Kodiak's Claim by Eve Langlais
He might growl, but she's not afraid to bite.
Hands full taking care of his clan, the last thing this Kodiak bear needs is a woman poking her cute little nose into his affairs. But when she refuses to back down--and shows the courage to stand up to him--he can't resist the allure of a curvy city girl.
She's mine. All mine.
And when a rival clan thinks to use her to force his paw, he'll show them why you never piss off a Kodiak, or threaten what's his.
Tammy is convinced men are all scum, even gorgeous ones like Reid Carver. She knows he's hiding something. Something big. She just never expected a real freaking bear hid underneath all those muscles. But when the truth comes out and he tries to scare her off with a roar, she shows him not just bears have bite.
I listened to this one on audio book and really enjoyed it. Reid Carver is the Alpha of his town of shifters as well as the boss of the company that employs a lot of the townspeople. He transports products south as well as arranges to pick up supplies on his trucks' return trips north. When three of his trucks disappear and his drivers go missing, all signs point to foul play. Someone is trying to make a bid to weaken his leadership...he can't afford to swallow the costs of the missing trucks or their loads and so has to report it to his insurance company.
Tammy is the insurance investigator sent to see if the claim is valid or an attempt at insurance fraud. Bundled in her brand new parka, she makes the trek north to Kodiak Point where the daylight lasts for a few hours and the silence of her surroundings remind her of childhood camping trips with her father. Upon Tammy's arrival, she finds that she isn't allowed to rent a car--where she is going is considered too dangerous for a tourist to tackle on their own. When she finds that one of Reid Carver's trucks will be nearby, she heads over to the loading dock and finagles her way onto the truck being driven by Reid's cousin, Travis. Unbeknownst to Tammy, Reid has hopes that someone might make a play for Travis's truck and has it under surveillance. He also has a close friend, and former army teammate, Boris on board as well.
When it turns out that Reid is right to suspect that someone might make a play for the truck, it starts a string of events that leaves Tammy living with him so he can keep a close eye (and perhaps a few other body parts) on her. He has a lot to hide (and a lot to lose) but something about this city girl pulls at his mating instincts and his bear is quick to lay claim to her curvy self. Tammy is equally drawn to Reid but knows she needs to prove that he isn't a criminal before she can do anything about her attraction. Everything about Reid draws her interest but there are too many incidents that are slightly off, and she can't quite figure out what it is that Reid is hiding. She just knows that while he has a lot of pat answers, she isn't buying them.
Reid is quite content to have Tammy in his space, despite the fact that she tries to brain him with a cast iron pan at one point and shoots him with silver buckshot on another occasion. Unfortunately, Reid, as Alpha is expected to mate with another shifter, not a human. While he fully plans to have Tammy, he doesn't see anything long term with her in his future. Until he realizes that he can't let her go...what good is being Alpha if he can't do what he wants? He dares anyone to tell him he can't have Tammy! Unfortunately by the time he comes to that conclusion, someone else has figured out how important she is too him and decides to take her to strike another blow at Reid. Now Reid has to figure out who has Tammy and how to get her back...not to mention how to keep his mate, family, and town safe from further strikes from his enemies.
This book is full of Eve Langlais's quick wit and sarcastically wonderful dialogue. Tammy is a take-me-as-I-am-or-kiss-my-ass heroine who has had one too many exes try to change her. Reid is an Alpha who is used to getting what he wants when he wants it. When Tammy quickly makes it clear that she is not going to fall at his feet or into his bed, Reid takes it as a challenge and begins to make plans on how to get is paws on the sexy woman. Tammy is pleasantly surprised to discover that Reid honestly loves her curves and can only hope that he isn't behind the disappearance of his trucks. Reid is upfront about the fact that while he wants Tammy, he isn't offering her anything with a future. Tammy knows there isn't anything to keep her in Kodiak Point but the longer she is there, the more she falls for Reid, the people of Kodiak, and Alaska itself.
This book was a hoot and a half and I can't wait to read book two featuring Boris and Jan, both of whom we get to know in this first book and whose relationship promises to be full of fireworks and hard heads.