Bearing It All
A Highlander's Beloved, #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: October 27, 2015
Number of pages: 255
Cover Artist: Igor Kireev
A Scottish hunter and a French secret agent find themselves on a collision course with danger—and irresistible desire—in Vonnie Davis’s new bear-shifting Highlander novel, perfect for fans of Jennifer Ashley and Shelly Laurenston.
In the pine-dense mountains of the Scottish Highlands, shape-shifter Ronan Matheson is running free when a desperate woman parachutes out of the sky, directly onto his furry, powerful chest. Instead of clawing her to death, Ronan’s inner bear longs to keep her safe. Once he’s back in human form, Ronan is amused by the mysterious beauty’s fearless attitude—and tempted by her expertly toned physique. But what could she possibly be doing in this isolated stretch of the Highlands?
French intelligence agent Anisa Brosseau never imagined she’d be on the CIA’s bad side—until she’s framed for treason and forced to flee in a stolen drone. Hiding out in a remote cabin, Anisa just needs some time to clear her name. What she doesn’t need is a brooding, muscle-bound Scot in a skimpy kilt to drive her crazy with lust. But when Anisa’s enemies come knocking on his door, Ronan calls on a secret weapon to protect his turf and the bonny lass he’s come to love.
Now what was he supposed to do? “Bloody hell! Not only am I stuck with a woman, but a feisty, hardheaded one, at that.”
“Take your Scottish skirt, your hairy muscular legs, and go back inside. Leave. Me. Alone.”
Look, she likes yer legs. She’s not wimpy. I like her spirit.
“Yer opinion has nay bearing in this matter.”
“Does too,” she mumbled and shifted away from the rock’s roughest edge.
Bloody hell, she thought he was talking to her. Ronan stooped so he could examine her; at least her hearing was still good. She’d taken quite a tumble over that boulder he’d tried digging out on several occasions, but that was just too damn big to remove by himself. The deeper he shoveled, the larger the feckin’ thing became. “Are ye hurt, lassie?” He ran his hands over her, searching for broken bones.
She rolled and, before he knew what she was about, wrapped her thighs around his legs, slipped her arms under his armpits and flipped him over her head. He landed on his back, the wind knocked out of him, and his Scottish temper rose like the mist over the bogs.
Oh yeah, I like her. Shift, so I can play tumble, too.
“Ye are a fool if ye think ye’re playing tumble with her.”
The woman slowly stood and weaved for a bit. “What in the hell are you talking about? I wasn’t playing tumble. I was getting your grubby hands off me.” She pressed two fingertips to the part of her forehead exposed by the helmet. “Why do I feel as if I’m having a three-way conversation?” “I wasna making improper advances. I know how nasty that blasted boulder is. I was merely searching fer any injuries ye may have suffered.” Ronan backflipped into a stand. “Ye look exhausted, even though ye still have enough vinegar in yer system to knock me on me arse. I apologize for me boorish actions earlier. Of course ye’re welcome to spend the night in me warm cabin, fed and undisturbed.”
“After all I’ve been through this past week, I don’t trust you any more than a rabid dog or a raging bear.” She planted her hands on her rounded hips. “Frankly, your change in attitude is too quick to be believed. Even so, my French politeness demands I apologize.” She glanced away fer a beat as if the apology was going to cost her a fine fortune.
Then her gaze connected with his and part of him, his soul, his heart—he had nay clue—did a strange, slow roll, taking his breath with it. “Sir, you are much too kind. As dirty as I am, I’d only mess up your house. I’ll just keep moving on.” She bent to retrieve her flashlight. “Thank you. I’m sorry for my attitude. I know I was being bitchy.” She gave an audible sigh and shook her head a time or two. “That remark about your skirt was also uncalled for. I hope you’ll forgive me for my thoughtlessness.”
Her heartfelt request fer forgiveness softened his mood. “Outsiders dinna understand the strong pride we have fer our plaid, our kilts, our traditions. Come inside. I’ll heat ye some soup.”
“Thanks, but no. An intelligent woman would not go into a strange man’s cabin alone.” She made two steps and he picked her up by the waist and tossed her over his shoulder. She wrapped one arm around his neck, inhaled his woodsy scent as she clasped that wrist with her other one, shifted over a tad, and kneed him in the balls.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” he breathed as he dropped to his knees, released his grasp on her, and rolled onto his side, holding his privates.
“Bloody fokin’ hell. What did I do to deserve that?”
Anisa leaned over him. “Feeling a little sick to your stomach, are you?”
“Ye are a demon. A ball-crushing demon.” He held his crotch, his knees bent and his kilt showing he wore nothing beneath it.
She shuffled from one foot to the other as she stared at his Scottish bagpipe. Bet he could hit a lot of high notes with that thing. “You... you startled me when you grabbed me like that.”
“Well, ye needna be afraid now. I couldna molest ya, even if I wanted to, which I dinna. I’m betting foreplay with ye would be like grabbing hold of an electrical wire while sitting in a tub of water.” He groaned and cussed some more. “Hell, I bet yer vagina is lined with shark’s teeth.” His continued gasping still indicated he was fighting for enough breath to talk.
She leaned over and shook a finger at him. “Just keep that image in your mind, buster, and we’ll get along fine.”
I adore a good bear shifter romance and am always on the look out for another one. I know that some people prefer wolves or a big cat, but for me, it's the bear. They are usually portrayed as big, burly, fun loving, and protective. They aren't typically seen as aggressive as a wolf or as finicky as a cat. They can pull of that whole teddy bear image, while maintaining their fearsomeness. That's right, the bear shifter rocks!
I normally don't like to read out of series order, and I definitely haven't read books 1 or 2 in this series. But that was okay, most of this book is about Ronan and Anisa getting to know each other. In some pretty extreme and bizarre circumstances, but hey, paranormal here. I'm allowed to suspend some of my beliefs and roll with the unbelievable. Besides, it seems as though most of the back story in the other two books is just regarding the other two Matheson brothers' romances. Nothing really vital to this story was in those books. I might have to go back and read them just for the supporting characters of Effie and Colleen. The little bit these two had page time, totally had me laughing.
Basically what we have here is a fun bear shifter romance, set in Scotland with all that lovely kilt clad, brogue speaking goodness we expect from a Highlander. Our female kicked ass, took names, and made sure to get cuddle time in with her big bad bear. I got exactly what I was expecting and had an enjoyable few hours reading it. I gave this book 4 stars.
Special thanks to Netgalley and Tasty Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Vonnie Davis, who studied English at Penn State, likens herself to a croissant: crusty, wrinkled, flaky—and best served with strong coffee. After a career as a technical writer, she’s spending her retirement playing fairy godmother to her characters, giving them their happily-ever-afters. Six fantastic, talented kids call her “Grandma” and brighten her world in so many ways. She lives in Southern Virginia with her husband, author Calvin Davis.
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