Title: Two Bears and a Baby (A Bear Walks Into a Bar: Book Two)
Authors: Eden Winters and P.D. Singer
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books
Length: 192 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters, Erotica, Mpreg
At a Glance: Eden Winters and P.D. Singer are consummate writers; their world-building is spot on and the plot complex and engaging. I have to say that after reading book two, I like book one better now.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: A bear walked into a bar—and found a family.
The Urso of Ballantine Mountain intended to run a ragtag bunch of shifters out of his territory. Instead, Sawyer Ballantine found his mate. Once the lone bear on the mountain, now Sawyer shares his life and bed with Dillon, who’s still learning how to be a proper bear. Sawyer tells the stories of the First Bears, from whom all other bear shifters descended, but how did two male bears become the fathers of many?
The varied shifters of Ballantine Mountain coexist peacefully—Sawyer manages them with an iron paw. Yet danger lurks. The wolves have plans of their own, and they don’t include taking orders from bears.
Two bears, seven wolves, no contest.
If Dillon didn’t heave every time he smells bacon.
Review: Have you read A Bear Walks into a Bar? You need to. This is a sequel to that book and as such, a continuation of the storyline which begins in book one. Most importantly, the world-building begins in book one, and this could be a morally confusing storyline if you don’t have the basic hierarchy down of this alternative shifter world. Winters created a shifter universe in book one in which sex plays an integral part to the working and success of Alpha Urso Sawyers world. It’s well written erotica, but I will tell you right up front that there is an enormous amount of sex in these books. Skew your moral compass to the left a little and enter a world where sex is used as a commodity and a replacement for simple affection; it can be playful, a little kinky, with some D/s thrown in, or it can be a definite show of dominance by the Alpha of this sleuth. And sometimes, if we have made it half a page without it, it’s thrown in just for the hell of it. This book picks up where book one left off, with Sawyer and Dillon enjoying their first hibernation together. There were several plot points left unresolved in book one, in regards to the wolves and also this new society Sawyer has begun to build, which sort themselves out in book two.
Sawyer Ballantine is king of the mountain. A mountain that houses a myriad of shifter packs, skulks, herds, and flocks. Each have their own personalities, of course, and it is up to Sawyer to keep the peace and shelter them from enemies without and some within. Shifters have gravitated to Sawyers mountain because of the safety he provides. As a result, Sawyer finds himself in a position he never saw and isn’t sure he wants—trying to create a “new” sort of society in which all species on his mountain live together in harmony instead of allowing old instincts to rule their behavior (i.e., The foxes are not allowed to eat the rabbits, and wolves cannot eat the deer). When Sawyer discovers Dillon, another bear shifter in book one, and the two become mates, Sawyer will do anything to make sure Dillon stays happy and healthy next to his side. Having another alpha bear to help him cope with all the issues surrounding him is something that Sawyer never saw happening.
Not just any bear had come into his life, but Dillon, strong, young, handsome. And gay as Sawyer. He could have sent in a custom order for a mate and not gotten anyone as perfect as Dillon.
They collapsed into a puddle of satisfied bear. He’d withdraw, but he wouldn’t let go. No, Sawyer’d never let go. He didn’t want to, he didn’t have to, and in some ways, he couldn’t, even if he wanted to. Why would he? They’d bonded deeply at the beginning of the year’s cold, and now, when the first bulbs forced green shoots through the snows, they’d learned some small measure of what their bonding meant.
Unbeknownst to Dillon and Sawyer, there is a touch of old magic and shifter fairy lore in the air around them, and against all odds, Dillon finds himself pregnant with Sawyers cub. And he, uhm, doesn’t take the news well, and this perfect relationship goes off the rails for a good portion of the book. Dillon’s life gets upended, and unlike other shifter books, a male pregnancy in this alternative universe is as unlikely as in our real world. While Sawyer is overjoyed and wants to treat Dillon like his “little lady”, Dillon, being an alpha bear in his own right is downright offended and is more concerned about how the cub will be born, and if he will even survive the birth. It takes a whole book to humble Sawyer, and when Sawyer almost loses Dillon and the baby because of some troublesome wolves, the plot crescendos and resolves quite nicely with them all living HEA (even if we all saw that happening from page one).
Eden Winters and P.D. Singer are consummate writers; their world-building is spot on and the plot complex and engaging. I have to say that after reading book two, I like book one better now. After reading book one, I was left with a sense of things undone, which is so unusual in my experience with Eden Winters’ work, at least. Book two wraps all those plot points up nicely, and introduces the quirky mpreg angle with Dillon’s character. I felt like I got a storyline from this book, something to look forward to, some difficulty which had to be resolved, not just a lot of sex. I loved Dillon and Sawyer together as a couple; they became “real” in this story. I do recommend this book, with the caveat that if you are not in the mood for gratuitous sex, then take a pass. There is definitely an audience for this level of erotica, and the authors prove in this sequel that you can have the sex but can have a storyline too.
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