I’m working on getting my backlog of review copies reviewed and posted so the schedule may be a little wonkier than usual from now until a bit after finals. Things probably won’t get back to what passes for normal here until I’ve got a job for the summer and have gotten my computer checked out for why it’s running slow.
Ana Cordona has been left to defend the remainder of her pack since all the males were killed when someone poisoned their well. She’s had to fight off the advances of her neighbor, Sean Taggart, another Alpha who wants both her and her land for his own. When an old flame shows up offering protection for her and her pack it’s enough to accept his conditions and become his mate.
I started reading Katie Reus’ Alpha Instinct expecting a somewhat trashy romance novel with a tough female lead and a thoughtful, maybe a bit sorrowful male lead. What I got instead was a trashy romance novel with a “strong” female lead and a bull headed male lead who was too wrapped up in being the Alpha and doing what was “right” for Ana to consider how she’d feel or react to his decisions. The reader is told that Ana has been leading the remainder of her pack fairly well since her father, the previous Alpha, died. But then Connor Armstrong shows up out of nowhere to claim his woman, his woman who he left for no apparent reason over fifty years ago, and suddenly Ana’s not only not the Alpha of her own pack anymore but she’s also relegated to being a painfully minor character while Connor and his brother go off to hunt down any and all threats. While the boys are away, Ana stays mostly at home taking care of her sisters and being neurotic about Connor’s actions since he left all those years ago. She also can’t do anything apparently because he’s the Alpha, this includes sitting down and figuring out what needs to be done to protect all that land that she knows better than he does and has been protecting herself for months.
There was some stuff with the shifters themselves that might have been interesting were it explained better or introduced slower. There are Alphas, like Connor and some of his men, who are both alphas and warriors and are the one who apparently do all the actual leading. Then there are alphas, like Ana, who are dominant to betas but aren’t warriors so they can’t lead properly because of something. It needs to be expanded on a lot before it makes much sense. Ana can’t complain about Taggart to the werewolves leading body because if she does it means that they’ll send her a man to take over her pack for her, not because she isn’t an Alpha mind but because she’s female, so that’s another thing that needs explaining. Why are the human with attached animal self werewolves bound by the behaviors of wild animals by their government?
I’m not liking this world of Reus’, its logic doesn’t make all that much sense for me and its characters aren’t terribly likable. Male wolves here apparently recognize their “destined” mates on sight and that aspect of it isn’t done well enough to keep me from having a knee jerk ick reaction to it. The male characters take action, and the female characters just are for the most part. I would read more about the only female in Connor’s pack, Erin, but only if she wasn’t being paired off with some dude as her main role. I give Alpha Instinct a two out of five. The writing was pretty average over all, I just couldn’t enjoy it because of the characters.