Feb 10, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus (Moon Shifter #1)

Paranormal Romance
February 7 2012
Mass Market Paperback
368 pages
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Connor Armstrong
Kick Ass Chick – Ana Cordona

From Goodreads –
Fear has a scent. So does desire…

Ana Cordona has been a strong leader for the lupine shifters who survived after all the males and most of the females in her pack were mysteriously poisoned. As tough as she is, with no Alpha male, the pack is vulnerable to the devious shifter Taggart, who wants to claim both their ranch and Ana as his own. When Connor Armstrong comes back into her life, promising protection, it’s almost enough to make Ana forget how he walked out on her before—and reluctantly accept his offer to mate.

The minute Connor sees Ana again, it reawakens a raw hunger. He must have her for his bondmate—his wolf cries out for it. But his human side knows he must proceed with caution because of their complicated past. If he is to truly have her body and soul, he must go beyond his burning desire and win back her heart. Whatever it takes, he is determined not to leave her side again.

But Taggart and his rival pack are not their only enemies. A human element in town is targeting shifters. Their plan not only threatens Ana and Connor’s future, but the lives of the entire pack…


Once in a while, there is a book that creates quite a bit of buzz a few months before it’s due to release.  (Okay, often there is a book that creates some buzz, especially for us bloggers where all you have to do is whisper the words “new book” and we’re all a flutter, but let’s not focus on that right at this moment.)  A little bit back, Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus’ cover and blurb was released and people noticed.  This book popped up on many tbr lists and on many ‘can’t wait for’ blog posts.  After seeing it mentioned a few times, I read the blurb myself and thought this was a book I would enjoy.  So I put in my request for it and soon enough I was holding this pretty book in my hands.  And sure enough, I was right – this was a book I enjoyed.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a book I loved.

The premise of the book is good.  There is a pack of shifters who recently suffered a terrible loss.  All of the men and all of the pregnant females in the pack have been poisoned and died.  This leaves the Alpha’s eldest daughter, Ana, to care for the pack and their ranch.  After hearing of their troubles, Connor, a super Alpha (no, that is not what he is called but that is what I call him while drooling slightly) finds Ana and offers to be her mate and merge his pack – made up of mostly men and one woman – with Ana’s pack.  She accepts, at least on a temporary basis because she knows that’s what’s best for her pack since whoever tried to kill the pack in the first place is still out there.

Quick back-story about Ana and Connor.  (Now, keep in mind that shifters age much slower than human’s in Katie’s world and therefore, even at 100 years old, they still look young and fresh.)  Fifty years ago, Connor met Ana.  He loved her and she loved him but neither shared their feelings with the other.  Then, one day, Connor up and left with no explanation or anything leaving behind a very hurt and a little miffed Ana.  She is happy to see him again yet not because how can she trust that he won’t leave again.  Connor and Ana have incredible chemistry.  It jumps off the page.  They make a good couple once Connor learns to be less of a ‘man’ and once Ana learns to speak up a bit.  But more on that in a sec.

Being an Alpha, I expected Ana to be a stronger character.  Yes, she has seen terrible loss lately, and even more in this book, but she’s just like a normal girl!  No, that is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just not what I would have expected from an Alpha.  She starts off spunky, but that slowly fades.  It’s explained how men are ‘real’ alphas and she’s just almost an interim leader, but again, I just expected her to be more.

Connor was what you expect an Alpha to be.  Strong, sexy, yummy and such a man, it’s unbelievable.  He hides things from Ana thinking that it’s what is best for her but really, it’s not.  He just ends up looking like a man who hides things.  See?  Such a man thing to do.  Of course, that causes friction between Ana and Connor and doesn’t help Connor’s cause.  He wants Ana to believe that he truly loves her and that he’s not going anywhere.

The rest of the pack is fine, the men more interesting than the women in my opinion.  I really liked Connor’s brother Liam.  His is the next book and I’m debating whether or not I’m going to pick it up because I see tons of potential in him and December, his HEA to be.  December’s brother is the sheriff and he’s not a fan of shifters.  That part of their story may prove to be a tad annoying, but we’ll see.

What didn’t work for me, other than the characters being okay but not fantastic, is that there was just too much going on.  I found it very difficult to invest myself fully in one storyline because as soon as I started getting interested, it bounced to another.  And there are a couple stories I didn’t really see why they were there.  Yes, they showed how shifters ‘take care’ of things, but I think the story would have worked well even without those plot lines in them.  There was the Connor and Ana story, there was a story involving Taggart – the neighbour pack leader and all out arse-hole, there was the anti-paranormal group plotline, there was the “who is killing the shifters?” storyline (that one was very good), there was the ‘why did Connor leave’ mystery (that ended up not being that dramatic after all), there is the Sherrif who is anti-shifter and the Dream-walker…  Just a little much for my taste.  If it were a little more streamlined, it would have been better for me.

Overall, this was a good book, but not great.  The world is interesting and the men shifters are strong.  If you like a story with lots of sub-stories to keep you interested, then I would recommend this book.  As for me, I think I’ll wait until the blurb is released for the second book before deciding whether or not to continue with this series.  I have a feeling that the anti-paranormal group is going to be playing a bigger role in books to come and I’m not sure I want to read about a hate-group that is constantly going to be trying to get rid of shifters.  If they are not going to make a big appearance, then I’ll consider it, because, as I said, Liam and December intrigue me and I wouldn’t mind seeing how Ana and Connor end up after this book’s ‘the end’.

3 stars

  1. Good but not great..ok that means I will be keeping an eye out at this one but not really going after it

  2. Great review, Julie! I have high hopes for Liam & December.

  3. I hope the second book will improve. It’s true I was really curious about this book too since I saw it on some blogs. I can understand so many things in a book are sometimes a little too much. Thanks for the review, it’s interesting to learn more about it.

  4. blodeuedd – Exactly. Don’t avoid it but maybe just wait until ‘it finds you’ 😉

    Jen – Liam…I like Liam. I only hope the brother doesn’t get too in the way. lol

    melliane – It’s not uncommon for a book 1 to be a little choppy since it’s introducing the world to the reader and all the characters too. Book two should be smoother. 🙂

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