Bears are naturally solitary, and Duncan is no exception. He doesn’t need anyone in his life, messing it up. He’s happy, isn’t he?
But when a chatterbox werewolf breezes onto his farm, Duncan finds himself wondering what it might be like to let someone close again. Jesse’s not like anyone he’s ever met, and Duncan can’t get him out of his head.
Still, people can’t be trusted, and Duncan is determined never to let anyone get close enough to betray him again. Jesse’s no different. Duncan can’t let him in.
As the strength of the connection between them deepens, Duncan has to ask himself which is more important. Being safe and alone? Or taking a leap of faith that this time someone might stay with him forever?
For the first time since he was bitten, Jesse finally feels like he’s going to be okay. He’s safe, he’s healthy, he’s got a pack that tolerates him, and if he doesn’t exactly have the alpha he wants then, well, you can’t have everything, right? At least Hamish lets him tag along behind him, and looks out for him. It doesn’t matter that Hamish doesn’t want more than that. It’s fine, really.
Until he meets Duncan Russell, a gruff werebear with a farm and a bad attitude, and Jesse realizes that there’s more to life than grovelling to the betas and hoping no-one snaps at him. Duncan seems perfectly self-sufficient, smart and determined and good at everything he turns a hand to, and Jesse can’t help finding that inexorably attractive.
Trouble is, werebears don’t mate for life, and Jesse’s going to get his heart broken.
Is it worth the risk? Or will fear of future heartache keep Jesse from going after the thing he wants most?
Oof, the werewolf pack in this series is not pleasant company if you're the lowest-ranking of the lowest-ranking, i.e. the new omega on the block. The hierarchy as seen from Jesse's point of view is rigid and merciless. Fortunately for him, the wolves have as a near neighbor Duncan, who's a bear in more than one way. Duncan is gruff, of course, and also lonely and suspicious, but Jesse's taken with him right off the bat, and since both wolves and bears can smell emotions we are spared any long-drawn-out misapprehension of each other's feelings and motives. Jesse does bolt from the wolf pack in panic and despair when Nero the alpha orders him not to see Duncan anymore, but that painful (yes, yes, I cried) interlude is mercifully short.
Okay, this is Robin Moray so you know the sex is going to be hot and sweet. Just take that as read. The aspect I want to single out is the way RM builds a bear. (Sorry not sorry.) Duncan keeps bees (I love this); he hoards; his goats accept him but will have nothing to do with Jesse, because WOLF, come on, goats have more sense than that. I also really like the way both wolves and bears subscribe to certain received truths about bears that prove untrue, perhaps including .
Besides the hot sex, RM also has a reliably clever turn of phrase: "'Yes, boss,' Jesse said, smirking, and he sauntered off, hands in his pockets, looking pleased and devious." And "He found Duncan in the middle of some complicated bee operation, messing with frames in a dozy cloud of his socialist lady friends." Can I just say how excellent those two sentences are strictly as sentences, by the way? Also, the exchanges between Jesse and the teenage wolves in the epilogue are outright hilarious. RM has a great ear for dialogue.
I dunno, I guess this whole series is essentially popcorn? But it's such good popcorn. Organic, properly prepared, salted and buttered to perfection.
I liked this book better than the other three. Duncan and Jesse were made for each other.
Duncan is a bear shifter who is a very lonely man who doesn't want anyone around because they always leave in the end so why put yourself our there like that. Heartbreak can be a bitch.
Jesse is a bitten wolf, left by his sire who he met in the city. Jesse was stuck in wolf form for months because he was caught by a vengeful witch but Hamish (book 2) found him (reluctantly) and helped him.
Fast forward, you find Jesse and Duncan in each other space and things get awkward. Duncan can't figure out why Jesse is the only wolf that he can stand the smell of and Jesse doesn't understand his fascination with a "bear".
The series as a whole was very good but book four was my favorite. The communication issues were there but not as bad as books 1-3. Vulnerability was evident in each MC and that was a welcome relief from the previous books.
I love Jesse, the chatty low ranking wolf shift with Duncan the loner farmer bear shifter.
They have a wonderful connection and all the bee keeping and cooking for is wonderful.
