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Claws Bared (Blood of the Pride)
 
 

Claws Bared (Blood of the Pride) [Kindle Edition]

Sheryl Nantus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Book two of Blood of the Pride

Rebecca Desjardin, a P.I. and cat shifter, doesn't normally find herself in strip clubs. But a popular male dancer has been murdered in Pennsylvania, and it looks like the work of a shifter from the local Pride. Rebecca has a duty to help protect her kind—and she needs to find justice for the dead.

Her impromptu trip leaves her boyfriend, reporter Brandon Hanover, unhappy. He's only just come to terms with the fact that she's a Felis, and their relationship is still so new… Rebecca is determined to deal with the murder first, then deal with their future.

As her investigation unfolds, she's met with grudging cooperation and half-truths. Does the Pride want her to find justice, or help them hide a killer? Frustrated and unable to shake the sexy local shifter who says he's on her side, Rebecca can't seem to scratch out the truth—at least not on her own. But when Brandon shows up, is he there to help or to mark his territory?

68,000 words


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (21 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A22UVNC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #653,483 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
Rebecca Desjardin has a problem. She's a Canadian private eye, she's a Felis, an ex-member of the local (Montreal?) cat shape-shifting Pride who still can't make the complete change to her inner Cat, and she's in love with Brandon Hanover, a human, and an investigative reporter.

Rebecca is an ex-member of the local Pride, because, not being able to totally change, she was brutally expelled, and now twenty years later Rebecca has been dragged back into the Pride's politics, first with a murder of a local Felis member in "Blood Of The Pride", and now with "Claws Bared", a human who may have been killed by a Feris member.

Jess, the tough leader of the local Pride, is now contacting Rebecca for another job. It seems that a male stripper for the Penscatta, near Pittsburgh, PA, exotic bar "Cat's Meow" (!) has been murdered. And it was a pretty nasty death, he was mauled and torn. It's obvious that a Felis, not a human, has done the deed, and an outsider, with insider skills, is needed to investigate.

And how can Rebecca to say no to Jess when she asked Jess asks politely for a favor? Not Rebecca, and besides, Jess never asks politely, and arm twisting can only be by the most liberal measures be considered asking for a favor, and so, reluctantly, Rebecca is off to Penscotta to investigate another murder, and to get involved, in a foreign Pride's sticky politics.

The murdered man is Michael Hansa, and he was a favorite of both human and Felis females alike, although oddly enough, he didn't seem to be seeing anybody, either in the biblical or social, manner.

Again, Nantus doesn't skip on the mandatory urban fantasy examination of the local Felis society, unfortunately, Rebecca's still an outsider, and has to prove herself all over again.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Claws Bared by Sheryl Nantus 21 Mar. 2013
By Chrystina Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Claws Bared was a really good read, that kept me guessing till the end. I loved the romance between Rebecca and Brandon, especially after he meets up with her to lend a hand in her investigation. The pacing was good and I really enjoyed the ending.

My only real problem with the book is mostly my fault, since I haven't read the first book. With Rebecca going on the case at the very beginning I didn't feel very attached to Brandon throughout the first part of the book, and if I'd read the first book I think I would have felt differently about him. By the end it didn't matter too much because I grew to love him. I'd recommend reading the first book, Blood of the Pride, first, to get the full effect.

Overall really good read. Loved the mystery and figuring out who the murderer was, the author did an excellent job of keeping me wondering. I'd love to go back and read the first book because I feel like I've missed out on another good story! I'd recommend it, especially if you like a good mystery and enjoy a good shifter PNR.

***eReview copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for my Honest review***
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting Better as the Author Moves on With the Story 21 Jan. 2013
By Dianne Socci-Tetro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Claws Bared by Sheryl Nantes
* File Size: 415 KB
* Print Length: 186 pages
* Publisher: Carina Press (January 21, 2013)

Book two of Blood of the Pride

The debut novel, Blood of the Pride, was published last year. I recommend that you do read it before tackling this book. The back-story it will give you will make things so much clearer for you. I had read and reviewed it and thought that it was a good start to a new series. Now that I have read the next book in the series, I know it was a good debut and it is a good series. This second book is nearly as strong as the debut novel. Oh, don't get me wrong, it has a few things that make it not quite perfect, but I think this series is on the right track.

