BEAR MEETS GIRL by Shelly Laurenston
BEAR MEETS GIRL is the latest instalment in Shelly Laurenston’s Pride and Pack Shifter series of novels. Bear Meets Girl focuses on Lou “Crush” Cruzek (polar bear) former undercover police officer and Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone (tiger) professional hockey player/enforcer for Bo “The Marauder” Novikov and one of the elite feline protection-contractors for the KZS.
Lou ‘Crush’ Cruzek had too many jello shooters at Mace and Dez’s party. But when he wakes up with a hangover and a naked feline-shifter draped across his chest, he has no idea what is in store. And the fact that she is teasing and tormenting a 6’9” polar bear-shifter has him concerned. Doesn’t she know NOT to poke an angry bear?
Crush’s cover has been blown and to complicate matters someone from his childhood is directly involved. So he is re-assigned to another division and partnered with the infamous Dez MacDermott-Llewellyn human wife of lion male Mace Llewellyn. Not happy with his re-location, Crush considers early retirement versus a potential desk job. But when their assignment involves missing and murdered shifters the same 2 names from his past keep making an appearance.
Cella is a single mother and a protection-contractor for the KZS. A shifter assassin working for the KZS and the Group, she has been working with DeeAnn Smith –mate to Ric Van Holtz and Cella’s boss at the Group. Cella is surprised to find Crush has also been assigned to the same investigation, but finds it even funnier that he refuses to acknowledge their awkward morning after. But life has a funny way of pairing up potential mates, and Crush must now work alongside Dez, DeeAnn and Cella in the hopes of locating and stopping a man determined to add to his trophy collection.
Throughout the storyline, Crush is amazed that Cella is the same ‘Bare Knuckles’ Malone- enforcer for the professional shifter hockey team and the daughter of the infamous ‘Nice Guy’ Malone-one of Crush’s favorite players. In awe of their reputation, the polar also meets many of the current stars including Bo Novikov and Lock “The Tank” MacRyrie. With Bo’s reputation as a hard-assed, take no prisoners attitude on the ice, Crush finds himself in the unenviable position as one of the few friends (including Cella) who is able to tolerate Bo’s outbursts and tantrums. Even Bo’s fiance Blayne has a few choice words for her mate.
There are several secondary storylines as well. Cella’s mother Barb is a wedding planner who has arranged the wedding for Cella’s ex. Like many pride females, Cella was never married to her daughter’s father, but remains friends with both he and his new fiancé. As well we are introduced to Cella’s best friend and team doctor Jai Davis and her daughter Josie, and Cella’s extended family of Malones. Cella’s daughter Meghan is readying for university but there are secrets that threaten her mother’s happiness. And like many families, Crush’s relationship with his brothers is difficult and their connection with someone from his past may place them all in danger. Orphaned as young children, the trio was raised by a woman willing to risk everything for what she wants.
Crush and Cella’s relationship started as a matter of convenience. Hoping to keep her family from match-making with cousins, Cella enters into a deal with Crush. Pretending to be a couple only brings them together, but when Cella becomes the on-ice target for an off-ice game of revenge, Crush knows exactly who to target for his next take-down assignment.
Bear Meets Girl is another great storyline in Shelly Laurenston’s Pride and Pack series. I was pleased with the return of many of her former storyline characters including Bo, Blayne, Loch, Ric and DeeAnn, but I am also looking forward to the ‘weddings of the century’. Shelly has introduced a few new shifters and brought back a couple of secondary characters from other books. Shelly’s writing is filled with humorous dialogue and sexy love scenes. Shelly is one of my favorite authors and along with her counterpart in the Dragonkin series G A Aiken, I look forward to every new book in both of her series.
Magnus and Pride Series
1. Pack Challenge
2. Go Fetch
3. Here Kitty Kitty
4. When He was Bad..anthology
5. The Mane Event
6. The Beast in Him
7. The Mane Attraction
8. The Mane Squeeze
9. Beast Behaving Badly
10.Big Bad Beast
11.Bear Meet Girl (Mar 2012)
Reviewed by Sandy