WHEN AN ALPHA MEETS HIS MATCH . . .
Between singlehandedly running her bakery and raising her teenaged nephew, Becca Weitz thought she had a decent grip on “normal.” Then her nephew vanishes, and life as she’s known it changes forever. Local legends are true: bear shifters exist . . . and her nephew is part of their clan. As is Carl Carman, the sexy, larger-than-life man who has sworn to find her nephew-and the other young shifters who’ve gone missing.
As the leader of his clan, Carl is surrounded by enemies. He’s learned the hard way that keeping a firm leash on his inner beast is key to survival, though his feelings for Becca test his legendary control. Then danger stalks too close, and Carl realizes he must unleash the raging, primal force within to protect everything he holds dear. But can Becca trust his grizzly side with her life-and her heart?
3.5 stars — So I actually read book 2 first, having received it as an ARC…and you know what? I’m kind of glad that I did. Because I think if I’d started with this one, I’m not sure I would have been pulled into the world and I probably would have missed out on book 2. Which is a long way of saying that this book was all right, but book 2 is DEFINITELY BETTER. So if you finished this one and were kind of meh, but somewhat intrigued by Mark and the world, READ BOOK 2.
Unlike book 2, this one didn’t suck me in right away… I’m not sure if it was that I wasn’t feeling particularly drawn to the characters, or if I had expectations of the story b/c of what I’d read in book 2, but it was a good start, but not a memorable one. The characters were mostly the same — good, but didn’t blow me away. I did really enjoy how sassy Becca could be, but sometimes I felt like there was a contradiction to her character…or maybe I just didn’t always *get* her. And honestly? I guess I would say the same with Carl. He could actually be quite sweet, which was intriguing. But I guess I didn’t quite *get* Carl, and in particular I didn’t feel like we got enough resolution with him and how he felt about his role as Alpha and the whole bear dichotomy thing. There were a lot of conflicting feelings there, and I guess I just wanted a more clear resolution.
Which brings me to something that *did* interest me in the story — Ms. Lyons kind of dives into her take on what it’s like to BE a grizzly shifter, how the dynamic works in the head, and how a person manages that. I loved when Becca got to “talk” to the grizzly Carl. But I felt like the book was setting up a lesson and a learning moment there, and we didn’t quite get there with Carl. And I really wanted that resolution. I also feel like there was some set up with Becca being an outsider, and how that was going to be accepted in the clan, and I really didn’t get resolution there either. Or at least not enough. I know it’s a series, and so I know it could be addressed in future books, but since this is CARL AND BECCA’s book and it directly affects them, I guess I thought it would be resolved here. So basically I really loved a lot of the set up of some of these little storylines, and the depth we were getting, I just wasn’t happy with what we got in the end.
And the little niggle that’s going to have me rounding down instead of up: Becca’s freaking nephew (that’s like a son to her) is kidnapped, and at a certain point that’s verified and it looks like badness is happening, and she’s having sexytimes? I had a hard time getting into the sexy times as a result, b/c this stupid logical part of my brain couldn’t help but wonder how she could even think about that and relax enough to enjoy it when evil is happening to her “son”. Is it just me?
So yeah, obviously I’m still totes dibs in for book 3 (Alan’s book), but I was a bit disappointed that this one did not live up to the standard of book 2 (which amuses me to no end). Also: since this was not an ARC, but the final copy, I will say I was disappointed in the number of typos still in it. I think I hold publishers to a higher standard than indies, and so I was disappointed so much slipped through the cracks.