Donovan is a city bear, but he’s thrilled to make his new home in the tiny town of Forgotten, Wyoming. He’s got a job at the post office and a nice place to live. And he finally feels like he’s outrun his past and will be safe. When Donovan comes across a gorgeous man on a hike, he recognizes the other man as a bear shifter too. And Donovan wants him. But the surly man doesn’t even give him the time of day.
When a trip to the doctor means Donovan is face to face with the man he desired, he’s surprised and thrilled he gets another chance. TJ might be a doctor and take care of people, but he’s grumpy and standoffish, and keeps turning Donovan down. But Donovan is not about to give up on a man who so clearly needs a friend, even though Donovan wants more.
TJ has reasons for acting the way he does. He’s been burned badly in the past, not to mention it’s his mating season and he needs to be careful. But as friendship turns to more, he can no longer deny that he’s drawn to Donovan. But things aren’t easy. A hunter is on the prowl, seemingly targeting shifters, and what’s worse, Donovan’s past comes gunning for him. But the connection TJ and Donovan have made means they won’t back down from a fight, and they’ll do anything to protect each other.
I, admittedly, have some very mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, it was decent and I enjoyed parts of it immensely. The characters were fun and engaging. TJ’s surliness appealed to me, especially because we got his POV and knew the reasoning behind it. He might have been acting like a jerk, but he wasn’t actually a jerk and that goes a long way. Donovan was bubbly and optimistic and the perfect counter balance to TJ. In that way I think they worked well, and I liked their chemistry together. So the romance worked for me.
But I did have a few issues with this story. The first being the lack of world building. There was a decent attempt, but it just didn’t feel fleshed out enough. It wasn’t until at least halfway through the book that we actually found out that the regular humans don’t know shifters exist. There was very little about structure and the way the different species of shifters interact. For me, that was a definite downside, as I like to know these things and see them organically built into the story.
I also had issues with Donovan’s persistence. This may be a personal issue, but for me, Donovan crossed into pushy territory. TJ was very clear about his no, but instead of abiding by that or even discussing it with TJ, Donovan even went so far as to show up at TJ’s house. Of course, it all works out in the end, and they do have a very good conversation about TJ’s past that puts things in a different light. But up until then, I wanted to remind Donovan that no means no.
And lastly, and maybe my biggest issue with the book, was the resolution of two huge plot points. Without giving too much away, I will say that they were dealt with poorly. There’s a hunter after shifters and the resolution is quick and without explanation. I was left with way too many questions and no satisfaction. And the second part of the ending is even worse. Donovan has a secret, which doesn’t show up right away, and then when it does, it’s surprisingly sudden and doesn’t quite fit. And then it rears it’s ugly head and is dealt with within the span of a couple of pages. This was incredibly unsatisfying to me, as it seemed like it was made out to be a bigger deal and therefore should have had a bigger emotional impact.
In the end, the characters and the romance did a lot to buoy this book up for me. But there are also some glaring issues with the narrative. I would only tentatively recommend this book to those of you who are dying for more shifter books and don’t mind loose ends.