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Thursday, January 6, 2011

'Pack Challenge' Magnus Pack #1 by Shelly LAURENSTON

From the BLURB:

All Zach Sheridan ever wanted was to become Alpha Male of his Pack and to be left alone. What he definitely didn't need in his life was some needy female demanding his attention. What he never saw coming was the vicious, scarred female who not only demanded his attention but knew exactly how to get it.

Sara Morrighan knew this was the best she could expect from her life. Good friends. A nice place to live. And a safe job. But when Zach rode into her small Texas town with his motorcycle club, Sara knew she wanted more. She knew she wanted him. But after one sexy encounter with her dream biker, everything is starting to change. Her body. Her strength. That new thing she's doing with the snarling. Even her best friends are starting to wonder what's going on with her.
But this is only the beginning. Sara's about to find out her life was meant for so much more. And Zach's about to find true love with the one woman who makes him absolutely insane.

‘Pack Challenge’ is the first book in Shelly Laurenston’s paranormal romance trilogy, ‘Magnus Pack’.

Sara Morrighan hasn’t ever expected much out of life. Her parents died when she was young, and the animal attack that killed her father left Sara with a permanent limp and scarred face. . . and in her evil grandmother’s care. Now in her late twenties, and her god-awful Gran buried for one year, Sara still doesn’t expect a whole lot out of life. She has her two best friends, Miki and Angelina, and together they raise hell in their small Texas town. . . much to the chagrin of her employer and surrogate father, Marrec. But Sara has no illusions about a gimp like her finding love, happiness yadda, yadda, yadda. Until one day a biker gang breeze into town. . . with Zach Sheridan amongst them.

Zach awakens something primal and urgent in Sara. . . and she can’t quite put her finger on it. He feels like home and when she’s with him, it’s as if she’s waking up from a long sleep. But those feelings will get a cripple like her into trouble, hopes up and dashed. So Sara does what any self-respecting woman would do to the man she’s attracted to. . . she’s mean to him.

Do you know why clichés are so annoying? Because they’re often true. Take the oldie (but a goodie) ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. That old chestnut is a pain in the ass because it’s actually a damn good piece of advice. . . and should be taken in conjunction with Shelly Laurenston’s book, ‘Pack Challenge’.

Judging by the shonky front cover, I thought this would be a throw-away erotica read. A pretty reasonably priced Kindle e-book (roughly $4 on Amazon) that would fulfil all smutty expectations, if no literary ones.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Yes, the smut content is high and gloriously carnal. But Shelly Laurenston totally surprised me... delightfully so.

First of all, the book is funny. I mean laugh-out-loud and embarrassingly-cackle-on-the-train kinda funny. Most of the laughs come from the dynamic between the three female friends, Sara, Angelina and Miki. These gal pals have been tight since they were eight-years-old, and they’ve been raising hell ever since. They know each other’s quirks and foibles (like an unwise penchant for rodeo clowns) and they call each other out all the time. There’s clear love between this trio of friends – that unabashed and unconditional love that comes for the family of our making. But more than that, these three share a wicked sense of humour. They’re uncouth, to be sure. Or as Zach and his pack come to call them, ‘crazy, loud-mouthed bitches’. But they’re damn endearing. From their swearing fisticuffs to barroom brawls, this trio will have you in stitches.
Miki cut in. “I’m not picking your fat ass off the floor yet again.”
Sara’s eyes narrowed. “My ass is not fat.”
“Are you happy in your fantasy world, sweetie?” Angie asked, her arm around Sara’s shoulders. “Are your tits small there, too?” Angie ducked when Sara jokingly raised her fist.
Angelina, Sara and Miki are the focal point of this series (the next two books focus on HEA’s for Miki and Angelina, respectively). And really, it’s clear that the love these girls have for one another is just one of the romances of the ‘Magnus Pack’ series.

The first romance is between Sara and Zach. . . and it’s H-O-T. Here, Laurenston delivers on all the smutted-up promise of that B-grade front cover. But there’s more to Zach and Sara than just kinky sex. There’s a lot of emotional tension between them because Sara doesn’t believe her self-worth, and Zach can’t believe he’s falling for a foul-mouthed Alpha bitch.
But the best thing about Sara and Zach is that they play – they have an easy camaraderie and chemistry that endeared them to me instantly. And their exchanges are often hilarious;
“You’re trying to make me crazy, aren’t you?”
“Not at all.” Sara put her bowl down. “I’m just saying there could be bunny shifters.”
“There are no bunny shifters!”
Shaking her head she accused, “You’re a bunny bigot.”
Zach threw his spoon back in the near-empty bowl. “And there is no such thing as bunny bigots.”
“Bunny bigot,” she accused again.
Shelly Laurenston effortlessly swings between erotica and comedy – fusing them together to make ‘Pack Challenge’ as equally laugh-out-loud as it is blush-worthy. Impressive. . . and I would have never guessed the hidden depths from that front cover.

I am definitely tucking into the next two books in this series, and checking out Shelly Laurenston’s back-list of books.

5/5

5 comments:

  1. Awesome review!! I actually got this one for free on kindle and it sounds like I made the right decision in getting it LOL

    "Bunny Shifters" killed me! =D

    btw, my Pale Demon review is up hon =P
    http://www.larissaslife.com/2011/01/early-review-pale-demon-hollows-9-by.html

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  2. Oh - you've discovered my "guilty pleasure" author. I love her books, but for some reason I feel like I shouldn't - if that makes any sense. I think maybe because her writing is so over the top in some ways? Can't really say, I just know I lurve them :)

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  3. I absolutely love Shelly's books - such a great combo of over-the-top humor, sex, and great characters. Did you know that she also writes a dragon shifter series under the name G.A. Aiken - they are just as hilarious as these.

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  4. Love your incisive writing style. I am a sucker for some good laughs and good lovin'! You are my first stop when I'm looking for something new.

    Thanks!

    jan

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  5. @ Jan - thank you! I'm always happy to pay a book forward and spread the word :)

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