Reviewed by Tory
Favorite Quote: “I want to awkwardly hug you.”
Hybrid shifter Vic Barniov likes his life to be quiet and orderly, but that carefully controlled existence gets blown to smithereens every time he comes home to find honey badger Olivia (Livy) Kowalski hiding in his cabinets and eating all his honey. Livy drives Vic insane in all the right ways and Vic sets out to convince Livy that being in his bed and using the front door isn’t the end of the world as she knows it.
Livy enjoys her nomadic lifestyle, using it to avoid her criminally insane family. But she can’t avoid them forever; especially when she learns of the suspicious circumstances surrounding her father’s death. Livy’s vow of vengeance brings her family to Manhattan. With Lily leading the charge, chaos soon reigns supreme as the Kowalskis and Yangs prepare to “wash the world in blood.”. But when someone wants Livy to stop asking questions and they almost succeed in silencing her permanently, Vic’s deadly side emerges and he shows the world why you shouldn’t grab a hybrid by the tail.
Shelly Laurenston proves she is still the reigning queen of paranormal romance with the ninth installment in her hilarious, sexy, action-packed Pride series. Bite Me introduces readers to some new characters who have the rest of the shifters hiding their valuables when this family of criminals comes rolling in to town. A rambunctious fast paced storyline blends well with a sexy engaging romance and a slew of new and old friends. Nonstop action and crazy antics keep this world delightfully fresh and laugh out loud insane.
Friends to lovers is a favorite trope of mine and Laurenston perfects it with this couple. I absolutely adored Vic and Livy. Having first met them in Wolf With Benefits, we saw a tentative friendship forming towards the end. Their association picks up in Bite Me and you can easily see the writing on the wall. Intelligent and witty, both have a unique approach to handling life’s little catastrophes that belays their complexity. Vic and Livy are rather alike in that they both come from extremely dangerous families and have chosen to go their own way rather than fall blindly into line.
Livy is a talented photographer whose friendship with Toni Jean-Parker Lewis is her one saving grace. Even with Livy’s inability to live in her own home and and sleep on top of a bed, Toni and Toni’s family adore Livy and she feels the same. Tough, quiet, and takes no crap from anyone-Livy makes Dee Ann Smith look like a model citizen. Vic is a freelance investigator whose family life was much saner compared to Livy’s. The child of two super spies, he enjoys peace, quiet, and something about Livy calls to his animal side. He genuinely likes her as a person and once they enter into a sexual relationship, he only falls harder.
In comparison to Laurenston’s other romantic couplings, Livy and Vic aren’t as “in your face” as some of her other characters. They actually reminded me a lot of Ronnie and Brandon from The Mane Event. They accept their attraction and act on it without a lot conflict, fussing, or chasing. Vic, a laid back bear/tiger hybrid grounds our unpredictable grumpy little honey badger who’d soon as tear your face off as to look at you. A huge and enchanting aspect of their relationship is that they not only understand one another but they accept each other as they are. Their clever banter is only enhanced by some very steamy hot and humorous love scenes.
“Oh thank God. I’m so hungry.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“It seemed tacky to come, roll off you, and go get something to eat. I hate tacky.”
The conflict is a mash up of Livy’s father’s suspicious demise and an on going storyline. We have watched as various secretive and not so secretive shifter groups have allied together to find the persons responsible for the hunting and killing of other shifters. Lauernston finally brings closure to the arc while giving us clues to future installments and couples. Rumor has it Laurenston is taking a break from this series for awhile *sob* so she ends things on a high note; allowing for the possibility she may not revisit. *massive sobbing*
Per usual, no Laureston story would be complete without the inclusion of old and new friends from throughout the series. The rest of the gang is all in here to interfere, offer useless advice, and generally annoy each other to distraction. Livy’s and Vic’s family provide much entertainment as they arrive en masse to help and drive our lovers insane. I have always loved that Laurenston adapts past characters into current storylines. The entire shifter nation interacting with one another is what makes these stories so belly clenching fabulous. Bo Novikov and his blissfully annoying bride to be Blayne aka Bland are heavily featured in here along with the amoral Dee Smith and the oh so arrogant Kyle Jean-Louis Parker.
“So,” Kyle went on, “have you ever modeled before?”
“No. And I don’t plan to start now.”
“You’d be foolish to throw away this opportunity.”
“To be immortalized by me.”
Vic had no idea how to respond to that. He’d never met a child with so much arrogance.
“You don’t mind being naked, do you?”
Bite Me is everything you could wish for in a paranormal romance and more. If you enjoy outrageous scenarios, witty banter, and insanely hilarious characters then look no further than Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series. It’s a winner across the board.