Bride of the Alpha (A BWW paranormal romance)
Timber Valley Pack Book 1
by Georgette St. Clair
What to expect (negative): A few typos, a faster courtship pace, less depth
What to expect (positive): Strong characters, interesting concepts, pleasant storyline, the promise of even better books to come in the series
At around 150 pages, Bride of the Alpha is a sweet little novella. The length seems typical for many of the novellas coming out in the paranormal romance genre lately, and the story does not disappoint. The cover is similar to the books in Georgette St. Clair’s Blue Moon Junction series, with a hunky male dominating the space. In comparison to the other covers, however, this cover shows the male from his trim, muscly waist nearly to the top of his head where other covers merely focused on the washboard abdominals and gorgeous pectorals. This fine specimen of a cover model is tanned, with a sculpted body packed with well-defined muscling, and short dark hair. He even has (gasp) is that an earring in his left ear?! To his right a semi-translucent wolf howls against a wooded background. The bottom third of the cover boasts the series title in white, with the book title in a darker cursive below, and the author’s name centered on the bottom in off-white. The background for the lettering is a beautiful mountain landscape with a grassy field dotted with buildings below and snowcapped mountains kissing a bright blue sky. The cover seems to be a good reflection of the book.
St. Clair writes big beautiful women (BBW) very well. The lead female character in this book is someone that I admire and would not mind having on my side in a fight. An elementary school teacher, Josephine is willing to sacrifice herself for her friend’s safety and happiness, stepping up to take her friend’s place in an arranged marriage. Giving her friend the time to escape is one thing, but the Hotty McHottenstein bridegroom makes her realize that perhaps she did not think this rescue mission all the way through…and she might be the one needing a rescue in the end!
Maxwell Battle is pleasantly surprised by the curvy beauty who shows up for the arranged marriage, but he is more than ready to take her on…right after disciplining her for her transgressions in kinky, sexy ways. How long will this farce of a marriage last? Is Maxwell actually going to force her to fulfill her end of the marriage vows, or will he release her? Despite the drama going on at center stage, there are several other conflicts orbiting around the couple in this tale that keeps the action moving through the novella.
Due to the length of the story, some pieces of the puzzle were left incomplete. I am not sure if this is an intentional omission by the author to draw readers along looking for the answers in future books, or if this was a length constraint. The story leaps almost directly into action, which is in standing with the current technique of grabbing the reader’s attention and holding it with quality writing. In exchange for the action, though, we trade off a foundation of details that informs the reader about the rules of this world. How does the pack operate, and how big is the community of shifters in this series – what type of shifters exist in this world? Also, the roles of different individuals within the pack was not quite detailed fully (like the shaman), and I felt that the role of the alpha’s bride in the pack was a little weak. That may sound horribly negative, but I just could not put my kindle down until I had finished this story. I love the Blue Moon Junction series, and I definitely make room for novellas in my reading schedule, so I appreciate the differences between full length novels and the much shorter novella. I would recommend this book as a filler between longer novels, to anyone who is looking for something different in the paranormal romance genre, and to fans of Georgette St. Clair.