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Like A Wolf With A Bone Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family,...
Like A Wolf With A Bone Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts--and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .
Wed Or Dead Cynthia Eden
Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem--Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game. . .
"Cynthia's on my must-buy list." --New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox
"Laurenston continues to dazzle readers." --Romantic Times
She was astounding.
Leaning back against his 1971 Plymouth GTX, Egbert Ray Smith—Eggie to his Pack and those of the United States Marine Corps that knew of his existence—watched the She-wolf softly sighing and rolling her eyes. Occasionally she shook her head. He knew why, too. It was all the arguing going on inside the house behind her. All that damn arguing. If he'd known he would be coming home to this, he wouldn't have come.
As it was, Eggie hated when he was forced on what the full-humans called "a vacation," or what his military brethren called "leave." He didn't need a vacation. He didn't want a vacation.
He was lucky enough to be one of the few men in the world who enjoyed what he did for a living, and what he did was kill. Not just randomly, though. He wasn't some murdering scumbag. No, Eggie killed with purpose, for the protection of his kind and the other breeds and species that he really didn't like or care about, but figured deserved protection just as much as anyone else who could shift into a completely different being.
Eggie was good at killing. Some would probably say it was the only thing Eggie Ray Smith was good at. So then why should he be forced away from the only thing he was good at just because his fellow Marines insisted that "Eggie's startin' to make us nervous." Eggie didn't understand how he did that. He wasn't doing anything different from what he did on any given day.
But because his entire platoon—the platoon with no name, no number, that was only known about by those who could grow fangs and claws whenever they wanted—suggested he needed "a break," Eggie was now on break.
So with nothing else to do for the next month or two, depending on when his superiors would need him back, Eggie had come home.
And up to three minutes ago, he was positive it had been the most idiotic decision he'd made in a long time. What with his brothers trying so desperately to secure themselves some females. Of course, for most wolf shifters, securing females simply meant seducing them or enticing them with still-thrashing elk.
Too bad the Smith males weren't like most wolf shifters.
None of Eggie's brothers seemed to understand the words "entice" or "seduce." Instead they argued with their She-wolves. Constantly. It had been bad enough with Eggie's two older brothers, Benjamin Ray and Frankie Ray, and his youngest brother, Nicky Ray, especially since one of their little gals was a bit of a spitter when she got real angry.
Yet nothing could top Eggie's younger brother, Bubba Ray, and his She-demon from hell, Janie Mae Lewis. Their daddy liked Janie Mae because she represented the kind of She-wolf he wanted all of them to take as a mate. Strong, confident—a natural Alpha. But because Daddy liked Janie Mae so much, Bubba had to be difficult. He had to play games. Even worse, Janie Mae played those games right back. Not even properly mated yet, the pair already had two boys, the She-wolf pregnant with Bubba's third, and still they had yet to settle down. Instead they bounced between the Pack territories of Smithtown, Tennessee, and Smithville, North Carolina—arguing the entire way, it seemed.
Eggie didn't understand all that arguing. Honestly, he didn't argue with people. He never had to. He either stared until the ones arguing with him went away or he killed them. There was never an in-between, so what was the point of arguing? Unfortunately Bubba didn't seem to have the same philosophy. All he did with Janie Mae was argue. In fact, Eggie had barely stepped into his parents' Tennessee home before his brothers propelled him back to his car and he was suddenly on his way to North Carolina. And Lord knew that had been the last thing he'd wanted to do.
Until the moment he saw her.
Yeah, she was definitely the youngest Lewis sister. The one the Lewises had never talked about whenever Eggie was around. Although, in his estimation, this sister was much prettier than the other four. She had long, straight brown hair, parted right in the middle and framing just the sweetest little face with those big brown eyes and pretty full lips. Plus she had what he could only call the cutest cheeks. Although he wasn't sure cheeks should be cute. Like the other Lewises, her nose was long and refined but she was smaller than her sisters. Barely five-eight or so. For a Lewis female, that was kind of short. For a Smith female, it would be considered downright tiny.
