Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Stanley Brown works as an accountant in the city. He goes jogging through the neighborhood park late one night following his usual route. He is viciously attacked by what appears to be a rabid dog. Suffering bite wounds and being clawed by the creature, Stan locates a fallen branch and impales the dog with it, killing the creature. Due to a loss of blood from the attack, Stan passes out.
When Stan awakens, he finds himself in a room surrounded by three people. They explain how one of them, Fenris, found him in the park and brought him back to their house. Stan finds Fen, as he asks to be called, intoxicating. When Fen’s sister comes near them, Stan declares that Fen is his. They go on to explain that he was attacked by a werewolf who happened to be their alpha. Having been mauled and changed into a werewolf himself, Stan is now the pack alpha.
A short time later, a man called the Overseer comes to the cabin. The Overseer is in charge of making sure rogue werewolves are dealt with properly. All are surprised when Stan sees the man and calls him Father. While pleased that his son has transformed, the Overseer is upset that Stan and Fen have formed a bond as he has promised Stan to another alpha Sebastian.
As the bond between Stan and Fen grows, they must meet the in-laws which causes commotion on all fronts. Add in a vengeful suitor who believes that the agreement with the Overseer should be honored no matter what and things turn into a life or death battle. Stan must rely on his instincts and guidance from Fen to survive so that they can run their pack.
I really enjoyed this short novel. While most of the usual shifter elements are there, the author puts a small twist on the story. She leads us to believe early on that Stan is actually transformed from human to werewolf but this is clarified later on in the book. I also appreciated the interactions of the in-laws during the family dinners. Stan’s mother, who is described as five foot nothing, seems to have control of his father, the Overseer. While Fen’s mother has two werewolf parents, she is unable to shift, which creates problems in her mating with Fen’s father.
Also terrific? The smart aleck character named Paul, who seems to push all the wrong buttons with his new alpha Stan but has Stan’s back when is it is needed.
The cover art by Meredith Russell is well done as most of Ms. Kell’s books are. The cover depicts Stan out jogging in the park with a wolf looking out in the background. The word “Alpha” is done as though claw marks might have been used to write it.
All profits from this book go to support the Autism Society of Washington (facebook page), in honor of Ms. Kell’s son. I highly recommend this story.
Note from Amber Kell: “All proceeds from Unexpected Alpha go to Autism Society of Washington (website). If you have a different autism charity you support if you donate a minimum of $5 and email me the receipt I’ll send you a free copy of Unexpected Alpha.” Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ebook, 63 pages
Published: April 12, 2015 by Smashwords