Makin’ the Love Monday – Toxic by Belinda McBride

IMG_8572 November means it is NaNoWriMo time of year again and I have made my account and I have begun writing and I have nearly 12K words written on my story. It would be more but I haven’t had a chance to work on it since past Wednesday but I consider that a good start. I had a cray cray weekend with a kpop concert with one of my favorite idol bands, Infinite. (Dongwoo is a sexy beast and my heart beats a very pop song like throb for Sungyeol) Then visiting with friends who came to SoCal from points yonder. Even though I am a socially inept and broken spend-time-outside-of-the-house-type-person, I enjoyed every awkward moment. So as I am writing this, and this is Sunday evening, I am tired, sick and sore.

My bangin’ the boots book for this week is Truckee Wolves: Toxic by Belinda McBride, plug in the yadda, yadda about NetGalley letting me review this book for my kickin’ awesome opinion and rockin’ flair for words. Belinda McBride impressed me with this book. I had never read any of her titles before and I really enjoyed the way she took the step out of the box and let you know immediately that she wasn’t going to play the safe game and color within all the lines. I like authors who push the envelope and take that risk to give you a taste of the alternative lifestyles that not many other writers out there have had or would think to entertain at a buffet. I like tasting exotic dishes. It makes dishy things more dishy and what makes dirty dishes more dishy than making meals out of things that aren’t on the same menu your momma would get?

Briony Theale and her family have had a secret past. Her mother, Dionne is a veteran soldier (with a twist) who raised her and her brother to prepare for every situation and plan for the worst. Kendall, her brother is special in a way that makes it hard for him to be around people despite his desire to fit in and do what he can to help others–a side effect of his specialness which is sort of a double-edged sword. Briony’s heart wants to help others as well and is just as soft and she is busy saving the world one animal at a time. Her present secret isn’t a familial one though. No. Currently she has a thing for Ranger Rico Montgomery and it’s becoming harder and harder to hide the fact that all her senses go on high alert in his company. She’s been busy making a lot of wishes, mostly ones to make him melt on her tongue which haven’t come true. So in her time of need she has found an acceptable substitute. Chocolate~The dark lover who sweetly never denies a chance to meet her lips and greet her waiting thighs.

ToxicThe secrets aren’t all on Briony’s side. Rico has been making excuses to have the curvy doctor, who smells like chocolate to him, visit him at the wildlife rehabilitation center where he works whenever he can. The bad thing is chocolate is terrible for his wolf who only wants to eat the good doctor up despite the side effects-chocolate toxicity. After a taste of her lips he can’t stop his wolf from wanting to be close to her, whether it damns him or not he is gladly willing to surrender. When she ditches her older lover, chocolate, in an outside trash bin behind her veterinary clinic, Rico’s wolf is drawn to the scent he associate’s with the women he wants and ends up in Briony’s biggest dog kennel getting TLC, but not in the manner he had always wished for. After Rico’s been charcoaled, vomited his hopes of hot loving out of his system, lost in humility via loose bowels and kenneled by the women of his dreams he can’t imagine it could get worse. But then he accidently mates her and poop get’s real.

This story has one of my most favorite things which is fascinating supporting characters and awesome plot dynamics. I was a little confused in some parts because I felt in a lot of places that Chase, who is the Truckee wolves alpha, was part of a bigger story which had been introduced prior to this book, although this was the first Truckee Wolves story. Not having read other Belinda McBride titles I could be confused if she is the sort of author that spins off series from others and he was a character from another series. Sage who is the pack beta is a woah-momma-he’s-gonna-be-one-to-eyeball kinda character. Infinitely layered and complex, I liked the suggestions made here and there about relationships of other origins within this story (no spoilers, ladies and gents!) There is a conversation at the end of the book between Sage and Dionne where at first I thought it was one thing and then I read it a second time and realized that Belinda McBride was very good at the two sided conversation. And the final part of the book which establishes the state and needs of the pack and XXXXX place amongst the pack and the future that XXXXX seems to be hinting about leaves a great deal of ambiguity about an upcoming book regarding a possible XXXXX. I find that very tasty especially because XXXXX is XXXXX and XXXXX said XXXXX that one time about XXXXX which would make me think he wouldn’t care either way. I’ll have to wait and see.

How’d you like that answer to the fear I had about spoilers?

Do I recommend this book? Hells yes! I think it is a great shifter book, a great sci-fi book and does a great representation for LGBT books. I would like to say that it was a great erotica but the actual sex parts were not really a large part of the book, even if this book technically is an erotica title. This book is story driven rather than driven one orgasm to the next and much better for the fact. I think more than anything warm, wet and sticky–this book had a lot of fun and humor that came from a really good place and was used in all the right places in all the right ways.

A note about the title: On Goodreads this book came up under three different titles. I got this book from Netgalley as Truckee Wolves: Toxic on Amazon it is labeled solely as Toxic. Goodreads has it as Sex and Chocolate: Toxic (Sex and Chocolate), Toxic (Sex and Chocolate), Toxic (Truckee Wolves). So many titles, obviously this is probably a result of re-write and revisions. The first edition was published in 2009 and this newest in April 2013.

Belinda McBride has left many tracks about the interwebs and you can follow her around by going to her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, her Amazon Author Page.

Thank you Belinda, may I have another?

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