Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Bound by Shadows by Kathy Lyons

Lyons gets it right (Kirkus) in this sexy shifter romance about an alpha bear who meets his match, perfect for fans of New York Times bestselling authors Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, and Christine Feehan.

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?

Previously published as The Bear Who Loved Me

Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Shiter romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Becca is a baker, mom, protector, and woman. She has been raising her nephew and knows that despite him being a teenager, he would never make her worry by just disappearing. Becca is going out of her mind when her nephew can't be found, but what makes her even more suspicious is that Carl comes out of the blue to let her know that he's also looking for him. She's somewhat confused but knows that Carl is also someone that her nephew and a few of the other kids in town talk about and respect.

Carl is the alpha to the local bear shifters. While he has some disgruntled members, he also knows that he doesn’t want to rule like his uncle – unyielding and cruel. When a few new bear shifters go missing, he and his team will set out to find out why and where they've been taken.

Becca is not sure why she's so attracted or drawn to Carl and the same goes for Carl. He has never thought he'd find a mate in a human. But when push comes to shove, he'll fight to the death to make sure that Becca is safe. This story has mystery, romance, funny banter, and a slow burn attraction with explosive results.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

This is the story of an alpha grizzly shifter who falls for a human woman as they search for her missing nephew.

The two main characters are likeable in this story but I didn’t find either terribly engaging or relatable. Carl is a new alpha, gentler and more thoughtful than his pack’s previous leaders. Becca is a human baker brought into Carl’s world through her shifter nephew. For me, Becca is a little too mild, a little too domestic, and a little too accommodating. She’s a bit bland. Similarly, Carl doesn’t ever develop much beyond his identity as alpha shifter trying to keep his pack together.

This story relies heavily on some of the more problematic shifter tropes. Becca is kidnapped by Carl and some of their early interactions involve dubious consent and behaviour from Carl that would be considered gaslighting in most situations. The possessive alpha who can’t behave rationally around his fated mate is an old and very tired storyline and sadly, it is only the first of many tired shifter storylines in this book. The investigation into Theo’s disappearance is the most exciting part of this book but the main focus is on Becca and Carl’s relationship.

Honestly, shifter romances have been done so many times now that anything new needs to not only be very good – it also needs to feel fresh and add something new to the genre. This book pulls together several strands of preexisting shifter lore and only the grizzly thing seems at all fresh. And even then, Nalini Singh was writing brilliant grizzly shifter romances a couple of years ago.

Kathy Lyons is the wild, adventurous half of USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee. A lover of all things fantastical, Kathy spent much of her childhood in Narnia, Middle Earth, Amber, and Earthsea, just to name a few. There is nothing she adores more than turning an ordinary day into something magical, which is what happens all the time in her books. Winner of several industry awards including the Prism-Best of the Best, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and Fresh Fiction’s Steamiest Read, Kathy has published over 50 romance novels, and she’s just getting started.

Connect with Kathy

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bound by Shadows (Grizzlies Gone Wild #1) by Kathy Lyons to read and review.

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