Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Review - Halle Shifters, Bk 1: Bear Necessities © Dana Marie Bell

Bear Necessities

Author: Dana Marie Bell

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Genre: Shifter, Paranormal

Buy Link

To hold onto his love, he must release his beast.

Halle Shifters, Book 1

Once a Bear sets his mind on a mission, it’s best to stay out of his way. Alexander “Bunny” Bunsun is that Bear. Something’s not right with his cousin Chloe, and he’s come to Halle, PA, to sort it out, turn his Harley around and head home to Oregon. Until an enticing scent lures him into the local tattoo shop.

There she is. An inked, Southern-drawled she-Wolf with lime-green hair. His perfect mate.

Tabitha Garwood’s rotten day just got worse. Her Outcast status makes her a target for harassment with alarming regularity. And now, in the middle of a root touch-up, looking like a half-melted Skittle, she’s met her destined mate. The only upside? She finally has a protector in the form of a huge, tattooed, shaved-head Bear who vibrates with carefully restrained power.

When Chloe is left for dead and Tabby is threatened, only Alex can keep his growing family safe. Giving Tabby the loving home she needs, though, could come at a price—Alex must give up the control he’s worked a lifetime to attain.

Which means someone could die at the hands—and claws—of his beast.

Tabby shook her head and reached for her hairbrush, smoothing down her hair. That didn’t matter now. Her mate would be here any minute. She slicked on some berry gloss and stared at herself in the mirror. Then she stuck out her tongue and made a face. She was so nervous, her Wolf was whining. She slipped her feet into the red high heels, grabbed her favorite purse and headed for the living room. “Well?”

Cyn circled her finger. “Twirl.”

Tabby twirled.

Glory wolf-whistled. “See you at work tomorrow.”

Cyn snickered and threw a bunch of condoms at her. “You’ll need these.”

Tabby swallowed. “I’m gonna throw up.” Nausea roiled in her belly. She bent and picked up the condoms just as the doorbell rang.

Glory had the door open before Tabby could hide the packets. “C’mon in!”

In stepped the hottie from the store. He wore a green shirt that really emphasized his hazel eyes, dark wash jeans that looked painted onto his thighs and thick-soled black boots. Now that she was upright, she could see how tall he was. He towered over her, the top of her head barely reaching his upper lip, even in her four-inch heels. She’d hit his chin in her bare feet. His bald head gleamed, his jaw clean-shaven. She could see the tattoo that circled his biceps and her fingers itched to trace the design. In his hand, he held a daffodil.

My favorite flower. How did he know? Tabby smiled, knowing her mouth was trembling. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had given her flowers. “For me?”

He held it out, a smile on his full lips. “Hello, Tabby.”

“Thank you.” She reached for the daffodil.

He coughed. “I’ll take those.” He reached over and removed the condoms from her hand, grinning at her embarrassed squawk. “It’s okay, honey. I’m just glad one of us is, um, prepared.” He eyed the condoms. “Very prepared.” He unrolled them, one eyebrow rising in disbelief. “And optimistic.”

Glory was practically doubled over with laughter. Tabby’s face was beet red. She snatched the condoms back with her free hand, snarling as one got left behind in his big paw. She could hear Cyn snuffling and snorting behind her and just knew they were practically choking on their laughter.

© Dana Marie Belle

My Thoughts

When “Bunny” Bunsun decided to head out and help his cousin Ryan find his sister it was just suppose to be a quick in and out sort of search mission – more to satisfy the rents more than anything else.

What the men end up with literally within a few hours of hitting the town of Halle is - mated, caught in the middle of a near tragedy and having a front row seat to what is amounting to a three ring circus in the small town of Halle. 

Bunny smell his mate before he even sees her and with some determined friends he doesn’t actually get to see her before night fall and their first date. Although he is in Halle to satisfy his curiosity about where his cousin has been hiding out – when nature calls he however cannot resist.  One look at Tabby and if he wasn’t already hooked on her scent he would know immediately that she as his mate.

Bunny is a bear and despite the imagine his name brings up – Bunny has a bit of a temper that he works hard to control. With nothing more on his horizon that trying to make a name for himself independently of his parents’ Bunny is not opposed to going with the flow of where this mating thing takes him.. only thing is, his mate is a wolf.

