Review: Alpha’s Challenge by Lauren Dane

Reviewed by Jen

I had high hopes for this book. Alpha shifter romances can be super-sexy. And in this case, it also seemed like it might be a forbidden love kind of deal because the Alpha in question, Cade, is falling for the sister of his greatest enemy. He’s a guy who has always put his pack first and now finally has something for himself in Grace, the selfless doctor who is willing to put herself on the line to go against her family and do the right thing.

Unfortunately, I had so many problems here. First off, I was dumb enough to jump into book four in the Cascadia Wolves series without ever having read books 1-3. With some PNR series, you could do that and be totally fine. Not so much with this one. The first 10-15% is stuffed full of characters and backstory that made my head spin. But what it didn’t do was explain one of the core world-building tenets until about the 30% mark. The part where there have to be “anchors” in the relationship. Basically that means that once a woman finds her mate, she also has to have sex with another dude to build a back-up bond in case her mate dies. I’m going to be honest here and tell you that had I known about that on the front end, I would have never picked this up. So not only do Cade and Grace have to do it with some other random guy, Cade himself is an anchor to his brother’s wife, who sort of thinks about him as a second husband. But without the sex. Except, of course, for that one time. And she is jealous and horrible to Grace. I wanted to quit the book several times reading this entire thread.

That was my biggest issue, but not my only one. The dialogue was repetitive…. I think Cade declared that he was an Alpha about 872 different times in the book. (I get it! The title gives it away.) The love was too instant. (I’m down with an instant-bond for shifters, but that is not the same as instant love.) There were too many characters, too much pack politics. And nothing that really made me care about any of it. The sex was moderately hot, but it wasn’t strong enough to make up for all the things that didn’t work for me.

Maybe this would be a better fit for people who have read the series from the beginning or those who aren’t bothered by extra people in the core relationship. It’s got more than a 4-star average with 1000+ reviews on Goodreads. But it wasn’t for me.

Click to purchase: Amazon

Alpha’s Challenge
by Lauren Dane
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press

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