Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! by Candace Havens
A Montana town where no one is who they seem....
Everything about runaway heiress Ainsley McLeon screamed trouble—from her luscious midnight locks to her Louboutin-clad toes. Yet sexy, stoic bar owner Luc couldn't deny the instant connection he felt to the tempting stranger…or the long-dead feelings she evoked. She could work in his pub until her truck was fixed but after that she had to leave town for good.
Ainsley traveled with her own emotional baggage and there was no way she'd fall for the bear-tempered Luc...no matter how many passionate nights she spent in his bed or how safe she felt in his muscular arms. Can these two opposites find love in the middle of a blizzard, or will Luc's darker side and Ainsley's past catch up with them?
About the Author
Award-winning author Candace Havens lives in Texas with her mostly understanding husband, two children and two dogs, Scoobie and Gizmo. When she isn't living in the imaginary worlds she creates, she's interviewing celebrities, writers and producers for her job as a TV columnist, and talking about movies with 96.3 KSCS. She runs a free online workshop for writers.
Read an Excerpt
Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears, Oh My!
By Candace Havens, Shannon Godwin
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Candace Havens
All rights reserved.
The icy air outside was too much for the heater of the well-used Ford truck. Ainsley worried her fingers would have to be forcibly removed from the steering wheel they were so cold. The blinding snow didn't help. Even if there were somewhere for her to stop, visibility was zero. She'd been on the winding Montana road for hours without any sign of life. With her luck, she'd probably freeze to death in the wilderness. It had been that kind of day.
She imagined the headlines her sudden flight from her life in California would cause. "Heiress to McLeon Fortune Disappears Without a Trace." She sniffed and stomped her Louboutin-clad left foot on the floor of the truck to keep it from getting frostbite. At least out in the wilds of Montana, she didn't have to worry about her family trying to murder her. Maybe they'd get lucky and a bear would eat her.
Stop it. New life. Remember? We're leaving all that behind.
But betrayal was a hard thing for her to forget. Especially, when it was done at the hands of those she trusted most.
She glanced down to make sure she'd turned the knob the right way for the heat and frowned. The salesman should have mentioned that the truck didn't have heat and one of the headlights was broken. The guy hadn't blinked an eye when she'd handed over five hundred dollars and said she didn't want to have to worry about paper work. He'd given her the keys and put the money in his pocket.
Shivering uncontrollably, she hunched her shoulders and leaned forward. The wipers didn't work so well, but she could see something in the road ahead. Pumping the breaks to slow down, the back of the truck shifted and slid sideways across the ice. Trees whizzed past her as she turned into the skid like she'd always been told to do, but to no avail.
"Craaapppp," she screamed as she let go of the wheel realizing nothing she did would help. Everything happened so fast as the vehicle plowed through a snow bank and into a tree.
The force knocked her face and head against the steering wheel at the same time, the seatbelt cutting into her ribs and waist.
The truck sputtered and the radio made a strange squawking sound. Reaching over she turned it off. Coughing as if it gasped for its last breath, everything quit all at once.
She closed her eyes and she let go of the breath she'd been holding.
Out in the middle of nowhere without a cell phone, heat, or even a coat. Brilliant.
When she'd left Beverly Hills, she'd driven straight to the airport, bought a ticket to a place no one would think to look for her, and boarded the plane ten minutes later.
"Grrrrrrrr." Something growled outside the door of the truck.
She locked her jaw to keep her chattering teeth quiet.
Twisting carefully, she tried to pop the button on the seatbelt but it didn't work. Jamming her finger harder, her nail broke but the latch didn't give.
Wonderful. Instead of freezing to death, I'll be eaten by a wild animal. Part of her mind wondered which death would be worse, as the other side of her brain tried to find a way out.
Of course, she could have stayed in L.A. and let the guys with guns kill her.
Leaning toward the window, she used her hand to wipe away the frosted fog. There was no light to see anything but she sensed whatever it was that growled moved.
