Perry Drinkwater hails from a remote backhills settlement on a post-colonization planet. She was raised to mistrust the outside world, especially the wicked towns which, her father tells her, offer nothing but violence, materialism, and moral degradation.
And then her settlement is sacked, her family murdered, and Perry thrown into the power of a young soldier. He saves her life, but to do it he takes her straight to Bear Hollow, exactly the sort of place Perry was warned against. To complicate matters, a steamy romance develops between them, which runs contrary to Perry’s moral compass . . . but which she can’t resist.
Can Perry swallow her pride and live among the degraded townspeople? Might her father have been wrong about them, or only too right? Might Bear Hollow provide Perry the man, the home, and the family she always wanted . . . or will it suck away everything she valued about herself?
The Bear’s Wife is in-universe with the Settlement series, set ~300 years later, and contains Easter Egg references to the Settlement books.
The Settlement Series
Anna Woods doesn’t need a man–she can and has saved her own damn self. But when her colony’s metalworker, a gentle giant of a man named Alex, charms her heart out from under her she learns that people can be good company. Certain people, anyway.
Unfortunately their frontier planet is a challenging place for new love: there is an old-growth forest to tame, resources to find, unfriendly settlements nearby, and Alex’s sociopathic brother to worry about. The more challenges they face, the clearer it becomes that the challenges are best faced together.
When Alex is grievously injured, though, Anna must save not only herself but him. Frontier medicine, human branding, and headhunting await, but the darkest and deepest dangers lie within.
Don’t go into the woods alone. These words ring in Anna Woods’ head as her husband, Alexander Smith, returns her to the settlement after rescuing her from the monster Arthur Matheson. They want to believe they can carry on with life as usual, but soon find both their inner and outer worlds in upheaval as the settlement faces plague, famine, and war with a nearby settlement. When a pale stranger rides into camp, she brings death with her and changes Alex and Anna’s lives forever. Facing total annihilation, it is time for both of them to keep their promises… or lose themselves.
“Fey. Feeling a premonition of death. He was fey in the last months of his life.”
Alexander Smith is the leader of the settlement and a new father, in what ought to be an age of peace and prosperity. As time passes, though, the conflicting demands of his family, his health, his craft, the settlers, and what he sees as his obligations to the New World drive him into a downward spiral of frustration and despair. Can he put everything right before he sleeps? Can he slay the dragon… or should he even try?
This prequel to Katharine Tree’s novel Dark and Deep follows Alexander Smith before he left the modern world to join The Settlement. Working as a blacksmith in 21st-century Glasgow, he finds himself educated, well employed, and involved with the beautiful barrister Emily–but increasingly dissatisfied with the disconnection and materialism of the world around him, as well as with his own failure to find a meaningful, sustainable place in a life he’s suited for: a life where strength matters, where reliance on others runs deep, and where he can’t run away from problems. As his world unravels around him, it becomes clear that he must forge his own path into the past–or lose himself in the tides of the future.