Genres: Shifters, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Of all the coffee shops in the world, he just had to walk into hers…
When Teresa Ruiz’s Aunt Mary passed away, she lost the guiding light of her life and found herself alone and adrift. But for all her loneliness, Teresa never gave up and made for herself a new life and at the center of it was Barista Witch, the coffee shop she worked at. And for a time her life was good, predictable, and surrounded by a work-family she trusted---a feat in a world of magic, shifters, and fey…
In this world of magic, there are mates, and then there are fated mates. What Teresa doesn’t know is that she’s destined for her very own fated mate.
But when Cash Strongheart, her fated mate, walks into her coffee shop one day, it’s anything but magic and Teresa is determined to do this on her own terms.
Will Teresa learn to trust the magic of mates, and can Cash prove to her that for all the risk, life with a fated mate is just sweeter.
Find out both in the first book of the Oak Fast Fated Mates Series! This a sweet, whimsical, and grin-inducing PNR shifter romance set in a small town with plenty of found family vibes, smart-mouthed heroines, magical realism, and cinnamon roll heroes.
*This is a novella of approx 32k words*
FTC : I borrowed this through my KU subscription.
This short little novella was hot and fun which is always a good combination.
This was literally a insta-mates story. When Cash walks into the coffee bar and tells Teresa that she is his mate, he will not take no for an answer. Even though she feels the pull, she thinks its all too fast … no one else agrees with her.
All her friends conspire against her and enable the big bear to take her home (it starts off a little bit like kidnapping TBH… she relents quite quickly though). Still, she says no. I liked that .. she had a strength of character that is sometimes missing in Insta-mates storties. Still, I knew that she would have to relent at some point.
The love story between Cash and Teresa was cute but not the thing that kept me reading. Being a fated mates story, there isn’t much in the way of wooing but I did like the open communication between the protagonists. It actually made me believe they could be something special even without the magic. I did feel that Cash’s character wasn’t as 3D as others and, for me, that made their love scenes fall a little bit flat at points.
The thing I enjoyed the most about this novella was the portrayal of female characters; These witty, strong women were the stars of the show. If I could have had more of Teresa and Alice together, I would have been a very happy lady but, as this is a novella, their scenes together were satisfying yet brief.
I will pick up book two of this series because the way the dialogue was written worked so well for me; it had me smiling a lot. Teresa and Alice’s interactions in particular had me chuckling aloud at certain points :
“I told you to stay away from her,” Alice interrupted and the shifter sighed looked past Teresa where Alice was standing with her hands on her hips.
The bear’s eyes slid over to Alice. “She thought I didn’t like the drink.”
“Then leave a Yelp review like a normal person”
I did get a little confused at certain points as we often jumped forward in time, at the start of a new chapter, and then back-filled the story. It wasn’t hard to read but it take some getting used to.
Overall, this was a fun, easy read. Although I won’t read it again, I will pick up more from this author.
Thanks for the review.
[…] A cute Insta-mate PNR romance, I quite enjoyed Barista and the Bear by Rebel Carter. Review is https://www.scorching-book-reviews.com/review-post-barista-and-the-bear-by-rebel-carter/ […]