Author: Dana Marie Bell
Page Count: 188 pages (ebook)
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me
50 words or less: Set in Halle (home of the Halle pumas), Alex Bunsun, a bear shifter, comes to town to find out what's wrong with his cousin, Chloe. In rapid succession, he meets his mate (Tabby, an Outcast wolf,) helps uncover strange doings in Halle, and realizes that self control is seriously overrated.
Folks, stop what you're doing and prepare to one click order. After reading (and enjoying) the entire Halle Pumas series of novellas (reviews for installments 3-5 are forthcoming, don't worry), Bear Necessities is not only the first full length novel set in that world, and features the familiar cast of characters, but is also the first installment where the author really flexes her muscles, so to speak, when it comes to this series. Let's just say that waiting for the next book is going to be very hard indeed.
Alex (or Bunny, which is a running gag throughout the book that doesn't ever get played out) is a guy you can't help but like. He's a bear shifter, devoted to his friends and family, with a job he enjoys and a unique personality (a biker who's addicted to Sailor Moon? Nice!) who's totally open to finding his mate and starting a family. He has all the typical alpha male characteristics, but unlike others, who view those as signs of strength, he views them as an anger management problem and works really, really hard to control it, especially since an incident while he was a teenager showed how dangerous he could be under the right circumstances.
Tabby, too, is a unique character whose history is tragic but whose strength is immediately apparent. She's overcome so much in her young years without it weighing her down. Sure, she has her issues, but instead of becoming a maniac or a loose cannon or feeling sorry for herself, she pulls herself up by her bootstraps and soldiers on, which is something I can definitely respect in anyone. Watching her and Alex (I, too, refuse to call him Bunny) learn to trust and love one another was extremely fun to read about.
The supporting cast is well done, and issues from previous books (which I won't get into here since I haven't reviewed those books yet) resurface in an interesting way. We see that all's not right with the world in Halle, and the stage is set for some interesting conflicts in future stories.
Also, let it be known, here and forever, that this is NOT a book for folks who do not like their romance spicy and smokin' hot. This is an adult book by every standard and the Scandalous Books designation is well deserved here. You've been warned.
All in all, this is a fun, sassy story about two people falling in love, neither of whom think they deserve it. They make new friends, establish a home for themselves, and live seriously happily ever after- was there any doubt they wouldn't? In the process, the stage is set for excellent future stories, the supporting cast is exciting (I can't WAIT for Cyn and Julian and/or Ryan and Glory's books, personally) and fun to read about, and the plot is well paced with plenty of room for expansion. I seriously cannot say enough good things about this book. Buy it, people, seriously!
Overall Grade: A+