Title: Bear, Otter and the Kid
Author: Tj Klune
Heat rating: Moderate sexual content, lots and lots of cussing.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Description: 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.
Review: There is no way that this is a debut novel. Somewhere there must be books under another pen name that I have yet to discover. This book is absolutely perfect. And if you knew me, you’d know that is not the opinion that should be coming out of me.
Why? Well, first of all, I hate books written in first person. No particular reason, just my preference. But, this book made me feel like Bear and I were sitting on his back porch and he was telling me his story. Even the flash back scenes, another literary devise I hate, were done in such a way, that I wasn’t confused or irritated by the interruption.
Bear is so sweet. You can almost taste his fear when he is thrust into this very adult role…the day before his 18th birthday. His girlfriend and his best friend are there to lend support, but he instinctively turns to Otter. Otter who has always been there; a steady presence in the midst of Bear’s chaotic childhood. Otter that is willing to give up a dream job in California to stay and help Bear raise the Kid.
Jury is still out on whether Otter is a saint or a fool. Part of me wishes that he’d responded differently to Bear’s initial advances…but, that would have made for a very short book. Part of me was glad that Otter had a chance to grow up professionally and personally, so he’d be ready to be a real partner to Bear when the time was right.
But, the real star of this book is Tyson… the Kid. The words that come out of this child’s mouth will have you rolling on the floor laughing and blushing. It’s almost a shame the Kid is straight as an arrow. Unless he does an extreme transformation during puberty, there is no way we’re getting a sequel out of him.
This story really is about how these three souls come together to form a family. And there are plenty of obstacles. The biggest being Bear, who spends way too much time waiting for the next shoe to drop.
I only have one question for Tj Klune…how did that woman know about San Diego?
I would love to see this book made into a Lifetime movie. It definitely reads like a movie. Kudos to Tj Klune on a fabulous debut novel.