REVIEW: Steel Beauty by Dana Marie BellThursday, July 16, 2009 1:00
I’ve been looking forward to this book since I read and reviewed the first of the series, Cat of a Different Color, last November. I liked the idea of a cat and wolf mating and how the dynamics of that mating would affect both hero and heroine and the pack they would be living with. And though I still have to read the first two books in the series, I like that the author is bringing in new characters from a totally different direction, giving the series more depth.
One of my favorite things in these books is how Ms. Bell has her characters play with words having to do with their inner animals. It’s fun, especially between the main characters when they’re either teasing, fighting, or making love. Belle will call Rick Fido at times or tell him, “Down, boy. Sit. Good dog,” when he’s a little agitated, and when really teasing him she asks him if he’s peed on any fire hydrants lately, all in keeping with his underlying animal. Belle also does the same to her nemesis later in the book but all with a completely different attitude, of course. Needless to say, I laughed out loud a number of times during this book.
Next are the characters themselves that I enjoy. Whether pride or pack, they’re family. They play and they protect. They love and they fight. But they’re always together. At the beginning of the book Rick is being pressured by Max, the pride Alpha, to leave Belle with him while she heals from her injuries sustained in Cat of a Different Color. Rick is having none of that, but then he acquiesces to Max’s logic that she can’t travel as is and should be with those who care about as she recuperates, knowing she’ll have a difficult time ahead with a pack of wolves who don’t want her around. Plus, it will be difficult for her to say goodbye to everyone. Rick agrees to this only with the proviso that he will be picking her as soon as the doctor releases her. Not really a pissing match between alphas, but it definitely gets across how they take care of their own.
And the trouble does take hold when Belle arrives at her new home. Actually before. The dominant female, Gina, is kicking up a fuss because she thought she’d be Rick’s mate, so she’s growling early, determined to make Belle’s life miserable. But Belle and Rick only want one thing after being apart for so long, and Rick doesn’t waste a second, picking Belle up and carrying her to his bed within minutes of her arrival. What a marking and welcoming she got too. I do like some clawing, snapping, biting, and hissing once in a while in my love scenes. Ms. Bell writes those scenes quite nicely.
It’s up to Belle to quiet the dissension and Gina is learning the hard way she shouldn’t be messing with a Puma. She thinks she has the day won because of Belle’s injuries, but though she may have been the dominant female before Belle showed up, she’s not the most cunning. Belle leaves her in the dust with her tail between her legs. Great scene when it all happens.
This is a fun series so far and I hope there’s several more books in its future.
She’s everything a big bad wolf could want.
Coping with a devastating injury is hard enough for Belinda “Belle” Campbell. Forced separation from her destined mate while she heals is almost more than she can endure. Until she is strong enough to take up her duties as Luna of the Poconos Wolf Pack, however, the safest place for her is Halle. Now, after months of being alone, she is more than ready to be claimed. But is the pack ready for a Puma Luna?
Rick Lowell has waited long enough to bring Belle home where she belongs. He’s aware of the danger, as well—and it isn’t long before a bitch with an eye on Belle’s position issues a challenge. The only way to put down the threat is for Belle to defeat the usurper in combat.
There’s only one problem. Thanks to the pins in her broken hip, Belle can’t shift. Without that tactical advantage, it won’t be a fair fight. With his new mate’s life on the line, Rick is forced to make a decision that will change everything.
That is, if Belle gives him the chance to make it.
Warning: This title contains explicit sex, graphic language, lots of doggie (or is that kitty?) style and some songs Rick will never want to hear again. Ever.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: