Loving Laney by Lorna Jean Roberts
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemp
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 2.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Dahlia
The absolute last thing Laney wants or needs is an Alpha werewolf. She fled a life of abuse and neglect at the hands of one, so there’s no way she’s interested in letting another into her life. Not even a sinfully gorgeous specimen. Uh-uh, not interested, not in this lifetime…
Then she meets Cooper Brady—and the man is delicious. Good sense is overwhelmed by the need to touch him, taste him, and perhaps a night of hot, melt-in-your-mouth sex is just what she needs. It’s just a one-night stand after all, no strings attached, no messy goodbyes. Perfect.
Well, it would have been if he wasn’t her mate. Mated life has its upsides, like sizzling, addictive, overwhelming sex—yummm. But lust can’t help her convince Cooper not to wrap her in cotton wool, it can’t help her tame or avoid bitchy packmates and it definitely can’t help her figure out who’s trying to scare her with nightmares from her past.
But hey, it sure does help.
Laney is a werewolf looking to make a life for herself away from the pack that abused her consistently when she was younger. Problem is that the trauma has left her with having to constantly look over shoulder in fear that the Alpha will try to bring her back. She also becomes extremely self-conscious, socially closed off, and paranoid. In effect, she believes in what her abusers had often told her and now just lives to survive each day.
Cooper is a strong Alpha werewolf looking to prove himself to his family by running his own pack. He is formidable as both a man and a wolf and refuses to be disobeyed by anyone under his charge, so when he kills another Alpha and takes over the pack he begins restructuring it and keeps an eye on those that have yet to show their true allegiance.
Neither understands what it means to have found their mate and how truly life changing that is, but they will.
Ms. Roberts does pack a surprising emotional punch to her story with Laney’s story of abuse. It is very moving and it’s easy to see why she reverts to some of her old ways when out of her comfort zone. It’s unimaginable what she endured and by whom, but I think that's why I found it difficult to believe she submits to Cooper so easily. She’s had to fend for herself for so long that I would’ve expected her to want to be more independent and perhaps a little more headstrong and defiant. While having Cooper step in and try to right some of the wrongs that have happened to Laney is very heroic; the problem is that he treats her too often like a child and her brothers do the same. His domination of her just seemed to me like a different type of abuse than from the one that she previously suffered. The characters, separately, do have some redeeming qualities, but as a couple, they are just a little too unreal.
The story itself can be at times quite depressing but the mystery surrounding some unusual events is what kept my attention. I really wanted to know “whodunit” and more importantly why. While I wouldn’t recommend this story for readers looking for a quick and light shifter read, I would recommend to those looking for a story with lots of steamy sex and plenty of tender moments.