Grizzly Bait 2Title:  Grizzly Bait
Series:  Riverwood #1
Author:  Keira Blackwood
Published:  June 1, 2016
My Rating:  4.5 stars
Source:  Borrowed with Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

Years of hard work landed Emma Hiller the position of Sheriff in her small hometown of Riverwood. Devoting her life to her career has left Emma with an ex-husband and no social life, which suits her fine. Life is simple enough until earthquakes, break-ins, and a murder lead to a towering brute of a fed showing up and leaving her speechless. He’s sexy as sin, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also trying to take over her case!

Stranger-than-usual circumstances lead grizzly enforcer Liam Blake to a small town to find answers. Lying to the local authorities and getting the job done proves difficult when Liam is forced to partner with the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. How can he work beside her when his inner bear screams to claim her as his mate?

Sexy shifters and their feisty mates who aren’t shy about loving each other – so, this is an adult, 18+ reader tale.

Read on for my thoughts on Grizzly Bait.

There’s a lot going on in Emma’s small town, things are complicated and about to become deadly.

Liam’s recent assignment from the Tribunal suddenly goes south and although he didn’t complete that assignment to his satisfaction he did hold back one clue that he intends to continue to investigate without official sanction.  That clue will send him straight to Riverwood and to that small town’s sheriff, Emma.

There’s a new business in town.  One that is offering a pie in the sky chance for cold hard cash for the residents.  Simply allow this excavation company to dig under the properties around town and gather any small veins of metals or minerals found.  Profit is guaranteed.  Sounds shaky to me, but the lure of cash will always have takers on any project.  Lots of rough miners are suddenly taking over Riverwood – and things are not always what they seem.

We first met Liam Blake in The Sawtooth Peaks series.  This stoic grizzly bear shifter has few words, but his actions always speak loud and strong.  When events went wrong on his latest assignment, Liam holds back one interesting piece of paper and decides to do some investigating of his own.  He can smell the wolf shifters in Emma’s town and it doesn’t take long before the first incident happens.  It won’t be the last.  Liam’s cover as a U. S. Marshal will put him on the case that is puzzling Emma right now – and also puts him in direct, daily contact with the woman who is his mate.  Talk about an unexpected complication.

Emma’s not to sure what to think of this sexy Marshal, but she knows one thing – he’s not taking over her case.  Her life is complicated enough right now with an ex-husband, a mother who degrades her decision to divorce, break-in, murder and something is happening with her baby brother, Logan.  The last thing she needs is this strong attraction to a man she suspects is being far less than truthful about what he knows or suspects.

Grizzly Bait is the first of three stories in the Riverwood series.  While it is not strictly a serial, each story does have it’s Happy For Now ending, the developing romance between Liam and Emma, plus the events happening in Riverwood will continue through all three books.  I expect the first story of a series to be heavy on world building and setting up the story to come.  And Grizzly Bait did not disappoint in that area.  With rich details, believable characters and a compelling story line we are drawn into this small town’s events quite easily.  A few surprises and a puzzle to unravel will lead us through this first story.  A unique creature, one even Liam doesn’t understand, will open the door to the next book in this series.

Emma and Liam’s romance is slowly building – as I would expect from this enforcer who says little but feels deep.  His deepest bond up until now has been with his “brother” enforcers – this mate thing was unexpected and given the circumstances he’s moving slowly.  But that won’t last for long.

If you love Shifter Romance and richly woven story threads, then Grizzly Bait should be on your reading radar.  There are no cliffhangers here (something that is pretty much a series end-er for me).  This story ends with a Happy For Now and the epilogue will tease us with what is to come next – and I’m definitely looking forward to that story.

Available for the Kindle