- File Size: 350 KB
- Print Length: 186 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Creativia; 2 edition (May 19, 2015)
- Publication Date: May 19, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00XZ8HXEA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Length: 186 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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It's not a long book, and doesn't get especially deep, but the Native & shifter family/cultural background is well-handled, and Riley's reactions, good and bad, are realistic. I like how her scholarly father, so different from Russ in many ways, also taught the value of being together in silent understanding. I'm curious what her mother's story is/was, though it doubtless was not a happy one even before half-brother Danny's twisted nature revealed itself.
Russ's telepathic abilities are an uncommon touch that added to the story. For one thing, their early meetings in comforting dreams helped ease her acceptance of what would otherwise have been his unbelievable and/or terrifying dual nature. It's interesting to see how his combination of powers made Russ not quite fit in even with either side of his already unique family, though I wish there'd been one more scene, exploring the suggestion that his father would have been happy to be closer to him.
TBH, the part of the story I had the hardest time suspending disbelief about was the New Age herbal protective techniques, maybe because they were presented as real (as shown in a bibliographical aftermention from the author), but that's my personal quirk.
Large age differences such as the one between this H/h are not infrequent in PNRs, and in fact it's less here than in many stories featuring true immortals. These bear-shifters age rather like the Lupi in Eileen Wilks's excellent tales: about half as quickly. I could get past teasing endearments such as "little girl" and find it acceptable partly because, as was pointed out, they WILL reach old age roughly together, and a young woman marrying a man in early middle age is far from unheard-of IRL. If I may mention another fictional couple with a similar age dynamic, I adored Lois McMaster Bujold's Dag and Fawn, of the Sharing Knife tetralogy. Also, Patricia Briggs, in the Alpha and Omega series, has werewolf Anna (who is in some ways comparable to Riley, BTW) feel fiercely glad that her mate is a werewolf, too, when she sees one of the Marrok's pack tenderly escorting his frail wife who now looks more like his grandmother -- would you wish such a loss on Russ, inevitable if he married a human of his own chronological age?
As for editing, there were a few minor typos, but no more than you might encounter even in a print book from a major house.
I "bought" this Kindle e-book while free, but would consider it worth a couple/few dollars for an entertaining read. Will I re-read it? Maybe; I certainly wouldn't rule it out.
The story takes place in Alaska, which is a place I’ve always wanted to visit, S that gave this tale a special appeal. Russell is a Native American who also happens to be a shapeshifting polar bear. When Russ meets Riley, the new kindergartner teacher, it’s love at first sight, or scent for him. Has he finally found his lifetime mate? Will she accept him, and his polar bear? And what about her secret past? Will she be able to overcome her previous abuser?
I really enjoyed the metaphysical elements of this story. I could tell Simone did a lot of research regarding dream walking, spiritual bonds, and herbalism. There is some action, especially toward the end, but mainly it’s a romance story, so the pace is slower as Russell and Riley do their get-to-know-each-other dance. Riley is hesitant about starting a relationship as Russ is much older than her, plus she has a dark past she’s escaping from.
I really liked Russ’ character, and I wouldn’t mind meeting a person like him myself. On the other hand, I had trouble with Riley. Most of the first half of the book is from Russ’ POV, so we’re not really introduced to Riley’s feelings or motivations other than through dialogue or dream sharing. Even knowing the abusive life she had as a child, I felt she was too weak. I think Simone tried explaining some of that by the psychic bond that her half-brother had over her, but still, she never balked at finding out about Russ. She just calmly accepted everything that happened between them, her step-brother, and Russ’ mixed family. For me, she had no heart and I found her unrelatable.
All-in-all, I did enjoy the adventure in the great state of Alaska, but I was also disappointed as I was really looking forward to an awesome love story that just wasn’t there. This book would be perfect for readers who love romantic shapeshifter stories. I give it 4 feathers.
I also liked the age difference between Russell and Riley. The author has dared to step away from the expected age-stereotype and acknowledge the fact that older men and younger women do fall in love with each other. I think Cary Grant's last wife was 47 years his junior, and I know a young woman who left her young husband for a man in his sixties. So Russell and Riley's relationship is an example of love doing what it does best: bringing lovers together. Because of the influence of his shifter-side,. Russell looks 40, but is actually sixty-five while Riley is 24.Given all she had been through and another particular aspect of her life, I could easily see her falling for an older man--and what a wonderful man he is. Plus I like the fact that Russell isn't three- or four- or a thousand-years old and looking like he's thirty.
The first half of the book is in his POV and the last half is in hers. The sex scenes are explicit. Tension-wise, the second half is definitely the stronger part of the book, but I'm glad to have experienced the entire story.