She needed light. Her purse had fallen to the floor during the crash. Using her leg, she hooked it over her toe and brought it to the seat. Inside she found the small diamond encrusted key chain with her initial. On the loop with the keys, there was a small penlight she used to find things in her bucket of a purse. Flashing it out the window, the prowling creature came into view.
"No, way." She closed her eyes and opened them again. She must have hit her head harder than she thought.
The orange and black stripes were unmistakable.
What in the hell was a tiger doing in the middle of Montana? The huge monster's eyes burned into hers.
Well, at least it would be somewhat exotic to die by tiger.
The beast, seemingly curious about the light, eased closer to the door and sniffed. As a child, Ainsley had been on safari with her mother and father and she'd seen what a tiger could do to its prey in a matter of seconds. The vehicle jiggled and a loud thump hit the bed of the truck. This was it.
Only ribbons of Ainsley would be left by the time it was done.
The perfect ending to the worst day of her life.
Well, not the worst. That had been last year when her parents died, but this was close.
Another large thump in the truck bed caused her to jump.
Glancing back, she saw the tiger's nose pressed against the window, which was only a few inches from her head. Expecting a large paw to crash through the glass at any moment, she held her breath.
Nothing happened. Lovely, it was toying with her.
"Just kill me," she screamed. "It's the least you could do. Don't make me wait."
The tiger's head popped back as if it understood what she said.
Then it sat there staring at her.
Tears welled, but she refused to let them fall. She was a McLeon. She never cried. Not even when she put her parents in the ground.
Sniffling, she willed herself to focus. She reached down for the seatbelt and tried unsuccessfully to undo it again.
When she turned back, the tiger continued to stare.
The absurdity of the situation wasn't lost on her.
"So, hang around these woods often?"
The tiger made a noise that sounded like a snort and its big fangs poked out.
"That's it. I'm delirious. Now I think you're laughing at me."
The tiger nodded. Or at least she thought it did.
Great. I can't even die sane.
She'd read how hypothermia led to hallucinations. But she couldn't decide whether it would be better if the tiger were real or not. Hypothermia was serious ... but then again, a tiger in her truck bed definitely counted as a bad situation. Before she could say something else, a light blinded her. Shading her eyes with her hand, she could have sworn the tiger nodded at her again before jumping out of the truck bed and disappearing into the night.
"Ma'am," a male voice called to her.
She started when a fist pounded on the window beside her.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes," she mumbled. "My seatbelt is stuck." She looked up and caught the dim outline of some kind of officer, his badge on his chest the only thing she could make out, then turned her attention back to her seatbelt latch.
"Unlock the door, and let me see if I can help," the voice offered.
She did what he asked but the handle on the door didn't work. No matter how hard she pulled, the thing didn't budge.
"Lean back," the voice ordered.
The sound of metal ripping was followed by a blast of freezing cold air that sucked the breath right out of her. Screaming seemed like a good idea, but the shock of the tiger — or the cold blast from the door being ripped open — caused a brain freeze, and not the fun kind from eating ice cream.
"What the hell?" the man asked.
"Where is your coat? Why are you dressed like that? Were you on your way to some party? And at the very least you should have some blankets with you." The man shone the flashlight across the cab and then back at her.
She agreed that her skirt, blouse, and heels were hardly appropriate for the weather but she hadn't had time to worry about that when she fled for her life.
Without waiting for an answer he brought out a huge knife.
"Hey," she shouted but he ignored her as he sliced though the belt.
Then he stood there for a moment.
"You can't walk in those shoes."
"Who are you?" she asked, lifting her chin.
"Don't get all hoity toity with me lady. We don't take kindly to that sort of attitude around here."
The words on the tip of her tongue were sharp and angry. So she did the only thing she could, she bit back her retort. This was no time to make enemies. This man wanted to help her out of a situation that was almost certain death.
"Please forgive me," she said as her teeth chattered. "I'm cold, hungry and scared to death. My body feels like someone pummeled me and did I mention I'm cold?" She shivered uncontrollably.
"Ah, hell." The man scooped her up out of the truck as if her five-foot seven frame weighed nothing. That couldn't have been further from the truth. Her mother used to say Ainsley was big boned, but everyone knew it was her obsession with food that kept her a healthy size twelve- — maybe a ten if she double-Spanxed her curves.
