No Ifs, Ands, or Bears About It by Celia Kyle
The first day of Mia's new life in Grayslake, Georgia is not going as planned. The house her grandfather left her looks ready to crumble, boxes cover every inch of the floor and --oh--there's a bear cub in her pantry. It gets worse when the cub's uncle comes by and busts out his fur and claws while on her front porch. Then it gets loads better because suddenly there's a hot hunk of badge-wearing werebear on her front lawn ready to rescue her. Yum. Of course, he has to ruin things by trying to take the cub out of her hands. The cub is hers...no ifs, ands, or bears about it.
Werebear Ty can't seem to get the curvaceous, delectable to understand that, even if she is one-quarter werebear, she isn't keeping the cub. Ty is the Grayslake Itan, the clan's leader, and the little werebear is going home with him...unless he isn't. It's her smile. If she'd stop smiling and being gorgeous, his inner-bear would support him and Ty would get his way. But the beast wants to make the woman happy, so its perfectly content to let her do as she pleases. Then things change. Threats arise, danger comes close and Ty demands she return to his den. No ifs, ands, or mates about that.
This is the most disappointing type of book to me...the kind that sets up to be pretty great and then takes a left turn and promptly goes downhill. However, this book doesn't stop there, it keeps on rolling downhill, gathering speed and destroying everything in its path until it crashes and burns with nothing left but ashes and could-have-beens. Yikes. And bummer. I have seen this book on various review sites and when I saw it was on sale for $0.99, I read the sample, liked it and downloaded it. It's usually a pretty safe bet for me to take a chance on something that is just a buck...if it's great then I have gotten a deal! If it's bad, then I'm not out too much. But with this book? I immediately wanted a refund (I didn't get one, after all, I read the whole book so it just doesn't seem right...but I still want one even if I won't do anything about it).
Mia is moving into her recently deceased Grandfather's house in Grayslake, Georgia. She knows it is a bear shifter community as she has visited her Grandfather many times and is herself one fourth bear. However, she was never allowed to socialize or even do much more besides hang around the house and yard when she visited. So when she finds a bear cub in her pantry, she isn't caught completely off guard and realized by the way the poor thing reacts that it is scared to death. When the cub's aggressive uncle comes by demanding his nephew and said nephew pees himself in fear, Mia decides that she will protect this cub come hell or high water. The local law comes by and ends up arresting said Uncle and taking him away but also insists that Parker, the cub, be handed over to the clan's Itan, or leader. Mia says no. Ty, who is this Itan, backs down and stays with them to keep an eye on them both. And I enjoyed this part of the story. Then it starts to go downhill.
Ty eventually moves Mia and Parker to the clan den where he lives and many of the other bear look down on Mia for being human, she gets snippy, Ty gets cranky, and Parker is pretty much shoved aside until bringing him out again provides a convenient plot device. Mia is the only one that can sooth the savage beast as Ty begins losing control left and right in his anger that nobody understands how wonderful Mia is. His greatest anger is turned towards his brothers...one of which is his enforcer, one a healer, and one a hacker who has been shunted aside by Ty, a thread that I wish had been explored more but was instead introduced and fixed in the course of a couple of paragraphs.
Mia begins to become one of the more annoying characters I have had the displeasure to read about and Ty continues to swing between great guy and out-of-control beast that no one in their right mind would want leading their clan. Unfortunately, I was invested in the story and figured if I hung in there it would get better. Wrong. I should have bailed. Between this point and the end the following incidents occurred that completely killed any remaining fuzzy feelings I had about this book: Mia continually cursed using the phrase "crap on a cracker" because she has strong feelings about not cursing...and yet that is one of the nastiest phrases I have ever heard. Gross! At one point, Mia is upset (and in her defense, pretty rightfully so) so the clan drugs her orange juice. What?? Drugging someone into unconsciousness is NOT okay! When she wakes up, she agrees that, yes, she was so scared she couldn't make a rational decision....um, no, still not okay.
Later on still the book turns into an all out bloodbath and Mia finds herself pinned down in the kitchen with a few guards. People are shooting at them and they need to defend themselves. She is given a gun and told to point and shoot. I get that she has not handled a weapon before but good golly, she was a spineless baby! At one point, a guard is trying to leave the kitchen when she sees a baddie come in with a gun...does she point and shoot like shew as told to? Nope, she screams like a helpless little fool. And then laments sadly that she didn't even know the name of the guy who just died to protect her. Poor sad Mia...it's all about her. Not the dude who thought it was a good idea to give his life for her. But Mia...because she's all sad now don't you know.
The way this book wraps up is also super annoying and disappointing but by that time I just wanted to be done with the book. The only reason I finished the last 8% of the book was because I hated to DNF when I was so close to being done. Plus, there were still a couple of characters I did like (Isaac, Keen) and I wanted to see what would happen with Parker who was unfortunately off screen way too much for my liking the last half of the story. All in all, I will not be giving other books in this series a go because I am afraid the author would somehow destroy my faith in the few characters that I still like.
This book has a pretty good rating on Goodreads, it just wasn't for me.