The best laid plains don’t always turn out how you expected them to. Book 3 in the Takhini Wolves series is the culmination of the bear politics that have been woven through this series so far. Caroline Bradley has had a hell of a time lately. She schemed (lovingly and with good intents for all involved, but still she schemed) herself into a position of power as the lover of the Takhini pack alpha in order to straighten out his problems and to help establish a safe place for her sister. Only, it turned out her sister didn’t need that kind of help, and now the alpha has sniffed out his mate. She certainly isn’t sorry about that, because all they have ever been to each other is very good friends, but still, it puts her at loose ends.
And the Bear Convocation has rolled into town bringing with them mayhem and one hunky bear shifter. Tyler Harrison, owner of a wildly successful diamond mine and other financial interests is looking for ways to take leadership of the bears. Only he can’t do it alone. But Caroline, a human who is more like a shifter than most but ostensibly neutral to the bears, is perfect for the job of liaison and assistant. She’s also perfect for him, not that he is willing to admit it at first.
For some reason, bears are at the top of my list when it comes to shifters. Unlike wolves, everyone seems to do them a little different. Maybe not as different as honey badgers (still my favorite shifters), but still they tend to be a bit unique in every shifter author’s universe. So I really enjoyed exploring the differences with this particular group. Change is in the wind and sometimes it takes an outsider to see a way out, and Caroline, caretaker that she is, is completely prepared to step right in and resolve the matter. So it could have been disastrous, she could have been stuck in just a political game (and damned if these aren’t the most political bear shifters I have ever read of), but Tyler pulls it off to a satisfying conclusion. For all his clout and his political lacumen, for all his alpha dominance and power, he was really just a sweet old teddy bear when it comes to Caroline. How do you take care of a woman who takes care of everyone else? This bear has it right, you listen. He could have “beared” his way in, but instead of taking or pushing, he just let her take what she needed, express what she wanted. And Arend did a delightful job of making this seem like an integral characterization even in such a dominant and alpha individual. That is no mean feat.
It was a perfect, though perfectly surprising conclusion to this particular story arc.
And if you have made it with me so far with my journey with the Takhini Wolves in preparation for Wolfie in a Kilt (review and giveaway to come 07/28/2015), you might enjoy taking a step back into the past in my blog to my review for the conclusion of this particular series, Moon Shine, where you can meet one of my all time favorite Vivian Arend heroines.