Before she could breathe in the freezing air, she was inside a squad car with warmth blowing at her full blast. She held out her hands to the heat. Maybe she'd survive the frostbite after all.
The man opened the driver door and handed over her purse.
"Thank you," she said.
"Be right back," he said. She watched as he strode toward the truck. He shook his head as if he saw something in the bed of it. Maybe the tiger paw prints? Did she have a Life of Pi moment with the tiger? Was it all her imagination?
The officer pulled out a camera phone and took a picture before stuffing it in his pocket. Then he opened his trunk and pulled out some kind of bundle.
"Wrap these around you," he said handing her three wool blankets. The scratchy material was rash inducing, but she wasn't about to complain. She wrapped one around her shoulders, and another around her legs. She put the third one over her head.
"You're very kind, officer," she said, her teeth still chattering.
"Sorry about being short with you. Comes with the job, and I was worried you had frostbite. I'm Deputy Conrad Joseph," he introduced himself as he put the car in gear.
"I'm Ainsley, uh, Carter," she said trying to think of a name that would hide her identity. He'd caught her off guard with the introduction.
"Well, Ms. Carter, care to explain why you're trespassing on a protected preserve?"
* * *
As the full moon neared, a wild vibe hovered around the bar as it always did this time of the month. The edgy energy meant Luc had to keep a sharp eye on the crowd. Tempers flared quickly in Clarksville, Montana; an all-out brawl might explode in a matter of seconds.
Patty picked up a tray laden with empty beer bottles.
Dammit, Luc hopped over the bar and grabbed the tray. More than once she'd strained her lower back. The last thing he needed was for her to collapse in the middle of the bar. Keen would kill him, or at least he'd try.
"What the —" Patty gasped as he lifted the tray out of her hands.
"I told you not to carry the heavy trays. You call for me," Luc's voice was gruff with concern. Keen and Patty were two of his best friends and if he hadn't been so desperate for help in the bar, she'd be at home with her feet up and her pregnant body reclined.
Slapping at his hand, she tried to reach the tray. But with Luc at six feet five inches tall, she didn't have a chance. "I'm not an invalid," she grouched.
"No, but I'd rather you not go into labor with half of our bar glasses in your hands." He pushed through the crowd at the large pine bar and set down the barware.
"Chris, you're on dish duty tonight," Luc pointed a finger at the young man on a stool at the end of the bar, who promptly nodded.
No one ever argued with Luc. That's the way he wanted it. And the only pay Chris needed was a few bottles of beer. He liked being behind the bar and chatting with the customers.
Luc, on the other hand, was tired. His body's natural need to sleep was a constant fight. Didn't matter how much he slumbered; he always felt half-zombie, half-grouch in the winter.
"Uh, Luc?" Patty grabbed his arm as she doubled over.
"Keen!" Luc yelled as he scooped her up. "It's time."
"Fuck!" Keen ran around the pool tables, taking his wife from Luc's arms.
"Baby, why didn't you say something?" Keen brushed the hair out of her eyes. The tenderness between them tore at Luc's heart. Soon they'd have their perfect family of four. The twins would be healthy — Luc had willed it so. Knowing he could never — would never — again be in Keen's place, Luc wanted this for his friend. Keen had been there for Luc when things were at their worst and seen him through the sorrow that had broken him.
"Doc," Luc nodded toward a booth in the corner but the other man was already following Keen, who held his wife tight in his arms, to the door. Luc wanted to go with them but he had to run the bar. The only other people he'd trust with it were on the way to the small hospital about a mile down the road.
Well-wishers hooted and whistled as the three of them passed through the door.
An old version "She's Having My Baby" played on the jukebox. It was a tradition but Luc hated that song. Reminded him of a time when it was played for his family.
The Cress boys' argument rose over the din of noise. Those kids never gave it a rest.
Luc lumbered toward the pool tables. The boys, who acted like they didn't have a brain between them, hit each other on the head with the pool cues. Damn kids would put out an eye if they weren't careful. And those pool cues weren't cheap.
