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The Mane Event (Pride) MP3 CD – 10 Jun 2013
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The murder plot of this book, although good, is definitely subordinate to the sex part of the book. In some ways that's a disappointment as there were some interesting angles within the mystery - the Lions, Wolves and Hyenas' fighting for territory and yet various individuals crossing boundary lines within species. Most of the action in the book is between Dez and Mace and between the sheets (or in the shower, against a wall, on the couch...) with just a brief fight between the Hyenas and the Wolves to add some interest. Mace's plan for Dez appears to be to wear her down by sex and proximity so that she agrees that they should be together. There are some amusing moments with her two police dogs, with her family and with Mace's partner Smittty but most of the story focuses on the relationship between the main characters - although as a lust-at-first-sight relationship there's little growing or changing between the main characters. For those who enjoy reading books that are largely about sex this is a better example than most with more characterisation than you often see but I felt it would have been a little better if more were made of the murder mystery and of the turf war breaking out between the various Were creatures and if the characters themselves, particularly Mace, changed and grew through their relationship.
The second story, "Shaw's Tail", starts at the end of the first story as Brendon Shaw, one of the lions, is rescued by some of the werewolves. One wolf in particular, Ronnie Lee Reed, is detailed to take care of him after he has been injured. He has a fever and it means Ronnie has quite a tricky time caring for him as he keeps turning into a lion, escaping and trying to seduce her. However they spend more time together and Brandon begins to understand the ties that bind him to his family as well as his desire for a more settled life. Ronnie Lee is a lighthearted, fun girl who never stays anywhere long, who isn't serious about relationships and who often gets into trouble. However, now she's turned thirty she wants to settle down a little and to stop using men for sex; however, when she meets Brendon she finds it difficult to change her nature and to relax into his care.
This story was pleasant enough but the plot was rather thin - most of the action is about Brendon and Ronnie. Ronnie's skittishness as she tries to change from free spirit to settled woman is well written, Brendon's character is less clear - he decides he wants Ronnie and that's it, although he is learning how to handle her as the story continues. Brendon's relationship with his brother and sister, as well as his two children, serves to show us a little more about how Pride and Pack dynamics work but there is less story to this part of "The Mane Event" and consequently it's less of a satisfying read.
Overall the two stories are similar in that their main (mane?) focus always appears to be sex. "Christmas Pride" has more plot but still not a great deal; the characters are interesting but not as well defined as they could be in some cases, and the background world of the Pride and the Pack deserved more detail as it was an interesting construct. It's enjoyable enough reading but without the depth that some other books in this genre have.
I've also read the three Magnus pack novels by this author and they are much the same style.
I think perhaps if you're in between books or maybe waiting for something else to come out and you just want to read something fun, that doesn't require you to think, like, AT ALL, then these books are fine. They really do make you grin in places. Laurenston writes very snappy, witty characters and makes up scenarios that are just too damn funny.
The book is separated into two stories; Christmas Pride and Shaw's Tail. The first is about a couple who haven't seen each other since high school and they've both been off doing other things for 20 years; she's a cop, he was a marine, and he's never quite forgotten his first crush. So he comes back to town to make her his. P.S he's a shapeshifting lion, which seemed to have very little to do with the story in any way, shape, or form.
The second story is about another shapeshifting lion, who decides he's in love with a commitment phobic, country bumpkin, wild child, hell-raising wolf shifter. As you do. What they hell are their kids going to look like?
Anyway, the books have quite graphic love scenes, literally, one every 3 pages or so (and there aren't a lot of pages to begin with).
Because of the lack of storyline I can't give it anything above a 3 star. They could have been so much better. It's a shame really because this writer has a good eye for characters. She's funny and writes great dialogue. If I were her editor I would have told her to go away and flesh it out a bit. But hey, what do I know? They are what they are I guess. Geez I'm not really selling this am I?
Anywho I give this 3 stars
If I had half stars I might made it 2.5, but alas, I do not.
I have read all the other reviews and don't understand why reviewers feel obliged to tell everyone most of the plot. I like to learn as I read; not have someone precis it for me!
Shelly's books are well edited and I really appreciate that.
I loved that there were two books in one. That was a nice surprise for me as I hadn't read any of the reviews before reading the story - for the above explained reasons.
This is the first Laurentson book I have read but will I be reading many more. I recommend it.
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