“Tabby” is anything but cute and fluffy and she had lived the life to prove that. A fairly new comer to Halle, she is now in a better place in her life and other than one black cloud on her horizon – she is relatively happy. As soon as she realises that she had found her mate – she goes with the flow of it and a lucky thing too – as both Bunny and Tabby will have more than enough drama coming at them to last them a lifetime by the end of their first date… as Bunny cousin is attacked and left for dead.

Someone has hurt Bunny’s own, and he is not happy about it. As it stands it is only with the help of friends that he will have any chance of finding out who did it. Tabby on the other hand is scared of what may happen if the wrong eyes lands on her, as she has come to love Halle and as much as she now have Bunny she does not want to leave this place she has come to know and love.. 

BEAR NECESSITIES is quite an intriguing read, as I have read the Halle Pumas series and like most of them – I was thrilled Ms  Belle was  taking me back to visit that world. One of the first positive for was that she made the romance in the book sort of secondary, as shifter mating are a given and there is very  little either party can do about changing it once they get a whiff of those pheromones. With the romance sort of out of the way - it gave me more time to enjoy all the other things that were happening in the book.

Bunny is likeable and despite his size he didn’t toss his weight around or made things difficult for the residents of Halle. With Tabby he is considerate, gentle and puts her and her feelings first above all else. Bunny however comes with too much baggage and I hope I see more of him in the next set of books – he was to be honest on of the highlight of the book for me.

Taby is one of the first person I met in the book and I liked her immediately – she had guts. She knows how to think one step ahead and she knows when to run. I however wanted to slap her when I saw that she was willing to put herself up against all kind of abuse – yet she was afraid to speak up for herself and even more afraid of not being accepted in Halle. As the book goes along  light is shed on why she is like that and it makes me see her in a different light.

Ms Bell add in enough mystery to the book and with the attack on Bunny’s cousin – people are pulled together and relationships are forged whether they want them or not and I had some fun with those people. 

As this is Halle I would have been surprise not to see Max(the leader of the Halle pumas) and his wife make an appearance – Ms Belle didn’t let me down – I  saw the whole gang from her last series and while some are going strong – It was good to see how others are settling into their relationship and it’s certainly not all smooth going.

Bottom Line

Over all a par for the course sort of book. There is the expected shifter things happening as well as the general upheaval that the pumas created just by entering a room  alive and well in BEAR NECESSITIES.

The author does add a few new spin to the shifter tale and I am hoping this gets to be fleshed out in future books as there was really alot going on in this first book and some of that fresh spin was a little lost on me.

Lovers of Ms Bell work – you will love this, the humour is the same, the same nice pacing is happening with the scenes and the sense of community that Max has worked so hard to achieve his very much in evidence.

New reader  - I really would suggest starting with the Halle Pumas books before you tackle this one and for readers who have issues with sweet characters and fluffy plots – give this a miss..

8 Speak To Me:

Brande on 10 August 2010 at 18:09 said...

Great review. I read this one a couple weeks ago and I was really torn. There were some things that bothered me and so many open ended issues. I can see that DMB will have more in the Halle Shifters, but it was fustrating.

Brande

Fiction Vixen on 10 August 2010 at 18:26 said...

This is a new series for me. I'm intrigued by the romance being secondary in this book. Nice review EH.

Blodeuedd on 10 August 2010 at 21:00 said...

Problems with sweet characters and fluffy plots, nope, no problems there :)

Erotic Horizon on 10 August 2010 at 21:11 said...

@ Brande..

I do know what you mean - but I am reserving my opinion until the next book - first books in a series, I am willing to allow alot of slack...

At least we know who is doing what and hopefully each couple will get a book of their own....

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 10 August 2010 at 21:12 said...

@FV..

Bell write addictive stuff - I can't help reading her work...

Somethings just work for me....

Definately start with the pumas first...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 10 August 2010 at 21:13 said...

@Blodeuedd...

you are so my kinda reader...

:)

Chris on 10 August 2010 at 23:08 said...

I have a bunch of the first series on my reader, but got distracted by m/m before I got around to reading them.

Erotic Horizon on 11 August 2010 at 17:19 said...

@Chris..

You really need to start reading some fo those books...

You need to...

:)