The crowd around the boys died down as everyone turned to look at Luc, who stood with his arms crossed. It took a few minutes, but the eighteen-year-old boys stopped fighting when they finally noticed the silence.
They stepped back when they saw Luc towering over them.
The cues found their way down to the table and the boys discovered their hiking boots had become mighty interesting.
"Sorry, Luc," Joey Cress said softly.
"What's that?" Luc's voice held no kindness. It was the only way to keep the rowdy kids in check. He remembered how he had been at that age, which was one of the reasons he was so tough on them.
"Sorry, sir," Jaime Cress said.
"You boys get behind the counter and help Chris with the dishes and glassware. You're also responsible for bussing the tables. I have to keep the kitchen going."
The twins nodded.
"And boys ... you break anything in my bar tonight and your heads will be on the wall in the morning."
The threat quieted the crowd even more. The edginess ebbed as he followed the Cress brothers and handed them each an apron to protect their clothing. He'd never had to put a hand on a single patron in all the years he'd owned The Cub Club. His presence was enough to scare them into submission, and he was good with that.
As he passed through the back of the bar, a strange smell assailed his senses. Sweet honey and some kind of flower reminded him of springtime.
The crowd parted and the only noise was from the song on the jukebox.
Luc lifted his head to meet the most beautiful pair of green eyes he'd ever seen.
Trouble stared him down. Luc was the first one to break eye contact. He wasn't sure that had ever happened before.
She teetered on a pair of ridiculous heels, her tight black skirt leaving nothing to the imagination. Her full breasts were pushed up in some kind of white lacy material that showed through the few buttons of her shirt she'd left open. Her ebony hair was pinned in one of those loose ballerina things on top of her head. Luc liked long hair and hated to see a woman try to tame it.
The fantasy of many a man walked toward him on two of the longest legs he'd seen in some time.
He saw a slight shiver pass through her as she drew closer. But she held her head high.
"Are you Luc?" she asked as she tossed her purse on the bar.
Not trusting his voice, he nodded.
"I'm here to apply for the job."CHAPTER 2
Ainsley held her chin up as the dark black eyes of the bar owner stared at her with amusement. A towering force of a man, he had shaggy black hair that framed a rugged face. Damn he was gorgeous, but she couldn't let that distract her from her mission. Those sexy eyes of his narrowed again. It was obvious she was out of her element but he would not intimidate her. No one would ever do that again. She wanted this job. She needed it if she wanted to ever leave town. The tow truck driver had informed Deputy Conrad that the truck's engine had been damaged. He estimated at least two thousand dollars was needed in repairs. About fifteen hundred dollars more than she'd paid for it.
So she was stuck in this two-bit town until she could raise enough to buy a new car or get the repairs made. Pulling money from her sizable bank accounts wasn't an option. It would be too easy for someone to track her. Still in shock over what had happened the last week, she wanted to crawl in a hole and weep, but she had to survive. The first step was acquiring a job.
The deputy had mentioned one of the waitresses was about to have a baby and that the bar owner needed some help. But he didn't look like a man who needed anything.
"Do you have any experience?" The giant bear of a man hadn't taken his eyes off her since she entered the bar except very briefly when she'd first refused to look away.
"Yes," she said. He didn't ask specifically about waitressing experience so she hadn't lied. She did have experience working with the public and particularly difficult clients. While the patrons at the bar might not have the money involved with her business, they couldn't be any more difficult to handle.
His eyebrow shot up and she knew he didn't believe her.
"I've never worked in a place like this," she put a hand on the bar to steady herself. What was it about this guy? He had to be well over six feet and had some of the widest shoulders she'd ever seen. She wanted to run her hands through his hair, and to trail her fingers down that rugged face.
Excerpted from Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears, Oh My! by Candace Havens, Shannon Godwin. Copyright © 2013 Candace Havens. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this story, at only about 130 pages it ended way too soon.
Can't wait for the next book
Enjoyable, but depthless. Had too much angst, but the characters were nice.