We get a decent insight into Duncan and how he is seeing that he can have more than what is deemed right for Bears shifter culture and (even without reading the third book in the series where Jesse is introduced though a Hindu name Jesse is a bit odd and I would love that explained) we get a good read on Jesse and his background.
What remains confusing is wolf pack culture. The why of omega status and how status moves or doesn't. Also, Jesse was able to really get clever very fast and it would have been more believable if another wolf assisted him in figuring out a way for everything to come out right.
I really liked lone bear Duncan and newly turned omega wolf Jesse. Their character and relationship development was great. They were a good match of opposites.
I was able to read this book standalone. Duncan and Jesse settled in together on Duncan's farm, separate from the wolf pack. I skipped the previous installments because of poor reviews. Weirdly, the MCs featured in those novels were unlikable in this book, even Jesse's protector Hamish. The wolf pack was horribly abusive, ignorant, superstitious and lazy. The alpha Nero was mentally unstable and tyrannical.
4/4.5 ⭐️This book had me sold just on the premise of one MC being a grumpy reclusive bear. And then I started and I found out the bear keeps honey bees and had a homestead and I was in love.
Jesse is a new wolf, in a pack where he doesn’t feel wanted. Enter very grumpy and reclusive Duncan, a bear shifter holding a lot of hurt. The way the fall in love, and learn to trust each other and heal some of their past scars is done so well. There is a lot scenting and other lovely shifter behavior.
I did side eye Nero, the MC of book 1 and 2. Did not like him much here.
Other than that I really recommend it. I haven’t read the others in this series and this can be read as a stand-alone. Moray also provided a small summary at the beginning just if you need some context
I loved how sweet they were together, perfect tropey "sunny one loves the grumpy one" without being OTT. I also loved that Jesse was the sunny one even though he'd faced a lot in his life. I liked how Nero didn't turn into a jerk just because he has so much power, it seemed a little touch and go on that for a bit. It was really nice to see Duncan and his ex worked things out in the end. I'd love to see more of them and more of this world, I think we all need Michael's story.
I say surprisingly because, the prologue was very confusing and the writing was not as smooth. So of course, I was wary and was thinking of throwing in the towel before I even reached the first chapter.
Imagine my surprise when the pages just flew by, with great writing and good plot and lovely, love characters. Looking back, it’s like the prologue was written by somebody else! Maybe?
Anyways, I love Jesse!!! He’s so, so super adorable! I like that we got to see Jesse slowly drawing the grumpy Duncan out of his shell. And while it could have been super heavy with their rather tragic backstories for the both of them, I think the author did really well in not having it weigh too heavily down but still portrayed the gravity of them.
Jumping into this series so late in the game, I feel like I’m missing something so I suppose I need to go back and read the previous three books. But it actually works pretty well as a standalone. I’m just worried that this has set the bar so high, I hope the previous books in this series won’t disappoint.
Well then! Let the stanning of grumpy/sunshine shifter edition commence!
Jesse and Duncan’s story was your classic grumpy and sunshine pair, but the grumpy wasn’t so grumpy and the sunshine wasn’t just sunshine.
What struck me about this book was how at least the bear shifter stuck to actual bear animal traits. I really liked Duncan not being too grumpy. Sure, he was lonely, but he wasn’t a snarling, swearing a-hole. He just was a recluse who kept to himself and was asocial.
Jesse is our sunshine, vegetarian “omega” wolf who has to put up with everyone putting him down. I liked how, even thought it was emphasized many times how sweet he was, he did show his own teeth.
Now. Onto what I didn’t like.
I heard that book 4 of this series was the best book, and now that I’ve seen Nero and Hamish, I want nothing to do with their books—at all. Absolute d*cks. I understand why people didn’t care for the other books now.
Now did I like Callum and we only got glimpses of him. Sometimes, I can catch glimpses of characters and be interested in a book starring them. I instantly disliked Callum. Don’t wanna hear about his story either.
The reason why this book is 3.75 ⭐️ rounded up is for all the aforementioned. I did enjoy this story. I wish I saw a little more antagonism from Chris and Jeffe. I don’t like OM drama, but I wish Jesse communicated to Duncan another wolf wanted him and he said “no”. It doesn’t make sense for all of Duncan and Jesse’s progress that Jesse doesn’t say a word about Chris.
