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Healing the Bear by Vanessa Devereaux


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Kalispell Shifters, 4

Dane Reynolds was banished from the Kalispell Shifters when he killed the man who’d murdered his wife and unborn child. He’s been allowed back and invited to the wedding of Christopher Renner and Lilly Banks.

During the ceremony he thinks of his wife and all that he’s lost. He flees, running for cover into the kitchen of the Lodge where the wedding is being held. There he sees a woman who he believes is his wife.

Melanie Partridge thinks the man who utters the words, I know who you are, has one intention and that’s to kill her. When she realizes he’s just a harmless and very handsome guy, the two strike up a conversation.

Dane knows he has to get on with his new life and asking out a woman might be a good start. However, the only one he wants to ask is human. He’s a grizzly bear shifter and he’s never been one for keeping secrets. However, Melanie has a few of her own, like Melanie isn’t her real name and she’s got a former life that she’ll keep hidden at all costs.

Can these two overlook each other’s secrets or will they come back to break them apart?



A tear slid down Dane’s cheek. He and Lucinda had been one. He saw the bullet hit her again and again, played out the scene where she slumped to the ground. He lifted up the petals the little girl had dropped and put them under his nose, almost coughing and choking on their overwhelming scent.

Please help me, Lucinda. Be here with me. Help to get me through this. I think I’ll have to skip the reception.

“I’m right here, Dane.”

He looked around, positive she was somewhere close by because he’d heard her voice as clearly as if she was sitting next to him.

“And don’t you dare walk out on that reception. Think of all that great food you’ll be missing.”

He laughed. A few people sitting on the opposite side of the aisle looked over and knitted their eyebrows together as he did so.

Lucinda knew him well and that he loved his food. What grizzly didn’t?

“And I think mixing with lots of people might be just what you need. You’re going to find happiness again, Dane. I know you will. Someone who you’ll love as much as you loved me.”

“No,” Dane said, not realizing he’d spoken out loud until the people sitting one row in front turned to look at him.

You’re wrong, Lucinda. You’re the only woman I can ever love and I have to go.

Dane rose from his seat, feeling a sense of dread washing over him. He ran down the rest of the aisle. People turned to look at him, their whispers not hard to overhear.

“Poor, Dane. I didn’t think what he must be going through. We should have asked him to sit with us.” It was a cacophony that was making him dizzy.

 He felt sick and he needed to get away. He lost his orientation and couldn’t remember where the young man had parked his car. Never mind that for now, he had to take cover someplace. He ran toward a building to his left. He put his hand on his mouth, thinking he was going to throw up. He went inside, thinking maybe he could get a drink of water, but clearly he’d entered the back entrance of the main kitchen because people were putting food on plates.

A beautiful woman with dark wavy hair was placing tiny flowers in bowls of what looked like soup. Lucinda. It was her. She was back. He hadn’t been imagining things. She had been with him today.

Dane ran over to her. She jumped, knocking over three of the bowls, causing them to fall to the floor. Soup began seeping across the floor. She looked horrified, like she was going to scream.

Up close, he realized it wasn’t Lucinda but just his wife residing in this young woman’s body. That had to be true because he felt the same thing about this woman as he had the first time he’d set eyes on Lucinda.

“I know who you really are,” he said.

With that, it looked like every piece of blood had drained from her face. She was going to pass out. She’d hit her head and he couldn’t allow that to happen to her.

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Product Reviews

  1. The Romance Studio TRS 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 21st May 2015

    Secrets. Everyone has them. Some are just substantially bigger than others. This is the case for Dane and Melanie. When they meet there is an instant attraction for two, both sad and hurt. Both have lost their spouses to violence. Both are still dealing with the aftermath. Both need to heal.

    Dane has been allowed to return home after being banished for what he did to that hunter. Things have changed in the year he has been away. Shifters are marrying humans. Dane doesn’t really understand that. Until he meets Melanie. She resembles his late wife and he is convinced his wife’s soul resides in this young woman. How else can he explain the instant attraction to her?

    Melanie should have died the day her husband did. Now she is under protection in Montana. Melanie runs The Lodge, a popular venue for weddings. She is depressed by the love she sees at these events. She misses her husband so much and can’t even talk to anyone about it. Her heart has had no interest in another man. Until she meets Dane. He is so big and she feels utterly safe with him. How else can she explain why she is so attracted to him?

    My heart hurt for Dane and Melanie. Here are two people who had their happiness torn from them with no warning. The sadness they both feel in this story is like another character. I do have to say it was a joy watching that sadness die as Dane and Melanie fell in love. They very definitely deserve a happy ending. I enjoyed the back story that was included in this tale. I’ve read one other story in this series and was a little unclear about a few things. My questions were nicely answered as I read. Oh and the hotness and uncertainty of Dane just grabbed my heart. I just wanted to cuddle with this big bear

  2. Coffee Time Romance 3 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Mar 2015

    Dane is returning from banishment which he received when his whole world was turned upset down when his wife was murdered. He took revenge and risked exposure of his clan. He sees a ghost at the wedding of a friend; not really but close enough.

    Melanie is a woman in hiding and four little words, I know who you are, changes her whole life. She is fearful her past has found her, and looking for revenge; how can she drag an innocent man into her life?

    Dane knows Melanie is hiding something, but is unwilling to push her to tell all, so he goes looking. Melanie wants to trust Dane with all her secrets, but he is the reason her past has caught up with her.

    Healing the Bear is a beautiful romance with enough edge to keep the reader interested. I loved how the relationship developed, and the writing of Vanessa Devereaux. The past of both characters is heartbreaking and these two souls find a kindred spirit in each other. I was kind of disappointed in the way the clan handled Dane’s grief, especially considering the circumstances, but the one bump did not ruin the road.

    - See more at: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/healingthebearbook3byvanessadevereaux.html#.VQbCho7F-N1

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