Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review: 'All About the Bear' by Bianca D’Arc

Grizzly Cove…an idyllic town, established as an artist’s colony. Peaceful, but with one unusual feature…most of the residents of this small town are bear shifters, recently retired from Special Forces and trying something never done before, live together as a community. The notable exceptions to this are the fully human Baker sisters, Nell, Ashley and Tina. Ironically, they own and operate the only bakery in town.
Sheriff Brody finds Nell the most attractive of the sisters, and his inner bear says she is their mate, but he is not ready to expose the secret of Grizzly Cove to her. When a drunk koala shifter comes to the bakery and shifts right in front of Nell, the sheriff is conflicted; happy that Nell now knows his secret, but angry that the crazy Australian shifter was so careless. Nell has been attracted to the handsome sheriff, but felt that he was not interested until the episode in the bakery, now she is delighted to find that Sheriff Brody is determined to pursue a relationship with her. Can Nell accept Sheriff Brody’s other side? Will Brody finally be able to claim his mate? And will Nell need to keep the secret of the shifters from her two sisters?
Grizzly Cove is a new community crafted by Bianca D’Arc, with charismatic and intriguing characters and idyllic locations. It is an experimental town, filled with shifters and shifter magic, under the guise of being an ‘artist’s colony’ where each of the retired soldiers finds a way to be creative and contribute to the town. I loved the idea that these dangerous Special Forces shifters were using hidden talents and finding out that they were good at something besides being warriors. Ms. D’Arc has filled her town with a variety of characters, from the wood carving sheriff, the lawyer who paints and many others.
Sheriff Brody is strong and handsome, and keeps the town safe and secure. He can’t reveal his feelings to Nell, until the koala shifter exposes the shifter world right in the middle of the Baker sisters’ bakery. I like that Brody is loyal and truthful, and yet is conflicted, wanting Nell as his mate, but not willing to expose the town’s secret. And I liked watching as he took care of Nell to help ease the shock she got after the event.
Nell Baker is the eldest of the sisters, and is smart and funny and protective of her sisters. I enjoyed seeing the way she handled the shock of learning that beings of myth and legend actually exist without panicking. She is able to accept what is happening between herself and Brody, and only asks that they progress slowly. I like that, while she is worried about the effect this will have on whether she and her sisters will be allowed to stay in the one place they have been comfortable in, she wants to see where this ‘thing’ with Brody will go.
There are some fun twists in this one, from the Australian shifter who gets belligerent when inebriated, to the panda shifter and her daughter who love the sweet treats from Nell’s bakery. I like the close knit community that is forming here in Grizzly Cove, and the secrets that are slowly coming to light as we get to know the inhabitants. There are some very hot scenes between Brody and Nell, and there is truth to the rumor that, for bears, everything is better with honey. Do Nell and Brody reveal the secret of Grizzly Cove to Nell’s two sisters? You will have to read the book for the answer to that question. I recommend you run the fan on high while reading this, and be ready for lots of laughter in this romance.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. 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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