When He Was Bad (includes Magnus Pack, #4)When He Was Bad by Shelly Laurenston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an anthology of two books. The first is Miss Congeniality by Shelly Laurenston and the second is Wicked Ways by Cynthia Eden.

Miss Congeniality is the fourth and final book in the Magnus Pack series and is the reason I bought this book. However, that said, it has nothing to do with Magnus Pack, but in actual fact deals with Irene Conridge and Niles van Holtz first met in Mika’s story in Go Fetch. Given that we already know about Mika and how Professor Conridge terrifies her, we can establish what sort of woman Irene Conridge is.

This story is set duing the mid-1980s around the time that The Terminator had just been released and deals with how ‘Van’ pursues her and claims her as his life long mate. As such, Irene is only 25 in this story but already professor and already has virtually everyone, with the exception of her best friend Jackie who happens to be a shape shifting jackal, running scared.

But not ‘Van’. He’s been looking out for her for the past seven years and only now, when the Van Holtz wolf pack save the professor from being a late night of the local lion and hyena shifter population does her finally get his chance.

Never has there been such a mismatched couple. She is brutally honest, finds sexual intercourse disgusting and doesn’t admit to having emotions. He, on the other hand, is rich, flamboyant, very casual and could have his pick of any woman he chooses. Furthermore, he is a modern day wolf who believes that marking his woman as a mate is something that belongs in the past. He only marks Irene to save her life and give her the protection of the pack.

So why is it, when they are so diametrically opposed to one another, do they now only find scorching passion when they are with each other? And that’s what makes for a typically very funny and at the same time, hot and sizzling story. The brief epilogue brings the story up to date with what happens after Mika and Connall leave the Van Holtz’s house in Go Fetch.

I have to say that given that Mika and Irene are very similar to each other that Go Fetch and Miss Congeniality could have been similar but Shelly Laurenston has done a superb job in making both heroines very, very different women despite.

I’m going to regard the second book, Wicked Ways, as an added bonus. I’ve never read anything by Cynthia Eden before and whilst the story was good, it’s not in the same class as that of Shelly Laurenston.

The story deals with Miranda, a computer studies teacher in Florida who is on her way home following a disastrous date which only gets worse when her date turns out to be a vampire and decides to have her for dessert. She is saved by her new neighbour, Cain who just happens to be a jaguar shifter.

Unfortunately, the vampire makes his escape and what follows is a lusty tale of cat and mouse, er, vampire as they track the killer down. Whilst it is a hot tale, the steamy scenes just lack that something to make them really shine and I think it’s a lack of adjectices. For instance, the author is quite happy to use ‘cock’ but for Miranda, it’s always ‘her sex’ which seems odd to me.

So the five stars are purely for Miss Congeniality and the fact that I got a bonus story.

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