Bitten by the Alpha

Bitten by the Alpha - Annabelle Jacobs This is book four in a series. While you might be able to read it alone or out of order, missing the Pack politics and backstory would leave you a little adrift and certainly not as invested in the characters so I wouldn't recommend it. This story is for Gareth and Cam, the Beta and Alpha of the pack. Cam's wife/mate died in the Pack Wars and he has hardened his heart to feeling that type of love again. We got hints in previous books about Gareth's feelings for Cam, but all the danger, uncertainity with the packs merging, and a new visitor named Rachel to the pack brings all of Gareth's feelings to the surface so he can no longer hide his love for Cam.

The author is good at making us feel the heartbreak and longing Gareth and Rachel feel in their respective situations. Cam struggles with guilt for feeling something for someone else other than his late wife--add to that all of the pressures of governing a large group of people and businesses while still dealing with old enemies and Cam's stress level is pretty high. Much of the book deals with the characters trying to act against their own instincts and happiness because of their obligations to others, which makes for tense and frustrated reading. Some bad decision making and judgement is shown in several situations that, while understandable due to the circumstances in some ways, still seems like just a way to have conflict in the books at the expense of the maturity and experience of the characters. When Cam and Gareth finally get together (not really a spoiler since this is a romance, duh), I couldn't help feeling that Gareth was always going to come in second to everyone else in the pack and that there was always going to be a unfavorable power dynamic in play.

Even with all the intrigue in book three, there were a lot of sex scenes--almost too many although they were hot, hot, hot. On the one hand it was nice to dial it down a notch in this fourth book; on the other hand this books suffers by comparison in some ways.

Little things annoy me like we're told over and over in the series that only the bedrooms and bathrooms are soundproof in side the buildings although the whole buildings are soundproof from the outside...yet, especially by book three and four they keep having private conversations where other shifters can hear about "pack business." There are some plot points that could go somewhere, logically, but just don't.

I got sucked into this series more than I expected to and would recommend you read them all in order to experience the same thing. This book hints at a future possiblity, but I think this book was a natural conclusion to the series.