The Alpha - the Vanguards: Book 2 by Annie Nicholas
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by: Xeranthemum
Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.
Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.
Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.
Ever read a story about a woman broken down by life and saved by the love of a techno geek? I never did until I read The Alpha.
Spice is a woman who is still reeling from her decisions in life. Most were hard and perhaps not too smart but they were what she felt she had to do. Unfortunately when this story starts, she’s at the absolute low of her existence. She wants to succeed and feel like a person again so she has to gather whatever tatters of pride she still has and reach out to the only family she has left. Because there is no one else. Or so she thinks and that is where the fun and exciting moments of discovery occur. Spice learned from the best school – the school of hard knocks and she’s learned her lessons well. Good thing too because her fortitude and mettle are tested in very dramatic ways. She’s sassy, she’s predisposed to hating anything other than human and yet, she’s not completely unreasonable. Spice is able to get over the trauma from her past to see the future she could have, if only she’s willing to fight for it. Watching her come to terms with her sister’s reality and with Spice’s own path is a good example of well written character development.
Eric was my favorite, perhaps because I, too, am a Star Trek fan. His character is funny, humble, clumsy, and very hot. I say clumsy because one of the first scenes between him and Spice was incredibly funny. Whatever he had been when Spice left home, he’s now more than that and Eric has to prove himself not only to Spice but the werewolf females that are vying for his attention. He never loses sight of what he was even as he grows in personality and faces the new responsibilities that now lie on his shoulders. He has a fine line to walk and he’s not perfect, which made him more likeable for me. Ultimately, he lives up to his title and that made for some riveting reading.
When Spice and Eric do the horizontal loving, it’s well written, passionate and meets what I look for in erotic romance. The internal conflicts are Spice getting over her distrust of anything not human, of accepting her sister’s friends and her major decision about how to stay with the love her life. Eric’s is more of paranormal politics and his uncertain wooing of Spice. The external conflict is what pushes the two into making decisions that don’t only affect them but Eric’s pack and Spice’s sister’s friends. It’s all interwoven and critical to their happily ever after. Plot movement is brisk and well presented.
I recommend The Alpha for readers who are looking for a different kind of alpha male, one that is quite endearing and relatable. It’s a sweet yet hot romance with just the right amount exciting plot to show off the main character’s personalities and strengths. I’m very happy that I read this book and look forward to more by this author.