Unexpected AlphaRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Stanley is out jogging when he’s attacked by a rabid dog. As much as he tries to fight, Stanley realizes that it will be his death. So when he awakens, in a bed he’s never seen and with people he doesn’t know, he’s certain that it’s all a weird dream. Except he knows he wants the beautiful man at his bedside, and that he’s acting possessive and territorial in a way he’s not prone to.

Fenris introduces himself and explains that Stanley was attacked by their former alpha. It’s all too much to take in, but Stanley tries to reconcile the fact that he is now a werewolf. He doesn’t understand much of what’s going on, especially not his attachment to Fen. But there’s no denying the truth of the situation, and Fen wants him back. Just as they are finding their feet, Stanley’s father shows up and everything Stanley thought he knew is ripped apart. Stanley now has to face his new reality, but with Fen at his side, it just might be possible.

So I left the summary a little big vague, because the good parts about this story are the world building. I don’t think I can do it justice, and I really think you need to read it yourself to really appreciate what Kell has managed to do here. This isn’t your typical shifter tale. Yes, there are parts that are very familiar. But at the same time, there are little twists and turns that give it a new life I really appreciated.

Stanley is the kind of guy who likes to keep in shape, but hasn’t had much luck in the love department. So to watch him struggle to assimilate his instant attraction to Fen, and the way he slowly works through that gives him a layer I didn’t expect. I like Stanley, and I liked his growth. But at times I did find myself ever so slightly confused, and wishing I had a bit more from him.

Fen was definitely a more than meets the eye kind of character. At first, I was sure he was going to be weak and a pushover. But Fen is anything but. He’s a caretaker, and he has a strong backbone that shows through exactly when it’s needed. In fact, I liked that his more submissive personality only came out with Stanley. Of the two men, I think that Fen was a little better developed, and I felt he was a little easier to connect to. That being said, these two guys together worked incredibly well. The chemistry between them was just fantastic.

Stanley and Fen don’t live in a vacuum though, and I want to make quick mention of the secondary characters. Kell did a really great job of fleshing them out and having them add to the plot. If you’re anything like me, you’ll adore Stanley’s mother and want to kick his father in the shins. That I was able to feel this much emotion for secondary characters was wonderfully rewarding.

I mentioned earlier that the world building here was pretty great, and it was. I loved the little nuances and the interesting bits that Kell worked in. It gave this tale a very familiar feel while also making it fresh. That alone boosted my overall opinion of the story. However, there were definitely times where new elements were introduced and I could have used a bit better explanation to understand them. Overall, I think it was really well done, even if I felt a little unsteady at times.

If shifters are your thing, then this is definitely one you’re going to want to pick up. It’s a relatively short read, and I had a few quibbles, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. And if you’re on the fence, the author is donating all proceeds from the sale of this book to the Autism Society of Washington, which is pretty awesome in my opinion, so let that tip you over onto the side of buy.

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