Alpha’s Blood by Renee Rose and Lee Savino

Fun yet predictable read

I haven’t read any other books in the Bad Boy Alphas series, Midnight Doms neither, yet it’s not necessary – this book certainly works as a standalone and, as far as I’m aware, all the other books in the two intertwined series do, too.

We start off with a slave auction, where wolf shifters are set to be auctioned off to a vampire master. They’re known as “sweetbloods”, generally for the fact that adrenaline makes their blood taste sweeter, and with shifters, it’s apparently more potent. These slaves are either forced, or are sold off by their families. They receive training, to make sure that they can please their new masters, but this one female wolf is neither a slave, nor truly willing.

Selene has been trained in warfare since the massacre of her family, and trained in submission since she turned twenty-one, by a vampire who apparently wants to help her get back at the vampire who conducted the slaughter: the Vampire King. Her goal – to be bought by the King, so she may have a chance to end his life in turn. Although things don’t quite go as planned, and her attraction to this vampire means that she’s going to have a hard time fulfilling her half of the bargain.

So then, enter Lucius, the infamous Vampire King. He knows something is up when he’s not only enticed towards the auction, which he isn’t particularly a fan of, but is shown a werewolf that is just to his tastes. She reminds him of someone, so of course he presumes it’s a trap. Yet how can he possibly resist? And how can he tame this defiant she wolf, so unafraid of him?

There’s plenty of fun back and forth. Indeed, the training sessions are as steamy as they are fun. Selene is so stubborn, yet can’t resist the lure, each new scene bringing something unexpected to her, despite her previous training.

Yet, somehow, once they appear to “fall in love”, things start to fizzle out, as they both start to settle and become “domesticated”. There’s a twist, which can be seen coming a mile off, and the ending is pretty unsurprising. Once you get into the final third, apart from a couple of little pieces, it becomes quite predictable.

Although, despite the ending, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read. Maybe I will pick my way through the rest of the two series…

Final rating: ★★★★☆ – Really liked

*I received a free digital ARC via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.*

Wolf by Chris Fenwick

Needs time to grow on you

In the beginning, I was bored. The constant one-sided POV, with no intermittent dialogue, just dragged. What made it worse was that there were tense inconsistencies: moments of internal monologue in italics written in past tense, or a mixture of the two; moments when the tenses were confused amongst the rest of the story. As the story is all told from Cassidhe’s POV, you have to get used to her voice, and it didn’t warm to me at all in the beginning. Even when the first dramatic event happened, it was near impossible to empathise with her.

Things appear to change when she meets the wolves. The story starts to gain more depth, Cassidhe herself appears more interesting, as well as others that she meets. Although, even then, it takes time for the characters to appear more than one dimensional. The best part of the whole story, for me, was the final dramatic event where, even though Cassidhe was completely on her own, she finally had more character than she had had for the majority of the rest of the book. It’s for this reason alone that my rating finally reached four stars, rather than the two to three it was struggling with at the beginning.

An interesting upcoming point is how the pack is going to deal with the sexuality of the heir, when a key part of pack dynamics is based on the ability to produce children and secure the pack’s future.

Also, a side note is that the cover doesn’t really reflect the main characters, with their described colouring being different from what is shown. A minor niggle, if any, but I do like it when a cover helps to assist me in how to imagine the characters.

Final rating: ★★★★☆ – Really liked

*I received a free ARC via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*