Since I enjoyed Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows series, I started her new trilogy focused on shifters rather than Viking warriors. We got a very small peek of the shifter world in the Crow books, so I was intrigued. The Honey Badger Chronicles follows the misadventures of three sisters who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. I fell in love with these feisty shifter women almost instantly. I thought the Crow warrior women were intense and uncouth, but these fierce sisters are fearless AF and not to be underestimated. When cornered, they can leave a pile of bodies in their wake.
In this world, there are shifters of almost any breed you can imagine. This means tigers, lions, bears, and honey badgers! Honey badgers in the animal kingdom DGAF and will fight just about anything.
The main MacKilligan honey badgers are deep in organized crime with a bad rep. Most of the other shifters steer clear of them. And then there are these MacKilligan sisters. They’ve been shunned by their honey badger family because their dad is an absolute wanker. He lies, cheats, and steals from his family. Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan introduces us to this wild family in the first book. She is the oldest, half-wolf, and the most sensible sister. The next book, In A Badger Way, is about the next sister, Stevie. She was a child prodigy and genius in music AND science. She is also a half-tiger that can go berserk when off her anxiety meds. I haven’t read the third book, but already know it’s about Max’s, the full-badger. Her cold, calculating demeanor gives her relatives the creeps. The three women were raised by Charlie’s mom before being taken in by her wolf grandfather. That did not go over well with the wolves! They learned early on that they can really only trust each other. But even the most distrustful person deep down wants to find companionship. This paranormal romance trilogy is often hilarious, action-packed, and doesn’t skimp on the heat.
Hot and Badgered opens with Charlie on the run from assassins in Italy. She ends up naked surrounded by men with guns in a stranger’s hotel room. Good thing that stranger is a bodyguard bear shifter named Berg. Bullets tend to piss off rather than kill bears. Charlie escapes with his help to meets up with Max outside. They make a bee-line to pick up their sister Stevie at a fancy Swiss psychiatry clinic/spa. This isn’t the first time people have tried to kill them thanks to their terrible Dad. They aren’t sure who he pissed off. They decide to lie low in Manhattan where coincidence brings Charlie and Berg together again. He offers to help them navigate the tricky shifter politics as they are new in town. He also really wants to get to know this mysterious woman. Charlie is understandably wary but eventually can’t deny how easy on the eyes he is. They just need to figure out who wants these sisters dead, so they can go on a proper date.
In a Badger Way finds Stevie in a crisis when her anxiety meds stop working. A good chunk of this book is about figuring out her mind and animal within. During her journey, she begins a budding relationship with a giant panda shifter named Shen. He doesn’t know what to make of Stevie. She can cower in a cabinet one minute and then transform into a rampaging tiger-badger the next. He is assigned to bodyguard a prodigy artist who just so happens to be besties with Stevie. Said prodigy with a bodyguard in tow moves into the MacKilligan sister’s house in book one. Their forced proximity meet-cute is absolutely hilarious. Their courtship in book two is just as comedic but also very sweet. Stevie is a unique mix of shyness, arrogant intelligence, and sexiness. Once again, their family’s past stirs up trouble the book opening with their Uncle’s murder. The stakes are raised further when Stevie decides to investigate some science experiments gone wrong that left some shifters dead.
I somehow got the book order messed up and read In a Badger Way first. The world is so immediate that it didn’t matter much. Even though I already knew Charlie and Berg as a couple, I was excited to read about how they got together. If you don’t read shifter books, the idea of honey badger shapeshifters probably sounds bonkers! But it’s bonkers in the absolute best way. I was thoroughly entertained by both these books. You’ve got sister hi-jinks, insane and deadly relatives, and steamy as heck romances. The plot isn’t hard to follow, but quite a few threads are woven together. It’s all about the sisters and never knowing where their lives will go next. Hard-nose Charlie has so many layers. Stevie is so vulnerable but will go homicidal when her sisters are in danger. Max is an enigma and flippant to a fault. She also has a penchant for knives. I know there’s a heart in there somewhere. That’s why Charlie spends much of her time keeping her out of jail. I can’t wait to read Max’s story next with the Cannonball Read 13 challenge. Who should read this series? Anyone who liked Laurenston’s previous books, fans of the Shameless tv series, or those who wanna read about crazy shifters.
You can find more of my paranormal romance reviews on my blog.