The Bear Who Loved Me is the first book in the Grizzlies Gone Wild series by Kathy Lyons. Between singlehandedly running her bakery and raising her teenaged nephew, Becca Weitz thought she had a decent grip on "normal." Then her nephew vanishes, and life as she's known it changes forever. Local legends are true: bear shifters exist and her nephew is part of their clan. As is Carl Carman, the sexy, larger-than-life man who has sworn to find her nephew-and the other young shifters who've gone missing.As the leader of his clan, Carl is surrounded by enemies. He's learned the hard way that keeping a firm leash on his inner beast is key to survival, though his feelings for Becca test his legendary control. Then danger stalks too close, and Carl realizes he must unleash the raging, primal force within to protect everything he holds dear. But can Becca trust his grizzly side with her life-and her heart?
The Bear Who Loved Me is a fun start to a series. I really liked Becca, and her need to be busy and useful regardless of what is going on around her. She is determined and strong, with a quick wit and good heart. Carl, or Mr. Max, is the alpha bear in his clan, and is struggling to prove himself as a powerful leader when violence and death is his last resort rather than his fall back for all conflicts. I like that we are introduced to a variety of clan members, some of which promise to be the stars of the future books (which I need to get my hands on). I liked the main characters, and the secondary characters very much. I found the personalities and reactions to be reasonably realistic, or as much as they can be when dealing with were-grizzly bears. I found them compelling and I was invested in their futures early in the book. The conflict of missing Theo- and the larger storyline that this will continue in the series- reminds me a little of the story found in Paige Tyler’s X-Ops series, but the idea is one I would actually expect to have happen if shifters were really discovered in the real world.