Tess Laurelton, PhD, is no ordinary woman. Instead of liking things light and girly, she likes them wild and unexpected. Her career as a well-respected grizzly bear expert should have given her plenty of adventure, but instead it hid her away in a research lab. When she is offered a chance to go out on the field and find out why the grizzly population at Cabinet Mountains in Montana is suddenly booming, she jumps at the chance. What she doesn’t know is that what waits for her there promises to be a lot more primal and untamed than she could have ever expected.
Jackson Arder might be known as a reserved forest ranger, but he is first and foremost the powerful Alpha of a prominent werebear clan. His clan has come under attack by a man he thought of as his brother, Ryder Hunt. When Tess shows up on Jackson’s doorstep, looking like a sassy, curvy treat made just for him, Jackson knows that things are about to get a lot more heated than he was prepared for. How can a werebear be expected to wage war when all he wants to do is claim the sexy, whip-smart woman who has strolled into his life as if she has always belonged there?
With a dangerous conflict as the backdrop, Jackson finds himself falling fast and hard for Tess. But with war knocking at the door, can he give his heart to someone who doesn’t know about his werebear heritage? And can Tess love both the man and the bear or is it too much too soon?
I received a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
When I was in high school and only recently discovered Twilight, I was quite fascinated with the aspect of humans turning into beasts, one they had to keep controlled. Now that was a fantasy that I wished was a reality.
I know werewolves were first introduced in Harry Potter (to me at least!) but damn if I wasn’t intrigued by the full transformation of human into animals. Yes, I have psycho – analysed myself for this intrigue and to keep a long story short let’s say I want to let go of the control I have over myself. It wasn’t a fun discovery.
So when I read the Ms. Nowlan’s request for review on GoodReads, I was instantly transported back to my days of reading Shifter Stories on Wattpad. (And yes, I found some amazing ones. My favorite was about White Tigers!), so I decided to give this genre another try. Especially since, this is not the usual run of the mill – werewolf shifter story. It’s about bears. I like bears 😀
This story is about Tess, who even though having a PhD and being considered an expert in grizzly bears, has almost no field experience. So when she is given a chance of finding out why the grizzly bear population is on rise in the mountains of Montana, she jumps at the chance of having some adventure in her life.
Now Tess, is an intelligent woman, who is honest to herself. She is one of those characters who has no hidden layers. Now this definitely is not a bad thing, not usually. She is sarcastic, funny and loyal to a fault. And she is also more of a believer in “seeing is believing.”
Jack Arder, the forest ranger and the guide of Tess in the mountains, is a huge man, silent and strong. He is also the Alpha of the WereBear clan in the mountains. And he doesn’t like the fact there is an outsider clamoring up to reveal their secrets albeit unknowingly.
He is the typical Alpha, or as shifter Alphas usually are. The strong, silent type who do not understand what ‘fun’ actually means.
But Tess gets under his skin. He can’t keep his walls up against her adorableness nor her intelligence. He finds himself talking more, enjoying more, just plain living more. He knows that the secret of him being a werebear can’t stay secret for long Tess, on her side, falls for him each day.
First, this is a very short book. Like really really short – in fact it was about 130 pages in the ePub version I was provided with. And that is a sad sad fact. See, Ms. Nowlan writes beautifully. She really does. But this book feels more like prologue than an actual introduction because everything happens in an instant.
This brings me to the other issue I have. Reading this book, I remembered the reason why I stopped believing in shifter series – The Insta – Love angle. Now if you read my review, or have ever talked to me you would understand that I really really hate the concept of ‘love at first sight’ or the ‘instant knowing that s/he is the one for me’ sort of love story and that’s what shifter stories are. No matter how well written, this point always sticks in my craw.
Now with this book, the ‘mate’ issue wasn’t all that prominent, not until the secrets are revealed. This is the part I actually loved about the book at the start, that though these two were inherently attracted to each other, they took time to get to know each other, but it still irritated (albeit a little) when they decided they were in love with each other.
But yes, Ms. Nowlan did actually peak my interest enough for the rest of series (I have to admit that I do have the ability not to able to stop at one book in a series!).
The shortness of the story aside, the writing style is one that I actually liked and I definitely wouldn’t mind reading the rest of the story, I just hope that the rest would be actual full length novels.
3.5 / 5 Stars
If you like Shifter stories, especially ones that is a different from the usual shifter stories, then this one is for you. And this one is for you, if you want a short read with a good writing style.