Bear meets girl.
Nora has bad luck with men. When she meets an (actual) bear on a hike in the Los Angeles hills, he turns out to be the best romantic partner she’s ever had! He’s considerate, he’s sweet, he takes care of her. But he’s a bear, and winning over her friends and family is difficult. Not to mention he has to hibernate all winter. Can true love conquer all?
I'll admit, when I first heard about MY BOYFRIEND IS A BEAR, my romance-reviewer brain went straight to "werebear." I was 100% expecting a man who turns into a bear on occasion. Maybe a rather hirsute man who was large and soft like a bear. Well, dear reader, I was selling this book short. The heroine, Nora, does indeed have a boyfriend and he is indeed a bear.
The bear, who never has a human name, is somewhere between 400 and 500 pounds, depending on proximity to hibernation. He and Nora have a meet-terrified (not at all a meet-cute) in the woods while she's avoiding yet another awful human boyfriend. When forest fires drive the wildlife south and into LA, Nora discovers a familiar bear rummaging through her trash bins. Thus begins an unusual romance, full of broken furniture and awkward conversations.
Bear is suprisingly considerate, handy, and compassionate. While Nora's friends and family certainly don't approve of the relationship (and are rather vocal about it), the central conflict arrives with the change of seasons - hibernation. Nora's finally found the boyfriend of her dreams, but can their relationship last while he sleeps for four months? Will he forget all about her?
The book comes in at just over 160 full-color pages, full of art that's so cute you can almost forget that Nora and Bear are engaging in an inter-species romance. It is, after all, a "complete" relationship, with physical intimacy not on page but heavily implied. The book is jam-packed with jokes, from honey-beer to claw-marks on the bathtub, which helpfully shift the tone from unsavory to downright sweet. It's a story of a love that doesn't make sense to anyone else, but seems to work quite well for the couple. If you can suspend your disbelief, you'll be in for a fun, light-hearted story of joy coming from unexpected places.