Title: The Alpha's Fight
Series: Huntsville Pack, Book 3
Author: Michelle Fox
Release Date: February 28, 2016
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Purchased From: Amazon
When you've lost your wolf, how do you get it back?
'Jane Doe' has no idea who she is or why she wakes up in a...nursing home? Full of shifters? She may not be old, but they say she is a shifter—only her wolf is MIA and she's in some kind of trouble she can't remember to boot. And there's this guy, Ryder. Something about him that makes her tingle in all the right places. If only she knew whether or not she already had a mate, why she's been stashed in shifter 'retirementville' and where the hell her animal half went.
What if your wolf picked a mate you couldn't trust?
Former pro-fighter Ryder Chase plans to get away from his no-good pack alpha, Mason, and forge a new life for himself, but there's one little problem named Jane. Ryder's wolf wants her more than he wants to breathe. Mate. Mine. Finding his mate would be good news except for the part where she knows Mason. Is Jane mixed up with his alpha's dark side and everything Ryder wants to leave behind?
Let's just jump in, shall we?
There were a few things I liked, loved actually, about this story. The first is that Ryder and Jane/Lia's relationship begins as friendship. They meet at the nursing home through Ryder's grandmother, Tillie. There were little things--tingles, breathlessness, awareness--that passed between them that made me hoping they would eventually make the move from friends to lovers. They did but it was a long, slow process.
I think if this were written in a style I'm more familiar with in the paranormal genre--meet, mate, work through issues later--the drawn out pace would've irritated the crap out of me. But there were existing problems that had to be dealt with first, issues that couldn't be ignored by the characters or by me. That's the second thing I enjoyed. Ms. Fox took the long way for every problem this couple faced. Jane/Lia's amnesia. Ryder's murderous Alpha. Jane/Lia's missing sister, Adele, which she eventually figures out is why she's in Tennessee. Ryder's desire to form his own pack and the opposition he faced. And while these things may not seem connected, they were. Ms. Fox made the dots and connected them each with precision and thoroughness this reader is ever so grateful for.
There is one more thing I want to point out about this story. It deals with addiction (drug and fang) and slavery. The first I hadn't heard unheard of. Paranormal characters are often shown as nearly invincible. They absorb and burn through drugs and alcohol quickly because of their incredibly fast metabolisms, but in this story drugs are actually created that can, and do, get shifters high. They have the same during effect as regular drugs do on humans and the same end effect: addiction. This is the reality Adele lived with, why she ran from home, why she went to Tennessee in the first place. It's there the slavery was introduced.
I've read about vampire slaves, humans who willingly let vampires feed/bleed them. But in this story, the slaves sold to the vampires are shifters addicted to drugs, shifters who wouldn't be missed if they disappeared. These shifters traded one addiction for another, drugs for fangs.
I know it's fiction. I know that. I tried to hold onto that fact when I read through that part of the story but it was so hard. Reading what happened to the slaves, what Adele went through, brought me to tears. Her recovery wasn't easy and my heart broke when the man who fed from her was forced to leave her. He wasn't a bad man. He had a part to play and he played it well though his intention was never to treat Adele like the other slaves were treated. And when he renounced his hold on Adele, when he walked away, his parting words were devastating: "The living are never ours to keep" (Kindle, Loc2686).
I can only hope he'll be back, maybe to rekindle whatever was between him and Adele? It'd be awesome to see her get a happy ending after the hell she'd been through.
I haven't read the other books in this series. This reads as a wonderful standalone. It's action-packed, suspenseful, mysterious. Problems are handled. Goals are met. Lives saved. Memories restored. Love created. A terrific story I enjoyed and hope others do too.
A USA Today & NY Times bestselling author, Michelle Fox lives in the Midwest with her husband, kids, the occasional exchange student and two, sweetly disobedient dogs. She loves fantasy and romance, which makes writing paranormal romance a natural fit.
In her spare time, she's been known to shake her bon-bon at Zumba, make spectacular cheesecakes, hoard vintage costume jewelry and eat way too much ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra for the win!).