Eggie thought about going over there, introducing himself the way men do when they see a pretty woman they'd like to meet. But then he remembered who he was. He was Eggie Ray Smith, trained killer. What would a girl like her do with a wolf like him? Would she want him to be chatty? Buy her flowers? Kill a herd of elk? And her entire family already hated him on principle. What he did for a living wasn't exactly respected among many of the shifters, although it was needed to keep them all safe.
Nah. It was best not to get all involved in ... anything. It was best to stay right where he was. Here. On his car. Waiting for the yelling to stop so he could find a hotel in town and get some sleep.
So continuing to stare at the woman on that porch was not a good idea and he decided to study his feet instead— until he heard someone breathing.
And it wasn't him.
Of all the times for Darla Mae Smith's boss to send her home for a "visit"—a visit he'd insisted on for some unknown reason—why did it have to be now?
Honestly, only a boss with his own Pack would insist on this sort of thing. Lord knew a full-human chef never would. If they had their way, they'd never give their lowly staff any kind of break. But Darla didn't work for a full-human. No, she was an assistant pastry chef for a Van Holtz Steak House in San Francisco, and the Van Holtz wolves understood Pack life, so her boss—the executive chef and Alpha of the San Francisco Van Holtzes—had suddenly, out of the clear blue, insisted that Darla go home for a little "Pack time." Something most She-wolves who were forced away from their kin for one reason or another enjoyed. Then again, none of them had to deal with the darn arguing!
When Darla had called her daddy two weeks ago, it had just been him, Darla's momma, and her brothers. Her sisters were in Smithtown, Tennessee, dealing with the pain-in-the-butt Smith boys. So Darla had happily hitchhiked her way cross country, something she liked to do but didn't necessarily mention to her parents. But by the time she had made it to her home in North Carolina, her dang sisters were back and in the middle of their dang arguments! Not with each other, which she could barely tolerate, but with those darn Smith wolves.
And it wasn't even one argument, but several! Francie Mae, the oldest, was arguing with her mate, Benjamin Ray, about what Benji could and could not stick his big Smith nose into when it came to the Lewis family business. Roberta Mae and Frankie Ray were busy debating whether Robbie's skirt was long enough—apparently it wasn't— while Janette Mae and Nicky Ray were arguing about Nixon. Nixon, of all people!
But worse than all that was what was going on between Janie Mae and Bubba Ray Smith. The pair had been on-and-off-again for several years now. They played all sorts of games with each other, trying to make the other one jealous. When Janie had gotten pregnant with her first son, the family sort of sighed in relief, figuring the pair would finally become mates and end all the bickering.
That, unfortunately, did not happen. Instead, the bickering became worse. Much worse. Now, two sons later, with the third on the way, the pair traipsed back and forth between North Carolina and Tennessee, one usually following the other, stopping occasionally to argue in one of the midway rest stops that probably deserved better.
Was it really supposed to be this hard? Was love and caring supposed to be so ridiculously silly and demanding? Darla didn't think so. Neither did her friends in San Francisco—a lovely mix of shifters and full-humans that she'd met when she'd left home at eighteen to start her internship at the Baltimore Van Holtz restaurant. Lord, it was 1974! Wonderful things were happening all around them. Times were changing. There was beautiful music and people were beginning to realize that war and violence didn't answer all of life's tough questions. It was a time to travel and see the world, discover new and interesting people, religions, and species.
But Darla's kin was locked into a world Darla had no desire to be part of. One filled with jockeying for position in a Pack. Unlike their full-blood wolf counterparts, the shifters rarely settled for their position in life. They always wanted more or less or different, but never what they had. And anyone with a brain could see that what Janie wanted was to be Alpha Female of the Smithtown Pack. She couldn't and wouldn't settle for less, even if that meant booting Bubba's momma out of her current position as Alpha. Of course, that was just Janie Mae's way. And the rest of Darla's sisters, although older, were the perfect Betas. They'd fight for Janie to get her what she wanted, even if it meant going head to head with their own mates about it.
