Early Review: Bear Attraction by Jennifer Ashley

February 8, 2015     Danielle Romero     4stars, ARC, interview, reviews

Early Review: Bear Attraction by Jennifer AshleyBear Attraction by Jennifer Ashley
Also by this author: White Tiger
Published by Penguin on 2015-02-17
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, romance
Format: eARC
Jennifer Ashley’s New York Times bestselling Shifters Unbound series continues as a Shifter and a human are faced with the unexpected, undeniable pull of a bond…

As the military liaison between the human Shifter Bureau and Shiftertown, Walker is often stuck trying to appease both sides—and angering both. So when bear-Shifter Rebecca is captured taking a run in a restricted area, Walker has to talk fast to get her released. The compromise: if Rebecca helps him find a missing woman—thought to have been abducted by a Shifter—she won’t be charged and executed.

Mate-less Rebecca is not happy to be under Walker’s supervision. As a bear used to roaming for miles, she hates being confined and restricted, she distrusts anything involving humans, and—worst of all—the strong and handsome Walker starts triggering her mating need.
They have no choice but to work together, and as they continue their search for the missing girl, uncovering secrets neither Shifters nor humans want them to know, both Walker and Rebecca find it hard not to mix business with pleasure…

my thoughts

Have I mentioned how addicted I am to Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series? Well, I am. I adore this series more than you can imagine and have followed along since the beginning. Having been a long time shifter fan, it may surprise you that Rebecca was never really a character of interest for me but what I admire about this particular author is that she knows what her readers want when even they don’t know they want it. I had no idea I would fall in love with Rebecca and Walker. I was able to relate so strongly to their story. Both secretly pining for one another but being unwilling to throw themselves out there. Too afraid of rejection when they were so sure that the other was their match. I connected with that. How often have you cared for someone and worried that those feelings wouldn’t be reciprocated? Jennifer Ashley took a story filed with fantasy and fiction and made it feel real. Once again she delivered a well written story, building on the fountain we’ve grown to love. I will tell you now that every time I get a little peak at Olaf I smile and cannot wait until he goes through transition so we can finally see his happily ever after as well. The bears were shifters that before I’d never really responded strongly too but after Ronan and now Rebecca, I think these bears are stealing my heart. If you have not yet read Bear Attraction, be sure to add this one to your must read list because it is a riveting story filled with tension, passion, and understanding that everyone can relate to.

4 coffee cups

about the author

NY Times Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical and paranormal romance and historical mysteries, as Jennifer Ashley, Allyson James, and Ashley Gardner. 

Jennifer’s novels have won RWA’s RITA and RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. More about her books athttp://www.jennifersromances.comhttp://www.allysonjames.com, and http://gardnermysteries.com

you dont want to miss this

An exclusive interview with the author!

Hi Jennifer, Thank you so much for joining us today as we discuss your upcoming release Bear Attraction. We are thrilled to have you.

Now, Bear Attraction features Rebecca who is a Kodiak Bear shifter and Walker, her human love interest. How did you go about building the chemistry between these two?

The chemistry started when Rebecca and Walker met in the book Tiger Magic. Walker was taken captive by one of the characters in that book, and left for Rebecca to watch over. Walker wakes up trussed up in duct tape and sees this big, beautiful woman standing over him. When he tries to escape, she turns into a bear and stops him! 

Ever since, they’ve been wary of each other, but also very attracted, no matter how much they fight it. In Bear Attraction, Walker and Rebecca are forced to confront what they’re feeling about each other when Rebecca is required to help Walker find a missing young woman.

It’s not necessary to read Tiger Magic first—I try to explain what’s going on in Bear Attraction for new readers. Although I really love Tiger, so I won’t discourage anyone from reading his book!

In Bear Attraction, a new shifter is introduced, one who’s breed even Rebecca hadn’t come across. Is it likely that we’ll be seeing his story soon and in that story, will we learn why Dylan is remaining hush hush about his existence?

Oh, yes! When Kendrick came on stage, he stunned me, and of course I have to write his story. I think Kendrick will be the next full-length book (after Mate Bond), though that’s not set in stone yet. Dylan is always up to something, so yes, we’ll see why he’s keeping Kendrick secret.

