Hiding one’s true self might be possible in the human world, but grizzly shifters aren’t easily fooled.Gavin Wright is human. He is also not out. He has no intention of ever coming out. He’s unwilling to face the condemnation. Lucky for him, he’s had the privilege of hiding his true self inside a fake relationship with his best friend, Paige, for ten years.
Dale Gerben is a grizzly shifter. As such, he has the ability to sense things humans cannot. Therefore, it comes as a surprise to him that Gavin thinks he’s so well hidden from the world. He isn’t hidden from Dale. And Dale is up for the challenge.
It’s a summer fling. No one in the human world will find out. Dale needs someone to help him heal old wounds, and Gavin needs someone to show him what he’s capable of if he’d just trust himself.
No one needs to get hurt. Until they do…
The odds are not in their favor. It’s forbidden to change a human into a shifter. It’s challenging to maintain a life-long mixed relationship. Gavin has doubts. Dale has secrets.
Two young girls are missing. There’s an accident. A race against the clock.
Neither man will ever be the same.
While each of these books is standalone, I do recommend reading the series in order.
Now I don’t read much MM unless there is an F in in there somewhere, but this story is so intricately entwined with the previous book – Grizzly Promise I had to read it.
Now shifters have a totally different view of things since they can smell arousal. That was how Dane knew Gavin was interested in him. What he didn’t know was that Gavin wasn’t out and that revealing himself would lose him his family. One thing was certain, Paige wasn’t going to be able to play his girlfriend anymore. She and Wyatt are mates and he’s not going to stand for her agreement with Gavin.
This is a favorite scene at Dale’s home, where Gavin finds the way to inform Dale he knows about shifters.
All his thoughts were way too premature for action. He had no way of knowing yet if Gavin was even a bottom or what sort of kink he enjoyed. If any.
Instead, he set his palms on the counter at his sides, white-knuckled the marble, and forced himself to remain where he was. “So, what do you do when you aren’t pretending to be in a het relationship?”
Gavin swallowed, setting his bottle on the island. “If everyone in this town is as intuitive as you, we’re in a heap of trouble.”
Dale frowned. “Why? I’m not understanding the need for the pretense.”
Gavin sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“You’re not out.” How had he not thought of that before now? Inwardly, he cringed. Outwardly, he stood rigid, pleading with whatever power of the universe that had made him attracted to this most inappropriate man. So far there was nothing about Gavin that Dale would normally find attractive. He was human. He wasn’t out. Worse—he was so totally not out that he lived in a pretend world with a fake het relationship. The man didn’t even like beer. He was a freaking college student. Dale didn’t go for anyone with even one of those qualities. Ever. And yet.
Gavin winced, lifting his gaze. “No.”
“And you’re hiding behind a fake relationship? That’s cold.” He stiffened. Why would any woman consent to such an arrangement?
Gavin shook his head. “It’s not quite as unequal as you’re envisioning, and I’ve never once forced Paige to continue the farce. She’s free to pretend to break up with me anytime she wants. In fact, I wish she would. It seems Wyatt Arthur is her…uh…whatever you want to call him.” His gaze darted to the counter where he reached for his beer and traced his finger through the condensation on the outside of the bottle. Had he been about to say mate?
This was always a conundrum whenever a shifter met a full human—figuring out how much they knew without giving away anything unnecessary. Though it was interesting to note that Gavin could have simply asked Paige if Dale was a shifter and they wouldn’t be engaged in this awkward dance.
Dale nearly slapped his forehead when it occurred to him that Paige had no idea Gavin was here in his house. Why was he keeping this secret from Paige? So many questions. He decided to fall back on his regular standard method of inquisition to put an end to the charade. “It would be so much easier if we kicked the elephant out of the room now rather than dance around it all evening.”
The line worked perfectly. Any human with no knowledge of shifters would assume he was speaking of sex. Any human who was well informed would react totally differently.
Gavin hesitated and then chose not to take the bait. Instead, he glanced at the row of windows behind the kitchen table. “I seriously doubt you see a lot of elephants in this part of the country, but I bet you have some grizzly bears.” He bit his bottom lip again as he returned his gaze to Dale’s.
Dale glanced at Gavin’s mouth and licked his lips. “More than you can imagine.”
“That’s what Paige tells me.”
Dale couldn’t stand the distance or the dance another moment. He shoved off the counter, rounded the island, and pressed his front against Gavin’s back, flattening his hands on the marble on both sides of the smaller man’s frame. He set his lips on Gavin’s ear and whispered. “The bear population is larger than what you’d find recorded anywhere. You never know where you might find one.”
Dale also has his secrets as is revealed by all the computer equipment he has. But he really loves building things.
This is an inspiring tale, wrought with emotion, missing young girls and a sizzling love story. One that definitely brought out my tears more than once and with giggles, and sighs to round everything up.
5 Contented Purrs for Becca!
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Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.
After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.
When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!
Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.