Laid Bear by Marina Maddix

Laid BearLaid Bear by Marina Maddix
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Series: Laid Bear #1
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Curvy girl Bethany Mills can’t believe her good fortune when her new neighbor turns out to be devastatingly hot. But someone that gorgeous could never fall for someone like her…could he? A charming personality and appreciation for sappy music aren’t the only things Maximilian Pearce is hiding, and just when Bethany thinks she might get her very own happily ever after, a shocking revelation forces her to make a heartbreaking choice.

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I read this book as part of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set It was a quick read, your standard M/F Paranormal shape-shifter romance. It was nice, but ultimately it was nothing special… 

Bethany is kind of awkward – she’s a tall curvy girl, and doesn’t have a very high opinion of herself through the first half of the book. I was getting a little peeved by the self-loathing she surrounded herself with, so I’m glad her friend Paul stepped in to talk some sense into her:

“You’ve got all this going on, yet you settle for the shittiest of shittheads. You practically beg them to treat you badly and then are surprised when they do. It’s not that you only attract assholes, but for some reason you think those are the only guys who could possibly be attracted to you. It’s not true and you need to get over that.”

But she’s got a quirky sense of humor, so that was nice

She’d grown up with three older brothers who taught her how to be tough… on the outside. Inside, she was as soft as her ample ass.

So a new neighbor moves in next door, Max. And obviously he’s super, extra, want-to-lick-him attractive. And shirtless, because aren’t they all?

She had – hands down – the BEST reaction to discovering a shape shifter I think Ive ever read… Partily because it seems reasonable (she even mentions that she nearly wet herself) and mostly because it was amusing as hell!

“What the fuck was that?” she whispered. Her brain tried to make sense of it but the circuits weren’t connecting. It was impossible and didn’t make sense. She felt like a robot who’d been given contradictory information: Does. Not. Compute. She started giggling hysterically at the robotic voice in her head, understanding she was quite possibly losing her mind, but more probably in shock.


Oh by the way, Max invites Bethany over for a little back yard cook out. And He grilled salmon… His specialty
I see what you did there Marina Maddix…

So Max tells Bethany he’s a werebear.
And they hook up.
Decent sexy-time antics. Sweet, not super hot.

I found myself grinning at the part where Bethany’s friends are drunkenly (and graphically) interrogating about Max.

Everything was going well with Bethany and Max (and with the book in general in my opinion), but then Scumbag Landlord/Max’s Uncle shows up. He has a little heart to heart with Bethany. She realizes that there are added complications to having a relationship with a Werebear and she’s faced with a choice – the family she’s been hoping for, or the love of her life.

But here’s the thing, I didn’t buy Chet’s story for a second, and I had a hard time believing that Bethany could either. Chet was a douche bag to her constantly, even before she met Max. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there… She did believe him.

So now we have the overplayed “misunderstanding” climax in a romance novel that drives the characters apart.

And that’s where the book lost me. I felt like I knew everything that was going to happen from then on out, and I was right. Complete with HEA

Aside from the humor and the fact that the main character had an atypical body type, this book was predictable, formulaic, and really nothing special.
If you buy it as part of the boxed set, I’d say its worth it.

***I received and ARC of Shifter Romance Boxed Set in exchange for an honest review***

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Shifter Romance Boxed Set

Shifter Romance Boxed SetShifter Romance Boxed Set by Multiple Authors

Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lions and tigers and bears…oh, yeah! This collection of shifter romances is guaranteed to heat up your cool autumn evenings with ten stories (350,000 total words!) of curve-loving werebears, sassy werecats and, of course, everyone’s favorite: alpha werewolves. Pick up this boxed set today and get in touch with your animal side tonight — just 99¢ for a limited time! (Regular Price $9.99!)

Stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Aubrey Rose, Eliza Gayle, Adriana Hunter, Terry Towers (writing as Elixa Everett), Tawny Taylor , Aphrodite Hunt (writing as Dawn Steele) and Marina Maddix ,as well as #1 Paranormal author Celia Kyle, Top 20 Shifter Romance author Cynthia Brint, and Top 100 Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling and award winning author Selena Kitt. 

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For a 99¢ I say go for it… One or two of the books were really enjoyable. However, this collection is clearly quantity over quality. I wouldn’t have finished a few of the books if I weren’t reviewing an ARC of the collection. There were Shifter Bears, Cougars, People, Lions, Rabbits, and Housecats… So there is certainly a lot of variety to choose from.

I started to get the feeling that this was a grab bag of “firsts” as in, the first book in a series and the collection was compiled under the assumption that readers will fall in love with one or more books and continue the series. Unfortunately, I didn’t fall in love with any of them. The collection ranged from Good, to Mediocre, to Downright Awful.

