Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bearly There by Bailey Bradford

One surly bear and one bunny boy…what could possibly go wrong?

Jagger Osterman is having a bad day. In fact, he’s not the slightest bit impressed with 2015 at all. His job is on the line, and it’s not like he loves being a marketing wunderkind, but he has to do something to pay the bills. If he had his way, he’d just vanish into the mountains and live out his life as the black bear he yearns to shift into. Unfortunately, Jagger doesn’t have the time to let his beast run. He has responsibilities that he can’t walk away from.

Kevin Kelly could tell Jagger a thing or two about bad days, bad years, and just out and out bad luck. He made the mistake of smarting off to a curandera years ago and hasn’t been able to shake the curse she put on him yet. There’s not an area of his life that hasn’t been screwed up in one way or another. As a pronghorn shifter, he’d be okay on his own in the wild. Sure, there’d be predators, but Kevin had come to realize the worst predators were the human kind.

But he can’t shift. He’s been solidly bound to human form since being cursed.

Two men, both trapped in their own ways. They’re about to find out that freedom comes in many forms.

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Book 1
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Pride  Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a cute romance wrapped up in a paranormal vibe. There were some elements of the plot – Jagger having work problems for example – which vanished, and were unexplained, but the budding relationship between Jagger and Kevin was fun. Clumsy guys really should not try to work in construction...or in Kevin's case, walk unsupported near rugs, steps, etc. I liked that we got to understand a little more about curses, believing in them, and the joy of it being removed. I am looking forward to see how the relationship develops, probably as a sideline to someone else's story.

I was quite excited when I learned about Bearly There’s release for two reasons. First, I am a huge fan of Bradford’s various shifter series, so I couldn’t wait to start a new one. Second, I haven’t read many romances featuring bear shifters, so this was a new species of shifter for me. Not surprisingly, Bradford delivered a story I thoroughly enjoyed. What did surprise me was how much I laughed while reading it – not because the author can’t write humor, I just wasn’t expecting it in this book. But laugh I did as I fell in love with Kevin, Jagger and Syn (Jagger’s sister).

Jagger and Kevin’s first encounter is the best kind of story you can’t tell the grandkids. Hired as a singing telegram for Jagger’s birthday, Kevin gets a little too enthusiastic in his performance due to his attraction to Kevin. Now despite them both being shifters, the attraction is the normal physical attraction and not driven by a mating instinct because Kevin hasn’t been able to shift since he was cursed. Because of his repressed shifter gene, Kevin can barely detect that Jagger isn’t human and his own lack of shifter scent means that Jagger doesn’t realize that Kevin isn’t human either – until he bolts like a Bunny Boy. When their paths cross again a few days later, their hormones are only delayed because of Jagger’s sister’s sarcastic mouth and work to be done. But when the work day comes to an end, Jagger decides to show Bunny Boy what it really means to be a bear’s prey. Oh yes, these two are hot together…when they finally get to it, because that curse I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that’s another set of brakes they have to deal with on several levels. And I can’t really talk about them without potentially revealing a spoiler, so mum’s the word on that and the rest of the book, up until they find their happy ending. Now that’s not a spoiler because that’s why I read Bradford’s books. Her characters always get a happy ending (at least in the books I’ve read). What that happy ending looks like, well you’ll have to read for yourself to find out. Bearly There has the City Shifters off to a great start. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and I hope that we get to touch base with Kevin, Jagger, and Syn. I really want to see if Syn is able to overcome her issue, and besides that, she was the one who contributed to a lot of my laughter.

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bearly There (City Shifters #1) by Bailey Bradford to read and review.

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