Alpha’s Claim

“The moment I opened the door, I was hit by the sweetest smell ever. I immediately knew it was my mate’s. I looked up to see a pair of black eyes staring intensely at me. He looked like a Greek god. I could hear Hazel purring from his sight but he looked angry. It was clear that he wasn’t the least bit happy. Instead of staring lovingly at me like I always thought my mate would, he was throwing daggers at me with his eyes.” (Alpha’s Claim, Chapter Three)

“‘I might not want you but my wolf needs you. I can’t afford to become weak. You are to stay by my side until I fully mate with the other girl and to make her my Luna. Until my pack and my wolf accept her. Then I will gladly kill you and get rid of you.’ his voice was poisonous and he clearly wasn’t lying.” (Alpha’s Claim, Chapter Three)

Rose is abused and mistreated by her pack alpha; though her father was once the leader of the pack, he has now left to join the pack of his new mate. Alpha Jace refuses to allow Rose to visit her family, treating her like a servant and degrading her in private, though he pretends to be fair and kind in front of the rest of the pack. When the alpha of the Scarlet Moon pack arrives to discuss a new treaty, she realizes that he is her mate.

Noah has never wanted a mate; he thinks that they are unnecessary distractions.  He grudgingly takes Rose with him, though he plans to make Miley, Rose’s former best friend, his mate and Luna.  He treats Rose horribly, torturing and abusing her, while Miley mocks her.  Noah cannot kill her until he has marked Miley and his wolf weakens whenever Rose is close to death, though he wants to get rid of Rose as soon as he can.  Noah continues to hurt Rose, though his aunt and her father come to her defense once they discover her treatment. Will Rose be able to forgive Noah after all the pain and torture he has put her through?

The first five chapters are filled with so much drama, tension, and betrayals that they could be easily spread over fifty chapters of writing.  I am unsure why the author is so hesitant to explore their story in greater depth.  This work has soap opera level drama, making it something that could be savored if given half the chance. With enough backstabbing, betrayal, and abuse to fill eight seasons of a day time soap, Alpha’s Claim is obnoxiously fast paced and frustratingly short.

I will say that the drama of the novel keeps it pretty interesting. You will not go three sentences without something dramatic happening to Rose or one of the other characters. This isn’t finely wrought drama, but it is entertainingly ridiculous in its consistency. This novel rejects simplicity.

The writing in this novel is subpar at best. The style is obnoxious because it combines a lack of context with bland statements of fact. When Rose narrates, I find I don’t actually care about her situation. The writing style does not connect me with the characters, leaving me disengaged from the novel on a whole.  The high levels of drama paired with the poor writing style make Alpha’s Claim a difficult novel to read.

I hate how werewolf novels give a pass for abusive behavior by justifying violence through the concept of mates. Because Rose’s inner wolf longs for Noah, she will eventually end up with her mate, despite the fact that he has imprisoned her, poisoned her, and left her with permanent physical scars.  Though I understand that the pull of mates is supposed to be the strongest thing in the world, I’m not sure how Rose could return to Noah after he treated her so poorly. Especially considering that he tortured her because he was fighting emotions that she was not responsible for. Rose has done nothing to warrant this violent behavior from the man who is supposed to love and cherish her above all else.

It is a common trope in the paranormal romance genre for the male werewolf to resist the pull of his mate. He will often resist because he believes that mates make a werewolf weak, though other alphas enjoy the company of their mates without problem.  This trope gets tiring when it is seen too often and done poorly. While Noah has a right to refuse his mate, this shouldn’t allow him to hurt Rose to express his frustration and anger over the situation.  Because Noah is angry at the universe, Rose is forced to suffer.

I found the relationship between Rose and her inner wolf Hazel very interesting. In this novel, werewolves can lose their inner wolfs, making me wonder more about lives of these shapeshifters. If Rose were to permanently lose Hazel, would she die? Would she become fully human? These are interesting questions that could have been explored in this novel.  Hazel possesses distinct hopes, desires, and fears, making her an interesting character that is rarely heard from because of the torture Rose experiences at the hands of Noah.

Overall, this novel has both high and low points. It is entertainingly and ridiculously dramatic, making it an interesting read. However, its poor writing and violence distracts the reader from the story. In Alpha’s Claim, the reader is given an ok story of werewolves, uncontrollable attraction, and violence towards the ones you love.