Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: 'One Night With A Bear' by Aria Chase


Author Aria Chase made her publishing debut with her successful series EMERALD CITY SHIFTERS of which BEARLY BREATHING was the initial installment and now ONE NIGHT WITH A BEAR is Book 4. Aria writes steamy paranormal romances and her books are brief but sound and pungent – and it is fun catching up with her various stories from this series.

Aria has that talent for pulling the reader into the atmosphere of a story so casually that we feel at home as we get to know the characters. For example she opens with, ‘’ Jade braced herself as the gawky young man who’d been eyeing her for the last twenty minutes seemed to work up the nerve to approach. She had come to the bar hoping for some companionship, but this guy had to be at least ten years her junior, and he reminded her of the kids she taught at the university every day. There was no way it was going to happen, and she’d hope that by ignoring him, it would take care of itself. No such luck. He sat down at the bar beside her, all fake confidence and swagger, slamming his empty glass onto the bar. That earned him an annoyed look from the bartender, and she barely bit back a giggle when the kid flinched. He wasn’t quite the stud he pretended to be. It softened her slightly toward him. Not enough to actually accept any of his overtures, but she’d try to be gentle with her letdown. “Hey, how you doing?” She managed a neutral nod, thinking he sounded so much like that old character on “Friends.” What was his name? Joey, that was the one. It had been years since she’d seen that show, and she had a feeling this kid had never seen it unless he’d watched it on Netflix. “I’m fine.” She didn’t inquire about him, hoping to cut short the conversation. Apparently, the kid just didn’t get subtlety. “May I buy you a drink?” She looked down at her mostly full Bloody Mary. “I’m good.” He was starting to look shaky, and she was amused when he shot a glance over his shoulder. She could well imagine his friends at the table were giving him a thumbs-up or other signs of encouragement, delusional young men that they were. “Do you come here often?” Jade shrugged. “Upon occasion. It’s close to work.” Which also meant it was close to the university, which was a downside. She really had picked the wrong bar this evening if she’d hoped to meet someone to take home. “Where do you work?” His eyes gleamed with excitement suddenly. “Do you work at that strip club across the street?” She let out a genuine laugh as she gave her curvy body a rueful glance.’ We know these personalities already!

The story chugs along, a steam locomotive, and the plot is well outlined – ‘Can one night of passion change her life forever? When Dr. Jade Barnes impulsively stops at a bar before leaving for a four-month archaeology dig, she spends a single night with a stranger, not even learning his last name. When she slips away the next morning, she doesn’t realize she isn’t leaving alone. When they meet again, Cody surprises her by how well he takes the news of impending fatherhood. There are further surprises awaiting, like the fact he’s a bear-shifter. Initially that terrifies her, but she soon appreciates his strength and protectiveness when someone targets her for an unknown, but nefarious, purpose. Cody can protect her body, but it’s her heart in danger when the stubborn bear-shifter makes it known he’s going to claim her as his mate, and he’s not above using every dirty trick he knows—including killer foot massages and kisses that make her whole body tingle. Jade knows she has a choice to make — accept Cody for what he is, or face her future as a mother alone. But first, she has to survive a confrontation with the dangerous enemy who has been hiding in plain sight all along.

Nice novel – a comfortable length and involvement for an evening’s entertainment and stimulation. Grady Harp, August 17







Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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