Book Review: Alpha Rising

Alpha Rising (Duke, Book 1)


An erotic drama, with laughter and tears, his story will touch you, and have you touching yourself.

Two worlds collide as Duke has to tell his boyfriend Mike his secret, that not only can he change into a black German Shepherd, but also that the Irish Setter he brought home from his family vacation is actually his lover Rourke.

Rourke, a ‘purist’, his primitive people brutalized him for being gay. By becoming his ‘Alpha’, Duke rescued him, but to remain an ‘Alpha’ Duke has to lead a pack. The machinations of the ‘purists’ not only lead Duke to gather a pack, but also to take action that will have far-reaching ramifications.

For Rourke’s sake, Duke has to tell Mike his secret, to do so, they have to mate. Their love on the line, the real threat comes from within, as another competes for Duke’s affection.

Animal experimentation, a knife-wielding homophobe, the local whore, and an ailing grandparent, who has to pass along his gift of ‘change’, add to his troubles, but a hundred year old tortoise with a secret saves the day.

This is most certainly the deepest I’ve gone into the world of shifter erotica.  (I previously read Within the Mists by Jude Johnson and Mind Magic by Poppy Dennison, but Alpha Rising certainly goes further in the shifter capacity and further in the shifter/non-shifter sex.)

Duke, the narrator, has a casual and light-hearted approach, which makes this an easy-to-get-into novel.  Quite a bit is explained about shifters to allow a genre-newbie to catch up, but the explanations would not be intrusive for the die-hard shifter fan.  The erotic scenes are frequent and intense, adding a fun heat to the novel.

What I found perhaps most interesting in Alpha Rising is the fluidity of love, sex, and affection.  At the core is Duke and Mike, a couple who have been together for years and years, but there are a handful of other guys thrown into the, *ahem*, dogpile.  🙂  Perhaps this is a trait that carries over from most of the characters being dogs in their animal states — all of the male characters sleep together like a litter of puppies.  As such, with that closeness, there are numerous touches, caresses, and, well, dirtier things too.  It was really nice to read about a fluidity of affection that didn’t incite jealousy and drama.

The story Scavola is large and complex, but the easy-flowing narrative and likeable characters make the read an enjoyable diversion to my day.

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