Major Plot Shift in the Second Act

Wolf with Benefits - Shelly Laurenston

I'll admit I didn't have very high expectations going into this installment of the series since the previous book, Bear Meets Girl, was a bit of a flop. So, for the first half of the book I was extremely relieved to find myself enjoying the story. I loved Toni's (the main character) family and that Laurenston was bringing in a lot of familiar faces from her Magnus Pack books. However, my fuzzy feelings towards the story changed at about the 60% mark. This is where Laurenston lost control of the ship. The plot essentially exploded into a lot of different pieces that didn't really have anything to do with plot threads we developed in the first half of the book. Those beginning plot points were pretty much forgotten about for last 40% of the book, until near the very end when Laurenston does a bit of quick housekeeping to wrap up any loose plot threads.

One example of this is the whole issue with Laura Jane, Ricky's ex-girlfriend, who is in town and trying to corner him for the first half of the book. This looked like it was going to be one of the main plot threads since, for the first half of the story, all Ricky's scenes involve him trying to dodge either Laura Jane or his family (who are blowing the whole affair way out of proportion). But then after the halfway mark, Laura Jane fades into the background and the issue isn't really brought up again until a side character just says, "I'll take care of it". And that's it. Done. Nothing else is mentioned about this storyline that we spent a good portion of the book following.

But the main issue here was the romance. Things were chugging along at a nice slow-burning kind of way, until hitting the 60% mark. That's when Ricky and Toni's romance really fizzled out and it wasn't picked up again until the Epilogue, which I'm nick-naming as the "Here's your damn 'I love you' chapter." If this wasn't a romance book, Ricky and Toni's relationship suddenly taking a backseat wouldn't have bothered me. However, in this case, it bothered me because it really felt tossed in as an afterthought.

Despite my rather "meh" feelings towards this installment of the series, I'll still be reading future books. Laurenston's humor and the world she's built for her characters is still extremely amusing and enough to keep me coming back. I just probably won't be in a rush to read it immediately.