Author: Carolina Valdez
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/07/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal
Blaze Canis is doing what he loves best. As a shooting range instructor just outside Yellowstone National Park, the former Navy SEAL sniper is still handling firearms. When Shoshone Native Logan Swift Rider walks into his target shooting class one morning, the attraction each man feels for the other is swift and magical. Since Blaze’s SEAL teammates never knew he was gay, let alone a werewolf, he’s confident his new lover need never know of his two natures.
Logan opens his heart and body to loving Blaze in the most intimate ways possible. When he learns what Blaze has hidden of himself, Logan is shattered. Although raised in both the white and Native worlds, it’s Logan’s Indian heritage that tells him he may have fallen for a witch, a skinwalker.
Can Blake convince Logan there’s no evil involved in what he is or will Logan remain convinced he’s been making love to a monster?
I have been on such a shifter kick recently that I just couldn’t help but pick up Awakening the Alpha by Carolina Valdez. She is a new author to me, but I wanted to take a chance. In the end, I will say that she has potential but needs some tweaking.
The biggest issue I had with Awakening the Alpha is the sheer amount of information shoehorned into the story. She researched wolves and Yellowstone Park extensively. That is apparent, and I applaud her for that effort. However, we really didn’t need every single fact she uncovered worked into the story. Some pages read more like a history book than a fiction story. Then she missed little details like calling Umpires in a Major League Baseball game “Referees”.
From a story perspective, she had decent sexual tension between the mates and okay world building. However, the segments from the perspective of the villain did not serve any purpose in the story and could have been removed. It is one thing to include such segments in a thriller when they add to the building tension, but this story didn’t have that vibe. They just felt extraneous. The storyline with the villian killing in the park and being a threat to Logan was fine, I just didn’t need said villian’s perspective in this case.
The way the story between Logan and Blake played out was quite expected. They fight their feelings, come together in heat, and then break up spectacularly, only to find each other again. I am still trying to figure out the purpose of the boyfriend who was all but forgotten after the first introduction, only mentioned briefly. Another aspect that didn’t add to the story.
The sex scenes are hot and the love story is somewhat sweet. I am not sure if I will pick up another from this author or not.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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