While the wait for Bears Behaving Badly may seem unbearable, bear with us. And in the meantime, read the beary best excerpt we've got so far—the meet cute!
Werebear shifter Annette Garsea is a caseworker for the Interspecies Placement Agency. When a selectively mute and freakishly strong werewolf is put in her custody Annette will stop at nothing to uncover the young girl’s secrets. And not even the scruffy private investigator can distract her from her mission…
Bear shifter David Auberon’s top priority is the continued survival of the shifter species. So when a sixteen year old werewolf’s actions threaten to expose the secret of shifters to humans he will go to any length to stop that from happening. Even if it means going up against the infuriatingly stubborn and sexy werebear determined to protect the young werewolf.
The meet cute
The St. Paul skyway system was an above-ground labyrinth of bright corridors that connected to various shops, restaurants, office buildings, and hotels. Since the average Minnesota winter lasted 304 days, it was lovely to be able to traverse buildings at any time, and the skyway had the added benefit of enormous windows and the greenhouse effect, making it warm and bright no matter the weather.
All of which was moot, because the skyway was for the naturae fixed, those poor souls who were stuck in the same shape from birth to death: homo sapiens in all their stable, savage glory.
Shifters/naturae flex had to keep to the Beneath, figuratively and literally, the ground and what was below it, and if it was raining they got wet, and if it was snowing they got snowed, and if it was fogging they got fogged.
Which is why she and David were in a parking garage instead of on the second floor, swinging by Cinnabon on the way to United Hospital.
Annette smiled as they approached a gray Subaru. “Your car looks almost exactly like—”
“A giant electric razor,” David agreed. “Yeah.” There was a ‘blip-blip!’ as he hit the unlock button, and then they were getting in for the five-minute ride to the hospital. Two of which Annette spent casting about for something to say.
The fact was, she didn’t know David very well. He wasn’t IPA, but a special investigator who worked with Stables as well as Shifters. He was a notorious loner, with the looks of someone right out of central casting for ‘mountain hermit’: intimidating height and a tendency to stoop when speaking to someone shorter (which was almost everyone), bulky shoulders and long legs, a head of thick brown hair and a mouth that rarely smiled, deeply tanned skin and constant dark stubble blooming along his jawline. He favored flannels and denim—the latter matching his eye color almost exactly—with occasional daring forays into button-downs. His loafers looked a hundred years old. He spoke in as few words as possible, when he bothered using words at all.
But judging by the pile of Skittles in what was once an ashtray (how old was this car? did they even make them with ashtrays anymore?) and the pink Starbursts in his cup holder, he had excellent taste in candy.
He saw her looking and said, “Help yourself.”
“No, thanks. I had Skittles for breakfast.” Something caught her eye and she leaned forward. “Holy cow, I just realized—it’s just the red ones.”
“That’s—” Nutty. Anal. Wasteful—where are the other flavors? Do you toss them? Give them away? Mail them to your enemies? None of which were appropriate to ask, so she coughed to cover her confusion. He motioned to the glove compartment and she hit the button, then stared as a torrent of red Jolly Ranchers fell out. “Um...”
“There’s Kleenex underneath all that. I’m pretty sure,” he added in a low mutter.
“Quick! What’s your favorite fruit?”
“What?” He sounded defensive, which was the last emotion she wanted to elicit, but honestly.
“You’re the guy who dumps maple syrup into everything.”
“Not everything. Not fries. Well, once on fries,” he admitted. “More an accident than design.”
“Even for a werebear, your sweet tooth is ridiculous.”
“Well.” He seemed to consider that for a couple of seconds. “Yeah.”
She laughed; she couldn’t help it. Something about his bemused resignation was funny to her. And to her surprise, he joined in, and she heard his deep, warm chuckle for the first time.
Damn. A girl could fall in love.
Not this one, though.
Too much to do.
MaryJanice Davidson is the NYT and USA Today best-selling author of several novels and is published across multiple genres, including the UNDEAD series and the Tropes Trilogy. Her books have been published in over a dozen languages and have been on best-seller lists all over the world. . A former model and medical test subject (two jobs that aren’t as far apart as you’d think), she has been sentenced to live in St. Paul, MN, with her husband, children, and dogs. You can track her down at bit.ly/mjdavidson.