The Beast In Him by Shelly Laurenston
Some things are so worth waiting for. Like the moment when Jessica Ward "accidentally" bumps into Bobby Ray Smith and shows him just how far she's come since high school. Back then, Jess's gangly limbs and bruised heart turned to jelly any time Smitty's "all the better to ravish you with" body came near her. So, some things haven't changed. Except now Jess is a success on her own terms. And she can enjoy a romp--or twenty--with a big, bad wolf and walk away. Easy.
The sexy, polished CEO who hires Smitty's security firm might be a million miles from the lovable geek he knew, but her kiss, her touch, is every bit as hot as he imagined. Jess was never the kind to ask for help, and she doesn't want it now, not even with someone targeting her Pack. But Smitty's not going to turn tail and run. Not before proving that their sheet-scorching animal lust is only the start of something even wilder...
Jess was the target of some pretty brutal bullying throughout high school and while she got good at hiding under bleachers, climbing trees, and occasionally getting revenge on the bullies, more often than not she wasn't in a good place when Smitty would come across her. He saved her multiple times and Jess wished that he didn't always see her as weak and in need of rescue. Before she can figure out how to make that happen, Smitty is off to the Army and she is left behind in Tennessee.
Smitty is happy owing a security firm with his best friend, Mace. He knows he needs to keep his clients happy and one with a lot of money requires his personal efforts. Even though the geeky tech event isn't his cup of tea, he is thrilled, and floored, to see Jessica Ward, the CEO of the company throwing the event. How did his little, bruised Jessie Ann become this polished, strong woman wearing fuck-me heels? Smitty is determined to find the answer to that question.
Jessica and Smitty embark on a fairly hilarious relationship in which Jessica enjoys finally having the control and boy does she make Smitty work to get to her! Smitty is not without his resources and the back-and-forth was a very enjoyable part of this book. Jessica is determined to get Smitty to realize she is no longer a victim, no longer in need of his coddling, while Smitty is determined that this time he will get it right and save Jessica from any hardships she might encounter. With these two at crossroads, watching them try to get it figured out was a hoot as Shelly Laurenston is a master of comedic writing and often does the unexpected breaking molds with everything she writes.
There are a ton of secondary characters in this book but the vast majority of them are fledged out and three dimensional. Jess's wolf-dog pack is wonderful and Smitty's family is delightfully intrusive and generally unhelpful while his interactions with his best friend Mace and his wife Dez were always entertaining. I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time I read it.
Hard Core Rereading
I Love Library Books
I borrowed this book from my local public library.