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Pretty Little Lion (Third Shift, 2) Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2021
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The rules of undercover work are simple:
Never fall for your mark.
Never let down your guard.
Never give your heart away.
Lion shifter and Third Shift co-founder Elijah Richter is on a mission: seduce arms dealer Mirko Aston's gorgeous girlfriend, use her as an entry point to the organization, and discover what the global terrorist is planning. It should be simple.
Then he meets Meghna Saxena-Saunders―influencer, celebutante, ex-wife to a handsome Hollywood hotshot, and a highly trained apsara assassin―and all his plans are blown out of the water.
Meghna immediately clocks the mysterious stranger watching her at a VIP party and decides she's curious enough to play along. She and Elijah fall headfirst into their lusty bed of lies, but when their steamy morning-after is interrupted by one of Aston's goons, both of their missions are thrown into jeopardy. Now Meghna must team up with Third Shift to cover her tracks, discover the truth, and resist falling for a man who thrills her to her core...before it's too late.
"The Body in the Dales" by J. R. Ellis
An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. | Learn more
"Readers will root for the good guys, even the ones who have only recently joined their ranks, in this steamy, thrilling paranormal romance with a heart of gold." - BookPage
About the Author
Suleikha has lived in big cities like New York and Chicago, but her true home is the internet. Visit her website at www.suleikhasnyder.com and follow her on Twitter @suleikhasnyder.
- Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 26, 2021)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 312 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1728215005
- ISBN-13 : 978-1728215006
- Item Weight : 6.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.75 x 0.78 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #408,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Or maybe because the B romance here is Gracie the Chinese-Black medic finally figuring out how to be with Finn Conlan pretty-boy vampire and Nate the lawyer. (seriously, I was eagerly waiting for Gracie POV about midway through the book as Elijah and Meghna kept going into hiding, having sex (but mostly its summarized) and then going into hiding again).
Third Shift chooses Elijah for a sexy sting operation on the arm candy of a serious arms dealer. Only Elijah and Meghna encounter sparks– and a complication when they are interrupted mid-tryst.
They go on the run, but Meghna isn’t willing to give up her primary mission related to the secret she’s keeping from Third Shift, and C romance set-up vampire Tavi also wants to get his hands on the same info as Meghna. As usual, Third Shift plans just keep blowing up in their faces but Meghna, Nate, and even Tavi can’t quite resist the found-family allure of Third Shift and their hopefulness in a broken world.
And Snyder’s world is seriously broken. There’s more explanation in the first book, but enough background and references to “The Darkest Day” in 2016 (and its not entirely the election of an orange cheeto president) wherein supes were exposed to the world and cities turned into walled off sanctuaries against totalitarian/authoritarian gov’ts that we can see why Third Shift is so bent on making things a little better by picking off the major bad guys.
I’m in it for the world-building, the multiple viewpoints of Southeast Asian culture and mythology (sirens, aspara, naga), the explicit reference (okay, at times a bit repetitive) to skin color and in this book, why Jamaican Elijah needs his white partner Jackson to make Third Shift a success, and not so much for the steamy scenes– which are this weird combination of abrupt and explicit, but often summarized or alluded to after the first couple ones. There’s lots of alpha male dominant thinking by Elijah and not so much actual screen time for Elijah/Meghna.
But since this book did get better (less whining) and I loved the B romance, I will definitely read on to find out how Third Shift handles Tavi’s stealing of their mission objective for his own objective. And hopefully there will be a C romance for the tech guru Joaquin!
As it happens, Pretty Little Lion is everything I'd hoped it would be - but it's also a lot more. It's the book I didn't even know I needed in this unending year of trials, one that deftly delivers so much unflinching truth alongside its romance and suspense. Snyder's world-building and character development remain top-notch here, and she gets extra kudos for the inclusive representation she weaves in seamlessly, as well as for her version of a New York that is fictional, but also pretty darn believable. However, it was the way her cast looked discrimination, racism, and fascism dead in the eye - and kept plowing toward hope and love despite those obstacles - that really took my breath away.
To some, these might sound like dreary and tiresome topics for a romance, but somehow Snyder makes all that honesty work FOR her story, instead of against it. It never felt too political or heavy. To me, the HEAs were all the more uplifting having gone through the figurative trenches to get there.
It's a tour de force. An adroit feat that not every writer could've pulled off, especially in a romance.
While I'm not normally a fan of point-of-view that shifts between more than the two main protagonists, Snyder uses it to great advantage here. It felt like getting several interesting bonus stories for the price of one. Elijah and Meghna had more than enough chemistry to carry the day (they're super hot together!), but the subplots involving Tavi and Grace/Finn/Nate were really fun to dive into, too. I really cared about the Third Shift team members every step of the way.
Suffice it to say, I loved every minute of this book and highly recommend it. While you're there, be sure to take an extra few minutes to read the author's acknowledgments at the end, which frame what we've all been through (together and separately) so beautifully and act as the perfect chaser to a really great story.
(I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
Reasons I enjoyed this book: Action-packed; Great world-building; Happily Ever After; Original; Page-turner; Steamy; Wonderful characters!