Alpha Bear by Bianca D’Arc

ALPHA
Alpha Bear by Bianca D’Arc
Grizzly Cove Book 4
Publisher: Liefde Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (212 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

A man with a plan…

John is the Alpha bear of Grizzly Cove, a town built to his own design, made up mostly of bear shifters. He brought them all together, so it’s on him when the community comes under attack.

A woman of power…

Ursula is more than she appears, and when her secret comes out, she’s afraid the shifters aren’t going to take it well, but John surprises her. He needs her help to combat the evil targeting the town, but there seems to be more to their relationship.

A battle to the death…

When evil attacks from the ocean, can John afford not to utilize Urse’s skills to protect the town and people in it? Better still, can John reconcile his inner bear’s demand that she is his mate, with his lifelong dream of leading his people into a new way of living—in a town built just for them? Or will he have to give up Grizzly Cove in order to keep the woman he loves?

It has been a strange few weeks in Grizzly Cove, and Alpha John Marshall is starting to wonder what will happen next. Three of his friends have found mates, a Master vampire washed up on the beach, and a ‘sea monster’ has taken up residence in the cove.

When he pays a visit to the new bookstore in town to welcome the two human women, Ursula and Amelia Ricoletti, to the town, he discovers that they have not been completely honest…they are more than just human, they are strega, hereditary Italian witches, magic users. When he confronts the town lawyer with the knowledge, Tom surprises him by telling him about an experience he had with a strega during a conflict years before. While John considers whether the women can stay, the ‘sea monster’ is identified as a leviathan, a being of great evil, and it is trying to consume the magic of the shifters and others gathered near the cove. Ursula is a descendent of a famous Marsican bear and his strega mate, and her magic is uniquely suited to building a permanent ward to protect the people of Grizzly Cove, that is, if the Alpha lets them stay. The more John is around Ursula, the stronger his bear is at telling him that she is their mate. When other magical beings arrive in a time of crisis, John has to decide whether they are what they say, and when help comes in the form of the fey, Cameron, John must decide to accept that he is who, and what, he says he is. Can John accept a magical woman for his mate? Will the other bears accept Ursula and Amelia, knowing they are not fully human? How much will Ursula sacrifice to stop the evil of the leviathan from affecting Grizzly Cove and its residents?

Alpha Bear is the fourth of Bianca D’Arc’s Grizzly Cove series, and things are starting to get dangerous and exciting in this small Pacific Northwest community. New people, not all of them human, are coming, and some will form alliances to combat the evil that seems to be growing. The characters in this town are starting to show their courage and loyalty to good in their actions, and I like the way they are supporting each other in this time of evil intent. I like the way Ms. D’Arc adds new characters to the mix, just when they are most needed, and that these ‘new’ characters are not exactly new, just new to this venue. This world is getting more fascinating with each book, even as the danger grows.

John Marshall is the mayor/Alpha of Grizzly Cove, and he takes his responsibilities very seriously. He is strong and smart, and at first he is angry about what he sees as the deception that the Ricoletti sisters perpetrated. I liked that John kept an open mind, and was willing to seek information about strega before making any decision. And I loved watching as he had debates with his inner bear about Ursula and what she was to them. I like that John is cautious about those who move to ‘his’ town, and yet he is also fair, giving every chance to prove worth.

Ursula Ricoletti is a very powerful strega, with a bit of bear blood far back in her heritage. She is on the side of the Light, and is worried that she and her sister will be told that they have to leave Grizzly Cove. When she learns that her Nonna (grandmother) had a premonition that the sisters would be needed there, she encouraged them to move there. I like that Ursula is not intimidated at all by the Alpha, and that she is more than willing to go toe to toe with him when she knows she is in the right. I like watching as she started giving of herself to help the town, and I enjoyed watching the dance between Ursula and John.

This book is a little darker that the previous books in the series. We get the first real look at the power of the leviathan, and just how evil it is, and how much it will take to protect Grizzly Cove. There is also the question of whether the bears are willing to accept mages, witches, and magic users in the town, at least until they are shown how valuable the magic can be. This book showcases the battle that is beginning, the age old conflict of good versus evil, and hints of worse things to come. There are also some lighter moments, and some very passion filled encounters between Ursula and John. Ms. D’Arc continues to enrich this world with colorful and richly detailed characters, and I enjoyed the visit of a few ‘old friends’ from other books as well. This is for those readers who like bear shifters and magic and romance, ad having things just a bit dangerous. On caution, read with the lights on…that leviathan is one scary sea monster.

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