by Dria Andersen
Series: Hamilton Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Friend Contract
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Source: the author
I received an advance review copy of this book from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Their affair was supposed to be a little fun, a lot of sex, but most of all…SECRET. Witches and shifters didn’t get along, so the chances of it going further should’ve been nil. Except…Brent was an alpha used to getting what he wanted and he wanted Mercedes. All of her. So he’d go along with her ‘lil affair idea’ until he could convince her that they belonged together.
What’s better than an alpha bear shifter romance? An alpha bear shifter romance with a witch and the workplace romance trope! This is a quick, light read, and was absolutely perfect for my mood. I think this could possibly be read as a standalone, but I also highly recommend Brent’s twin brother’s book, The Friend Contract.
“He’s an Alpha through and through, Sadie, you’ll want to be careful.”
Mercedes frowned. “Gram, we don’t have any type of relationship, so I’ll be fine.”
Lisa scoffed. “Play all you want, Mercedes, but shifters play to keep. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
Brent’s father, alpha of their bear shifter pack, is ready to step down and let Brent assume the position. Bears are old-fashioned, though, and expect their alpha to be married. And with his twin brother Gabe’s recent marriage, his mom is ready to step up her game on getting him to the altar. After his latest work trip (partially to get away from the matchmaking), he’s surprised to find the firm has a new office manager, and even more surprised by his bear’s immediate reaction to her. Mercedes’ new job feels like a perfect fit, and even better, it pays enough to take care of both herself and her two grandmothers, who raised her after the death of her parents. And sure, Brent is hot, but Mercedes is a witch, and witches and shifters don’t have a history of getting along. But Brent’s bear is convinced Mercedes is the one for him, and Mercedes can’t get him out of her head. Can they overcome their worries to give their relationship a try?
This is, for the most part, a very relaxing book. Almost the entire plot revolves around Brent and Mercedes figuring out their relationship. There’s a very small subplot where Brent helps Mercedes with a legal dispute involving her grandmothers’ farm, but it’s more of an initial excuse for him to spend time with her. After that, they move on to dates, and before you know it, boom, secret relationship. Brent’s nickname is the Placid Alpha. He’s sweet, not complaining when Mercedes’ grandmothers put him to work moving mulch and other things around the farm. He’s much more even-keeled than his father and brother, and he works hard to keep his alpha bear balanced. With the shift in alphas coming and finding his mate, his bear is harder to control than ever, leading him to do things like asking Mercedes if she wants kids after they’ve only been together for a few days. Brent’s human side, however, knows that barging in like a, uh, bear in a china shop won’t win him any favors with her.
Mercedes has plenty of good reasons for wanting to take their relationship slow. First, there’s the whole witch/shifter thing. Mercedes is a powerful witch, someone who can see and soothe auras (like Brent’s bear), and it’s a skill she uses at her job to nip any potential office problems in the bud. While her grandmothers are worried Brent only wants her for her power, Mercedes has more concerns about how she’d work out as alpha female. Will she be jeopardizing his position if he takes a non-shifter as his mate? More prosaically, being the office manager at his family’s law firm is the best job she’s ever had, and she doesn’t want to jeopardize that. Considering that she works closely with Brent’s sisters, that’s the main driver behind keeping their relationship on the down low.
“I hope you both have fun tonight,” Trina said and walked off.
“Affectionate bunch,” Porsha whispered. “And April was right, them bitches big as hell.
I’m not looking forward to fighting them.”
Mercedes snickered. “We ain’t fightin’ nobody. Cut it out.”
And, oh my gosh, I love Brent’s triplet sisters, the main lawyers at the family firm, who are powers in their own rights. Mercedes’ friend group was equally hilarious – offering to fight Brent’s sisters if they gave Mercedes any problems with their relationship – and I’d love to see more of them. As for the other story elements, the pacing works perfectly for the tone of the book.
Overall, this is a very satisfying and relaxing romance. If you’re looking for a fated-mates type story without extra bells and whistles, I’d highly recommend this series.