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Review – Wolf with Benefits (Pride #8) by Shelly Laurenston

Wolf with Benefits cover image
Publisher: Brava
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

Shelly Laurenston, New York Times bestselling author and a star in the paranormal romance genre, comes the eighth book is the successful Pride series, that blends outrageous humor and sexy shapeshifters to create irresistible heroes that readers fall in love with.

Ricky Lee has no plans of getting serious about anyone, but he will protect Toni Jean-Louis Parker. Not just because he’s been hired to do so, but because it’s the right thing to do. And if that means traveling around the country with one complicated She-jackal, dealing with chocolate-eating wild dogs, instigating trouble between his brothers, and having the most amazing sex he’s ever had…well, who said his job didn’t have perks?

Toni doesn’t know how she keeps getting herself into these situations. But even she has to admit there’s something about Ricky Lee Reed that she finds kind of interesting…and downright sexy. Now they just have to survive long enough to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for…
This blurb came from Goodreads.

I have been a huge Laurenston fan ever since I first discovered her. She is my go to author for anytime I need to laugh. It was great going back to the Pride world and seeing some familiar faces and how their essential personalities haven’t changed over the years. Laurenston created another great installment to the Pride series in Wolf with Benefits. Ricky Lee was a great counterpoint to the rest of the Smiths and even from his other Reed brothers (hope to see more of them). He was unashamedly interested in Toni for one thing only yet when it came down to doing his job and protecting her he stayed professional. Toni was such a martyr, at first I didn’t really like her character but when she was given the chance to grow into herself not the family organizer she quickly became one of the characters that I enjoyed reading. Even her agonizing about caring for herself vs caring for her self-centered family were amusing. Throw in the rest of the motley crew and I found myself laughing time and time again.

I have to admit that I taunted my family by reading them the first six pages as Ricky Lee had his first encounter with Toni and her siblings. They all agreed with me that it was a great start. I am happy to say that the personalities established in those six pages continued to hold true throughout the book. Those of you who have read “Miss Congeniality” from When He Was Bad will recognize Toni’s mother as Irene’s best friend and roommate. Unfortunately, while Jackie was able to manage Irene’s absent mindedness the combination of her own genius and that of most of her children she was unable to keep things together. As a result juggling everything all fell on Toni, the oldest child and the only one who was not a certified genius. Just as it seemed like she was going to spend her life catering to the selfish whims of her siblings she had the opportunity to do something for herself. Toni wasn’t able to seize that opportunity without some help and reassurance from a few individuals like Irene, Bo, and her father. The scenes with Bo and Toni’s family were hilarious.

Ricky Lee Reed was wasn’t a Smith boy. The Reeds were cousins of the Smiths so while they didn’t have the extreme level of aggressive alpha insanity they still had their share. Ricky wasn’t quite as insane as his younger brother Reece who excelled in provoking Bo nor was he quite as calm and responsible as his older brother Rory but he did take his job as an employee of Llewellyn Security seriously. So when he was asked to escort Toni on a negotiation trip for the Carnivores he took both her physical and mental health seriously which led to some creative stress relief techniques. Ricky’s relatively laid back personality was a great injection into Toni’s life because he was able to give her some peach. At the same time he would do whatever was necessary to protect family.

The subplot involving Toni’s sociopathic sister was a bit unusual for Laurenston’s Pride stories so far. Usually the bad guys are external to the families involved or are one species against another. In this case some bad things happened as a result of a member of the family. To me that allowed Toni to show that while she loved and cared for her family she also had limits and once they were crossed that was it. I am pretty satisfied with the resolution to that particular problem.

Once again Laurenston provided a very entertaining installment. I revisited old friends and got to see new aspects of some of the regulars. I also met some new characters that I enjoyed immensely. Speaking of which I loved Livy so much! I won’t say anything else about her except she is great and I hope she gets her own story…maybe with Vic **looks hopeful**. I enjoyed reading Wolf with Benefits and watching Ricky go from just wanting benefits to wanting everything. It was also a lot of fun seeing Toni start to focus on herself instead of her gifted but selfish family.

I give Wolf with Benefits an A-/B+

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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