Bear shifters are my favorite shifters. Yum. So, when this romance went on sale snarfed it up. I am glad I did. I have not read any Havens before and I enjoyed her writing style and character development. The hero is a snarly bear and heroine is on the run but a black belt. This all makes for good times. All the secondary folk in the book promise great future books. A lovely bon bon read for all of us who love the Bear shifter heros!
Love the sassy,quick witted heroine and gumpy bar owner. Rrally good story, hoping for a series for Clarksville :):)
When heiress to the McLeon fortune, Ainsley McLeon realized someone is out to kill her, she made sure to get far away from Beverly Hills, California and fled for her life. No using credit cards or that massive bank account for Miss Ainsley. That would make it easy for the bad guys to track her down! So with just $50 in her pocket and a broken down truck, Ainsley walks into a bar and demands a job as a waitress. Luc needs a waitress as his last one just went into labor. But the last thing he needs is someone like Ainsley. In her fancy clothes and high heels, she is nothing but trouble and he wants nothing to do with her. But when Ainsley breaks down in tears and he hears her story, Luc can’t resist helping her. Ainsley just wants to make enough money waitressing to fix the truck and be on her way. But Luc is irresistible and she is really starting to fall for him. Unfortunately, Ainsley doesn’t know the truth about him and the other patrons of the bar. They’re not all what they seem to be. Will Ainsley find out who is trying to kill her and make it back home? Or will Montana forever change this heiress and show her what true love really feels like? LIONS, TIGERS, AND SEXY BEARS OH MY! Is a short story by author Candace Havens. This was a fun romantic read that kept me interested from the beginning. Ainsley and Luc had an undeniable chemistry even though they were such opposites. If you’re looking for something nice to read without violence this is a sweet story to curl up with and read before bedtime. Overall, I enjoyed reading about Ainsley and Luc and would love to revisit them in another story.
This book started out with a bang, almost literally. Ainsley McLeon is so cold while on the run from her extended family who she thinks is trying to kill her, that she skids on an icy road and runs right into a tree. Of course, who can blame her for slamming on the brakes when she is sees a tiger standing in the middle of the road. The middle of nowhere Montana is not the place for fully grown tigers to just be wandering around. To make matters worse, the tiger jumps up into the back of her pick up and laughs at her while she gives him a running commentary on how bad her life is at the moment. Luckily for her, she is saved by a local deputy before she is eaten or freezes. Of course, the deputy tries to persuade her that it was a hallucination, but she knows what she saw. With her truck out of commission and unable to access any funds for fear of the shooters tracking her down, Ainsley knows she is going to have to figure out a way to make some money. When she hears that the local bar, the CubPub is newly short a server, she decides to go apply. The owner of the CubPub, Luc, doesn't want to take on the problems that Ainsley could bring, just being in the bar. (Her being full human and all.) He for sure knows that she smells too good and is stirring feelings he thought long dead. But there is something about her that makes it hard for him to say no to her. Especially when he finds out that she her family is dead too. It's not long before Ainsley is getting under the skin of her "big ole' bear". I was captivated by this book from the beginning. Ainsley and Luc make the perfect couple. Both are scarred emotionally, yet are doing their best to keep going. They each have some really funny idiosyncrasies that make them unique. This is billed as a stand alone book, but I would totally read another book or three following up on the town and other characters in it. The book flowed so quickly and easily, I didn't want to put it down. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads and will keep my fingers crossed for a sequel.
