cover image Big Bad Beast

Big Bad Beast

Shelly Laurenston. Kensin. ton/Brava, $14 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7582-317

Belligerent shape-shifters create havoc and snarled subplots in Laurenston's sixth Pride novel (after 2010's Beast Behaving Badly). Wolf shifter Dee-Ann Smith is a hotheaded killing machine straight out of hick Tennessee central casting. Deadly accurate with just about any weapon%E2%80%94fists, knives, her smart mouth%E2%80%94Dee works for, and lusts after, Ric Van Holtz, a sexy wolf who cooks for his family's restaurant. The premise loosely hangs on an illegal hybrid-shifter fighting ring, though the good-guy characters seem to do most of the squabbling. Dee's insistence on violence as the answer to everything makes her memorable but not likable. Series followers will recognize the many interacting characters who flow in and out of the story and enjoy the setup for future titles. (May)