The question, Darla guessed, became what did Bubba Ray want? A few years shy of thirty and male ... he didn't know what the hell he wanted. Especially if it meant running off his own parents. But like the true Alpha Male Bubba probably would be, he would decide what he wanted when he was dang good and ready. Something Janie Mae wasn't happy about because even though she may not need to be Alpha today, at this moment, she wanted commitments that it would happen.
So the fighting went on. And on. And on.
If Darla had known this was going to be happening while she was here, she would have taken a break at a commune one of her friends had told her about. Or headed off to Europe and backpacked through France again. The Lord knew there was a world of fine pastries for Darla to experience and explore and learn to make in France. But she wasn't in France, she was here.
Maybe, in a day or two, she could split. Head out after getting a little time in with her parents, especially her daddy, who hated this fighting as much as Darla did. Until then, though, she'd have to settle for walking away from all the unnecessary crap going on in the house.
Jumping down the stairs, Darla headed into the woods. She hadn't gotten far, though, when she caught the scent of some unknown wolf on her parents' territory, coming upwind of her.
She stopped, turned. Darla sniffed the air again, then called out, "Hello?"
A twig snapped behind her and Darla spun, her fangs instantly bursting from her gums at the sight of the gun pointed at her. The man holding that gun blinked in surprise. It was only a moment, though. Only a moment of stunned confusion at the sight of fangs on a young woman in the middle of nowhere. Then the full-human male aimed his weapon and Darla unleashed her claws, readying her body to shift and strike. Hoping the surprise at seeing her as wolf would give her the precious seconds she'd need to tear his throat out.
Darla's muscles trembled seconds before she launched herself, shifting in midair as she flew at the man. But the gun never went off. The wolf she'd scented earlier now stood behind the human. The hand holding the gun was crushed, the neck snapped.
Yanking herself away so as not to hurt the wolf, Darla somersaulted back, her wolf body slamming into a large tree. When she hit the ground, she looked up at the male wolf. She didn't recognize him as someone she personally knew, but she knew he was a Smith. Normal wolves didn't have shoulders that wide or necks that thick. He also had a full beard and dark hair that hung to his shoulders and in his face, making her wonder how he managed to see anything at all.
He stepped toward her, wolf eyes glaring down at her. At least ... she thought he might be glaring. It was hard to tell.
Darla started to stand up but the glaring Smith wolf pulled the biggest hunting knife she'd ever seen. Positive he was about to cut her throat because he considered her weak by Smith standards, she recoiled away from him, her back pressing into the tree.
He didn't, however, kill her, but turned and threw that knife, impaling the human male who'd been coming up behind him.
That's when Darla realized that the first human hadn't been alone. Lord. How many humans were running around her little town? Where were the town's deputies? Where were the other Smith and Lewis wolves? The bears? The lions? Was everybody at the bar just drinking? How was this acceptable?
But most importantly, why did all these human males seem to be coming to her? Honestly, Darla would be in big trouble if it weren't for this oversized Smith wolf who looked like he never smiled.
The wolf walked over to the human male, who was now on his knees, the life from him gone. Before the body dropped to the ground, the wolf yanked the knife from the human's head and snatched the gun from the human's hand. The wolf had just tucked the gun into the waistband of his jeans when another human charged.
Darla would have warned the wolf but she didn't have to. He moved so fast, yanking a second hunting knife from a sheath tied to his thick thigh. Slicing up, cutting the inside of the man's leg, then he stood and slashed the blades across, nearly taking the man's head off.
Again the wolf looked down at her, bringing one big forefinger to his lips. "Sssssh," he whispered and disappeared into the woods.
Although Darla didn't see anything, she could hear well enough. The sounds of dying men as that big wolf went about killing them. Something that would normally horrify Darla. She was a pacifist after all. And yet ... she wasn't horrified; she just didn't know why.
Then she felt something sticky under her paw. She leaned down, sniffed. Blood. Her blood.
It must have been when she'd hit the tree. She knew she'd hit it hard but not this hard. She thought about calling out to her family. Howling. Or even calling to the wolf. But she was suddenly so weak and tired.
Maybe if she just closed her eyes for a bit ...
