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Marked by the Alpha – A Promising Debut Novella by Adaline Raine

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By Jo Smutdickted

The Alpha in the title is Mason – a hot, handsome werewolf. Dani is a dominant female who has been on her own so long she is scared to be part of a pack. Even worse she finds herself alternately wanting or denying a claim by Mason. Danger in the form of hunters is always close these days and Dani, as a lone wolf, presents quite a tempting target. When Mason teaches her a lesson on respect she can barely think straight with the conflicting needs, wants, and desires in her heart, body, and head. Will Mason claim what he wants or will it be too late when he makes a decision?

 

I”m always up for a hot, werewolf spanking romance. Overall the idea that there are dominant female”s in werewofl packs was a pretty fascinating concept. Dani definitely had a “I can do it so don”t bother me” attitude going. That attitude made her conflicting emotions over Mason a little more pronounced, albiet confusing, for both her and the reader. Dani”s friend Alisha seemed to be quite an entertaining secondary character – and certainly her story would be one I”d like to read. The story of a female who is scared to release feelings was clear here – and the reader ends up wishing Dani would just communicate and say what she wants out loud. The good thing is that ratchets up the frustration all around so it does keep you reading to see how she solves her dilema. The more action oriented scenes are not graphic but certainly the violence is at least stated so that was consistent with what I would think werewolf society would be like – no apology and animalistic. Props for that because paranormal creatures of the sparkly variety are just not my cuppa!

 

I would have enjoyed knowing a lot more about both Dani and Mason as Mason was a real enigma. I found it difficult to reconile this very domineering pack leader with his emotional outbursts which seemed to do the very thing that he was trying to protect his pack from and that was endanger them. The wildly vacilating emotions of both Dani and Mason needed a lot more fleshing out in order to propel readers into a space where they could relate significantly with either character. There is some awkward dialogue at times that made the interactions feel stilted and scripted – almost formal and it did pull me out of the story on a couple occasions. The spanking scenes were good but sort of perfunctory – without a lot of emotion behind them so I didn”t find them as engaging as they might have been. I would have liked more surrounding why Mason thought spanking was the way to teach her respect – as I was not clear on whether it was done to show submission, to show deference, or just to “shock” Dani. As a punishment, while it certainly gave her a slight amount of pain as a werewolf she apparently heals quickly, it didn”t really satisfy. I did like it however as a kinky sex act which she seemed to enjoy greatly – that definitely did it for me.

 

Overall there is promise in this debut novella – a little more explanation (past, present, culture, pack dynamics) would have greatly enhanced this one so the reader feels confident in this world and understands it and the people who inhabit it.

 

3star

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