My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
3.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Return to the weird and wonderful world of Shelly Laurenston’s Honey Badgers Chronicles with Badger to the Bone. Max’s book is a rip-roarin’ ride that’s a whole lot of fun, even though there are a lot of missed opportunities.
Badger to the Bone is Max’s story and for those who have read Hot and Badgered and In a Badger Way (which I recommend doing before reading this book) Max was the borderline sociopath MacKilligan sister. I was curious how Ms. Laurenston would turn her into a heroine without doing a character lobotomy. The answer is a bit of a mixed bag. Max is still deadly and full of attitude, but she’s no sociopath. She has previously unknown deep and longstanding friendships beyond her sisters and her best friend Dutch. She’s also far more stable and if not well-adjusted, then the closest approximation you’d find in this world. Because I’ve read the previous two Honey Badger books I found the lack of consistency in her character jarring, as Max didn’t so much grow as a character or reveal hidden layers as suddenly have those layers appear because it suited the story. In terms of storytelling, it felt like some shortcuts were taken. But that doesn’t mean I disliked Max – far from it. She’s violent and crazy, but also fun and caring.
A mad MacKilligan needs an unflappable hero, and ZeZé Vargas was a delicious one. Zé has no idea he’s a shifter at the beginning of the book so watching him discover this part of himself he never knew was a delight. Zé is so catlike it was hilarious and I can’t count the number of times he made me laugh. I really liked Zé and Max together, but their romance did feel at first underplayed and then rushed. I wish it had developed more organically. I also wish Zé had played a bigger role in the events of the story, but he was mostly an observer which was a pity.
There are a number of plots to be tied up in Badger to the Bone and a host of familiar faces from both this series and the Pride series show up to play a part. I can’t say much without spoiling things, but I did enjoy watching everything come together. If I had one issue it was that Max and Zé were distanced from many resolutions, which was a bit frustrating. I wanted them to be more important to their own story than they were.
Badger to the Bone is a difficult book to put a star rating on. There were so many missed opportunities that I am saddened by. However, I had a genuinely wonderful time reading this book. It was fast-paced, funny, and totally bonkers – I loved reading it. Ultimately this book is like cotton candy: thoroughly enjoyable but missing substance. But hey, who doesn’t like cotton candy once in a while?
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.