Goldie Locke has come a long, long way in the last three books. From lighthearted, cutie figure in Breathing, she moved to a darker, more damaged soul in Bitten as she tried to manage the changes that being bitten by her ex-boyfriend Kodi caused within her. A strong Earth witch, having the bear inside her, a bear which she could not, and would not, work with put incredible strain on her. While she may have been able to manage the bear under ordinary circumstances, the bite came while her soul and her magic were half torn from her body, leaving the link between human and bear shattered.
At the end of Bitten, it wasn’t just the bear bite that Goldie suffers, but something even more horrific – and as we moved into Baehrly Alive her life, her world, and her soul are in dire peril. Everything around Goldie is falling apart, and those whom she has trusted and relied upon become the enemy, while that which she thought to be enemy could possibly become a friend(?)
This was by no means an ‘easy’ read. There is suffering and heartache galore for Goldie – more pain that someone with her kind and gentle heart and soul should have to bear. And things change drastically as she fights to save those whom she loves while finding betrayal on every side. But the thing is – Goldie is a lot more than she has ever seemed to be. She is strong, both in mind and in soul, no matter what is happening to change who, and what, she is. She is strong enough to stand up and say “No More” to make the hard choices and follow through. I deeply admire the character.
While there is heartbreak and loss in the book (this is definitely not the light and fluffy read that the first book was) the growth of the character is extremely well written, and she learns and grows from everything that happens to her, though she may be going through more heartbreak than any one person should have to suffer. There are odd things going on with Goldie – and in the very last sentence of the epilogue? A tiny spark of hope, a possibility that, though things may not be the HEA that one might have expected, I saw something there that I hope the author is truly planning to explore in a later book. A hope that all may not be lost. For Goldie is different – more different than even she realizes at this point – a difference that a creature more powerful than any other has noticed.
I was excited to see that How (Not) to Kiss A Were Bear is scheduled (hopefully) for March. It will pull the worlds of Goldie and Cindy Eller together, and will hopefully give Goldie some respite from the pain of her current condition, and keep us on track for more Goldie books to come.