The Badge and the Bunny: The Hoppity Series Book 3, A.R. Barley

The Badge and the Bunny (The Hoppity Series Book 3) by [Barley, A.R.]

Humans can't know about shifters, especially the mountain of a man that does more than capture Roscoe's eye.  As the town sheriff there's a lot he can't know.  But the draw is irresistible and Roscoe is determined to have a little fun while he's here for his cousin Peter...just not too much fun.

Thisbane is the local law and there's something that intrigues, captivates, and arouses him about the colorful visitor.  But it also sets off all kinds of internal warnings that he's bringing trouble with him too.  Despite the alarm bells in the back of his mind he's drawn to this little bundle of bendy energy and is more than happy to indulge a little...but just a little.

The drama is surprisingly high in this short story.  So is the passion.  I know there are mating reasons behind the prodigious use of prophylactics but I really love that it was a major part of Thisbane and Roscoe's sexual interaction.  I think there should be a LOT more of that in non-mpreg novels too.  Aside from that I enjoyed the intensity between the two MC's as well as the moments of humor and tenderness.  There was enough to make me believe in something more, something deeper for them if they can run the gauntlet of disapproving family and townsfolk, crazy wererabbits, an inimical oligarch, and some seriously eye-opening species information.

So back to the drama.  Roscoe is cultivating a list of misdeeds in his midwife career but they're only considered misdeeds to the leader of his warren, a tight-fisted Rex who sent Roscoe to New Hope, Illinois himself.  Those deeds, however, are always for the good of the individual.  He has a giant heart and is willing to sacrifice his own comfort for the betterment of those he cares for both physically and emotionally.  Unfortunately, his current mission is against everything he believes to be good and right and he's stuck in an untenable situation.  Consequences from various directions all converge and Roscoe just might pay the ultimate price.  I wasn't expecting half of all the craziness that ensued, least of all the crazy wererabbits.  Everything turned out all right but he did have to suffer a bit and while it might seem cruel of me, I liked that he wasn't saved before anything bad could happen.  It made the fight, the struggle so much more intense and cheer-worthy when he made it out.

The Hoppity Series (3 Book Series) by  A.R. Barley

Without Thisbane's affection he might not have survived.  I liked the giant Thisbane for the most part.  I loved Roscoe and felt that Thisbane could be a great partner for him but I felt a slight disconnect from him no matter how much we learned.  His reaction to the mate discussion from everyone but Roscoe was a little disappointing.  With his profession and natural inclination to know things he asked so many good questions, took so many things at their face value, only to bow out before asking emotionally pertinent questions of mate possibilities, especially knowing Luke's human status.  If it weren't for Roscoe bearing it all at that moment without hesitation they wouldn't have had the ending they did.

While I enjoyed the story overall I felt the ending was rushed and not given as much thought as the rest of the relationship and drama development throughout the rest of it.  From the rescue to the profession solution there was a lot packed in when it could have been extrapolated a bit.  I would have liked to read the scene where mating became official, not just for the steam factor, but because it was a huge deal.  I mean, Thisbane is human and he has to wrap his head around mate-hood and, more importantly, Roscoe was so anti-mate because of his fertility and lack of belief that he could really have one and now that he found someone he truly wants it would have been great to see his emotional awakening and softening to having what he wanted but didn't believe he could have.  And maybe a bit more of a group meeting fleshing out ideas for how to solve Roscoe's financial and professional situation.  I could have loved the story but without those things I had to knock the rating down a full star.

The overall story was really entertaining, the sexual chemistry was hot, the characters were charming and interesting, and the ending was both practical and intriguing for the next in the series.  I really enjoyed reading this story and am excited for more.

*$5.99 on Amazon!
 The Badge and the Bunny: The Hoppity Series Book 3, A.R. Barley

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