The face slammed into the protective glass, blood spurting out as cartilage was demolished, bone shattered. The crowd around her either roared and howled in approval or hissed and barked in disapproval, depending on which team they supported. But Blayne Thorpe could do neither. Instead, she only gaped at the behemoth hybrid continuing to force that poor, battered feline face into the glass by using nothing more than his hockey stick and overwhelming size. She had heard he’d gotten bigger since she’d last seen him nearly ten years ago, but she thought they were talking about the man’s career. Not his size.
Career wise, the minor shifter league’s onetime left defenseman from nowhere Maine had gone on to become one of the greatest hockey players the pro shifter league had ever known. Bo “The Marauder” Novikov was one of the first—and at one time, one of the only—hybrids to ever play on a professional team in any league. Of course, his saving grace had been that he wasn’t one of the more feared—and, to be quite honest, more unstable—canine hybrids like Blayne, but a rare by-product of species crossbreeding. Specifically a polar bear–lion. Or, as Blayne always secretly thought of him, a mighty bear-cat. A much cuter name in Blayne’s estimation than polar bear–lion. But bears breeding with felines was such a rare thing—and damn near nonexistent more than twenty-five years ago—that they didn’t have any cute nicknames like coydogs for coyote-dogs or ligers and tigons for lion and tiger mixes.
Laurenston, Shelly. Beast Behaving Badly (The Pride Series) (pp. 1-2). Kensington Publishing Corp. Kindle Edition.
This is my all-time favorite book. I have no real reason why but it’s the book I come back to over and over to read. From this beginning section, you know there is a vast difference between the two characters and that one has an endearing sense of seeing the world (bear-cat). I would categorize it as outside action. This almost starts as the first scene in an action film. I want to know more about these characters and what happened when they met before– but even more, what’s going to happen next.
Looking at this through an author lens rather than a reader lens is a great exercise. Do I make my readers love characters from the beginning? I hope so!