Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Kensington Books on March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late. Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .
Hot and Badgered
(The Honey Badgers #1)
By Shelly Laurenston
They’re all crazy…in a psychotic but funny way.
When I received my approval for an ARC of Hot and Badgered I did a wee bit of a shake and shimmy happy dance. After a stressful few days in real life, reading this story was like a breath of fresh air. I laughed, smirked, squirmed and sighed throughout the whole story. I also did one of those silent laughs that ends in a snort trying to be quiet because it was 4:00 in the morning and hubby was asleep beside me. Yeah, yeah, I should have been asleep but hubby snored for a couple of seconds, woke me up, and of course, I had to read myself back to sleep (good excuse).
Anyone who has read and loved Shelly Laurenston’s Pride or Magnus Pack series will love Hot and Badgered. This author’s characters are extremely loyal to their family, protective of those they love…and have no hesitation to murder you in your sleep if you do them wrong. Turns out Honey Badgers are that to the EXTREME!
There’s something about these stories that suck you in. Most of the characters are goofy with a side of psychotic that just makes them so endearing. When we meet Charlie and her sisters Max and Stevie they’re kids and even from their tender young age, we come to realise that they are a wee bit more psychotic than goofy. But geez, it’s no bloody wonder. Their dad is a douchewaffle of EPIC proportions. He’s so bad I wanted to jump into the pages to hold the idiot down for Max to do her thing with knives…and I would have been grinning right beside her.
I think Shelly Laurenston is brilliant. I’m not sure another author could pull off her skills of maximum confusion. See, when you start her books they tend to jump around a lot. You’re looking at one character and seeing their world one minute and the next someone completely different. Now, this different character may seem completely unrelated to the current story, but you just KNOW they’ll be back.
Where the brilliance comes in, is that, this confusion is a little like the characters and the storyline. We become honey badgers who bake one minute and pull a knife out of a leg holster and throw it, the next. Picture it like you’re in a control room with six monitors going. You slide your eyes over each screen hoping to keep abreast of all that’s going on. It’s quick and if you blink, you miss it and I didn’t want to miss a thing. The little jumps have a purpose and when it all comes together, you’re glad you had the opportunity to build the puzzle yourself. I find that Shelly’s stories are fast-paced, keep my head spinning and my heart thumping.
The love story is a bit of a slow burn. Charlie, as the oldest sister, feels a lot of responsibility in keeping her sisters alive and well. She doesn’t have time for romance and doesn’t want to drag a good man into the family curse…named, Freddy MacKilligan AKA, Dad. Funnily enough, the one man/shifter who wants to get dragged in, completely understands her and her family dynamics. His family is just as crazy.
Berg Dunn is a triplet and his life changed forever when a naked woman fell into his world. Berg is a bear shifter who works in security with his brother and sister. They work together and live together so he understands all about family loyalty. They get mistaken for each other (even the sister) A LOT, have each other’s back and would die to protect one another. Just like the MacKillagan sisters.
I loved Berg. He comes across as kind of dopey in a sleepy bear coming out of hibernation way. But, there’s this other side to him too. This side of Berg is kind of scary and intense. One minute he’s calm, next minute the cranky bear comes out and if you’re in his way, he could pop you like a pimple.
You never know what’s around the corner for Charlie, Max and Stevie (boys names because the douchewaffle wanted boys and got girls). I will tell you one thing that I loved about each of them. Charlie bakes to relieve stress, Max smiles as she kills, and Stevie forgets people she’s just met because she doesn’t want to waste brain space on insignificant people…her brain is too important. There’s plenty more I could mention but I limited myself to one each. They’re quirky, tough and kick butt. I loved them.
Hot and Badgered was a fun read with plenty of action, suspense and adventure. I would call it a slow burn as Charlie’s crazy life gives them plenty of time to get to know each other before we get to the fun stuff (wink, wink). And, boy was it FUN. Berg starts slow and intense but when his bear kicks in, it’s hard and fast and oh so FUN! It’s also not a short story but I never found a time that it dragged or made me want to hurry things up.
I really enjoyed Hot and Badgered and I know this is the start of a new favourite series.