Love is a great reason to marry someone, but so is desperation. 

Alexandre Thibault needs to marry an heiress: his clan’s finances are decimated, and his cousin is challenging him for leadership. He has even found the perfect woman—a pure-blood bear shifter with a hefty dowry—though he never expected the attraction between them.

Christine Bergeron will do anything to escape her family home, although exchanging the city for the Canadian wilderness isn’t as easy as she’d imagined. Especially when she’s in danger of losing her heart to a man who might never love her back. 

But as enemies threaten their family, Alexandre and Christine will risk everything to keep their safe haven.

Titles in the Shift series include — Bearly Married (prequel) – Trust the Wolf – Truth or Bear –

This title is an adult, 18+ story which includes violence, language, and sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

Title:  Bearly Married
Series:  Shift #0.5 )prequel)
Author:  Zoe Ashwood
Published:  October 2018
My Rating:  4.5 stars

“Bearly Married” is the prequel to Zoe Ashwood’s Shift series… and it introduces us to an intriguing world filled with interesting characters, dangerous situations, family strife and a couple that is believable, even relatable from the very start.  On a side note, “Bearly Married” is only available (at the time of this review) through Ms. Ashwood’s website … so head to Zoe Ashwood (dot) com to get more details on that.  “Trust the Wolf”, the first novel in this series is also considered to be Ms. Ashwood’s debut novel… and if the prequel is any indication then we’re in for a treat (which I will be devouring once this review is done)

I’m a reader who needs to start at the beginning, so finding “Bearly Married” before starting “Trust the Wolf” was important — for me.  Christine and Alexandre set the stage for the coming series with a story that touches the heart and captures the imagination as well.  It delivers characters, situations that I want to know more about… and that is what a prequel should do, whet my appetite for more.

Both Christine and Alexandre seek an arranged marriage but for far different reasons – one to escape her cruel father’s control, the other to save his floundering clan and make the best of the fact that he is now the heir that must carry on traditions and the livelihood, safety, and security of his clan.  Neither expected to become so quickly emotionally involved in their solution or to fit so perfectly together as mates.  Outside forces, one vile villain and interfering parents will make their first days together rather difficult.  Yet the attraction between them is growing stronger each day.  Now it only has to continue in strength in order for them to face the difficulties that are on the horizon.

“Bearly Married” is a story that was easy to fall into, with a world that is believable and one I want to know more about.  Ms. Ashwood’s writing is smooth, concise and easy to follow.  She is a natural born storyteller, and if I wasn’t aware that these stories are her first ventures into the Paranormal Romance / Shifter Romance world I would not have noticed any difference from an established author.  But because I did know I was looking for those “tells” that would give that fact away… and I found none, which tells me this is an author that I will be following to see how their career develops over time.

If you want to get in on the beginning of a compelling, intriguing series… or start off with a new author on her journey, then “Bearly Married” is a perfect way to start that adventure.  I’d definitely recommend this story — and now I’m off to read “Trust the Wolf”.  And I suggest you do the same.

I own a copy of this title, which is available through Ms. Ashwood’s website.