Claws Bared by Sheryl Nantus
Series: Blood of the Pride #2
Book two of Blood of the Pride
Rebecca Desjardin, a P.I. and cat shifter, doesn’t normally find herself in strip clubs. But a popular male dancer has been murdered in Pennsylvania, and it looks like the work of a shifter from the local Pride. Rebecca has a duty to help protect her kind—and she needs to find justice for the dead.
Her impromptu trip leaves her boyfriend, reporter Brandon Hanover, unhappy. He’s only just come to terms with the fact that she’s a Felis, and their relationship is still so new… Rebecca is determined to deal with the murder first, then deal with their future.
As her investigation unfolds, she’s met with grudging cooperation and half-truths. Does the Pride want her to find justice, or help them hide a killer? Frustrated and
unable to shake the sexy local shifter who says he’s on her side, Rebecca can’t seem to scratch out the truth—at least not on her own. But when Brandon shows up, is he there to help or to mark his territory?
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In keeping with last month’s resolution to finally review more Sheryl Nantus, I’m going to talk about CLAWS BARED, the second book in her Blood of the Pride urban fantasy series.
In CLAWS BARED, Rebecca goes on a road trip to the States, to investigate the murder of a male stripper. She’s been called in as a neutral party — one of the apparent perks of being an outcast with investigative skills. It’s a great scenario because it puts Rebecca on the outside on multiple levels and I really enjoyed seeing how she would cope with everything. Nantus has crafted a nice and somewhat unpredictable mystery for CLAWS BARED and the pages flew by as I watched Rebecca get closer and closer to the killer.
There’s also some momentum on the romance front. Rebecca and Bran’s relationship is still a bit unsettled: the feelings are there but Rebecca has commitment issues. Rather than dithering about them for book after book, though, Nantus sets the question up as fairly central and there’s some good exploration of their feelings for each other and Rebecca’s feelings about being with a human rather than a fellow Felis. In fact, the latter are confronted rather dramatically thanks to one of the local Felis, which was a nice touch of temptation. This also shows us a new side to Bran, which was very cool. He’s a wild card in the Felis world but I’m so happy that he’s not fumbling around all the time. Bran’s secure in himself and wants to be secure in the relationship, which earns him a lot of respect in my books, and in CLAWS BARED.
The benefit of being behind in my reviews is that I have two more Blood of the Pride novels waiting for me so I think it’s time to dive into the next one, but not until I encourage you to give this series a shot. It’s written by a fellow Canuck and I’m pleased to be able to throw 100% of my support behind this great writer. CLAWS BARED is a great story but you should read BLOOD OF THE PRIDE first so that you’re properly immersed in the Felis world.