Title: Bear With Me (Strawberry Shifters Book 1)
Author: Marilyn Barr
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Blue eyes, dimples, and silky brown hair; Grant Luther has all of Alison's weaknesses.
When he asks for one last chance to save their marriage, she agrees to relocate their family to isolated Strawberry, Kentucky in pursuit of his career dreams. Grant views Alison's sensory issues as limitations and protects her from outside threats. When he finds his new job includes changing him into a shifter in a war against the soul-sucking Sluagh he vows to keep the changes a secret. What he doesn't know is Alison has been hiding a magical secret of her own. One that makes her a target of the Sluagh.
Will Alison emerge from Grant's shadow to protect her family? And can Grant learn that being different can be a strength not a weakness?
Grant and Alison's marriage is on the verge of collapse. Grant pleads with Alison for one last chance but there's a catch: move to Strawberry, Kentucky and leave all her friends and family behind. Alison agrees and hopes she can finally be herself and not have to hide her magical ability. She has no idea what she's in for, least of all the shifters war with Sluagh, a soul-sucking demon. Grant has just put his wife and son in the clutches of the Sluagh. Can he unleash the beast inside him to protect his family or will he lose them forever?
Bear With Me is an original paranormal romance with a new slant on shifters. Original? Yes, in this day and age, it's hard to find a shifter romance that isn't like the rest but the Strawberry Shifters series is indeed different. While the beginning was slow and a little hard to follow, once they arrived in Strawberry, the action picked up. Told in dual POV, you get both viewpoints which I found insightful when it came to the male and female points of view on marriage. The characterization was well-crafted and carried the plot along. The emotional narration allowed me to feel what the characters were feeling. The romance is hot and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Instead of a boy meets girl, it's a married couple trying to inject romance back into their marriage. The antagonist is what I call a big bad and its torturing of the main characters went on and on. I didn't care for the ending but for a first book in a series, it wasn't bad. If you like your paranormal romance intense with the big bad almost winning, you'll love Bear With Me. Well written with a new spin on a classic trope, Bear With Me is a roaring good read.
My Rating: 4 stars
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Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.
She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community.
She would love to hear from readers via her website: www.marilynbarr.com.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N