Author: Shelly Laurenston

THE UNLEASHING by Shelly Laurenston

THE UNLEASHING by Shelly Laurenston

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
THE UNLEASHING by Shelly LaurenstonThe Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
Series: Crows #1
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. Genres: Paranormal
ReviewedbyJo

Kara Watson is a former Marine trying to figure out her next moves now that she isn’t in the military—including if she should just rejoin—and working in a coffee shop to make ends meet while she decides.  Kara has had a couple of high points in this year.  The first was when she rescued her pit bull, Brodie Hawaii, (because that is their hopeful future destination) and the other is seeing one of her regulars at the coffee shop.  Kara thinks he might be a vet who is having trouble now that he is out of the military, but she does seem to watch for him and have his order at the ready.

 

Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom is a Viking and a Raven. He was also slowly, very slowly working up the nerve to ask Kara out. But before that could happen, he finds her dying in the alley behind the coffee shop she works at. Vig just can’t let Kara die, so he calls on the Goddess Skuld to see if she will accept Kara as one of her Crows, and the rest is soon to be history.

 

Kara wakes up in a huge house filled with a strange selection of women living there.  There is everything from tattoo artists to actresses, and they all have one thing in common—they have all died and accepted Skuld’s offer to be one of her warriors.  Kara is a bit confused by all that is suddenly her life, yet she is determined to make the best of it, even if Kara’s drive for organization might put her in conflict with all the other Crows. Kara finds herself thrown in at the deep end, and it is getting serious on the job training.  Part of that training is learning about the other Nordic groups who do things for the Gods. Kara finds out that Vig is actually a hunky Raven, and he really is a Viking and a weapons master. Vig helps Kara during her struggles to come to grips with what the Crows do and her own beliefs. Along the way, Vig and Kara learn that passion is theirs for the taking if Kara can decide what to do with her life and if the Crows and Ravens can survive to find out what is turning their world upside down right now.

 

A woman-shy Viking and a take-control former Marine end up joining forces to find not only love, but to defeat a group trying to destroy the world as it is known in The Unleashing.  OMG! I just loved the Crows—from Kara to Chole to Erin and all of them in between.  I really loved how Kara worked to find her place in her new circumstances. Finding out how Vig gave that life to Kara, because he didn’t want to lose her before he could really know her, made me want to give him a huge hug, too.  The adventures that Kara and Vig went through just to have the chance at a forever, had me rolling my eyes at times and laughing at other times.  They might be from very different backgrounds but, man, they are so right for each other.

 

I can already tell that The Crows will be another must-read series by Ms. Laurenston for me. The Unleashing had it all for me, including snarky and funny women who take no prisoners, but will die to protect one another.  Kara in particular is just that type of woman, and Vig was the strong man who loves her even with all her kookiness. I can say for sure that this is one book that will be staying on my reader. There is so, so much I haven’t told you that will keep you engrossed in this book until it’s over. Needless to say, I Joyfully Recommend The Unleashing as a must-read.

WOLF WITH BENEFITS by Shelly Laurenston

WOLF WITH BENEFITS by Shelly Laurenston

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
WOLF WITH BENEFITS by Shelly LaurenstonWolf With Benefits by Shelly Laurenston
Series: The Pride #8
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. on 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo

Deciding to have some hot, sweaty, no-strings-attached fun with Ricky Lee Reed, the sexy predator assigned to keep her family safe from their enemies, Toni Jean-Louis Parker doesn't know how to handle this wild wolf when things take a serious turn. Original.

JoyfullyRecommended

Toni Jean-Louis Parker is a she-jackal who has spent her entire life handling and smoothing things over for her very overwhelming family of prodigies.  Every time Toni thinks she can break away and maybe have a life of her own, something happens so that she is drawn back into being the only practical one of the family.  One afternoon, Toni takes some of her brothers and sisters to the sports arena so that her brother can get his jersey signed by his favorite hockey player.  That afternoon starts a chain of events that changes Toni’s life and that of all her family members forever. 

Ricky Lee Reed is one laid back wolf who looks for enjoyment from everything and everyone around him.  However, being laid back does not mean he can’t do his job and right now his job is to protect and keep Toni safe.  After meeting her family, Ricky knows that he will have to protect Toni not only from the danger that has targeted her family but also from Toni herself. Ricky has never really wanted a long-term relationship but everything in Ricky stood up and paid attention when he met Toni and it’s only getting stronger. 

In another attempt to have a chance at having her own life, Toni accepts a job with the hockey team – one that might just drive her in to a nervous breakdown before Toni gets a handle on it. Having Ricky constantly underfoot is testing Toni in an entirely different way. He is just so laid back and sexy that Toni would love to just lick him all up.  The feelings that spark between Ricky and Toni lead to passionate encounters.  When Toni’s job takes Toni and Ricky away for an extended time, it’s Ricky’s best chance to prove to Toni that her family can survive without her constant attendance.  Toni is almost convinced that she can have a life and Ricky when all heck breaks loose.  Nothing and no one is going to stop Toni from protecting her siblings and with the help of Ricky, the Agency and a few others, she does just that.  When the dust settles, will this adventure be the final nudge that Toni needs to accept her life finally and her passion with Ricky or will it push her back into the family fold for good?

Take one security minded and fun loving wolf and mix him with a sexy time managing she-jackal and you have an explosion of passion and a lifetime of adventures.  Wolf with Benefits shows Toni and Ricky that life is what you make of it and that passion always rules.  As I read and experienced Toni and Ricky’s journey, I couldn’t help but to smile and laugh in several areas and I also got extremely mad in a couple of places.  I just loved how Ricky’s pragmatism was the perfect foil to Toni’s need to have everything perfectly and timely arranged.  I was instantly drawn into Toni and Ricky’s story and I ended up reading Wolf with Benefits in one long session.  Who needs sleep anyway and I just couldn’t bring myself to put it down. 

I have come to know that no matter what my mood is and especially if I’m feeling bad or down, I can just pick up one of Ms. Laurenston’s books and it is an instant mood changer.  It was no different this time with Ricky and Toni’s story; they made me laugh, smile, growl and howl from the first page until the last.  With the explosive ending, and a character I’m sure we will see again in time because evil really does need to be destroyed, I just had to Joyfully Recommend Wolf with Benefits as a must read and a book that will probably end up on the keeper self or never leave your reader. 

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