Lumberjack WerebearTitle:  Lumberjack Werebear
Series:  Saw Bears #1 (over-arch series Damon’s Mountains)
Author:  T. S. Joyce
Published:  February 23, 2015
My Rating:  4.5 stars
Source:  Borrowed with Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

Painter, Brooke Belle, is running from her past and hoping that a few weeks in a quaint country cabin will bring her artistic muse back from the brink. But when she lands smack dab in the middle of Asheland Mobile Park, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. Not only has her mentor rented her a dilapidated mobile home in the middle of nowhere, but the trailer park is filled with big, burly, growly, flirty, sexy-as-hell lumberjacks. And one in particular is making her think that maybe she’s landed right where she needs to be.

Tagan James has a lot on his shoulders. As second in a woodcutting crew of bear shifters, he’s got all he can handle keeping his people from tearing each other apart on the job site. But when the beautiful, and terribly human, Brooke Belle lands on his doorstep, all honest and vulnerable and pulling at his animal’s protective instincts, he has to decide whether to boot her out of his park to protect his heart, or take a risk and save her muse.

Every bear shifter knows finding a mate can destroy a dominant like him. But as Brooke shows Tagan just how strong she can be, he’s second guessing everything—including his vow to never fall for a woman.

Hot and Sexy Shifters ahead so this is an adult, 18+ reader tale.

I read the complete over arching group of series that make up  Damon’s Mountains back to back – I completely immersed myself into their world and I loved every moment spent there.  Saw Bears – Fire Bears – Gray Back Bears – Boarlander Bears.  All of those series are included in this world, and you will find many characters show up in several different series.  One in particular who will be a thorn in everyone’s side throughout all of the series – until we find out his heartbreaking story and how he became the truly messed up man he shows himself to be.  Yes, I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.  I simply wanted to point out to readers that you cannot always judge a series by the first book.  I enjoyed Lumberjack Werebear very much – but it is setting up the world that our characters live in, introducing us to a lot of people at once – and in all fairness, we need to let that play out throughout the other books in the series in order to get the overall picture of this world.

Brooke believes she is broken.  After a violent mugging where she was injured, she has lost that muse, that unique spark that brings her paintings alive.  Her mentor has strongly suggested that she head for the mountains, the wilderness and the one place that just might heal her soul.  She didn’t expect that place to be a trailer park with a bunch of wild men lumberjacks as her companions.  But what she found there at the Asheland Trailer Park was beyond her understanding.  The men often spoke in some kind of code, a language that she simply couldn’t understand the nuances of – and she needed to understand.  If she was to heal, if the attraction she felt for Tagan was real she needed to understand his world.

But she was totally unprepared for the violence of it – and the way it changed her forever.

Tagan recognized his mate, and fought hard to not acknowledge that special bond.  She wasn’t safe here.  Not from one crew member and definitely not safe when his Alpha returned.  But she drew him in.  Her sadness, her strengths, the nightmares and the determination to be whole again spoke of the amazing woman both he and his bear would claim as mate forever.  He knew he wasn’t worthy of her, and he tried to not give into what his heart knew as truth.  Until there was no choice, and he had to make a decision that would save her life and perhaps end his.

As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed this world.  Yes, there are some harsh scenes in this story.  They aren’t there to provoke but to show the differences between the old ways and the new future of this clan.  There needed to be a villain, and Jed and Connor provided that quite strongly.  And they got what they deserved eventually.  Yet it sets up the coming stories with Tagan and Brooke leading this clan, in a far different way with better results than the old ways of the likes of Jed.  Personally, I think it was a brave move on the author’s part.  Sometimes the reader simply has to sit back, see the whole picture and let the events unfold as they will.  There is always a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is – yet.

Brooke and Tagan are a good match, each bring their own strengths to the relationship.  The members of the Ashe crew are broken.  Each has their own reasons for being as they are, and will have the chance to tell us their stories.  They are well worth the time and emotions involved to get the whole picture.

If you love Shifters, and long, involved stories that never really leave the previous couple behind but include everyone in each story – then this is a story and a group of series that you’ll want to check out.

Available for the Kindle