Alpha Instinct (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus 
Moon Shifters #1

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…

When all of the males, and many of the females of her pack were poisoned, Ana knew she had to step up to protect the remaining members. But no matter how strong she is, without an Alpha male, she won't be able to hold her family's lands for long. The malicious alpha of a neighboring pack has set his sights on having both Ana, and her land for his own. Ana would do almost anything to avoid that fate, so when Connor comes back into her life, she knows she must accept him into the pack, even if it risks her heart, as he already broke it once. Connor may have left, but not without reason, and now he is back to claim what is his. But with her wariness and threats coming from all angles, his work will definitely be cut out for him.

Alpha Instinct had one of my favorite elements for shifter novels, bonding/mates. It just feels natural, and quite powerful whenever something so primal and permanent is thrown into the mix. I have an easier time getting behind the "instant" love when it stems from this type of connection, as it seems deep than mere infatuation. That being said, I did have a hard time feeling the "love" between Conner and Ana. Yes, there was an incredibly strong connection between them, as well as some pretty heavy lust. Don't get me wrong I really felt that they belonged together, but at times it felt more like a biological need rather than an emotional connection. Perhaps a lot of that was due to Connor's insecurities, and his inability to open up. Whatever the reasoning, it made it a little harder for me to get truly attached to the romance part of their bonding. As far as the physical side of things, well let me just say there weren't any complaints there. Whew! Talk about hot!

The mythology behind Alpha Instinct is quite interesting. While the focus was on the wolves, there was at least one other type of shifter mentioned, as well as vampires. I'm curious to see whether the future installments stick strictly to the wolves, or if things will branch out into the other races. I'd love to learn more about the rules for rest of them. Although the lupine shifters live in an "open" world they are still pretty archaic and secretive. They live for a very long time, and are very vulnerable to silver. The lupine women, despite their strength cannot expect to hold anything with out big bad male shifters to protect them. While this really isn't anything new for a shifter novel, it still was disheartening to see how easily the women accepted that fate. Then again, I really shouldn't blame them for accepting Connor's gang into their fold considering everything they have gone through. They knew they would constantly be under threat of take over from other packs, so it did seem only wise to accept help from a known source. It just disheartened me to see them backed into a corner.

I have to say that what really made this book a page turner for me was the foreshadowing of the different threats. The danger came from all sides, and we got glimpses into all of the "bad guys'"heads, some obvious to their identity and others not so much. It was the ones that weren't named that had me most intrigued, and kept in suspense, as it was frustrating in such a good way to figure out the culprit. I really enjoyed the fact the while a lot of the focus was on the main couple, there also was a clear plot, as well as a set up for another couple in the next book. I very much prefer a new couple's relationship to start in a book prior to their "feature" as it allows me to get attached to them, and makes the switch in focus easier. All in all, I was very impressed with this first installment with the Moon Shifters series, and I recommend Alpha Instinct to anyone who loves a good (and hot) shifter romance.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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