Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
When all the males and pregnant females in the Cordona pack are poisoned, Ana steps up as temporary leader. Though she was born an alpha wolf and can take care of herself, she knows the pack will not last long without a true Alpha to protect them. When Connor Armstrong walks back into her life she has little choice but to accept his offer of protection, particularly with the sadistic neighboring Alpha Taggart breathing down her neck.
Connor comes with a renegade pack of loner wolves, ready to settle and willing to fight for the Cordona pack. Part of Connor’s deal with Ana, however, is to become his mate. After having had her heart broken once by him, Ana isn’t sure she can recover from that again. When members of the pack start getting sick and human friends being attacked, they realize even with the new additions the threat isn’t over. With Taggart hell bent on destroying the new pack and a sinister human hate group, the Anti Paranormal League, determined to cleanse the supernatural community, Ana and Connor must fight to protect those they lead.
I’m a huge werewolf fan and the world Katie Reus has created made me a very happy reader. It’s an open world, where the human population has been aware of shifters and vampires for more than 20 years, with varying states of acceptance on both sides of the fence. There is a great sense of layering in this world building, with degrees of intolerance, dominance and even, to a certain extent, love. Though the cover might suggest this is along the urban fantasy vein, I would say this more in the paranormal romance category. It definitely has a lot of action and mystery but the romance between Ana and Connor is pretty central. It isn’t a smooth ride though, as you would expect from a romance read.
While Ana has spent the last 50 years doing her best to forget about Connor after he up and left without an explanation, he has been doing everything in his power to become “worthy” of the old Alpha’s daughter. This means they enter their reunion at very different points emotionally, best demonstrated by Connor’s demand to permanently bond almost immediately. Well, Ana isn’t having any of that! She may have to temporarily mate with him to secure the safety of the pack, but she isn’t ready to offer her heart (even if he does look damn good without a shirt). Publicly they do very well at presenting a united front, but privately it’s a bumpy road with plenty of trust issues, near misses and sexual tension.
Much of the book is told from both Ana and Connor’s points of view, but there are other character narratives as well, both from the good and bad side. As a reader I always enjoy being privy to the antagonists plans before they affect the main characters and this book had several. My favorite character has to be Liam, Connor’s brother. Funny and sexy, his growing attraction toward a local human woman is a major subplot and I can’t wait to see how it pans out in later books.
With a mixture of romance and action I think Alpha Instinct will appeal to fans of PNR or UF with a strong romantic thread. Also to anyone who likes sexy werewolves, which to be honest is everyone, right?!
Sexual content: Graphic sex