Friday, April 15, 2011

Big Bad Beast-Shelly Laurenston

Big Bad Beast
Shelly Laurenston
Kensington Brava, May 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758231703

Alpha male Niles Van Holtz accompanied by his six year old cousin Ric meets with the paternal leader of the Tennessee Smith pack Egbert Ray Smith. Eggie warns his ten years old daughter Dee Ann to avoid the sneaky Van Holtz clan. Van stops Ric from proposing.

Twenty-five years later, Ric is a former marine and Dee Ann’s boss at the Group. He is also a highly regarded executive chef. Van arranged a joint venture with Katzenhaft Security to look into the illegal use of hybrids in fight arenas. Dee Ann is unhappy when the KZS representative is six foot ex marine Cella Malone. NYPD full human Detective Desiree MacDermot, the third member of the team, breaks up the bare knuckle brawl between the two other females.

Dee Ann gets a list of property owners where fights were held. She and her partners interview those on the list. When she is hurt beating up some hyenas, Ric takes her to his apartment where they fight until Dee Ann kisses him. His wolf knows she is his mate, but she refuses to accept that. Ric looks at finance records that prove his father is stealing from the pack. As the couple works their respective cases, Dee Ann fears she is falling for Ric.

The lead couple is a fun pairing of an in your face woman and a subtle man. The support cast is strong including the returns of lead characters from previous three books in series. Although the climax is weak especially for a Shelly Laurenston’s romantic urban fantasy, readers will appreciate this engaging entry as the issues faced by hybrids do not magically clear up.

Harriet Klausner

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