cover image Bear Meets Girl

Bear Meets Girl

Shelly Laurenston. Kensington/Brava, $14 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7582-6520

Plot all but vanishes behind character interaction and romantic comedy in Laurenston’s seventh Pride paranormal, following 2011’s Big Bad Beast. Lou “Crush” Crushek —were–polar bear and undercover cop—wakes up after a wild party to find Cella “Bare Knuckles” Malone—were-tiger and infamous hockey player—in his bed. Sparks fly as personalities clash, but initial irritation turns into tentative friendship. Soon, Lou’s acting as Cella’s not-so-pretend boyfriend, to the amusement of their friends and families. Their inevitable romantic pairing is only somewhat slowed by side stories involving Lou’s evil foster mother and other threats to New York’s shifter community. The real focus is on the sprawling cast of shifters and their complex social dynamics. Quirky characters, madcap antics, snappy dialogue, charged love scenes, and sitcomesque humor keep things moving at a breakneck pace. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Apr.)