Title: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Series: Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1
Author: TJ Klune
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 12 hours and 19 minutes
Narrated by: Sean Crisden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (6-1-12)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 (I’d give this book 10 stars if I could!)
Blurb: Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.
Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expects. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world… something or someone.
Purchase Link: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=bear+otter+and+the+kid&filterby=field-keywords&sprefix=bear%2C+otter
Review: Derek McKenna, Bear, has essentially raised his little brother Tyson, the kid, alone for the last seven years. So when his mother abandons them to take off with her new boyfriend, relatively speaking, not much changes. He is completely devoted to the kid and would do anything, give up everything, to ensure they make it and stay together. He is surrounded by a close-knit group of family and friends that, to spite Bear’s best efforts to push them all away, rally to support Bear and the kid.
Oliver, Otter, is Bear’s best friend’s big brother. From the first day that Bear showed up on their doorstep, in a nervous flutter couldn’t quite get Oliver out, and dubbed him Otter, he has been in love with Bear. As the story progress’s you, get the impression that the feeling was mutual, but Bear is so screwed up emotionally from everything he’s had to endure in his life, that he refused to recognize those feelings. Regardless Bear, Otter and the kid form a bond that will eventually become a family.
There is a LOT of drama in this book. Bear and the kid have a lot of emotional baggage. Bear refers to them as earthquakes, and the only place they can find solace is in the bathtub. And little Ty has some serious separation anxiety stemming from their mother abandoning them. If Bear is five seconds late picking him up, the kid goes into a full on nuclear scale melt down. Bear’s best friend, soon to be ex girlfriend and elderly neighbour along with Otter round out this unconventional family and make for some very colourful secondary characters within the story.
This book made me laugh, cry, scream, jump up and down and smile. Very emotional, I was seriously exhausted at times keeping up with everything that was happening. But in a good way. The story definitely revolves around Bear, Otter and the kid; but the three secondary characters that are closest to them truly make them shine. The kid stole the show though. The eight year old vegetarian, eco terrorist in training, genius, possibly autistic with separation and anxiety issues. And poor Bear is so screwed up, he doesn’t know whether he should scratch his watch, or wind his butt! The glue that holds these two together is Otter, so they are a hot mess while Otter is gone. Bottom line, they put the fun in dysfunctional.
Narrated by Sean Crisden who did a great job of changing up his voice tone when the characters changed. It’s sometimes difficult when you have a child as a major character in a story for the narrator to appropriately capture that tone. Crisden did it though, and did it well. I loved everything about this book. I was shocked to learn this was Klune’s debut novel. So well written with flawless character development of deeply flawed characters. And the storyline was not only gripping, but also intriguing.
This is a must read! If you are riding the fence not wanting to read a traditional M/M romance, this just might be the perfect book for you. Yes, this is a gay love story, but there aren’t any full on extremely descriptive sex scenes. Oh there is sex all right, but it’s conveyed cautiously with passion, love and minimally. Yes, I recommend this book. In fact, I think I might give this book to all my friends for Christmas presents this year!
** I received a copy of this audio book from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **