Can a lonely city bear nurse his broken heart?
Bear shifter Barry Smithson is going native. Rejected by his boss and crush of five years, Barry’s going back to his hometown. Believing he’ll win over the love of his life with his animal’s ferocious nature, Barry decides to spend some time in the woods.
But Barry is not an outdoorsy kind of bear. He’s obsessive compulsive and terrified of open spaces. Tired and lost, Barry catches wind of a delectable scent, leading him to a human fishing for salmon. Hunger of the carnal kind hits him bone-deep. Once Barry gets a taste, he’ll want more.
Can Barry convince the human not to shoot him?
Barry wasn’t good at making – or keeping – friends. As a werebear he finds himself moody and grumpy far too often. Even though Barry has had a crush on his boss for five years, he’s not quite managed to make his attraction known, and then it’s too late. Deciding to go home to try and ground himself, Barry goes for a walk in the woods and meets Zack, and both their worlds are turned upside down.
Major kudos to the author for this title. I have to admit the title is the main reason I picked up this short story and I’m so glad that I did! While I felt the start of the story moved a little slowly, once Zack and Barry finally meet up everything moves along at a lovely pace. I enjoyed getting to know Barry properly first, learning about how he’s struggled with his werebear and life in general. I love that Barry had flaws, wasn’t some perfect, alpha hero – it made him feel more real to me and indeed I enjoyed Barry far more for his imperfections. It took a bit longer to really get to know Zack – but I loved his character as much as Barry’s by the end.
The plot of this story is mostly Barry coming to the realisation that he needs to stop running from his life, and then Barry and Zack coming together and I really enjoyed this. Both Barry and Zack are interesting and complicated characters, and I didn’t find the story at all lacking for only having a few other strong secondary characters. Some readers mightn’t like how there’s no sex to speak of until the second half of the book but personally I actually preferred to really get to know Barry and his situation first. And when Barry and Zack finally come together I found it well worth the wait.
I really enjoyed this story and found the sex hot and intimate, I loved the characters and generally found this to be an excellent short story and well worth the read. Recommended.