Archive for the ‘romance’ Category

Review: The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston

November 8, 2009

the_mane_squeezeThe Mane Squeeze, the fourth in Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series, begins with grizzly shape shifter, Lachlan “Lock” MacRyrie, aiding hybrid liger shifter Gwen O’Neill break up a fight at a friend’s wedding. He later encounters the Philly feline again when a pack of wolf shifters attack her and her fellow hybrid friend, Blayne, and he is startled, giving help unwittingly. From there, with the assistance of their scheming friends, they find themselves placed together and falling in love. The story has romance, action, humor, a well-developed universe with its own politics and prejudices, and, of course, the paranormal.

This is the first book by Shelly Laurenston that I have read. I decided to give it a try when Amazon.com offered it for free for a limited time on the Kindle. It was a pleasant surprise to me how good the story and characters were. I cannot believe I’ve been missing out on such a great story universe for such a long time.

I loved that rather than sticking with the usual werewolf story, Laurenston’s story is filled with a wide variety of shifters. Having a grizzly and a hybrid shifter couple was nice. Lock’s bear qualities and ticks were sweet and hilarious (particularly the scene where he teaches Gwen to play with her toes).  Gwen’s troubles with being a hybrid and the prejudice against them added a realistic touch to the story.

I also liked that Lock was not a dangerous (though he is dangerous when startled) bad boy hero who needed to be saved from himself. He is well-adjusted, having had his issues from his past mostly worked out before the story began. Gwen is an outsider due to her hybrid breed, who is looking for where she belongs.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Shelly Laurenston’s novels. She has several series published, including one under the pseudonym G.A. Aiken.

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Review: According to Jane by Marilyn Brant

September 26, 2009

Marilyn Brant’s debut novel, According to Jane, is a nice addition to the romance/women’s fiction genre. The novel begins with Ellie Barnett’s teacher passing out their next reading assignment, Pride and Prejudice. To her surprise, while dealing with Sam Blaine sitting behind her, Jane Austen’s voice pops into her head, telling her that he is her Mr. Wickham. So begins her relationship with Jane Austen.

Jane’s voice stays with Ellie, giving advice and friendship, throughout Ellie’s life. She experiences ups and downs in her personal life, always seeming to fall for the wrong man. Jane’s witty advice and conversation keeps her company and even helps her forge a relationship with her sister. In the background of it all is Sam, her first love, who always seems to appear at the wrong time in her life. Ellie learns about life, love, and family in her search for her Mr. Darcy. Even Jane learns a few lessons of her own with Ellie about taking chances.

I really liked this novel, especially Ellie and Sam’s relationship. The men in Ellie’s life have distinct personalities, some likeable and some not so much. Ellie’s experiences made me laugh and cry. In particular, the scene after her prom in the closet stood out, making me cringe in sympathy and fear. Brant’s writing made the characters come to life. I really wanted Ellie to find happiness.

Marilyn Brant has forged herself a place on bookshelves for years to come. I cannot wait til her next novel is published. According to Jane is available now. It is also now available  for download on the Amazon Kindle for a huge discount.