This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Berkley
Released on October 3, 2017
It’s no secret that I adore shifter romances paired with suspense-style plots so a series based on a federal agency of shifters who help police their kind was already going to get my attention. I’ve read a couple of the author’s older contemporary romances so I was curious to try some paranormal from her pen and see if I liked that better.
A.L.F.A Mates is actually two novellas, Elemental Mating and Mating Needs, in one book making up the first two entries in the ALFA series.
I went into this book excited and my excitement started fizzling out from the first page. This is a personal preference so it may actually have the opposite reaction out of another reader. I didn’t enjoy getting smacked in the face with red-line lust in the opening sentences of a book as my intro to the world of the new series. Literally, I got a woman research scientist’s wet dream fantasy for a stranger who first walks through the door into a meeting room. Turns out Parish has something of his own struggle because Melinda is the jaguar shifter’s mate, but I guess I would prefer a good attention-geter being dangerous rather than erotic for my opening scene.
Then, there was my trouble warming up to the heroine- never did, by the way. While, I’m not one to mind a beta hero or an alpha heroine, for that matter, I do mind when a character takes her alpha-ness too far into alpha-jerk and whiner. It has no more appeal in a woman than a man. Kinda killed the story for me and the basic premise was rather good if not the execution. I’m always up for a scientists inventing a serum and bad guys wanting to steal it for evil. The story didn’t have a good flow after a while and I got distracted when things got off track from where the story started. In the end, Elemental Mating was okay rather than great. Action, excitement, hot and sexy and jaguar shifter were the plus side.
So, the second story, Mating Needs, was a much better match for my tastes though, again, I didn’t wholly enjoy it. Just my luck that it had a trope that I pretty much avoid if at all possible- secret baby. I didn’t know until it got going and by then other things were also irritating me. Again, it was the heroine for the most part. It’s a second chance and its one of those really acrimonious ones because Amerella is mafia and struts that stuff with pride and won’t let things in the past go. It’s a witness and protector stuck together one with the pair being stuck together not having a good past. He’s trying to do what is necessary to keep her safe and she doesn’t seem to have the sense to get in out of the rain when it comes to her own safety- which affects other people’s safety and worry for her. I liked part of the action (the part not generated by TSTL stunts), the sizzle and the shifters particularly Frank and his home town.
I said before that I read other works by the author. These weren’t good matches for me and I had mixed feelings. That seems to be the case here, too, even in a new romance sub-genre. Most of what caused trouble for me were things that would be struggles no matter what, but I also think I might have given some of it a pass or had more patience if I wasn’t struggling to connect with the writing. What I’m going the long way around to say is, this may be a case of ‘its me and not you’ so please check out other reviews and the blurb and maybe test drive the series for yourself if you’re a shifter lover who likes spicy romance and strong suspense in your stories.
My thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #170 PNR
Mt. TBR #67
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