Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus (Moon Shifter #1)

Alpha Instinct by Katie ReusAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Signet

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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…

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Local alpha female Ana knows she can’t stay unmated for long. You might as well paint a big bullseye on her all female pack is she does. After a virus wiped out nearly her entire pack, Ana was left to deal with the emotional aftermath. Still reeling from the loss Ana does the best she can to ensure the safety of the survivors and the prosperity of her land.

With the unexpected return on her first love, Conner, Ana knows she needs to accept his offer of protection. But that’s not all he wants. He came back to Ana and he wants to claim her as his mate. Ana isn’t sure she’s ready to forgive his past sins, but with danger closing in on every side, she knows she needs him. In more ways then one.

Conner left her once, years ago, and he isn’t going to make that mistake again. Especially not when her entire pack is in danger of being taken over by the shady alpha next door. Ana may not understand his motives, but he loved her when he left and he’ll do anything to prove it to her now that he’s back.

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Alpha Instinct is a new paranormal romance series from author Katie Rues. This being the first in a new series I expected a lot of world building, in-depth descriptions and lots and lots of possible future stories from colorful and interesting characters. For the most part this is exactly what Rues has given and so I really enjoyed this one overall. The book opens with some back story that all males and pregnant females in the Cordona pack have been killed off in a fast moving plague-like virus. Though it’s never fully understood why the single females survived, Ana, now head of the pack after her father’s death is taking no chances. She knows that as a pack of unmated females, they are basically sitting ducks for an alpha male to move in and take over. Not wanting to give up her families land or herself to the local cut-throat alpha Taggart she tries to keep him at bay for as long as possible.

The arrival of her first love, Conner throws her for an emotional loop but when he declares his intentions to take over the pack Ana knows it’s much better then the alternative in Taggart. The emotional connection between Ana and Conner only seems to have grown when he walked away. Of course Ana feels the justified bitterness and confusion at him leaving without explanation. She is instantly (and stays that way for a lot of the book) torn between throwing herself at him and keeping her distance to protect herself. There were times I wanted her to hear him out, force him to tell her why he left, give him a ultimatum. Her volleying emotions were a bit hard to take sometimes.

Conner spends a lot of his time regretting his past and yet standing up for it. He had very good reason for leaving, though in the end I think he should have given Ana the choice years ago instead of taking everything on himself. He is extremely alpha and seems jealous and suspicious of every male within breathing distance of Ana. He had an almost caveman-like demeanor at times when it came to her. However, the sparks that flew when they were together more than made up for his rude behavior, even though he thought he was justified in them. I thought that he could have allowed Ana to do more than he let her. He acted like she wasn’t capable of doing anything. Yes, I understand that’s an alpha mentality, but I prefer my male (although alpha) to at least pretend to let the woman help out. She’s a wolf, she can handle herself…mostly.

Along with Conner he brings his brother and their own (conveniently unmated) pack. All males and one female that seems to have had some past issues and appeared skittish. That female though does a complete 180 near the end of the book and I was a bit thrown by that. I wished her transformation could have happened over an entire book, not in the span of a few chapters where it was overshadowed by our main story. I do think she and a certain male will get their own book at some point, but I wish some of her things would have been left till then. Conner’s brother also has a strong story line in this book with a local human that will set the stage for his own full length coming this fall.

Alpha Instinct is a strong book full of mystery, intrigue, and a new world to explore at your leisure. The pacing is very well perfected and I found the story to be engaging, and able to pull me under and not let go. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as I suspect lovers of the paranormal romance genres will do as well!

I give Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus 4 stars! 

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