RT Book Reviews Round-up: Sidebar by Carsen Taite & On The Brink of Passion by Tamsen Parker
Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai (Forbidden Hearts 3)

Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (Honey Badger Chronicles 1)

35534548I read Shelly Laurenston's books for the loud and obnoxious heroines who get caught up in the most bonkers of plots. On that score Hot and Badgered delivered. In the first couple chapters, there is a naked dash away from assassins, a bloody escape from a sanatorium and a car chase that ends with a helicopter being downed by portable rocket launcher. The action never lets up, as the story careens from one over-the-top encounter to another.

    Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan and her half-sisters, Max and Stevie have been an unit, protecting each other from a world out to get them since Charlie's mother was killed. They put each other first and don't tolerate anyone who would seek to hurt or divide them. They tease and taunt each other to distraction but no one should confuse that for a lack of love. Charlie's least favorite person in the world is their father, incompetent scoundrel extraordinaire, Fred MacKilligan, who hasn't yet discovered a con he can't screw up. As usual Fred's machinations send trouble Charlie, Max and Stevie's way.

    Berg Dunn is a big helpful bear. Lumbering, patient and utterly smitten with Charlie from the moment she stumbled into his balcony and expertly commandeered his best gun. When he unexpectedly runs into her again a few days later, he insists on helping her and her sister find a place to hide out for a while and bring them back to the bear-inhabited NYC-suburban neighborhood he lives in. While Charlie busies herself with figuring out what kind of mess their father has embroiled himself in, Berg, quietly and persistently inserts himself in Charlie's life and does his best to get her connected to people who will protect her. He has two siblings of his own and gets what Charlie needs to do, all while making sure someone is there to take care of her at the end of the day. Charlie is a tough nut to crack, devoted to her sister and unable to believe that anyone would want to stick with her after seeing how messed up her family is, but Berg has latched on and is not planning on letting go. He gives her a community she didn't know she wanted and needed.

     I am not sure how intelligible this book will be for new readers, Laurenston drops dozens of characters and organizations from her Pride series unceremoniously into this book, but I routinely read books out of order and my first Laurenston book was 11th Pride book, Bite Me, featuring Charlie, Max and Stevie's distant Honey-Badger cousin Livy and while I was completely lost at times, the voice and humor spoke to me and before long I had gone back to read all of the rest of the Pride books. If you need to know how everyone connects and understand every jokey reference, don't start with this book. Go back and read the Mane Event or at the very least Bite Me and then circle back around to the Honey Badger Chronicles, you will get a great deal more enjoyment from the book if you are intimately familiar with Laurenston's mad cap style and her characters. I am however greatly looking forward to more zany action in future books!


I received a review copy of Hot & Badgered from the publisher, Kensington. Hot and Badgered will be available at all the usual vendors, starting next week, March 27, ,2018

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