If you are familiar with T.S. Joyce and her Sawbears series, you will be familiar with the Gray Back crew of werebears. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Sawbears series, is the “A Team” of lumberjacks, well, the Gray Back crew is, as alpha Creed puts it, “The C Team”. Rowdy, constantly battling, and constantly covered in blood, the Gray Backs are a misfit band of dominant bears. Broken dominant bears. Creed the alpha, Matt the man-ho, Clinton and Jason the goofballs. And then there is Easton, a bear so broken he can’t stand to live close to the others – and can’t seem to stop fighting, even when it might mean his death. A broken clan with a brutal and savage history, they are the clan that nobody wants to mess with. But when Willa shows up, can things change for the better?
Willa Madden is pissed. The girls camping trip she thought she was taking with her high school gang to celebrate them all graduating college was supposed to be to someplace warm and beachy – someplace like Cabo. Instead, “The Bombshells”, Brittney, Kara, and Gia drag her off to Saratoga – Saratoga, Wyoming, not Saratoga, Florida. It seems the Bombshells are intent on scratching “Do a Werebear” off their bucket lists. Something Willa has absolutely, positively NO interest in. But, Willa is a ‘go along to get along’ type, and besides, she likes camping. And if the Bombshells are staying in a hotel without telling Willa, she is perfectly happy to camp out in the woods alone.
Of course, things change when she literally runs into Matt-the-Man-Ho. They find that they can be friends – snarky, smart-mouthed, ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’ friends. Of course, that is after Willa trips over a waitress and shows off her ‘granny panties’. Well, they aren’t granny panties to Willa. “They’re called comfy cottons, I’ll have you know. They came in six festive colors!”
Besides – “Ha! You, mister, are barking up the wrong tree. I’m a virgin and proud.” She waved her hands in front of her skirt. “No one has touched this magical box with their tally whacker, and I assure you, you won’t be entering my sacred temple either.”
Five feet of snark and attitude, Willa is determined to have a good time on her trip, no matter what. Until things happen, bad things, and the story gets a lot more complex.
Gray Back Bad Bear is a cute story, with both humor and pathos. I had fun with it, and if you like T.S. Joyce, you are sure to like this book.