Oh Goodie! Readers, let me tell you, as soon as you meet Kendrick you will crave his story. If you’re anything like me and got hooked on Tiger, I have a feeling Kendrick will be even better! 

Olaf is a bear who has captivated my heart ever since I saw him appear in Bodyguard. We see a bit more of him in Bear Attraction and despite how little he appears, we still fall in love with his character. When Olaf grows up, will be learn more about his somewhat darker and mysterious past?

Olaf is so adorable. 🙂 I love that little bear. I will be revealing more of his story as we go, even before he grows up. He had it rough!

How did you decide on Rebecca and Walker for this story? What leads you to the next shifters in line (so to speak) that you choose to write about?

I’d wanted to write about Walker and Rebecca since they met in Tiger Magic. I had already committed to writing the next two books in the series at that time, so I had to wait a few stories to get to them, but I was itching to do it. 

To be honest, I hadn’t planned for Walker to be a character in this series at all. When I “met” him in Tiger Magic, he was a walk-on, a military guy who wasn’t comfortable with what he’d been assigned to do. But he intrigued me. I thought, “Who is this guy? What’s his background? His story? How can he fit in with the Shifters?” And his character just grew. Then he met Rebecca, and I knew who he had to be paired with!

I plan who gets their story next in a couple of ways—1) I grow very interested in the characters when they’re introduced, and 2) readers ask for them. If a character is very popular and readers want the story, I will try to get to that story as quickly as possible (probably not as fast as readers would like, but I try). 

One character readers constantly mention is Connor, the twenty-one-year-old nephew of the Austin Shiftertown leader. The hard thing is, I have to wait for him to grow up a little! In my world’s “rules,” Shifters aren’t ready to find mates until they’re about twenty-eight or twenty-nine. I might have to fast-forward the timeline to get to Connor, poor guy. 

Bear Attraction and Mate Bond are both scheduled for a 2015 release. Does this mean we can expect two shifter books each year and is there the possibility of a third later this year with Mate Bond coming out in April?

I’ve worked it out with the publisher that we’ll be doing more than two a year now. I plan to bring out another Shifter book in June (possibly Broderick’s story–again nothing is written in stone yet), and I’m tentatively planning a Shifters Christmas book for November or December.

Next year, there will be two full-length Shifter novels coming out, plus as many shorter works I can write—in both e- and print!

I am so excited. Here I was thinking I was getting spoiled with two books a year in the same series but now hearing we’ll get more, all I can say is WOW!

Now, at the end of Bear Attraction, we get a sneak peak at Mate Bond which will feature Bowman and Kenzie. What previous books if any have we seen these two in and what drew you to writing their story?

Kenzie is new to everyone—she has not appeared in any of the books yet. 

Bowman O’Donnell is the leader of the North Carolina Shiftertown, in western NC, near Asheville. He appears briefly in Tiger Magic and again in Wild Wolf, at the meetings of the Shiftertown leaders. Bowman is kind of a hard-ass in these meetings, and he’s accompanied by a cheetah Shifter called Jamie.

Bowman and Kenzie are already mated, but they’re struggling to find the mate bond, and they have a lot of challenges in their way. You’ll learn a lot about them and their families, plus the cheetah Jamie, plus a fun bear called Cade, and Kenzie and Bowman’s cute son, Ryan.

As with most of my characters, I grew interested in Bowman when he did a walk-on in the other books. I felt the need to find out what he was all about. Bowman is one of the sexiest Shifters I’ve written, IMHO, and he and Kenzie have an electric relationship. I absolutely love their chemistry and their relationship with their cub.

I also had a great time putting together yet another Shiftertown! Mate Bond will be out in April.

Jennifer thank you so much for joining us and sharing. The sneak peak of Mate Bond at the end of Bear Attraction did not tell me they were already mated or that they had a cub so now I am even that much more excited to read. I cannot wait for the next shifter book!

Thanks so much! I hope everyone enjoys the Shifters.

Jennifer Ashley