Book Title: Bear Essentials
Author: Rain Carrington
Cover Artist: Rain Carrington
Release Date: October 25, 2020
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Themes: Small town, Hurt/Comfort, PTSD
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 113 055 words
It is a standalone story, but also the first in the series
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK
A man determined. Another wounded to his soul. A town that slumbers.
A sleepy little town doesn’t know what, or whom, is about to hit it when Ked, Kaden Edmond Donegal, comes to live there.
Hyper and determined, Ked longs to be a great forest ranger, taking care of the land, watching over it like its protector. What he didn’t count on is falling in love with the people there nearly as much as the land, and one in particular that doesn’t give him the time of day.
Sean Ashby moved to Bear Lake to hide away from the world after he nearly died while serving in the army. A local artist, he makes his living bringing pieces of wood to life with stories of their own. When he sees Ked, he sees someone who needs tamed, but he doesn’t feel as if he’s up to the job.
Not giving up on the bearded ginger bear, Ked does everything he can to get in the way of the man, and he finally gets what he wants. Or, at least, what he thought he wanted. Sean is a dominant who needs a submissive, and Ked never thought of himself that way. With Ked’s rambling voice hushed and his hyper movements slowed, Sean leads him into a new life he didn’t realize he needs so badly.
The townspeople take him in as family, a man loves him unconditionally, and poachers are in need of catching. Is Ked up for his new life? Can he be a part of a community that is quirky and quiet, or will his own quirks and rarely silent voice make him permanently an outsider?
Contains BDSM and consensual sex between two men. Trigger warnings: abuse, violence and PTSD flashbacks.
Having a very rare moment of quiet, Ked leaned on the frame of the door as he watched his two roommates going at it, letting him relive the months he’d rented a room from them.
They were a devoted couple, sure, but they definitely weren’t monogamous. As soon as he answered the ad for the gay-friendly room for rent, he’d had no idea what that would entail. The fact that two days after he’d moved in, he had been involved in an orgy, well, he could have never predicted that in a million years.
It was time to leave. His schooling was complete, his education less than his parents were happy with, but enough to be the forest ranger he’d longed to become. He was an officer of the law, the law of the actual land, a certified first responder, could work as a wild firefighter, and it was all about to be tested in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Bear Lake, Colorado.
“Are you going to say goodbye?”
Calvin looked up and grinned while Ron kept pounding him. “Be with you in about fifteen seconds, judging by his breathing.”
Ron was much bigger, a beefy gym rat that never once took his eyes from the hole he was pounding, making Ked roll his eyes. “Ron? Done?”
“Umph, umph, umph,” he grunted, then stiffened as he climaxed, bringing Calvin’s hips back and holding him there, leaning his head back.
Ked had seen that a lot over the previous two years but knew he wouldn’t miss it. He had no real feelings for the two except friendship, no matter how much they’d tried to pull him into to their relationship.
Calvin got off the bed, not a stitch of clothing on, and ran over to him, hugging him tight. “We’ll miss you.”
Usually talkative to the point of people trying and failing to shut him up, Ked, which was a nickname, hugged his friend back and kept from sobbing by biting the tip of his tongue, a move generally saved for keeping it from wagging.
Ron groaned as he moved from the bed, slapping him on the arm. “Yeah, it was fun. Keep in touch.”
Just sentiment from the big guy. “Thanks,” he croaked, the tears retreating some.
To Calvin, Ked started to ramble, “Thanks for everything, I mean, well, the sex was great, you know, but I mean the job, the movie theatre, you know, and feeding me until I got on my feet. I don’t know what I would have done without you, and it’s been fun, well, the sex, it was great, you know.”
“Shh, I know all that. You rambled about it for hours last night.”
Calvin was dark-skinned and skinny as a rail, but he blinked his chestnut eyes at Ked, and Ked melted. “Sorry. I know I did.”
“It’s okay. We’re gonna miss that, and you.”
Ked’s blue eyes welled with tears once more; a cobalt blue, his mother had always bragged. One thing he’d miss the most was not being the smallest man in the room at a hundred and forty pounds, five foot practically nothing. Well, five foot seven inches to be exact, but he didn’t look it. He towered over Calvin, though, and he’d miss that.
“Get moving if you want to get there before nightfall.”
The drive would be long, and he’d have a lot of time to worry and wonder. He did that a lot, worrying that his parents were right, that he was throwing away opportunities others would kill for.
My Review: When “Bear Essentials” opens, Ked is beginning a career he has been working hard for. He’s always felt a connection to nature and the outdoors in general and he’s about to begin working as a forest ranger based out of a small town called Bear Lake. He has left behind everything to do his dream job based only on some photos of the town and a long-standing desire to do something to benefit the land.
Ked is a slight man, and his mind and mouth never stop! During the first part of the novel, I felt for the townspeople who were meeting him as his running dialogue was difficult to even follow. I hate to say it, but I found myself skipping over some of his lengthy paragraphs of dialogue because I found it quite confusing. I did get used to it eventually!
As Ked gets to know the townsfolk he meets Sean Ashby. Sean moved to Bear Lake to avoid people. He’s an artist and a bit elusive … that is until he gets wind of Ked. Although there is instant chemistry between the two men, Sean implies that there are things that Ked doesn’t know about him. Ked seems to take it on as a mission and begins his discovery of what Sean Ashby is and who he is.
A couple of things happen in the novel. There is the exploration of Sean’s life as a “Dom”. The description of the book says that there is BDSM content but it’s on the lighter side. There is going to be a continuation of the novel so I expect that this side of Sean and Ked’s relationship may be expounded upon in the future.
There is also a slight mystery with a tantalizing injection of danger. While out trying to catch some poachers, Ked is injured and becomes the target of some nasty people. This event comes back to haunt Ked a few times throughout the novel.
Both Ked and Sean have things from their pasts that they are struggling with. Each of them is dealing with quite different things, but it’s another plotline running through the novel. I thought that Sean’s storyline was the most interesting although I found the emotions of his character the most difficult to connect with.
What I really enjoyed about the book was the marvelous collection of supporting characters that made up the town. Everyone who was introduced was unique and interesting and slowly, they all welcomed Ked into their chosen family. Carrington has captured the tight-knit community of a small town and the way that they all rely on one another. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more about the town’s residents and all the things that they get up to.
About the Author
I love writing, it’s been my dream for many years, and in October of 2013, when my first book went live on Amazon, that dream came true.
Writing love stories that are centered on flawed but lovable characters is my passion. Finding love between people isn’t easy, nor should it be. Even in a book, there have to be obstacles for the story to feel real.
I am a mother of three amazing people, and three adorable fur babies. I live in Colorado but love many other places besides my home. One state in particular is New Mexico, the state where I was born has always held a place in my heart.
People and places make my stories what they are. Each character I’ve written is a part of me in some way. Each place I write is as well. Adventures come in many ways, and each of my stories has taken me on an adventure that I treasure.
Come with me on my adventures and fall in love with my characters, as I have. I promise, you will love the ride.
Social Media Links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Page
Instagram | BookBub | Queeromance
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
a $50 Amazon gift card and an unsigned print copy of Bear Essentials
Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here