Wednesday, February 18, 2015

TBR Challenge: Shelly Laurenston - The Mane Event

Christmas Pride
How come all the good-looking ones are insane?
That's what runs through NYPD cop Desiree "Dez" MacDermot's mind the minute she hooks up again with her childhood buddy, Mace Llewellyn. It isn't just the way he stares at her with those too-sexy gold eyes―as if he could devour her on the spot. Or the six-four, built-like-a-Navy Seal bod-o-death. It isn't even that he sniffs her neck and purrs, making her entire body tingle. It's more about that disconcerting, shifting-from-man-to-lion thing that unhinges her...and makes her want more.
Mace likes making Dez crazy. In fact, he likes her any way he can get her―in bed, on the desk, here, now, again. Together, they'd always been trouble, but Dez has no idea just how good trouble can feel...

 Shaw's Tail
Brendon Shaw, hotel owner and lion shifter, has seen better days. He's been beaten, had a gun to the back of his head, and had to be rescued by a Pack of shape-shifting wolves. He didn't think he'd survive the night, much less find the woman of his dreams. And he never thought the woman of his dreams would have a Tennessee accent and wear cowboy boots. Once he sets his sights on her, the predator in him is ready to pounce and never let go.
Ronnie Lee Reed is ready to change her life, and New York City is the place where any girl―even one who runs with a Pack―can redefine herself. First order of business: find a mate, settle down, and stop using men for sex. Even big, gorgeous, lion-shifting, oh-my-what-big-um-paws-you-have men. Then again...

Comment: It's time again for a TBR read and this month the theme - which I like to follow - is a recommended read, meaning something someone said you might like or should read. As you know (maybe) I like to make monthly lists of books to be read and usually I pick something that might be suitable for the challenge from that list. 
Sometimes it happens some books are chosen for a purpose or a specific theme (like my pickings for the December theme) but for the most part I just choose something from my list randomly.
For this month's theme I picked a book that was actually the read for one of my book clubs on Goodreads. This book was a recommendation from years ago and that is why I had it (in fact I bought the first three together) but since we were reading it because someone recommended it for the club's purpose, it was two in one and I thought it would be more than suitable.

This book is actually two stories, with related characters. It's the first of the Pride series by the author and as far as I know, quite successful and likable even by many of my friends.
I have to say this isn't the first book by the author that I try. I've read her Magnus Pack trilogy and sincerely it wasn't my cup of tea because I didn't like the tone of the books nor the heroines. 
I also have read her dragon series which she writes as GA Aiken and I really, really love it, I'm crazy over that fantastic series!

So, based on this I thought I might not like this book that much, but I wanted to try it because 1) I already had it anyway and 2) it was the intended read and I try to honor our pickings as much as possible.
I think a reading experience isn't only the opening of a book and an eventual closing up. It's the expectation, the waiting, the thinking about it, the things we think will happen, the idea of sharing our thoughts in the end, despite not going into it that confident, I had my hopes of being surprised based on so many positive opinions and the fact the series was long and successful.

I won't go into much details about the plots because honestly, the way I see it, there isn't one. The world is contemporary set, which should follow a certain set of implicit rules, namely a purpose for the story, characters' dealings with their surroundings and their place in the world. I think the tone of the story is too silly to actually meet these and although I could see some characters were rich, had families and things to do, a living to make, I couldn't go past the silliness of everything.

The characters are always making fun, laughing, saying allegedly funny things and being ferocious according to their shifter status. Ok...but the rules of this world are never explained, why do shifters exist? Do humans know about them? I guess not based on the 1st story, but they behave so crazy I wonder how anyone never found out more!

Most people who I've talked to about this say the purpose of the stories is to be funny, is to put the sarcasm and funny on evidence. Ok... but then I ask, why? Why does it matter? There are ways to make a story funny and crazy without being so aimless and untethered to reality which is how I felt while reading. I couldn0t connect with any character, I didn't follow the world's working and I couldn't care less about hat was happening, only that I wanted to finish quickly.

At least we get to see some characters caring about their families and those they love. That's something. But what's the point of their lives? I'm sorry for I really didn't feel empathy towards any character.
I guess I couldn't relax and just go with the flow. But even in silly books like this one, for instance, I felt something was happening, something mattered and I didn't get that here.
In the end I think this author's style just isn't for me. What I love and cherish in her dragon series doesn't happen here. Someone told me because it's fantasy we accept it better. I guess but I also think there's a different touch to those books, something that makes them well done and perfect and I wonder why the same doesn't happen here.

This book is the first of many, meant to be funny and sexy, but I didn't laugh and I was bored with so many sex scenes, which I skipped for the most part. I think it's important to try things you don't think you will be comfortable with but this only serves to point out sometimes we just can't all enjoy and see the same books like everyone else does.
I still have the following two to read. I plan on giving them away here eventually because I also get books for free but I just can't give them without reading them, which will be boring but well. I couldn't just give them unread.

So, this recommendation was on my shelf for 6 years and now I see why I felt like waiting. I'm afraid the author as Laurenston just isn't for me. I can understand why so many people like this but the way I saw it, it wasn't even salvageable, except for some elements here and there. This isn't the author's fault, of course! Readers just see differently and I didn't see what most people did, that's all.
But why we don't like something can be as important as why we do.
Grade: 3/10


  1. I have this book on my e-reader, but have been hesitant about starting it. I do enjoy the Dragon Kin books so I'll probably give this a try someday. I'll just be prepared. :)

    1. Who knows, Jennifer? You might like it in the end. Just be prepared for too much fun and not enough seriousness (in my opinion).

  2. Oh bless you!

    I couldn't connect with any character, I didn't follow the world's working and I couldn't care less about hat was happening, only that I wanted to finish quickly.

    These are my feelings, exactly!

    I remember having this book and the series recommended to me, very strongly, by a number of people, for years! For one reason or another I was never inclined to read it, then it went on sale (or perhaps it was free for a bit? something like that), and I gave in.

    I kept reading out of incredulity, because I just didn't see any of the wonders all those others readers--whose tastes often align with mind, to boot!--saw. Nothing!

    1. I know!!! I mean, there is fun and then there is this. You can have a funny book, a joyous book, a fun toned book but don't you also need a base, a solid idea and execution? This was too silly, too careless.
      This is nothing like her dragon series as GA Aiken. I can't even believe it's the same author...because the fun? It does happen on her dragon series. And it works. And it's well done!
      Amazing how it doesn't happen the same here.
      Oh well, other stories await.

  3. Oh, I'm not the only one! I read two of her books from this series a long while back and didn't understand what all the hoopla was about either. I believe they were D reads for me.

    1. Everything was to random for my taste.... I understand the lower grades better in this case.