Mine To Bear by Khloe Wren

Mine To Bear by Khloe Wren
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short story (50 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jolie’s past isn’t pretty. Orphaned as a teen, she was given over to a monster who used her in every way he could. Now she’s grown. She finds a way to escape and is on the run.

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Will she give in to her destiny before her past catches up with her and steals it away?

Neo and Jolie had been casual fuck-buddies for months now. Only Neo has a few secrets – like that he’s a bear shifter and that he knows Jolie is his mate. Jolie has a few secrets of her own from her past – secrets that have her jumping at every shadow and looking constantly over her shoulder. Neo is desperate to help her, to claim her as his mate, but he knows if he moves to fast he might scare her away completely. Can Neo and Jolie come together and take what they both want?

I enjoyed this sexy and fast-paced story. I found both Neo and Jolie’s characters delightfully three-dimensional, with plenty of secrets, worries and real-life problems. I was particularly pleased that Jolie wasn’t just commitment-shy or nervous after having been burned by a bad relationship. She had some genuinely scary fears and had come through a brutal past which made her avoidance of anything resembling a relationship with Neo completely understandable. While not overly graphic or written in a titillating manner, there is some description on the abuse that Jolie suffered through in her past and it might be upsetting for some readers. I completely understand why the author added it – allowing Neo to understand and learn the demons that Jolie was escaping from when she wasn’t quite ready to actually explain things to him. I found it heart-breaking to read though and am very glad that after this Jolie became more open to having Neo in her life and accepting the bond that flourished between them.

Personally, I would have preferred the story to be a little longer – which would have allowed the numerous plot-points to be explored in a deeper, possibly more satisfying manner. While I admit I found the conclusion to Jolie’s abuser a little too quick, for such a short-length story I wouldn’t have wanted any of the other elements of the story to be cut even shorter to give more time to that climax of the plot. Ending on a deliciously happy note I found this story to be both heart-breaking and wonderfully warm too. Despite the quickness to some sections I felt the romance and connection between Neo and Jolie was given a good pace and enough time to satisfy the romance reader in me.

Quick but with interesting and complex characters and plenty of steamy sex, this was a good and emotional read.

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