I know Shelly Laurenston is a beloved paranormal romance author. She has dedicated fans who have been following her books for years. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I have read a few of Ms. Laurenston’s books previously, they were some of her older works, and I couldn’t remember why I didn’t continue with the series. Well, now I do.
I spent the majority of IN A BADGER WAY confused. This book does not stand alone in any way. Honestly, I don’t think it would have stood alone even if I had read the first book in the series. There were so many characters and points of view and subplots, my head was spinning.
To start with the positives: I did think parts of this book were funny. I chuckled a few times. Most of the laughing happened at the end where I almost felt like I understood where the book was going and I could get into the book a little bit. Mind you, this was probably 92% into the story.
I also really enjoyed Shen’s character. I mean, come on, he’s a flipping panda shifter everyone wants to cuddle! He was so steady, unassuming, and quietly funny. He really did have the best way to manage other people’s anger. I really wish he was more than a secondary character in the novel, especially because he’s on the cover.
The negatives: While I loved Shen, every single other character in this book felt like a cartoon character. They did and said things that made them seem like Looney Tunes rejects. I couldn’t connect with any of them. The constant yelling, mood swings, and general craziness gave me a headache.
I also really didn’t like the lack of romance, or really, plot in this book. Stevie and Shen spent maybe 15% of the book actually connecting, the rest of the time it was the MacKilligan sister show or any of the 500 secondary characters. Even the main plot, someone killing hybrids, wasn’t really a focus until the last few chapters of the book.
Overall, I am going to chalk this up to Ms. Laurenston’s writing style not working for me. I know she has legions of fans and I am glad they loved this latest installment. I just caution new-to-Shelly readers, do not start with this book! No matter how hot that cover is.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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