Book Review: Wolf with Benefits (Pride #8) by Shelly Laurenston
***This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence!***
Being responsible for an entire clan of prodigy jackal siblings is no easy task. However, as the only normal one of the bunch, that’s Toni Jean-Louis Parker’s job. She’s in charge of her brothers and sisters’ day to day lives. She has to make sure all ten of them get to practices, concerts, and all kinds of important events…all while keeping them from killing each other in the process. Toni knows her family can’t function without her and that’s kept her from pursuing any dreams she might have had of her own.
When her family relocates to New York, she meets the charming Ricky Lee Reed, a wolf shifter who belongs to the Smith pack. His family lives across the street from Toni’s new house and before Toni knows it, the wolf has inserted himself fully into her life. Toni’s even offered a job to work for the North American shifter hockey team. Her ability to handle difficult and unreasonable people and situations makes her the perfect woman to deal with problematic shifters. Toni reluctantly accepts the position and soon enough she’s traveling to Russia to negotiate with a troublesome bear clan.
With her family so far away and Ricky by her side as her bodyguard, Toni figures she may as well indulge in some no-strings-attached sex with the handsome wolf. But Ricky knows what they have is so much more than a temporary fling…and it’s worth fighting for.
What I loved most about this book was the humor. It was, hands down, my favorite thing about Wolf with Benefits. Shelly Laurenston books are known for their humor, and this one was no different. Every page in this book is hilarious. I had so many laugh-out-loud moments and that’s what made me want to keep reading. I also love how Shelly’s books always feature such kickass women. Most of the females in this book (and in this series) are tougher than the men and can wipe the floor with them, which is a nice change of pace.
Toni’s transformation over the course of the book was nice to see. She went from devoting her entire life to her family to being her own woman. I loved how calm and collected she was in the face of all the madness around her that took place on a daily basis. How that girl was still sane after dealing with her siblings-hilarious as they were- was beyond me. Ricky Lee was a total charmer and I adored his family- especially Reece (whose scenes with Livy still make me laugh.)
While I did enjoy this book, I do wish there had been more page time dedicated to Toni and Ricky. There was a little too much focus on other characters and storylines and it took away time that could have been spent developing their relationship a bit more. It was tough to keep all the characters straight, too. This is definitely a series that you’ll understand better if you start at the beginning, because the cast of characters is HUGE. It’s still a book you can follow if you haven’t read the other books, but I’d still recommend starting with book one. And if you haven’t read any of Shelly’s books, what are you waiting for? You’re missing out!
Glancing down, Toni said, “Why are you still holding me?”
“I’m giving you my invaluable support, and my immense charm.”
“More like your immense bullshit.”
“Now, now, darlin’,” he teased, annoying her more. “No need to get so nasty just because you’re confused by your feelings for me.”
“I do not have feelings for you, other than pity for your mental illness.”
“Kiss me again,” she told him. “I really like it when you kiss me.”
Ricky had no idea why he enjoyed hearing those words so much. It wasn’t simply that he liked kissing her, too. Maybe it was more because her words were direct and simple and that’s what he liked so much about Toni. No matter what was going on around her, or in this particular case, inside her, she was always direct.
Ah, sibling love.
Ricky sat down at the table, nodding at the Jean-Louis Parker siblings. They continued to eat, lost in their own thoughts, it seemed. Until Kyle bit into a piece of bacon and then asked, “So Freddy tells us he caught you defiling our sister.”
Toni choked on her orange juice, quickly slapping her hand over her mouth and turning away from the table so she didn’t spray everyone sitting there.
“Well-” Ricky began, but Cooper cut him off with a raised hand.
“Kyle,” Coop said, “do you actually know what defiling means?”
“Of course I do.”
“No, you don’t,” Oriana told him.
“Shut up. I do, too.”
“You don’t know anything. You’re an idiot.”
“And you’re getting fat!”
That’s true friendship, there.
“I’m about to do something, Livy, that you’re going to hate me for.”
Livy studied her a moment, black eyes narrowing. Then, she begged, “Please don’t.”
“I have to.”
“No. You don’t have to. We can just let this go.”
“We’re not letting anything go. I’m not letting anything go. Not now. Not ever.”
Disgusted, Livy snarled, “Then just get it over with.”
So Toni did-by hugging her best friend.
You may also like…
The Mane Event, which is the first book in the Pride series by Shelly Laurenston. It’s two stories in one book. The first features Dez and Mace Llewellyn, while the second focuses on Ronnie Lee Reed and Brendon Shaw.
I also highly recommend Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken, the first book in the Dragon Kin series. G.A. Aiken is Shelly Laurenston’s alter ego, which means the Dragon Kin books are chock-full of funny scenes and badass females. It takes place during medieval times and, obviously, it features dragons. The first book is about Annwyl the Bloody (that name alone tells you how badass she is) and Fearghus the Destroyer, the sexy dragon-shifter she falls for.
Wolf with Benefits is…