Ainsley McLeon comes from a wealthy family but is accustomed to heartache after the supposed murder of her parents and her current flight to save her life as her uncle's dirty deeds have put her in jeopardy and made her question he brother's loyalty too. Driving down a desolate road in a barely working pick-up in a blizzard leads her even further into danger as a tiger causes her to crash and introduces her to a community full of intriguing individuals who she quickly thinks of as family as the rally around her to keep her safe. That's not to say that Ainsley is defenseless, far from it. She's outspoken and her commanding demeanor wins over gruff bar owner Luc and earns her a waitressing job and a place to stay that's safe and warm with him cooking her all sorts of delectable dishes. Ainsley doesn't like handouts so she makes it her mission to wipe away the darkness and grief she sees surrounding Luc. Before she knows it she's fallen in love with him wholeheartedly. Even knowing what kind of creature he is doesn't turn her off, it's a turn on in fact as they start a relationship that they agree is just temporary. An event late in the story causes the annoying Big Misunderstanding that pulls them apart but ultimately makes them realize how important they are to one another in a quickly concluded HEA. Luc is thought of by everyone in town as a gruff old bear which is a very accurate description early on. He's still dealing with the grief of losing his wife, son, and entire family in a flood and doesn't want to enter that darkness ever again so he keeps himself closed off. The moment Ainsley enters his bar he's completely overwhelmed as she easily wins over everyone including him. His protective instincts kick in as the emotional barriers he's worked hard to enact quickly crumble through her smiles and take no prisoners attitude. Luc's an immensely likable character who's strong, loyal, and caring even if his past does make him act irrational late in the story. He does numerous sweet things for her that completely belie what everyone thinks of him and I found myself completely smitten with him. Seeing him emerge from his emotional darkness brought a smile to my face and the connection between him and Ainsley made for a fun journey full of witty banter and sexual tension that led to some heavy sexual interludes. The town Ainsley's come to is full of shifters who have slight differences that set them apart from the usual shifters. Their emotions are intense but get stronger closer to the full moon. Warmth makes those who are bear shifters have difficulty staying awake so they keep their homes cold. Once they find their mates feelings of jealousy become more intense which can lead to bloody fights. Ainsley easily accepts the members of this community as they are since they've opened their hearts and homes to her making her feel like a member of their family. Along with a delightful main couple came a slew of memorable secondary characters that I'd love to see more of. Ian especially has me intrigued as grief drove him to lose himself in his tiger form. Meeting Ainsley on that deserted road was the catalyst for him to find his humanity as the latter part of the story dealt with his recovery and I long to see him get his well-deserved HEA. This was a fast-paced story that was sweet yet sexy and though some events were glossed over I still found this story immensely satisfying. Here's hoping Ms. Havens revisits this
Provided via publisher for review and blog tour on my blog. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless noted. For me, even a short form erotic fantasy novella has to have an underlying theme. It can't just be fur and "pillow talk." That just doesn't do anything for me. I like the feeling of hometown and belonging in small town Montana this book brings up. The perfect place to go when you are running for your life. The worst place to wear Louboutin! In this day and age, it's hard to believe there could be a place so remote that you could hide a whole town of shifters but, in the world created by Candace Havens in this book, Clarksville, Montana is such a place. It's not backward at all; they have the latest technology and a fully equipped hospital for shifters. And, it doesn't really matter what your shifter type is, everyone cares for each other. One family's pain is every one's pain. So when they adopt Ainsley, she's in the best place. When she gets bad news she gets help from the other folks in the town, even though she is not a shifter, and when some of their own does her wrong they also protect her. The other thing I like is that while Havens' alphas do have leadership qualities, Ainsley doesn't let her mere humanity get in the way of teaching a few jerks lessons. It doesn't matter what your species is, if the Louboutin fits she'll kick you in the metaphoric, or possibly the real, tush and you will respect her for it. She is an alpha human. I also likes how Havens builds relationships between Ainsley and Luc's friends. You know someone will slap some sense into the guy eventually. And, there's a central theme of healing from loss, and betrayal. Issues: Short form erotica is, unfortunately, short. That means in the space you would normally devote to background, world building and relationship development gets spent between the sheets (or up against a wall, in the kitchen, in the,....). So here when Luc goes from no-nope-not-gonnahappen, to oh-yah-baby, there's a little disconnect. And when they have their epic fight it's a little stupid. But, hey it's not Shakespeare like this isn't an a review in the New York Times (Thank Goddess!). So if you can deal with the form conventions that make LIONS AND TIGERS AND SEXY BEARS OH MY! a little rough around the edges Haven's latest comic release will amuse you. And, the guy on the cover is nothing to groan about!
