Story Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Length: 9 hours, 44 minutes
Rick is an alpha of a large pack and his days are overwhelmingly busy. When Rick is called to deal with a shifter couple involved in a crime, he sees Kai desperately trying to protect his siblings in a shed where they have been forced to live and Rick’s life changes completely.
Kai was brought up by his human mother who taught him to fear alphas and pack and he was responsible for a lot of the care of his siblings. The only contact Kai had with shifters was seeing his abusive father pass through the house occasionally. He and his siblings have now suffered at the hands of their father and his wife, who is in a rage at the constant reminders of her husband’s infidelities.
Rick and Kai are drawn to each other at first sight, but the siblings all have a lot of healing to do and living in the pack manor is a great change for them all. The men know they want more together, but Kai knows he can’t possibly be good enough for an alpha and Rick is overwhelmed with pack duties and trying to do what’s right by Kai. But all packs have enemies and when there is a strike on the pack, Rick knows he will be whatever it takes to keep Kai his for all time.
The Alpha and His King is a somewhat familiar shifter story. Familiar in the sense of a too busy alpha thinking he can’t possibly have time for a mate and the mate struggling with the aftermath of abuse and feeling less confident that he can be good enough for the alpha. While the story is familiar, the writing is strong, the characters are interesting, and the audio narration is excellent.
Rick is a strong alpha who is looking out for the best interests of his entire pack. He has enforcers and house staff, but he feels he needs to do every single thing himself, which has him buried in paperwork at times instead of spending time with his pack. His pack adores him and they are thrilled at the prospect of Rick finding his mate and have as much fun watching him stumble his way through falling in love.
Kai is 18, but has had a lot of responsibility caring for his mother and his siblings. He knows he can fall for Rick in a heartbeat, but certainly doesn’t feel that he has anything to offer an alpha, but Kai is the alpha’s perfect equal. It’s not an easy road for the men to accept their feelings as pride and stubbornness and life get in the way. There are rivals that wish to take the pack down and magic interfering with the daily lives of the pack members.
The internal world building is clear here as far as the structure of the pack and the manor that Rick lives in. I would have liked some more external world building as well. The pack is large, in the hundreds, and it’s mentioned that they live undetected by humans and I would have liked to have further insight as to how a group this large was moving through the world undetected. It’s also mentioned that Rick doesn’t know every pack member and some he only met once when they applied to be pack members and some of the pack regulations seemed a little lax for the story that was being told. I also pick up a shifter book for the shifting itself. The group seems to talk about shifter life much more than they actually spend time acting like shifters, and besides some scenting and minimal shifting much later in the book, there were few scenes where the characters were displaying shifter characteristics.
The story was still compelling watching the men fall for each other and then figure how to be together, while the larger story arc continues into the next book. With magic surrounded by a life in the woods, An Alpha and His King made for a light shifter story that was easy to fall into.
Kirt Graves offered excellent narration. It was difficult at first not to compare this performance to other shifters he has voiced in the past, but his performances can elevate any story. Graves has a warm tone that enhanced the voices of all of the characters and made this an audio to look forward to hearing. With distinct voices and great inflection and emotion, it was effortless to get lost in the woods with the Kincaid pack.