* * *
Eggie finished the last human, his hand around the man's mouth, one of his favorite knives tearing open a hole from bowel to stomach. When the man stopped struggling, he dropped the body, took the weapon, and headed back toward the little Lewis girl. He briefly stopped to pull his second favorite knife from the open mouth of the other man, quickly wiping it on the man's clothes before sliding the blade back into its sheath.
He stepped out of the woods into the small clearing.
"You all right?" he softly asked the She-wolf, his gaze scanning the woods for any more skulking humans—the only species he knew that skulked, by the way. But when he didn't get an answer, he focused on her.
She looked like she was sleeping but he doubted it. Poor little thing had been too terrified for a wolf-nap. He walked over and crouched beside her, his wolf gaze instantly picking up the blood that had pooled in the leaves she'd landed in. He remembered her body hitting the tree, so he pulled her a bit away from the trunk and saw what appeared to be a low-growing branch that jutted out.
Carefully, Eggie felt around the back of the She-wolf's neck and found the wound. If she'd been human, she'd be dead, but she was wolf and that had saved her life.
Sighing, Eggie glanced back at the trail that would lead to the Lewis family house. He could still hear his and her idiot kin arguing and, to be quite honest, he was damn unimpressed with this town's idea of basic protection. An infiltration like this would never have happened in Smithtown. Any outsiders were caught at territorial lines and, if their presence was just an accident, and they hadn't seen anything they shouldn't have seen, then they were sent on their way with a good ol' Tennessee, "We don't like strangers 'round here" dismissal. But, if they were trying to get on Smithtown territory or if they did see something that couldn't be explained away—then things were handled differently. Often by the females of the town.
Excerpted from Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston Cynthia Eden Copyright © 2012 by Kensington Publishing Corp.. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted August 21, 2012
I won an ARC of this book from Ms. Laurenston and I really enjoyed it.
I loved reading Eggie and Darla's story and finished it in one night. I
was born in 1968, so the references to 1974 were amusing as I remember
alot of them. I've been a big fan of Ms. Laurenston's shifter series
for years now and can't wait for the next installment. I enjoyed Ms.
Eden's story as well. I plan to check out some of her other work.
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2012
Can you not find a more APPROPRIATE place for role playing? Like any
forum or chat room, or anywhere that is not a review section. We come
here for legitimate advice from fellow readers as to whether or not we
should read this book. We aren't here to read your awkward role playing.
Review. Say anything about the book, anything at all about the book.
Even just 'Good' or 'Mind numbing' or 'Best of the series'. You don't
need to do a full on editorial review. Just stop this role playing.
You're not doing it right. Example: I fully enjoyed Howl For It. It was
not magically awesome. Relatively average as far as shifter novels go,
but entertaining and well written nonetheless. Recommended to anyone who
enjoys shifter novels.
4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 30, 2012
LOVED reading about Eggie and Darla. I always enjoyed seeing their appearances in Shelly's books. It was great to finally know their story. Darla is sweet as honey, but tough as nails. Eggie is adorable in being clueless about what to do with her. And yet still manages to protect her and kill people trying to kill her. You have to love the match up of a pacifist flower child and a trained killer. It was fun seeing the dynamic between the big and bad Smith brothers and the even tougher Lewis sisters. And I liked how Shelly tied Eggie and Darla's story from almost 40 years ago to the present stories by telling how the ladies car race got started. If you like the Pride Stories Series, you will enjoy this blast from the past.
I never read anything from Cynthia Eden before. But I liked her Wed or Dead story with Kayla and Gage. One thing I didn't understand was, why stage a story in Las Vegas, but hardly have any action in the city itself? Most of the action takes place in the desert. But maybe that question is answered in one of her other books. That's one thing I like about anthologies, you usually buy them because they have stories from one or two of your favorite authors. But they are a good way to see other authors' works without paying for separate books. I'm not sure if I will buy any more of Cynthia Eden's books because I am so far behind in reading and seem never to get caught up. But I will keep her in mind if I want to try someone new.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2012
This book contains two wolf-shifter stories by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden. I bought it because I enjoy Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series (also her dragon series as G.A. Aiken).