In this second novel, cat shifter (and not a lion or tiger mind you!) Rebecca Desjardin a shifter who is unable to shift at will, (read the first novel for a clearer explanation) and is also a PI in Toronto Canada, has been asked to come to America to investigate a murder. The thinking is that this murder has been committed by one of the communities many shifters and may have been a lovers' quarrel.
Bran, Rebecca's new human lover whom we met in the first novel, is a bit concerned when Rebecca needs to head off and is quite unhappy. They had just entered this new relationship and Bran is just starting to come to terms with the fact that Rebecca is a `shifter'. Now Bran wants to, as the synopsis says, "mark his territory".

The story is good with an interesting mystery and a red herring that may really throw you off of the correct track.. It is medium paced and at less than 200 pages, it is a fairly fast read. The characters for the most part, are very well written. What I do see as a problem is that Bran and Rebecca have some, shall we say, quirks that are nearly enough to almost make me give up on this book. Bran is almost always winking, waggling his finger in someone's face or giving huge grins. He is very nearly written as a clown would be. Rebecca on the other hand, can come off as a *itch instead of the tough as nails PI that the author wants us to think of when reading this book. They both can sometimes be super childish.

Be prepared for this to be a relationship with a dominant and a submissive, with those roles being interchangeable. The sex scenes are few and not too explicit.
*ARC COMPLIMENTS OF PUBLISHER*
4.0 out of 5 stars "I studied the deep gouges and gashes in his flesh . . . he'd been sliced to pieces, no doubt about that." 26 Feb. 2014
By Mark Louis Baumgart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Rebecca Desjardin has a problem. She's a Canadian private eye, she's a Felis, an ex-member of the local (Montreal?) cat shape-shifting Pride who still can't make the complete change to her inner Cat, and she's in love with Brandon Hanover, a human, and an investigative reporter.

Rebecca is an ex-member of the local Pride, because, not being able to totally change, she was brutally expelled, and now twenty years later Rebecca has been dragged back into the Pride's politics, first with a murder of a local Felis member in "Blood Of The Pride", and now with "Claws Bared", a human who may have been killed by a Feris member.

Jess, the tough leader of the local Pride, is now contacting Rebecca for another job. It seems that a male stripper for the Penscatta, near Pittsburgh, PA, exotic bar "Cat's Meow" (!) has been murdered. And it was a pretty nasty death, he was mauled and torn. It's obvious that a Felis, not a human, has done the deed, and an outsider, with insider skills, is needed to investigate.

And how can Rebecca to say no to Jess when she asked Jess asks politely for a favor? Not Rebecca, and besides, Jess never asks politely, and arm twisting can only be by the most liberal measures be considered asking for a favor, and so, reluctantly, Rebecca is off to Penscotta to investigate another murder, and to get involved, in a foreign Pride's sticky politics.

The murdered man is Michael Hansa, and he was a favorite of both human and Felis females alike, although oddly enough, he didn't seem to be seeing anybody, either in the biblical or social, manner.

Again, Nantus doesn't skip on the mandatory urban fantasy examination of the local Felis society, unfortunately, Rebecca's still an outsider, and has to prove herself all over again. Oh yes, and she's single. So, young Felis stud and widower Trace Carson is appointed her shadow, to see that she tows the line, and eventually, and he has ideas about where he, and what he considers an available female Feris, should go in their relationship, even if the relationship is more in his mind than Rebecca's. Eventually, loneliness gets the better of Rebecca, and the situation between Trace and Rebecca will get a bit sticky, as with this second novel in the Rebecca Desjardin series, Rebecca is forced to make the decision, her life on the outside, or a life with a Pride. This decision is the one decision that will change Rebecca's life, and which will also be the fulcrum to an eventual clash between Trace, Brandon, and the local Pride, as Brandon makes the decision to fly down to Penscotta to help Rebecca. Making a sticky situation that much more sticky, as it is Felis custom to eliminate any, and all, of those who suspect who they are.

