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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'The Mane Event' Pride series #1 by Shelly LAURENSTON

From the BLURB:


How come all the good-looking ones are insane? That's what runs through NYPD cop Desiree "Dez" MacDermot's mind the minute she hooks up again with her childhood buddy, Mace Llewellyn. It isn't just the way he stares at her with those too-sexy gold eyes-as if he could devour her on the spot. Or the six-four, built-like-a-Navy Seal bod-o-death. It isn't even that he sniffs her neck and purrs, making her entire body tingle. It's more about that disconcerting, shifting-from-man-to-lion thing that unhinges her…and makes her want more. Mace likes making Dez crazy. In fact, he likes her any way he can get her-in bed, on the desk, here, now, again. Together, they'd always been trouble, but Dez has no idea just how good trouble can feel…


Brendon Shaw, hotel owner and lion shifter, has seen better days. He's been beaten, had a gun to the back of his head, and had to be rescued by a Pack of shape-shifting wolves. He didn't think he'd survive the night, much less find the woman of his dreams. And he never thought the woman of his dreams would have a Tennessee accent and wear cowboy boots. Once he sets his sights on her, the predator in him is ready to pounce and never let go. Ronnie Lee Reed is ready to change her life, and New York City is the place where any girl-even one who runs with a Pack-can redefine herself. First order of business: find a mate, settle down, and stop using men for sex. Even big, gorgeous, lion-shifting, oh-my-what-big-um-paws-you-have men. Then again…

Okay. It’s official. I have a new obsession and her name is Shelly Laurenston.
I sort of stumbled across her ‘Magnus Pack’ trilogy, but since then I have turned into a rabid fan-girl. So of course I am trolling through her back and current book list, consuming anything written by her brilliant pen.

‘The Mane Event’ is the first book in her ongoing ‘Pride’ series. ‘The Mane Event’ is really two stories in one, connected via New York’s lion pride.

Mason ‘Mace’ Llywelyn has left the Navy and returned home to his lion pride, headed by his eldest sister. But Mace really has no intention of becoming one of the breeding males, to be tossed aside when a beefier stud strolls by. No, Mace has his sights set on his (human) childhood sweetheart, turned tough NYPD cop. Desiree McDermot left one dull marriage and has no intention of entering into another one. . .

Brendan Shaw knows something is up with his brother. Getting kidnapped by the hyena pack and jumped by two humans had him pondering. . . but Brendan winding up in a hospital bed with a she-wolf sentry all but confirmed it. Though hospitalization does have its plus sides. . . like werewolf sweetie Ronnie Lee Reed and her enticing scent. As a lion male, Brendan Shaw really shouldn’t dream of settling down with one mate for the rest of his life. But Ronnie just incites that sort of compulsion in him.

On the surface, Shelly Laurenston’s paranormal books are just a bit of erotic fun. But by golly, she does it very well. It’s a very rare author who has me scrabbling around for their backlist and reading her books back-to-back, but Laurenston has me thusly enthralled. I can’t even pinpoint any one thing that has me addicted to Laurenston’s book. . . it’s the whole kit and caboodle, really.

She writes in the paranormal with effortless pizzazz – spouting off information about pride and pack hierarchy and ‘rules’ without going into too much detail (because she knows that aficionados will know it all already). She combines the fantastical and the practical with common-sense aplomb. She has her characters relying heavily on David Attenborough reruns to understand pack mentality and the inner workings of the male lion’s mind.
That woman. . . that woman was everything he’d ever wanted. He’d known it all those years ago. Tonight only confirmed it for him. The kiss and that simple touch practically blew his boots off. And she felt it too. He could see it on her face. He could smell it. Her desire rolled off her in waves and practically knocked him from the room.
No, he wasn’t letting Dez MacDermot get away. He’d take her down like his ancestors took down full-grown zebras.
I love that Laurenston keeps things light and fun in her erotica novel. At one point in ‘Shaw’s Tail’, Rhonda Lee comments that she’s glad Brendan can have a laugh while they’re in bed. . . because, really, naked grappling is kinda hilarious. It’s the same for ‘erotica’ reading – there’s often a lot to laugh about, as Laurenston illustrates, again and again. Her characters have fun in bed, but keep things naughty and sweet. And that light hilarity is required when Laurenston writes so many sex scenes. If each smutty scene was weighted down by inner monologues and protestations of love, they would get very heavy and boring. But with Laurenston writing so many sexual encounters between characters, she keeps things playful and teasing in the bedroom, reserving more serious talks of emotion for the clothing optional moments.
The sex is superb. There are a lot of sex scenes, but written with Laurenston’s trademark wit and brevity each one feels fresh and enjoyable.

I am absolutely in love with Laurenston’s humour. Some of her scenes catch me unawares and have me chortling (yes, chortling!) out loud for the joy.
“I don’t need y’all watching out for me.”
“Is that right?” The big grin on Rory’s face had Brendon’s eyes narrowing. Crouching by the fireplace, Ronnie’s brother looked back at Brendon. “Rhonda Lee ever tell you how she and Sissy Mae made money while travelling the world?”
“No. How did she – ”
“Hookin’,” Ronnie Lee tossed desperately. “I was a prostitute. A damn good one too.”
“Stop lyin’, Rhonda Lee,” her mother called from the kitchen. “I doubt you were good at all.”
Shelly Laurenston is a new favourite author of mine, and ‘The Mane Event’ just keeps pulling me into her orbit.



  1. Argh! I was just checking out her backlist today and wondering if this "Pride" series was worth it and you go and write this awesome review! I hate you! LOL

    Now I have to and buy this one...

    I loved the Magnus Pack trilogy... do we get a glimpse of the characters from there??

  2. I've been reading the books she writes as GA Aiken, and you got me started on her Shelly Laurenston books. Not fair! I do suggest you try out her fantasy series with dragons. Yum!

  3. @ Larissa - No glimpse as yet of the Magnus Pack (but I've only read book #1 and just started #2). But they have been mentioned in passing.

    @ laracat - I know! Once I get through her Laurenston stuff, i'll start on G.A. Aiken. I'm just so happy she has so many books for me to read :)


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