In Like a Wolf With a Bone by Shelly Laurenston we learn the story of how Eggie and Darla Smith (Dee-Ann’s parents from Big Bad Beast (Pride, #6) ) got together. Egbert “Eggie” Ray Smith has a reputation even among his own kin of being slightly psychotic. Darla Lewis is the “quiet” Lewis sister. But there is someone for everyone and for Eggie its Darla. Darla gets the monosyllabic Eggie to open up if only to her and Eggie finds the one person on the planet who isn’t afraid of him.
The only book I’ve read by Cynthia Eden up till now is Hotter After Midnight and to be honest I don’t remember it all that well. I guess I need to go back and re-read it. The second story in this book is Wed or Dead by Cynthia Eden in which we find the alpha wolf-shifter of the Las Vegas pack, Gage, marrying a human hunter, Kayla. She knows he is a wolf-shifter but thinks he doesn’t know she is a hunter. It all started out as a job for her. Get close to Gage then kill him only she didn’t count on falling for the big lug.
As I said at the beginning I bought this for the Shelly Laurenston story and wasn’t disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised by the Cynthia Eden story.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2013
This is a fun, two-in-one paranormal book with two very different stories. The first story is the one that really piqued my interest, having become what can only be described as a squeeing fangirl of Shelly Laurenston's books. Her humor just does it for me, but I was curious how she could turn the scariest, most violent character in her series into a hero. We find out in this prequel novella, Like a Wolf with a Bone.
Egbert Ray Smith is one scary guy. Even his own family is leery of him and the ease with which he takes life. But he is also very protective, and those protective instincts take center stage when he saves the youngest Lewis sister, Darla Mae, from an attack. And once he has her in his care, he's reluctant to let her go. Darla, a pastry chef for a ritzy shifter restaurant, is intrigued by this taciturn wolf who is at ease with violence.
For those who are fangirls, too, this is Dee-Ann's parents' story. And I don't think there's anything more adorable than the intense Eggie being so discomfited by a wolf famous for her pie. This is classic Shelly Laurenston. Meaning, you'll be laughing at the turns of phrase, the situational humor, and the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm while watching a really unlikely couple make a life together.
I'm less familiar with Cynthia Eden's series, having only read one previous book, but Wed or Dead clicked with me in ways the prior book did not. It is more action-packed than Laurenston's story and has far less humor. If the characters weren't furry, this would be a solid romantic suspense story. As a bonus, it's easily read as a stand alone. FTC: ARC courtesy of the publisher.
Posted January 26, 2013
Posted January 24, 2013
I have all the shelly laurenston books plus this one and trust me when i say i was not disappointed i got the book when it came out and couldnt put it down. The eggie,s story i give 5 star the cynthia eden i give no stars because since i got the book i still havent been able to finish her story. I start it and get bored and stop. It doesnt not hold my attention so i find somthing better jm
Posted December 26, 2012
Posted December 3, 2012
Posted October 18, 2012
As always Shelly delivers an outstanding storyline. Funny, family drama and oh so sexy love scenes. She really made Eggie and Darla so much more real to me. You can't go wrong reading this or any of Shelly's books. She knows how to make her characters became real, living people. Once you pick up the book and start reading, you won't want to put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2012
Have read all of Laurenston's books and most of her books as G A Aikin. No one else is quite like her. Extreme violence,down home violence, screamingly funny, it's hard to find the words to do her justice. This is the best of paranormal pulp fiction. This story is a prequel and if you love her books you'll adore Eggy and Darlas story. I did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 5, 2012
Posted September 28, 2012
Posted September 22, 2012
Laurenston does it again! Marla and Eggy are sweet, funny and surprisingly sane amongst the Lewis and Smith characters. Loved it! Read everything Shelly Laurenston writes you won't regret it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 22, 2012
I had really been looking forward to learning more about Dee's parents and I was not disappointed in Shelly Laurenston's latest book dealing with the Smith Pack. Wonderful look back in the past for the Smith pack.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2012
Posted September 21, 2012
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Posted September 14, 2012