The Good:
He Ain’t Lion (Laugh out loud funny)
Whatever He Needs Her To Be (Original premise)
Wanted By The Alphas (Complex and full of weirdness)
Lucas (Sexy and fast-paced)

The Mediocre:
Laid Bear (Forgettable but not terrible)
BEARed to You(I liked the shifter origin story)
Blind Wolf (main characters were twits)
Until the Flood (Angsty NewAdult / Young Adult)
Cat Lover (Pretty sure that was Furry Erotica…)
Better Mate Than Never(Amusing but formulaic)

The Downright Awful:
Desires of the Wolfman (Just… Skip this one…)

When I review anthologies, I like to write up individual reviews for each of the books and then base my rating on the overall impression of the collection. Especially considering this set features eleven individual authors with distinct styles and writing quality. You can find links to the full reviews for each book below the blurbs I’ve written.


Marina MaddixLaid Bear

Curvy Bethany can’t believe her luck when her devastatingly hot neighbor Max falls for her. But his secret threatens her future…and her life.

It was a quick read, your standard M/F Paranormal shape-shifter romance, but with BEARS. It was nice, but ultimately it was nothing special…
You can find my full review here

 
Tawny TaylorBEARed to You

Curvy city girl Abby is thrilled when a hot, naked man shows up on her cabin’s front doorstep and stokes a blaze or two, in the fireplace and in her body…until he turns into a bear…and the two of them are forced to run for their lives through the untamed Alaskan wilderness.
More BEARS! I really liked the fresh explanation of how Tarik Evert became a WereBear. There were several steamy sex scenes and some lovely pillow talk, but other than that it was kind of a bust…
You can find my full review here


Celia Kyle – He Ain’t Lion

Life sucks… And then you get turned into a werelion… And then have lotsa awesome sex…
This was an unapologetic hilarious read. It was sexy and silly and never took itself seriously. There was rude language, WereLions, tons of sex, and one seriously sassy plus-sized woman.
You can find my full review here


Elixa Everett – Whatever He Needs Her To Be

What would you do to win over the man of your dreams? For shapeshifter Selena, it’s simply a matter of being whatever he needs her to be.
A promising storyline completely ruined by the writing. Disappointing. I really wanted to like this book because the premise was fresh and intriguing, but I wound up completely unsatisfied.
You can find my full review here


Dawn SteeleWanted By The Alphas

New girl in a new town, Shannon, meets two extremely gorgeous and extremely different men who are vying for her attention — but who happen to be a witch and an alpha werewolf at war with each other.
I thought this book was a vast improvement on the previous books in the set, in both plot and prose. We had Witches, Were-Panthers, Drug Cartels, Were-Wolves, Love Triangles, Fights to the Death, a brief trip to the after life for one of the characters, and one of the most baffling endings I’ve ever read.
You can find my full review here


Aubrey RoseBlind Wolf

A blind werewolf leading a pack of stragglers finally finds his one true mate — then realizes she’s human…
This was a sweet little BBW romance between a shy librarian and a blind WereWolf. It was cute, even if it was a little angsty at times. A merry band of misfits.
You can find my full review here

 


Cynthia Brint Until the Flood

Fiona believes the love of her life died years ago, so how will she handle his return…and the fact that he’s no longer human?
This was a rather huge departure form other books in the set because it was heavy in the YA/NA genre while others had been firmly Erotica. The story was cute enough, young love and all that…
You can find my full review here


Julianne ReyerDesires of the Wolfman

A newlywed couple faces their deepest fantasies and fears as they’re thrust from their little rural community into a world of werewolf turmoil and mystery.
I really didn’t like this book. It was actually severall little novellas crammed together, but I was ready to carve my eyeballs out with a spoon by the time it was over.
You can find my full review here

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Selena Kitt – Cat Lover

Sebastian and Katie are having relationship issues when her ex shows up to complicate things, but that’s the least of their worries, because Katie is finally changing–into something not quite human.
Told from the boyfriend’s perspective, this was a twisted tale of watching his girlfriend slowly become possessed by the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast.
You can find my full review here


Adriana HunterBetter Mate Than Never

Caleb Stone has wanted Paige for as long as he can remember but there’s a reason he’s always kept his distance. Wolves, more specifically, Lycan’s, can’t mate with humans. Worse, he can sense her incredibly intense hunger for him but he knows that he can never give her what she wants, or needs.But when Paige is kidnapped by a powerful enemy Caleb has no choice but to go after her even if it means revealing his true identity…even if means risking it all.
I enjoyed this short story. It was a sweet little “I want you but I can’t have you” story between an Alpha-Male Werewolf and a curvaceous redheaded lawyer.
You can find my full review here


Eliza Gayle – Lucas

An uneasy alliance, a mating call that won’t be denied, rituals that must be honored, and unrelenting enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want. In the end, there’s really only one choice… for Lucas.
The final book in this boxed set really surprised me when I was becoming fatigued by the Shifter Genre. It had a lot of action, some suspense, and some great dirty talk. Overall, Lucas was a decent “forbidden mates” style of Shifter Romance.
You can find my full review here

***I received an ARC of this collection in exchange for an honest review***