Monday, August 2, 2010

Review: The Mane Event by Shelley Laurenston

NYPD cop Desiree "Dez" MacDermot knows she's changed a lot since she was pals with her childhood buddy, Mace. But it's fair to say that Mace has changed even more. It isn't just those too-sexy gold eyes, or the six-four, built-like-a-Navy Seal body. It is something in the way he sniffls her neck and purrs, making her entire body tingle.
Meanwhile, for Tennessean Ronnie Lee Reed, 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 shifter men like Brendon Shaw. But she needn't worry, because now that Brendon's set his sights on her, the predator in him is ready to pounce and never let go.
I have to start off by saying that I really love Shelley Laurenston's books! I have read a number of them now, and I find them engaging, entertaining, educational, and so very funny. She has a wonderful way of bringing her characters to life so that, at least in my case, I would love to know some of them in real life.
This book is certainly not her latest but it is still a great read and one that many have missed. It is really two stories -- one featuring Mason Llewelyn, a lion-shifter, and the second story features Brendan Shaw, another lion-shifter who has two cubs by Mace's half sister and who is introduced in the first story. While he is not a part of the Llewelyn Pride, he has a connection through his children. The characters in both these stories are absolutely a hoot! I found myself laughing--from a low-grade chuckle to an extended laughing spree. The brother/sister Alphas of Ronnie Lee's pack are just too funny, and the repartee among all the characters in both stories is rib-tickling.
And yet, in the midst of all this fun and joie de vivre, there are the issues of fear of commitment, trust issues, the true nature of intimacy, and the purpose and place of family in all our lives. As sub-plots these are, I think, the true "hooks" for me. In Mace's case there are sisters -- his oldest sister is the dominant female of the Pride -- who would send most of us to the looney bin. Yet when push comes to shove, he knows that his family is really where his true heart lies, except for his true mate Dez. Watching Dez push Mace's sister is really wonderful fun, especially as Missy Llewelyn can't stand Dez. Yet even Missy is forced to reveal a deeper bond and affection for her brother that eventually has to expand to include Dez IF she wants to keep him bonded to the Pride. In Brendan's case it is just heartwarming to watch him with his two children--respecting their mother even though they are not in a relationship, and keeping their welfare uppermost in his concerns. His true mate Ronnie Lee, a werewolf, still has that open heart to accept even two lion-shifter cubs, and her affection and open hearted acceptance is returned.
So I recommend this book as a delightful journey into the world of paranormal individuals who are dealing with the same issues as humans, and who can often help all of us look at ourselves with greater insight and certainly a great deal of humor. I give this novel a 4.75 out of 5.

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