The Beast in Him  - Shelly Laurenston

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Laurenston’s Pride series is a series I come back to over and over, especially when I’m dealing with book slumps. Book slumps are periods of time after having finished or put down a terrible book (or even a book that baffled me) and have the urge to avoid all books like the plague, because the last one left me anxious and depressed.

When I pick up a Pride book, I know I’m going to enjoy the bumpy, laugh-out-loud ride. The Beast in Him tells the story of Bobbie Ray and his “one that got away”, Jessica Ward. While this book is not my favorite story in the series, it features some of my favorite characters, the wild dogs. Even though they are the smallest of the shifter predators, they are badass and very tricky - two characteristics that I always find humorous and extremely entertaining.

Jessica grew up as the only wild dog in a small, all-wolf town ran by the Smith pack that Bobbie Ray was born into. She was bullied and bruised and lived at the bottom of the food chain all of her life, until she grew up to be an extremely successful CEO and Alpha female to the biggest wild dog pack in America. When she hears of Mace and Bobbie Ray’s new security team, she hires them on to show Bobbie Ray how much she’s grown since she was the runt that used to follow him around with stars in her eyes.

Jessica is as sweet (and klutzy) as they come, until someone thinks they can come between her and her pack’s young. She’s badass when she needs to be, but not overly obnoxious. She has a shield she wears for the outside world, but when it’s just her, the pack, and her friends, she’s not afraid to accept comfort or empathy. Plus, she’s nerdy. What bookworm couldn’t identify with a nerdy character?

Bobbie Ray Smith is one of many sons of the Alpha of Smithtown. He moved his small pack up to New York and start his own little pack. When he “runs” into Jessie Ann all grown up and living large, he thinks she’ll fall right into his arms, professing her undying lust just like old times. Boy, is he wrong. Instead, she barely wants anything to do with the man who rejected her all those years ago, and ignores his advances to take things to the next level.

I had more of a crush on Jessie Ann than Bobbie Ray. He goes from manslut who will stop for a quickie in a bathroom with any stranger available, to a one woman man as soon as he sees Jessie Ann again. Not that I didn’t find his character entertaining, and I’m certainly not bashing his slutty ways (the sluttier, the better!), but it’s just not all that believable that the guy changes his whole personality all in one day. It just felt very insta-love for him, and honestly, I liked him the way he was before.  Thankfully, the man’s charismatic personality saved him for me. If you love Mace, you will love Bobbie Ray. He may even turn you into a dog person! Woof, woof.

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While I had a couple of complaints, the rest are glowing recommendations. Please read The Beast in Him if you loved The Mane Event. They can be read out-of-order if you want to start with book two, but what crazy person would do such a thing on purpose?

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This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger