sex scenes!). The writing was clean and engaging, and sucked me in from the very first paragraph until the last. If I had one complaint –at all- about this book, it’s that it ended too soon. I would have happily wiled away a few more hours with Livy and Vic (and the rest of Livy’s family, let’s be honest. I love those honey badgers!) But alas, every book must end.
I sincerely loved this book. I can’t think of a single scene that didn’t have me laughing or at least grinning (my favorite will always be when Vic found Livy in his cupboard the first time). Honestly, it’s one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time, and I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this author. Would I read this again? Hell yes. Would I recommend it to others? Any day of the week. Bite Me was a humorous romp, and I enjoyed every second of it.