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Paige Holbrook needs help to bring her son out of a coma. In desperation, she turns to Bidwell Bear, young Jamie’s TV idol.
From their first meeting, Paige and Hunter Blackwell, the man inside the Bidwell costume, each experience an attraction neither can ignore.
Hunter is about to realize his life-long dream—to be a singing star. Glitz and glamour aren’t Paige’s thing, not after what she’s been through with her playboy ex-husband.
Is Hunter’s love worth the glare of the spotlight?
A born romantic, Ginny became hooked on romance at an early age. She began writing seriously in 1987 when she joined the Romance Writers of America.
Ginny is a Virginian transplanted to Nebraska by way of Texas. She and her husband of more than 35 years have a son, married to one of her critique partners, and two precious granddaughters. She's a keen observer of people, places and things, a skill she honed around the country in her days as an airline stewardess. Her elephant collection thrives on dust while her thimbles are protected in cases. She loves to entertain, decorate her home and take photographs of sunsets.
Ginny has served in many industry board positions; including two terms as President with Romance Authors of the Heartland. A founding member of EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, she was the first President. EPIC honored her with Florence Moyer Service Award in 2001.
"Paige Holbrook and Hunter Blackwell have problems. For Paige, it's how to wake her son from a coma and deal with a widowed father who is used to being waited on hand and foot. With Hunter, it's a life-changing decision to continue portraying Bidwell Bear, to the delight of children everywhere, versus following a life-long dream of being a singing star. But the problems go much deeper than that. Paige's ex-husband had been a womanizing football star. He had been killed in the same accident that had severely injured their young son. Can Paige get past her phobias to find true love with Hunter? Can Hunter find a way to reconcile his dream of becoming a star and his fervent wish to have a family? This romance will have you alternately holding your breath and smiling. Heartwarming, with characters you'll be forced to love or hate, Bear Hugs will make you feel good all over!" Reviewed by Alice Klein of Sime-Gen, 5 STARS
"Ginny McBlain's book will make the reader laugh in places, cry in others, and reach for the tissues--lots of them--when the time comes. It's a good old-fashioned romance, and this one is as good as it gets." ~Affaire de Coeur ~ 5 STARS
*BEAR HUGS is a wonderfully warm and tender story. I give it my highest recommendation." ~ Scribes World ~ 5 STARS
"For a refreshing pick me up, read BEAR HUGS. Ginny McBlain has written a winner with BEAR HUGS." ~ Romance Reviews Today ~
"BEAR HUGS is a believable and tender story of two decent people who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves enmeshed in a heart-rending dilemma and faced with making irrevocable and life-altering decisions. Their courage, strength, and commitment in the face of such a profound crisis give the story an emotional impact that moves to tears, warms the heart, and lifts the spirits." ~ KnowBetter.com ~
"This story is highly enjoyable. The characters have depth; the plot is believable, flows effortlessly and holds the reader's attention. Next time you hear someone complain of the quality of e-books, give them BEAR HUGS." ~ Simply E-books ~
"Ginny McBlain's special gift of storytelling is a treat to read. Her words draw you from the first to last page as the plot unfolds. BEAR HUGS has a lot to offer in passion, humor, and the love of a mother for her child. The narration will have you experiencing the emotions of a person loving someone and being hurt, and the fear of trusting again. This novel is a keeper." ~ The Write Lifestyle Book Reviews ~
"Don't miss BEAR HUGS! It will tug your heartstrings and put a grin on your face at the same time. A hug-a-bear hero makes everything right for an injured little boy and his still-hurting mom, with a smile and a song and heart full of love." ~ Connie Crow, author of Daughter of the Dragon ~
"BEAR HUGS is a modern twist on a fairy tale romance. Lively dialogue and fantastic characters hold the reader's attention from the first page to the delectable ending. The ending will bring a sigh of pleasure." ~ The Romance Readers Connection ~
"Ms. McBlain knows how to build scenes. The author opens Bear Hugs with a tender moment between a mother and her lively toddler, only to evolve the scene and capture the emotional turmoil when the child is injured. While her son lies in a coma, readers will be moved by Paige's poignant attempts to rouse Jamie. When Hunter enters into their lives, readers will love the care and friendship this man brings. In an industry driven by personal desires, Hunter still takes time for others. Ms. McBlain has captured Paige's hesitancy and fear beautifully and readers can't help but hope that Hunter will help her overcome her indecision. As the story builds, readers are witness to the growth of their friendship and the depth of their desire to find a way to be together. The ending is a romantic testament to the adage "love will find a way." Reviewed by Amanda of Fallen Angel Reviews, 4 ANGELS
He didn't sound like a bear. His voice, whiskey smooth and low, curled her toes, and when he sang his little ditties shivers crawled along her spine. His voice conveyed sexy, his words portrayed caring. Her imagination conjured breath-stopping handsome.
Chastising herself for such a schoolgirlish notion, Paige stuck her head around the family room door. "Jamie, put your shoes on. Daddy'll be here in a few minutes."
"Mo-om, Bidwell's on."
And nothing on earth, not even a trip to the zoo with his father, would keep Jamie Holbrook from his daily date with Bidwell Bear.
What did the man under the fuzzy bear costume look like? The question nagged every time she heard the Bidwell Bear theme song. So often voices didn't match the mental image they proclaimed. Good old lovable Bidwell was most likely a balding fellow, whose paunch was camouflaged by his costume's thick artificial fur.
"You can put your shoes on and watch Bidwell at the same time."
A toe-tapping rhythm emanated from the television set. "Mom, watch this! Bidwell's gonna dance and do a flip. Watch, Mom. He's way cool."
Intrigued in spite of herself, Paige perched on the edge of the couch, her gaze trained on the screen. How could anyone wearing a bulky suit move with such grace? Bidwell sang, bidding his young fans to share and play fair while he executed a terrific soft-shoe and emphasized his lesson by turning a back flip. His electric blue, Greek fisherman's cap dropped to the floor. The long vest slid up to his armpits. How he kept from getting tangled in the poppy red garment, she'd never know. The image of a well-honed athlete flashed through her mind.
"Didya see him, Mom?" Jamie's eyes, blue as the Nebraska sky on a clear summer day, sparkled.
Not for the first time, Paige thanked her lucky stars that Jamie had chosen such a lovable, worthy idol. The Bidwell Bear Show was fun, fast-paced and informative, geared to the limited attention span of a pre-schooler. In Jamie's mind, the TV character's word was gospel.
Jamie shook her knee. "Mo-om! Didya see Bidwell flip?"
"Sure did. Now, please put your shoes on."
Jamie shoved his feet in battered sneakers and pulled on the laces. "I make rabbit ears, right?"
"That's right--" The doorbell chimed.
* * *
That afternoon, Paige made her way through the crowd of proud parents and excited graduates looking for her favorite students to tell them good-bye.
The Vice Principal's voice sounded urgent. "Yes, Mr. Bentley?"
"Your father called. There's been an accident. Jamie's hurt badly. They've taken him to the Med Center."
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