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B.E.A.S.T. of Burden by Rebecca Goings, Champagne Press
The official blurb: Rogan Wolfe desperately wants to find the wife he doesn’t remember. After kidnapping him two years earlier, B*E*A*S*T* faked Rogan’s death to make it appear as if he’d died in a gruesome car accident. With that knowledge, he is driven to reclaim the life that was so maliciously stolen from him. Marlie Silver is in shock. Not only has she just found out that her husband is alive and well, she learns that he’s a shifter–able to change his shape into a timber wolf. She’s never gotten over his loss and he’s offering her a second chance. Problem is, he doesn’t remember their life together. But Rogan is being pursued by Sean Ross, a murderous shifter determined to kill him–and Marlie–at any cost. Can Rogan protect her from the man who wants them both dead? And can a wolf ever stand any chance at all against a Kodiak grizzly? Book 2 in the B*E*A*S*T* series.
My thoughts: I read book I in this series and am happy to report that Becka Goings pulled off the sequel well. It’s very difficult to strike the balance–make the book a standalone without retelling the whole backstory, but dropping enough references to the first story to satisfy those who enjoyed that. So, you don’t have to have read the first book.
Is this a shapeshifter story? Hmmn. Well, it has to be I suppose, with a wolf guy. But it doesn’t feel like one to me. While pertinent to the whole concept of the B.E.A.S.T. organization, the shifting business is minimally important to the contemporary story here. In fact, this feels most like a contemporary category romance, with shapeshifting as a very secondary aspect.
What did I love about this book? If you’re married, or involved, or have ever lost someone you loved, you’ll understand the wrenching pull of finding that a man you thought was gone forever is back in your life (in a good way). This is a story of love lost and rewon, and that touched me. I really liked the character of Rogan very much, loved the setting, and the story and flow reminded me of many contemporary “cabin in the woods” kind of stories I’ve read before.
What did I not love? Eh, maybe Marlie was a little too wimpy. Well, not overly wimpy, since she has lost her husband, her house, is on the run, and has had a pretty bad shock. I wouldn’t do much better, but we always like our heroines to be superhuman, huh? I would have liked to see a hair more distinction in the personalities of the good guys, they kinda blend into one another a hair.
If you like action, a dash of sex, a very warmhearted romance, then this book is perfect for you. Rebecca Goings writes with heart and real affection for her characters–it shows through, and you care about them too. Her writing is smooth, technically great, and I expect to see her right up on that Intrigue or other category shelf any day soon! 8 of 10 furry growls for this warm book.
If you’d like to win this book, please just post a comment on shapeshifters. What kind of setting do you like for your shapeshifter romances? I’ll pick a random winner on Friday!