The Alpha's Claim
This is the first novel I have read by this author and, as I was in the mood for a shifter romance, this looked a good choice and the enticing cover drew my eye.
The Alpha’s Claim is a shifter story, with the animal in question being a coyote, or rather a pack of coyotes. Jim West, the eponymous ‘Alpha’, takes his gang of leather-clad bikers into a certain pancake restaurant every week late at night when Teddy is on shift. The group is rowdy and slightly annoying, and when, after serving them all tirelessly one night, Jim tips Teddy 75c ents and some trouser fluff, Teddy sees red. He follows the gang outside and tears a strip off the rather handsome, long-haired leader, Jim.
This is the very fast beginning of their relationship which sees Teddy living with Jim almost from that first night. Jim knows that Teddy, although human, is his mate and he also knows that coming out with his secret could send Teddy running for the hills, or, in this case, Los Angeles. Teddy is a wannabe actor and his attempts at auditions have not gone well so far. Now that Jim has him living temporarily at his farm he doesn’t intend to let Teddy go back to acting or poverty. However, Jim has to convince his pack that Teddy is the Alpha’s mate and keep things under control during the coming full moon.
The characters of Jim and Teddy are entertaining and fairly well written, and Jim’s mum and sister are good secondary characters. But overall, The Alpha’s Claim is a little short on length and rather weak in other areas. There is little in the way of plot and little sexual tension and intensity. One of the most enjoyable features of a shifter story, is the tension between primal beast and civilised human; of seeing the man claw back the beast who wants to claim and conquer his mate. I felt this side of things was a little limp.
Another problem was that I presumed that this is the first in a shifter pack series and yet I can find no evidence of sequels to come. Sadly, this reader was left with many questions about the unfinished plot threads. I suppose the ending is more of an HFN, and as I assumed there is more to come that’s fine – but as I said I can find no evidence to support that this is a series.
The writing is confident if a little pedestrian, but the story lacks punch and feels incomplete. Maybe it’ll provide a quick fix for shifter fanatics.