It’s Shelly Laurenston therefore this is an awesome and funny read. Need I say more? Oh, if you insist.
Not counting the trademark humour and snarky dialogue that all of the books in this series contain, the primary reason I most enjoyed this book was because pretty much all of the characters from both the Pride series and the preceding Magnus Pack trilogy are in this book to a greater or lesser degree. Even those that don’t get to make an actual appearance are at least mentioned.
And it’s not done in a forced manner either. Toni (“That’s Toni with an ‘i’ and not a ‘y'”) Jean Louis Parker is the daughter of Jackie Parker who is best friend of Irene Conridge whose story was told in Miss Congeniality. But we first met Irene way back in Miki’s story in Go Fetch! part of the original Magnus Pack trilogy. Not only that, but Toni’s parents have rented a house from Jessica Ward who, as fans all know, is mated to Bobby Ray Smith of the Smith clan.
Ricky Lee Reed is, well, he’s a Reed and we know that family quite well already. It’s like playing six degrees of separation spotting all the connections. The other pleasant surprise is that both Toni and Ricky make a fairly sensible couple of main characters with their heads screwed on relatively straight. Given that the previous couples tend to be…er…barking (sometimes literally), it leaves the wackiness to the huge ensemble of wacky side characters.
There is a small but very significant side plot about a threat to Toni’s siblings from one of their own that is actually quite disturbing. On the other hand, it does make Toni’s best friend Olivia ‘Liv’ quite the intriguing character. And your challenge is to guess what Liv’s shifter form is before it’s revealed. You’ll probably think you know and you may even come very close like I did, but I think you’ll be surprised. Honestly, I’d never even heard of the animal before.
I guess I did end saying a bit more, didn’t I? Needless to say, fans of the Pride series will not be disappointed by Wolf With Benefits.