And once again, Sheryl Nantus takes a different tactic than most writers of urban fantasy, and, besides doing shape-shifting felines and their Pride politics proper; she also doesn't skip on the mystery and suspense elements of her novels. And while, we all tune in for the urban fantasy angle, and, let's be honest, for the strong female lead character, what keeps readers like me coming back for seconds and thirds is what is the backbone of this story. That is, the murder investigation, and the socio-political elements of what powers the plot; which involves one serious culture clash, as the murder brings to a head the clash that will occur when an outside situation comes into contact with an intentionally secretive society, or group, that runs itself by its own rules and laws, and how such a society would go to any length keep its own identity and secrets.

Thankfully, Nantus doesn't rush things, she takes her time to develop her story and she paces it well, but she doesn't overstay here welcome either with a four hundred, or more, page tome, she tells her story, develops her characters, ties up all the loose ends, and then she goes home to plan the next adventure of Rebecca. And the print is also nice sized, making Nantus' book easy to read.

On the positive side, I liked Nantus' examination of these micro-societies, and her look at this local Pride, and how different it was than Rebecca's, and how it tries to continue its seclusionary habits, while still continuing to be active in local government and politics.

Rebecca Desjardin is a hell of a strong character, although she comes across as a bit confused here, even though that doesn't stop her from letting loose with her inner snark. Not surprising, as for twenty years she's been ignored and ostracized by others like her, and now suddenly she is getting some grudging respect and attention; but will this go away if she decides to do what she considers what is right, instead of what would be considered politically expedite?

And this is what I liked about Rebecca, she's bullheaded enough to do what she considers right, even to her own detriment. With this, she's definitely in the classic pulp gumshoe mold. She's the symbolic hero fighting the establishment for justice for the underdog or the would-be-forgotten victim. I haven't read them, but based on what I've seen on the telly, Nantus' novels seem to be influenced by Kelly Armstrong's novels, and the television show "Grimm", and none of this is a bad thing.

On the negative side, I can believe in shape-shifters, and all that goes with this, for the sake of the novel's story, but that these hard-bodies can eat a steady stream of carbs and fat and never gain a pound? Yeah, I just don't believe it.

Also, just what cartoons have Nantus been watching? After about the three-quarter mark this novel starts developing some serious testosterone poisoning. After a while it seems that the primary men of this novel all seem to be acting like out-of-control horny bunnies while channeling rabid wolves. And while it may seem romantic for women to have men fight over them, wouldn't they be rolling their eyes if men constantly wanted women to have catfights over them? On the other hand, those of us that were disappointed by the failed soufflé that was the action of the last novel will get certainly get some more robust fare this time.

Oh, and if this were a male stripper bar, instead of being called the "Cat's Meow", shouldn't it have been called "The Barking Dog"?

These books, if you are interested, are now being reprinted in inexpensive paperback by Harlequin through their Carina Press imprint, and while it certainly helps, you don't necessarily have to read the first book in this series to enjoy this one.
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban fantasy + mystery 28 Jan. 2013
By Nicole Luiken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Book two, urban fantasy. Rebecca is an outcast Felis who can't shift. When she's called out of town to solve a murder, she quickly finds herself in murky water with a large Felis clan that has permeated both the police and town council. A good mystery, but it was the developments in Rebecca and Bran's relationship that I really enjoyed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Claws Bared 21 Jan. 2013
By Beth H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Rebecca Desjardin was pushed out of her pride and placed in foster care at a young age. Now that she is an adult she has made a life for herself as a PI. It seems the pride now wants to pull her back in. They've called on her once again to help with a murder investigation.

Reb has her first boyfriend, Brandon Hanover. He's unhappy with the fact that Felis, who have cast her out, keep calling upon her now. Brandon wants a commitment from Reb but she wants to solve this murder first. She is unsure how she feels about having someone full time in her life, since she's never had anyone to lean on before.

As the truth behind the murder is uncovered, Reb discovers that maybe the pride truly didn't want it revealed. She hits road blocks at every turn. Brandon shows up unexpectedly and the tension in their relationship accelerates because a handsome, single, pride member also has his eye on Reb.

I enjoyed Claws Beared. It was a fast paced, action adventure with a pretty good mystery that kept me invested until the end. I haven't read the first book in this series so I was unfamiliar with past characters and their interaction with Reb, but for the most part I was able to pick up enough that it didn't effect this storyline. This is a shifter series that I will definitely be following. 4 Stars

This ARC copy of Claws Bared was given to me by Carina Press in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date January 21, 2013.
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