Monday, March 24, 2014

ARC Review: Bite Me

Bite Me (Pride #9)

by Shelly Laurenston


Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.
That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…
Themes: shifters, paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
For those of you out there that have not been following along with the Pride series from the very beginning, my review might seem a bit strange, but for the rest of us Pride and Laurenston lovers you’ll get exactly where I’m coming from when I say: “holy shit, these honey badgers are scary!” Laurenston has thrilled readers with all the different intermingled breeds of shifters in her world, and more recently the hybrids that are coming out of the woodwork with their freakish differences to make life even more amazing. From the very first book of Laurenston’s I read, I have been in love with all her writing, with the hilarity of her characters and the shit they find themselves in, and ultimately with the world she creates that sucks readers right into her imagination.  In this newest installment we get to see a whole new faction coming into the forefront, one that is terrifying and side-splittingly funny all at the same time.  I loved Livy and Vic individually and together and would love to see just what their cubs will be one day!
Livy’s life is in a tailspin that she can’t seem to recover from, but meeting Vic and trying to understand the new dynamic in her life is just too much for her.  As Vic tries more and more to be nice to Livy, she becomes stranger and stranger, only intriguing him more, creating a bit of a vicious and comical cycle.  Honestly there were moments in this story that I thought I would wet myself because I was laughing so hard. Livy, being a honey badger, but one that is even strange to her fellow honey badgers, is one woman that I would love to meet, briefly and only if I was on her good side on a good day….bearing several jars of honey.  She seems to genuinely care about her friends and family, though at times she certainly doesn’t understand their actions.  When she needs them, though, they are all there to rally around her.  I can honestly say that Livy scared me a bit, she was such a terrifying character, the ultimate predator: sweet and unassuming looking, with a hair-trigger temper and the ability to pretty much rip your face off without breaking a sweat.  Thankfully Vic is a steadying influence on her. 
Vic is a strange guy in his own right.  While I would say he has his moments of temper, strange behavior, and violent overreaction, overall he was pretty stable and a good guy to those around him.  Being a hybrid tiger/bear he has a certain tendency toward laziness, but once riled is a dangerous creature to be in the line of fire.  Defending shifters in general, his friends in particular and protecting Livy with his every breath, Vic is a man that uses all his considerable skills and advantages as a hybrid to get shit done when the need arises.  And just wait til you read all about his hybrid form! Vic obviously has feelings for Livy, though they confuse him as much as her, but the more time her spends with her it becomes obvious that the desire and passion are there, even if he is afraid of losing control and having her reject him.  But once she fully accepts him in all his hybrid freakish glory, there is no keeping Livy from his arms, bed, or heart. 
Bite Me was an wonderful continuation of a series that has gone in so many directions over the years, getting to meet new shifters, see old faces, and wrap up old story arcs all while having two unique and wonderful shifters come together in love.  Though there were a few lulls here and there in the story and sometimes the weirdness got even a bit much for me, in the end I can say I really enjoyed Livy and Vic’s story.  Seeing two creatures that have previously been reviled by others of their kind for their differences find love together was a wonderful reminder of the power of love to overcome all obstacles. While I would certainly have loved a bit more relationship time between Livy and Vic, I think the story was well written, progressed smoothly, and the love in the end was there for all to see.  It was great getting to share in the antics of the HB clans and seeing them taking care of business, as well as seeing some of the other badasses that have fallen in love during this series. If you haven’t read any of the series, you might find yourself asking WTF a lot, but otherwise I think you will love this amusing and entertaining look into the world of predators and the world they keep hidden from us.  I am dying to know whose story will be next and getting to read more.  I’m hoping for one of the Reed boys, but I guess we’ll see.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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