Series: Shifter Wars #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
The Shifter Wars heat up when a woman investigates the mysteries surrounding a fierce breed of man and exposes more than just secrets
Bear shifters exist. Professor Bria Lane has known this since she was a child. Now she's returned to the forests of Deep Creek to prove it to the world. She has no idea how close she is to that proof in ruggedly sexy park ranger Derek Poole. Intimately close. But uncovering Derek's wild side comes with a shattering price.
Like a magnet meeting metal, Derek is drawn to Bria. His destiny. His mate. So beautiful and so vulnerable. So dangerous, too: an encroachment of lions, vengeful and vicious, is closing in and they're ready for war. Now is not the time to be distracted like a lovesick cub.
If Bria reveals the truth of the Deep Creek shifters to the world, she'll bring out the worst of both sides. But Derek can't hide his secrets from the love of his life forever. He knows they're playing with fire—and that when passion runs this hot, this reckless, someone's bound to get burned.
This book is approximately 75,000 words
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress…com/RomancePromise.
Pursuing the Bear was not exactly what I expected. I am always curious when I pick up PNR. Will the author create a world where shifters hide? Will people know? How is it all handled? In this story, Adriene has created a situation where humans don’t know about shifters and the shifters are determined to keep it a secret. So, when Bria comes to Deep Creek to prove the existence of shifters, the bears aren’t happy.
Let me start with some of the things that totally had me rolling my eyes. First, Bria is an ursinologist. Yep, she has a degree in studying bears. Lets just discuss for a moment how ridiculous that is. First, that is such a narrow field of study it wouldn’t exist. Perhaps she has a degree in zoology or something similar and chooses to focus on bears. I could get behind that. But to make up a fake degree? No. Second, who has full on conversations with men they meet in the forest?? I could have forgiven her conversations with Derek because there is the whole fated mate pull, but once Marco comes around I am like “Seriously lady!! How have you survived this long if you go around chatting up dudes you meet in the middle of nowhere!”. The entire time she is out there my brain is screaming “Stranger Danger!!!”. Did her parents never teach her any type of suspicion or survival skills in this area?
Ok, all that aside, I think the story has some good things going. Honestly, I can put aside my issues from above for the most part. While eye roll inducing, they didn’t cause me to give up on the story. I was curious how Derek would be able to keep her has his mate, keep her from spilling their secret, and convince her to leave her job at the University and live with him in the forest. Thats kind of a tall order! Derek isn’t really alpha at all and honestly, that was kind of a nice change of pace. There is also a shifter war brewing between the bears and the lions. Since the story is told in 3rd person, you get to see both sides and I always love when authors do that. Bria is a bit naive and that was frustrating at times. In her mind, if she could prove shifters existed she could save people’s lives and her parents would be proud and those 2 things would equal happiness in her world. Her naivety made it difficult for me to really like her as a heroine. But despite all my issues, I actually enjoyed the story. The fated mates was given a bit of a twist with the potential danger Bria could pose to the pack, the added tension of the shifter war created a moving plot, and the characters (both bear and lion) were interesting!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: shifters, secret identity
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: series (while you COULD read this book as a stand alone, the back story of the war with the lions starts in book 1 and is continued into this book)
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »not for the romance; the overarching storyline of the war is slightly left open « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes; no epilogue « Hide Spoiler
From Pursuing the Bear:
“What an ursus…umm…whatever you said? I’ve always worked with my hands—I never was a college guy. Didn’t have the patience to sit still in the classroom.” Derek kicked at the ground then looked up.
“No worries.” She snapped her attention back to what he was saying. “Most people don’t know what an ursinologist is—it’s someone who studies bears.”
“Bears, huh?” He shook his head and laughed. “You study bears?”
“What’s so funny?” She crossed her arms. “It’s a valid profession. And I’m doing what I love.”
“Nothing wrong with it, Bria.” He stepped so close to her she had to look up to meet his gaze, and held his hands up in mock surrender. “I think it’s a fine profession, I’ve just never heard of it. It’s a totally new job that I’ve never heard of. Yet here you are in the woods with me, so I guess we aren’t that far apart, career-wise.”
Derek was in her space and even though they weren’t touching, she felt his presence touching hers, like a low-level energy buzzing in the evening air, crackling when hers met his. One step closer and she could pull that hair band out and hop into his arms, straddling him as she kissed him. She shook her head to clear her naughty thoughts. Ugh. Stop. The thoughts about what she’d like to do to the hot park ranger needed to stop. Maybe she’d been out in the sun too long. Normally she didn’t ogle guys. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time she had. She cleared her throat and took a step back. “I thought you were laughing at me.”
“No. I didn’t know there was a name for someone who studies bears. Plus, the word sounds kinda funny.” He scanned the forest, thumbs in his belt loops. “I guess you’re in the right place to look for bears, though. Especially this deep in the forest. Lots of them live in Deep Creek. They’re everywhere. Probably closer than you think.”
“I hope so.” Her shoulders lowered and she blew out a breath. “Have you seen any this season? I know they are more active in summer. After they’ve woken from hibernation.”
“I see them every day. I’m out in the woods a lot.” He chewed his lip. “They really only partially hibernate, though. But yeah, I guess you could say I’ve seen a lot of bears here in Deep Creek.”
He’d seen bears. Recently. Her pulse thumped in her neck and she leaned forward, as if being near him would make the bears closer. Excitement rang in her ears. “Where? Can you show me, or at least give me some pointers where to look? I can’t wait to see them.”
“My best advice is to keep your eyes open. You never know when a bear will appear right in front of you.”
***Excerpt provided courtesy of Kerry Adrienne and Carina Press. This excerpt is from an unedited ARC and subject to change.