My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
This book has a similar storyline to it that book one has (or at least the first part of book one). We have Bobby Ray Smith, Smitty to his friends, the alpha wolf of New York, who gets a second chance with his high school friend, that he never dated or slept with because she was “special” to him. He leaves her to join the Navy and eventually become a SEAL. Now he is in New York and is the business partner to a lion and former SEAL team member, Mace.
Jessica Ward is an extremely prominent CEO of a data security company. She is also the alpha of the local wild dog pack. She has grown up a lot since she was known as Jessie Ann and was always hiding under bleachers in school, though she still always has her nose in a book (but who can blame her for that?) She does still like to run from confrontation, as is her wild dog nature. The wild dogs are a pretty wild pack that are not as rough and tumble as the wolves and a lot more fun.
Once again, in this book, Laurenston uses many natural behaviors of each species. She talks about Jessie running and hiding a lot, which wild dogs would do, since they are not the largest predators in Africa. I wish she had done more with the hunting aspect of this species. Wild dogs have one of, if not the highest, success rate when they hunt of any predator in the wild. They have a great strategy and work extremely well as a team. They can make wolves look almost unorganized on a hunt. I think this could have been used in this story.
Even though this series takes place in New York City, many of the characters originated from the south. These stories have been full of “Southernisms”, which I think add to the humor. I’m originally from south Georgia and then spent middle and high school years in a suburb of Atlanta. I’m very familiar with many of the stereotypes that are used. Hell, I bet many of my relatives fall into similar mannerisms. That being said, I am getting a little sick of every person using two names in their everyday lives. I’ve never used more than just my first name, and that was usually shortened to just “Mel”. I didn’t have friends or family that did the double name thing (none that I remember anyway). I get a few of these, but not every person from the south is named Billy Joe or Bobbie Sue.
So far, this series doesn’t have the strong plot lines that some other PNR stories will have. There isn’t usually a huge conflict or mystery to solve, usually it is secondary part of the story. There isn’t an overlying story arc that I’ve seen in the first two book (three stories, since book one is two novellas together). The characters are a lot of fun. The way the different species groups are described are wonderful. Tons of humor exists in each book. I really enjoy this series as a nice light-hearted listen to liven up my mood.
The narration was still good. However, in this series, she didn’t New York characters as much, with the accents that I loved. That is what made me love her so much the first time I listened. However, I still think she did okay with the stereotypical Southern accent, of which there were many. I don’t think I can rank her as high on this one. I still like it, but it was really the Brooklyn and Bronx accents that I loved last time, and she just didn’t have the characters to show that off in this story. I will still continue to listen to the series. I just hope we get more of the New York accents.