Title: Bound to the Bear
Author: Rebecca Thomas
A fake relationship with consequences…
Werebear Stefan Vane has a job to do—protect his witness. He devises a plan to keep the stubborn she-bear at his family’s remote wilderness therapy camp. Her identity must stay secret. They agree to pretend they’re a couple. But her smart mouth and sexy curves are distracting. He’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she’s safe, only he never expects the lines between what’s fake and what’s real to become so blurred.
Tess Trevino is the only witness in a botched robbery attempt. The perpetrator is arrested, but her life is threatened. When witness protection sends an extremely hot detective to protect her, she can’t say no. Her stomach does twirly-twisty things when he’s near and since her bear has been in hibernation so long, she can’t resist him.
The arrogant, devilishly handsome bear says they will stay in a remote cabin…alone. Things could be a whole lot worse than being stuck with a smooth-talking stranger, but when her feelings become real…pretending gets complicated.
Stefan needed Tess to know she could trust him. “I will be a complete gentleman. I will protect you until the trial and I will be a gentleman. Or a gentle bear—however you want to look at it.”
“Thank you,” she said under her breath.
“You’re welcome.” His heart squeezed. Yes, he was doing this because it was his job, but he admired Tess. She hadn’t shown the tiniest amount of fear. Any normal person would have been happy to have protection after being shot at twice in one week. “For what it’s worth, I think you’re strong and capable. Under normal circumstances I’m confident you would never need my protection.”
“Thank you for saying that.” Tess stared out the side window.
Stefan wondered what she was thinking. The mood had become somber and he wanted to lift her spirits. “So how about we say we’ve been dating for two months—since the beginning of summer?”
“That sounds fine.” Her response was less than enthusiastic.
“And where should we say we met?” he asked. “You know people always ask that.”
“I doubt we would meet because you had a sewing project. Or who knows, maybe you needed your jeans hemmed, so you stopped by my shop.” Her voice had a little more pep.
“My supervisor has a cabin on Big Lake. Once in a while I go there to have a few beers with the guys and do a little water skiing. What if we say we met at a barbeque there?”
“That works. Or maybe you were waterskiing and had a wreck and I had to save you from drowning.”
“I’m a good swimmer.” He shook his head and gave a half laugh. “I wouldn’t drown.”
“You would if a ski hit you in the head and knocked you out. I was a life guard in high school. It was my summer job. So essentially, we met because I saved you.”
Stefan snorted. “No one is going to believe that.”
“Why? Because you’re such a fantastic water skier that you’d never wreck?”
“No, because I wouldn’t drown.”
“Yes, you would, if you were knocked out.” She turned a laser-like glare at him.
“I have a very hard head. A water ski wouldn’t knock me out.”
“You just don’t like the idea of me rescuing you.” She crossed her arms and gave him a defiant look. “Admit it.”
He tapped his fingers on the steering wheel giving himself a moment to think. “It might be true—I don’t like the idea of you rescuing me. But honestly, I’m so amazingly athletic that I couldn’t possibly have that bad of a wreck.” He shrugged. “My brothers would never believe it.”
“You’re amazingly arrogant is what you are,” she said, hiding a smile for his bad attempt at humor.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been told that,” he agreed.
“I’m not the least bit surprised.”
He grinned at her. “Look, we’re already fighting like a real couple.”
I enjoy a love-hate relationship with Alaska, where I live with my husband and sons. When I’m not reading, writing, or playing board games, I can be found taking long walks in the woods dreaming up my next story.
A reluctant reader as a child, I didn’t become interested in books until my teen years when I discovered historical romance. Now I love all sub-genres of romance and can’t decide which one is my favorite.