I’m waffling a bit. This was an excellent read! I have no interest in any of the other protagonists, so this was a great hello and goodbye to the series!
4.5 stars rounded up. My complaints about previous books in the series (horrible miscommunication, too much time apart) were basically nonexistent here. Jesse and Duncan were an unlikely pair (wolf and bear) but they were so well matched to balance their temperaments and their cravings to be a part of something bigger despite painful pasts. I loved Duncan’s nurturing side and also how Jesse grew into himself, from bottom rung omega to someone who stood up for his future. The pace was great, so much scenting (my favorite), and communication happened pretty easily. They also spent a ton of time together which set up great chemistry and had me rooting for them. Glad I kept going.
You've heard of werewolves, now get ready for... werebears?
Honestly, when I spotted the bee on the cover of this book in an ostensibly werewolf universe, I had a brief moment of "wait what" but then it ended up being just the sweetest (ha) book and probably my favorite in the series as well, if I recall correctly. A bear who is a small-farm beekeeper! A lone(ly) wolf who is lost among his pack! A tale of unlikely friends - unlikelier lovers - and mutual support/encouragement. (Also cleaning montages, you know how I love my cleaning montages.)
The series as a whole plays with the tension between culture and instinct among people who shift into animals -- how much is truly nature, and how much just "the way it's always been done"? Most of the time, it comes down a bit too far to the side of the instinct than I'd prefer, and here, too, a brief aside about an absent family that, knowing this author, I expected to just never come up again, is explained as a fundamental pattern of behavior among the species, absolutely ignoring any human norms. But then again, the book also eschews tradition in its very premise: against every cultural warning and a few initial scent instincts as well, this 'interspecies' relationship manages not only to occur at all, but flourish and find longevity as well.
A sweet, sunlit-afternoon read for those looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Can be read as a standalone.
I enjoyed the other stories. I got totally into the characters, got sucks into the world but I feel like I didn't truly fall in love until this one.
Jesse and Duncan's story broke my heart, ripped it from my chest and stomped on it then picked up every last piece and alleged it all back together and made my son in happiness.
Jesse figuring it who he was and how strong he was and Duncan finding that one person who would stick by him even with the threat of some very dire circumstances just tore me apart and then made me scream with joy.
It was nice to see Nero growing into himself too. This book was lovely and I can't wait for more of this world. I'm really hoping Michael gets a book at some point. I feel like he deserves it and I'm slightly curious about Christopher honestly even though I also wanna snarl in his face and shake him really hard most of the time. Lol can't wait to see what's next for the pack!
It's been a while since I read the previous books in this series so I have forgotten some of the details of the supporting characters. Fortunately the story focuses on Jesse and Duncan. Both have issues with self worth which hold them back for a time. Jesse has to find his place in the pack and Duncan has to understand why he is alone. It's not incredibly deep and meaningful, it just is, and together it is something they can change. Happy endings for the main characters. A note from the author says she is working on book 5. I hope that is about Christoper or Michael as they both have stories to tell.
So, so good. Throughly enjoyed book four of this series. Newish wolf Jesse isn't very happy with Nero's pack, living as an Omega, itching for attention but only getting it from someone he doesn't want. When Hamish takes him to visit the local bear, Duncan, Jesse finds a way to escape the pack and find love along the way. Some twists and turns, loved the way Duncan's POV is written kinda calm and slow while Jesse's is more energetic.
KU, paranormal, book in series, wolf shifter, bear shifter
This is definitely my favorite book of the series. Both Jesse and Duncan made me cry -- neither one of them have been treasured like they deserve to be, and I'm still angry with Nero and Hamish for not taking care of Jesse, even though I liked them both in their own books (although, wolves really can be assholes to each other, just sayin). I hope the author is working on book five, but it's been 4 years now, so I'm not holding my breath. Still, that would be a truly lovely thing, and I'd read the hell outta it!
I really liked this. After a big book slump, it was just what I needed.
Thoughts while reading: -happy Jesse communicated with Duncan, and at least stood up for himself there when he thought Duncan was using him to make his ex jealous. -if the Trust is loaded, why is the pack house in such bad shape? And why are they so concerned about not wasting food? - I really disliked all of the other wolves in the pack.
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This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.