Wolf with Benefits is the 13th book in Shelly Laurenston's Pride/Pack series.. Technically there are three books in one and ten in the other but that line got blurred a while ago and you will find characters from both series popping up on occasion. So as far as I am concerned, it's one series *grins* yeah I know but it makes it easier for me.
The most remarkable thing about any book I have read by Ms Laurenston is her insane sense of humor. Her ability to make these characters believable through humor is a true gift. Sure they are shifters but when you read a book by Ms Laurenston you see your mom, your dad, your annoying brother, your favorite cousin, that chick down the block that made your life hell as a kid.. yep, they are all there. So first she makes you recognize your past, then she makes you laugh at it. While Wolf with Benefits isn't as hysterical as some of her other books, it still had me giggling on a regular basis. Well when I wasn't banging my head against the wall, because seriously, I know these people and I want to shoot them all. Which is the appropriate shifter response..
Ricky Lee Reed, yep one of "those" Reed boys. Enforcers, protectors of the Smith pack left Tennessee with Bobby Ray Smith to form the New York Smith Pack.. and took his place as a Reed in a Smith Pack. Ricky Lee is what you call a laid back Reed.. He is perfectly happy just sort of waiting for things to happen. He loves his job, enjoys his pack and pretty much has a sweet life. Until some shifter chick that dumped him as a teenager shows up and his sister (the oh so pregnant Ronnie Lee) decides he needs to share how this makes him feel. Talk about hysterical . how he feels? He was 19.. sheesh, he is so over her but no one is listening. So there he is trying to mind his own business and escape his sister when he meets a sexy jackal surrounded by a brood of kids.. kids whom enjoy asking "are you my daddy" to any male that gets too close to their sister. Now when you are a wolf who has spent his life enjoying the females of the world.. this does make you stop and think.
Toni Jean-Louis Parker, is the perfectly normal oldest child of a perfectly abnormal family. She has been forced to deal with her TEN count em TEN prodigy siblings as well as her brilliant mother.. her brilliant mother's brilliant best friend and assorted other brilliant people. As most prodigies go. they have no concept on how to function in real life and the honestly feel that Toni has been put on this earth to serve them. When a chance meeting with Bo Novikov ends up with Toni getting a job as the promotions person on the Carnivores life just gets more and more interesting. Suddenly, her skills that she didn't realize she had have made her a very marketable commodity and she has this wolf who just can't seem to leave her alone. Says, when he is with her the entertainment comes to him. And honestly it does.
These two are actually one of the more "normal" characters in this series rather the "straight" men to the insanity that is the shifter world. But in all the insanity it seems that Toni actually gets Bo Novikov and likes *gasp* yep that's right likes him. Of course, when she has need of him, Bo discovers that it's not all that easy working with a prodigy.. And of course there is the Blayne factor.. Seems, even Blayne is confused by this family.. and Toni's inability to remember her name.
Oh and wait until you meet Toni's best friend.. she's a shifter no one has ever met before so the entire shifter world tends to underestimate her. And honestly, she makes DeeAnn seems sweet.
In some ways this book is Shelly Laurenston at her best.. Why do I say this? Well she's more subtle.. Remember at the top of my review where I said this book wasn't as hysterical as some of her others? Of course you do, it was only a couple of paragraphs, anyway.. just writing this review made me laugh.. I kept thinking of yet another moment that made me just laugh.. made me want to bang my head against the wall for poor Toni.. made me wanna smack someone.. and made me smile because we got to see so many of my favorite characters without it seeming like they were just tossed into the story for no reason. Actually Ms Laurenston does that part so well, it took until late in the book for me to tie some characters together..
So what can I say? This is another Great Job by Ms Laurenston. If you haven't read this series.. DO SO!! It really is that good.
This review is based on the ARC of Wolf with Benefits provided by netgalley and is scheduled for release on March 26, 2013