Series: Shifter Wars #1
Published by Carina Press on August 1st 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic, Shifters
Reviewed by: Kim
Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one's mate…
For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It's clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it's a means of survival. But what Amy doesn't realize is she's reawakened the beast within him.
Griff's dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff's entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.
Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.
I tend to be a bit of a dork about puns and double-entendres, and WAKING THE BEAR definitely had funny moments that were a welcome respite from some of the dark characters. It was a bit short, and the main villain was one-dimensional to the point of being annoying, but the main characters were fun and their interactions were the glowing part of the novel.
Amy and Griff are tons of fun. Amy is an artist who has come to the forest in the hope of painting some of the scenery and wildlife. Griff is a park ranger who has just woken up from his winter sleep, and who agrees to rent his cabin to her. He does it while still kinda groggy, before realising that she is a) probably his mate and b) not going to listen to his warnings about the dangerous wildlife around the cabin. Never mind that he IS part of the dangerous wildlife.
There were lots of funny little winks in this book. The rangers know the park so well because they roam is as bears half the time. They all drink massive amounts of coffee in the first part of the book as they struggle to wake up. The shower in the cabin breaks and Amy and Griff need together to fix it in a wet, innuendo-laden scene. It’s tons of fun, and their romance is both touching and cheeky throughout the book.
One aspect of the story that I really didn't enjoy is the reason behind the war in the first place. Deep in the forest is a magical cave, with a magical pool that heals injuries and can show you your future. That's cool, but it only heals the clan that controls it... What? So if bears hold the cave, the lions can's use the powers of the cave, which obviously leads to the cave changing hands every few generations admits bloodshed and tears. Is this a ploy to get the shifters to cull themselves every few generations? I am really hoping that this gets sorted out or explained in the next few books.
Still, WAKING THE BEAR made me smile, had endearing characters who had a realistic reaction to the weird stuff going on around them (not being instantly cool with their landlord turning into a bear), and set up a world that I could see growing into a satisfying series. There are enough different characters, settings and ideas that I will be looking out for the next book to see if it keeps up. If it's even a bit funny, I'm in.Series Titles:
- For more exciting modern werewolf suspense stories, try the SWAT (Secret Wolf Alpha Team) novels by Paige Tyler or the Moon Shifter series by Katie Reus.
- For lighters shifter stories, try The Geek Job, by Eve Langlais, or Baby's Got Bite by Candace Haven.