When I first started reading these books, people kept telling me, "Wait until you get to the bears." They were so right! First Lock --and now Bo-- are easily my favorite heroes in the series. Bo isn't just a bear, though. He is a bear-lion hybrid, or as Blayne likes to say, a bear-cat. He's socially awkward and OCD, but he's compelling and he's just right for our Blaynie.
I am not usually a fan of scattered, free-spirited heroines, but it's hard not to like Blayne. She is genuinely a good person and it shines through in all she does. Unfortunately, that's not the best quality to have for success at shifter roller derby. So she decides to toughen up, at least inside of the rink. Who better to teach her how to be merciless than the star hockey player with a reputation for brutality?? With that in mind, she reaches out to Bo for training.
Bo is the polar opposite of the little wolf-dog. (See how I did that? He's part polar bear.) He's gruff; he has no friends; he's a neat freak and lives by a schedule. But he is drawn to Blayne. He loves her honesty; her refreshing lack of artifice. And he takes on her training, falling for her along the way.
In the meantime, Blayne is a target for some humans who kidnap hybrids for fight games. I'm not going to go too much into that except to say, it kept the action going and gave us an excuse to get more time with Dee and Ric. It also gave us a segue into Bo's hometown, which is chock full of odd bears. Bears who hate all wolves and dogs, yet still can't help making Blayne one of their own.
It was cool to see the formation of the real friendship between Blayne and Bold (a name which I loved) before we progressed into romance. I believed in their friendship --that they really liked each other-- before they took it to the next level. Both characters are quirky, but I am happy to see Laurenston getting away from the typical sassy, low-class, violent snarky types that saturated the previous books. There are still plenty of laugh out loud moments. The dialogue is fun and witty. And the sex, when it finally comes around, is very satisfying.
I think this one ties with The Mane Squeeze as my favorite in the series... or maybe surpasses it just a bit. Viva los osos! Bears, FTW.