Fate has dealt bear shifter Martin Kruger a rotten hand. His destined mate, Dr. Elizabeth Montrose, is the enemy and suffers from a fatal illness. He’s waited over two hundred years for a mate he might never have the chance to claim.
Elizabeth has long ago given up dreams of love, marriage and children. Her life is her research and now that is gone in a puff of smoke, thanks to the bears of Honey Corners. A tiny spark of hope blooms in her heart when the handsome bear tells her they are mates, but will that instinctual bond be enough to overcome all that stands between them?
His bear was primal, feral, animal. It knew only one thing. They had met their mate. The bear had no qualms or reservations. It didn’t care if she was good or evil. It wanted only to mate, protect and love. Too bad the man couldn’t feel the same way.
How could he feel desire for such a woman? He should want to strangle her with his bare hands not throw her down and mate her until she screamed his name. He was verrückt, crazy with mating frenzy, that’s all it could be.
He downed the rest of the beer and set the bottle on the table. Anger burned in his gut like hot coals. Lust poured gasoline on the coals and lit the fire. Then grief drizzled down over it all, turning the fire to smoke and ashes.
This was getting him nowhere. He could analyze it until he was blue in the face, but it wouldn’t change the facts. Why did he keep rehashing it? He needed to take a shower and at least try to get a little sleep. He had to face his Sippe in the morning.
Maybe Bern could help him find an answer. His friend and mentor had always helped him in the past, always stood by his side. Maybe there was a way? Who was he kidding? Himself, obviously.
Martin’s shoulders sagged, so weary now he wondered if he could drag himself up the stairs to his bedroom. What was the point in going on? He had nothing left to live for. His dream of a mate and cubs was lost.
Two hundred years of waiting and searching for that perfect soul mate and she turns out to be the enemy. Unsuitable. Unfit. Evil.
A single tear slid from his eye and he viciously wiped it away. Many bears never found their mates and lived out their lives simply enjoying the companionship of willing females. He had a duty to the Sippe. He could do the same.
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Hello Martin and Elizabeth. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews.
Martin: Guten Tag, mine dame.
Elizabeth: Hi, don’t mind him, he always goes for the German when it’s a “formal” situation. (nudges Bern) Chill out, big guy.
Please introduce yourselves to the readers.
Martin: I am Martin Kruger, Second in the Honey Corner’s Sippe and mate to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: And I’m Dr.Elizabeth (giggles) Kruger, I can’t get used to saying that. Microbiologist, and new member of the Sippe.
Congratulations! Martin, you're a werebear. How old are you? If I didn't know you were a werebear, how old would I think you were?
Martin: I am 243 years old. (He looks at Elizabeth and Kim) I don’t know how old you would think I am, (shrugs shoulders) 35 maybe?
Okay. That works for me. Elizabeth, you were introduced in the first Animal in Me book, Hers to Bear. I have to say you were doing some pretty bad and possibly unforgivable things. Did you feel the least bit sorry for your "experiments"? I’m sorry to bring it up, but I had to ask.
Elizabeth: (Elizabeth clasps her hands and looks down at her lap.) There was one experiment that I was wholly against. It went terribly wrong and the consequences were awful. It haunts me to this day. As for the rest, I didn’t like what the Army was doing to obtain the subjects for the experiments. I fought them and I was trying to find a way to free them, but the experiments themselves didn’t harm anyone.
I definitely had the wrong idea of you. And for that, I apologize. Martin, I think it's safe to say when you laid eyes on Elizabeth, you freaked out a little bit. How did you reconcile what she's done and tried to do with how you felt about her?
Martin: It was very difficult. Elizabeth was in a terrible position. She felt if she left there would be no one to protect the children. At least with her there, she was able to make sure no physical harm befell our kin.
Outside of who you two are as individuals, what's the greatest challenge or threat to your relationship?
Martin: HUNT’s was our greatest threat, but I think we have neutralized that for now.
Elizabeth: Prejudice and fear. As long as there are still people out there who hate and fear what they don’t understand all shifters will be at risk.
You're creator, Tamara Hoffa, is a pretty cool lady. Which one of you gave her the most trouble, in writing this story?
Elizabeth: Martin (they both laugh)
I can actually see that, Martin. What do you think readers will take away from your story?
Martin: I hope they will learn not to judge people so quickly. To look deeper and see the motivation behind their actions before they pass judgement.
Elizabeth: That with strength, faith and love you can overcome anything.
So I know you guys have the inside track on what's happening in Honey Corners and the neighboring towns. What's next for the Animal in Me Series?
Martin: (Martin looks at Elizabeth) She wants spoilers. Should we tell?
Well yeah. I think you should tell me!
Elizabeth: We can give her a little clue. (Leans closer) There is a new librarian in town. Her name is Gina Salducci. She moved to Honey Corner’s from Atlantic City, New Jersey to escape from a nasty boyfriend. Well, you know Martin’s lieutenant, Guiles? He’s her mate! But as you can imagine after what Gina’s been through she is NOT looking for a man. Especially not a 6’5” bear/man.
I am definitely looking forward to reading Gina and Guiles’ story. Hey you two, thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions for me. I really enjoyed reading your story. I hope other readers will too.
Martin: Vielen Dank.
Elizabeth: Thank you for having us.
Psst. In case you were like me and had no idea what Martin was saying to me....
Guten Tag, mine dame translates to (Good day, my lady.) - Good thing I didn’t know what he said. I might have swooned just a little bit. I’m not too sure Elizabeth’s bear would have appreciated that.
Vielen Dank translates to (Many thanks.)
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The Animal in Me Series:
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Hers to Bear ~ Review
Tamara Hoffa lives in central Tennessee, with her husband of 30 years, her father, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She started reading at four years old and has rarely been seen without a book since. At home you will usually find her in “nana’s chair” with her kindle, her laptop or one of her precious, precocious grandsons in her lap. Tamara is an author, an editor, and reviews/submissions coordinator for Secret Cravings Publishing. Tamara is proof positive that it’s never too late to reach for your dreams.
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