ORDER A COPY: Beast Behaving Badly (The Pride Series)
Publisher: Brava Books
Publishing Date: reprint – March 5, 2013
Paperback: 379 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can’t get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he’s shadowing her in New York-all seven-plus feet of him-determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is.
Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it’s good advice, but he can’t leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness — or his hunch that there’s more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn’t yet begun to fathom — much as he’d like to. She may insist Bo’s nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she’ll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it’ll be worth the wait.
Bo Novikov has lived and breathed hockey since he was a cub, and there is one thing he knows, it’s his puck and God help anyone who tries to take his puck, even a teammate. Because of that, Bo isn’t popular with the other players, but the fans love him. When he shows up in New York to join his new team, the New York Carnivores, he is surprised to see a familiar face. The last time he tried to talk to Blayne almost ten years ago, she ran screaming from him, and this time it was no different. Only this time, Bo was going to wait her out and see why the beautiful, but odd, mixed breed shifter keeps running from him.
Roller Derby star Blayne Thorpe remembers Bo. She couldn’t forget the feeling of panic that came over her the last time she was the focus of the almost psychotic ice blue stare of the over seven foot hybrid.
Bears aren’t known for being friendly and Bo certainly proves that point, but Blayne needs help. Her team thinks she is much too nice for roller derby, and they are just about to leave her behind as they enter the finals. Blayne wants lessons in mean from the most unfriendly man in sports.
Blayne doesn’t intend to take no for an answer, even if that seems to be the only word the man knows.
Shelly Laurenston’s stories are always an enjoyable and quick read. She seems to bring the inner shifter traits to each of her characters. Bo is a polar bear hybrid and just like a polar bear, he likes to be alone and he is quite unfriendly to anyone who gets in his way.
Blayne on the other hand is a wolf/dog hybrid and is very much like her dog half. You can almost see her lose focus if somewhere were to shout “squirrel.” She is always bouncing around whether from her constant energy or by jumping from topic to topic in a discussion.
Blayne and her never ending energy and friendliness is the polar-opposite (pun intended) to the unsociable Bo. He lives by his rigid schedule and seems to not mind the flighty Blayne as long as she doesn’t mess with his precious schedule.
Alone both characters would be quite annoying and unlikeable, but they way they complement and play off each other makes them very enjoyable and entertaining.
I was wondering why the re-release on this book, but I see that in the newest release, Wolf with Benefits, they both come back as important characters in that storyline and if you understand Bo’s character, it is certainly more enjoyable.
Received copy of from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Blayne gasped, cutting him off. “How do you know my name? How long have you been hunting me? Well, you can take your cellar of death where you keep all the bodies of the women you’ve slaughtered over the years and go to hell. Because this target, which you probably refer to as ‘it’ in your head to keep me as merely an object, is not going down without a fight!”
Proud of her speech, Blayne waited for Novikov to walk away. Instead she heard a brief sigh, then silence, but no footsteps. Where were the damn walking-away footsteps?
Blayne waited a bit longer, and having absolutely no patience to speak of, slowly crept closer to the door. She was only a few inches away when the door was ripped off its hinges and place aside by the brute who’d done it.
Blayne squealed and stumbled back as Novikov stepped into the bathroom. Glaring down at her, he said, “Now we can talk.”
She was staring at him that way again. The way she’d stared at him when he first met her and when he’d looked at her through the bloody glass. Her brown eyes wide, her mouth open a little. One good growl, and he was pretty sure she’d either made a desperate run around him or go for his jugular. Of course, if she thought he had a “cellar of death” he wasn’t really surprised by the way she stared at him.
Blayne finally did speak, though, but it wasn’t exactly what he expected to hear. “I am so not paying for that door.”
“I wasn’t planning on charging you.”
She wanted out of the bathroom. He could tell by the way her gaze kept searching for a way past him, but he made sure that he stood right in the doorway so she couldn’t get past him.
After another minute, she screamed “You’ll never take me alive! I’ll never let you get me to a secondary location!”
Bo shrugged. “Okay.”
With a horrified gasp, she stepped back. “You’re gonna kill me here?”
Should he be entertained by this? Why was he entertained? “I actually wasn’t planning on killing you at all.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You’re not going to kill me, skin me, and wear my head as a hat?”
Yep. He was entertained. And, no. It wasn’t normal. Instead of answering her question, he asked one of his own. “Do you want me to?”
“Then why are you asking?”
“Because according to my father, many teachers, and quite a few anger-management counselors, I seem to lack that little internal device that stops things that are best left unsaid from being said.”
She took a step forward. “Are you or are you not a serial killer?”
“You’ve never murdered anyone?”
“On or off the ice?” Her eyes grew wide again and he argued, “It’s a valid question.” When she continued to gawk up at him, her mouth open, he admitted that “I’ve never murdered or killed anyone, on or off the ice, male or female, shifter or full-human.”
She went up on her toes, staring up at him. After a moment, she said, “Closer.” He leaned in and she gazed into his eyes. He held her stare for a full minute before she said, “You’re not lying.”
“Seals and walruses don’t count, though, right?”
She shook her head. “I will not judge,” she muttered to herself. “I will not judge.” Then, “For this particular situation, non-thumb-possessing prey does not count.”
“Then we’re fine.”
“Cool,” she said again.