This is one of the funniest and most enjoyable books I have read so far this year. I really just loved it and couldnt put it down until I finished. The characters are total opposites and watching them interact is pure enjoyment. Ainsley belongs in a city setting but after some pretty serious family drama ends up crashed in a small town in Montana. Luc has his own secrets as well as the secrets of the town. He doesnt want her to be there, but he cant get rid of her either. Both have pasts and even current issues and watching them deal with them and each other makes for an enjoyable evening. Its more of a novella than a full length novel in length, but there is plenty packed in to the pages. The action keeps moving and there are no lags in the story or progression. The only issue I had was I thought the ending seemed rushed. It felt like there was a page or two missing or a small section skipped to get to the resolution. However as I said the rest was impossible to put down. Im looking forward to more of her books and hope that one day we get to visit this interesting town again.
Reviewed by Kim for Read Your Writes Book Reviews First of all, I HAVE to thank a publisher at Entangled Covet for contacting me and allowing me to read and review this book. Paranormal romance isn't usually a genre I read. I have to say, I am so glad I said yes to reading this book. I'm a huge fan of Entangled's Bliss and Brazen lines. Their Covet line is like their Brazen line, but with some paranormal stuff thrown in. Oh my gosh.. I love the characters of Ainsley and Luc. Ainsley is an heiress on the run for her life. But she isn't your typical, I'm a ditz and I don't work for my own money heiress. No...Ainsley is funny, tough and a breathe of fresh air to the town of Clarksville, Montana. She doesn't take lip from ANYONE. Luc is a man with a sad and troubled past. He's a former FBI agent (Goodie, goodie gumdrops. Yeah, I know that's kind of weird. But that's what popped into my head.) who lost his parents, wife and young child in a flood, while he was away doing FBI work. Luc has made a vow to himself that he will not get involved with women again and open himself up to so much pain. While I don't want to give away the "paranormal" part of this book, I will say it was something I could wrap my head around. It wasn't creepy or scary. Honestly, it was super easy to overlook because of the true story itself. Ainsley and Luc are two people who come into each others’ lives at just the right time. After events happen in her life, Ainsley becomes lost and needs someone to anchor her and be a pillar of strength. Luc provides that for her. Luc needs someone to stand up to him and not back down. He needs someone to let him know that it's okay to have strong feelings for someone and take a chance on love again, no matter what the risks or costs are. But the road for this hot-headed, stubborn couple will not be easy. Just when they can be happy, their tempers get the best of them and could cost them everything they've worked so hard for and the future they could have. Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! (don't you just love that name!?) was so much more than I thought it would be. You have humor, friendship, love, and hot furniture/destroying sex. There is also a little mini-suspense thrown in. Did I mention that Ainsley loves food and is often eating brownies? Yeah, those moments kept making me hungry. This book had me smiling and not wanting to put it down. I keep trying to find something to not like about this book but I can't. I highly recommend it! Source: Publisher
The Premise: A Montana town where no one is who they seem.... Everything about runaway heiress Ainsley McLeon screamed trouble—from her luscious midnight locks to her Louboutin-clad toes. Yet sexy, stoic bar owner Luc couldn’t deny the instant connection he felt to the tempting stranger…or the long-dead feelings she evoked. She could work in his pub until her truck was fixed but after that she had to leave town for good. Ainsley traveled with her own emotional baggage and there was no way she'd fall for the bear-tempered Luc...no matter how many passionate nights she spent in his bed or how safe she felt in his muscular arms. Can these two opposites find love in the middle of a blizzard, or will Luc's darker side and Ainsley's past catch up with them? My Thoughts: I love humor ... especially when dealing with off-the-wall situations such as the one Ainsley finds herself in. I also loved her take-charge-and-do-what-I-say attitude and hold of the customer's in Luc's bar. If I could have changed anything at all about this story, it would have been to ask for more ... more pages, more insight into the characters, and more development of all the subplots. However, as quick read it was thoroughly entertaining. If you enjoy supernatural shape shifters, you'll find an abundance of them here!
