The Mane Squeeze
Shelly Laurenston
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Buy *The Mane Squeeze* by Shelly Laurenston online

The Mane Squeeze
Shelly Laurenston
320 pages
October 2009
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Purebred shifters have always been temperamental—if not shockingly racist—toward their crossbreed counterparts. For Philly-born tough-girl Gwen O’Neill, learning how to survive in her mother’s Pride as a part-lioness, part-tigress was a never-ending challenge. Lioness Roxy set the bar high in all things: men, catfights, gambling, style, and as the Reigning Roller-Derby Queen. Gwen, however, would always carry the stigmata of being a crossbreed and have to be stronger for it.

Lock is one huge, beastly example of muscle, strength, and power wrapped up in the furry body of a Grizzly bear shifter. Being tall with a surly attitude, Lock scares away most shifters and people before any pleasantries can even be exchanged. It’s a shame, really - he’s such a teddy bear at heart.

A new city, new job and new life seem to be the best answer to get Gwen on the right track: independent of her family. Throw in the pizzazz of a most surprising yet welcome budding romance, and things just might be looking up. Targeted in an unexpected vendetta, Gwen faces new dangers lurking around every corner; good thing the big ol’ grizzly bear wants to protect her. She'll need the extra help when the teeth and claws start coming out.

Love is never easy, and with the magnitude of hurdles Gwen and Lock face, "happy ever after" could be a long way off. Friends and family are the ties that bind, and sometimes they’re the very ties that make some dreams impossible. Gwen will have to battle her issues with her family, accepting what is and laying the foundation for what will be, or her future will never be anything but solitary. With such a big, sexy beast ready to warm her sheets and heart, Gwen might finally be able to take the steps needed to become the woman she was always meant to be: her mother’s daughter.

The Mane Squeeze is an incredibly fun, action-packed extravaganza from start to finish. The ruthless and aggressive animalistic tendencies at territorial and predatory extremes give the fight and action sequences non-stop intensity. To help keep the tone lighter, subtle humor flows through the storyline with perky, rambunctious characters and entertaining wittiness. While Sherrill Quinn, author of many comparable shifter novels, is definitely a great read, Shelly Laurenston sure gives her a run for the money.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Sonia R. Polinsky, 2010

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