3.5 Animalistic Stars I enjoyed Candace Havens’ Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! The title alone had me intrigued. This book has betrayal, vows to never fall in love again, the undeniable desire to break that vow, small town characteristics, stubborn women, and pig-headed men. Oh, and of course, how could I forget, humans that turn into animals. The heiress, Ainsley McLeon, is on the run from her family after someone tried to kill her. She finds herself in the last place they’ll look; Montana. Getting caught in a blizzard, a run in with a tiger and needing her truck fixed, she decides to work at the one bar in town. That bar just happens to be owned by Luc. A bear of a man, he does not want Ainsely in or around his bar, but he has no choice when his big heart wins out and cannot let her sleep on the street. She takes up residence in his place and things go from bad to worse in a matter of pages. The temperature is rising between the two, but Ainsely can never know what Luc is or what majority of the town is. They are shifters (turning human to animal) and it would be dangerous for her to find out that information. But can Luc handle the feelings that are bursting in him every time Ainsely is around? Can he keep his temper in check when his sudden need to protect her comes into play? Could Ainsely handle the truth and will she ever be able to stop hiding from her family? Ainsely and Luc have such a unique connection and such horrific backgrounds that I couldn’t help but root for them, yet enjoyed their stubbornness is attempting to ignore what is between them. Candace packs in so many brilliant twists and turns in this story that took me by surprise, but I give it 3.5/5 because I craved more to each of these outcomes where I felt the surface was only scratched. I could see this book being expanded into at least another book to capture all the amazing ideas here. I also wish there had been more shifting happening. Being that shifters where a huge aspect to the story and who Luc is, I was surprised there wasn’t a lot more animals emerging throughout. Overall, this was a fun read and wonderfully written and I adored the characters! (I received an ARC for my review and this is my honest-to-goodness, straight from the heart review!)
Ainsley is running for her life. She has left everything behind and now the truck she bought has left her stranded in a small town in Montana. She finds work in a local bar and even if the boss man says she can't have a job she goes to work waiting on tables anyway. Luc knows she is trouble but can't help be drawn to her anyway. What Ainsley is soon to find out is this isn't a normal town or people. You would think she would run screaming but she just stays and learns to like the people. Even the growling bar owner Luc. While they heat up the nights there just may be to many differences between them for things to work out. Ainsley is rich but far from spoiled. She doesn't want anyone to pave her way. I really liked her. She seems like the type of person you would enjoy being around. She has a temper and lets it out on occasion and can be very hard headed. Luc is a man you wouldn't mind being snowed in with. While he is strong he tries his best to control his strength. He is sexy, can be very moody and hard headed as well. These two bump heads more than once but it is so fun to watch them together. From the first page I really liked this book. It kept my attention, I liked the characters and I liked how the story flows. From sexy scenes to funny scenes it all fits perfectly within this book. I enjoyed getting to know both the main characters as well as the secondary ones. Ainsley is so much fun to read about. She doesn't care to stand up to anyone or anything and at times doesn't think before she charges in. It's funny to see people cower around her and really listen. I really hope to see more of the other characters some day and see what their story ends up being. This book is full of love, lust, danger, shifters and two very stubborn people. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good paranormal romance book with fantastic characters.
Actually, I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could. It drew me in from the first line and kept me until the end. The characters are straight forward and say what they are thinking. There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters that I loved. There is humor. And there is chemistry. All of the characters came alive for me and I was hooked. The side story with Ainsley's family issues (won't spoil it) was kind of brushed over. It had the potential to be more. I really enjoyed this book. And I am really hoping that Ian gets his own story!!
booksbysteph says "LOL Funny" Laugh out loud hilarious! I feel in love with the character of Ainsley. Even though she practically owns half the world, she does dirty and hard work through the pain from the accident just to make money to fix her truck. While she is not your typical size 2 heiress, she is more like a size 12, she has spunk and charm that is irresistible. And the way she can handle a crowd of rowdy animals will have you in hysterics. You will fall in love with Ainsley as fast as the town did! I could not and did not put this book down. Tigers in Montana, humans shifting into animals, lots of emotional eating and love...what more can you ask for? A murder? You got it! This book will leave you pleasantly surprised. Until next time, live life one page at a time!