Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Adopted at an early age by a wealthy family, Jake Davis has always seemed to have an easy life. Even in college he was blessed with good grades and an apparently clear path to a pro football career. Good thing his best friend keeps hanging around to keep his head from getting too swollen.
Zakiya Incekara has always been…odd. Being fluent in six languages and having a flair for international cooking should open the world to him, but those skills leave him isolated.
When Jake sees Zak for the first time, with water beading down his slender form, something inside him shifts, and it hungers for Zak. To have him. To claim him. And Jake knows that whatever it is, it won’t be denied.
When they are approached by a man who claims knowledge of a secret past they share, Jake and Zak are thrust into a world they would never have believed existed. The forests of Alaska might seem an odd place to find your destiny, but these men will meet the challenges head on, as they learn that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to be Protector of the Alpha.
There are so many little surprises awaiting readers in Protector of the Alpha by Parker Williams and none can be divulged because they are spoilers (big and small). That makes writing this review a tad frustrating, trust me, it really does. Parker Williams doesn’t go for the typical here. That in itself delighted me when my expectations were upended as to where the story and characters were going. The discarding of the expected starts with the main characters.
Jake Davis is a muscular, athletic to the point of perfection, hot man on campus. Adopted by a wealthy family when a toddler, Jake has sailed through his life so far, even if it meant the odd nightmare or so. But suddenly everything in Jake’s life starts to go so very wrong. And its starts with another young man new at school.
Zakiya Incekara speaks 6 languages, cooks like a high paid chef, and has the (hidden) martial arts skills of a master. All that, a small physique, delicate features with long black hair,combined with a small town collegiate atmosphere, make Zak not just the weird boy on campus but a target for bullies.
Then Jake meets Zak and both lives turn upside down forever. As well as those lives of the people around them, especially Jake’s best friend since childhood, Casey Scott.
I loved all three characters, each as different from the other as can be. Jake who would be obnoxious, except his personality is kind, protective, and fair. Zak could be overly quirky except he comes with his own fair amount of past pain and uncertainty. And Casey, well, I think most people are going to adore Casey because it’s so easy to relate to him. Casey has stood in Jake’s shadow for his entire life and thought college would be his ticket to being his own man and to making his own reputation. Until his father informs him that he will be going to the same college as Jake, no argument and no questions. The resentment Casey feels and the guilt because it involves his best friend is a situation and emotional state the reader will believe in and understand. Yep, adore all three.
The mystery you are anticipating creeps into the story slowly at first and then rapidly as events start to shatter the calm of their lives on campus. Death and anguish are soon to follow as is a journey for all into their pasts and nightmares of their youth. Then the run to safety is on and so is the pace of the story and the action of the adventure.
Williams tightens his focus on these young men to the extent that others in their story feel less substantial. And perhaps that’s necessary because the secondary characters here for the most part are temporary ones. With a few exceptions. I wished for a little more backstory at first, but that arrives with quite a few shockers of its own so it’s a tricky balance that the author needs to achieve between giving the reader a firm foundation and not revealing too much before the narrative calls for it. Parker Williams manages that here. I loved being lured into the new world along with Jake, Zak, and Casey. It made me their companion and never was I so happy to be along for the ride.
There are some light hearted moments to break up the dread and awfulness that meets them along the way. Williams is also setting the stage with the characters and events to come in the next story.
Protector of the Alpha was a wonderful read. It was fun, suspenseful, sexy and full of adventure. I can’t wait for it to continue in Scent of the Heart. I highly recommend this story to all that love romance and shifters in love.
Cover art by Laura Harner. Lovely cover. I loved the simplicity of the outline although that embellishment around the title was a little too fancy for me.
ebook, 195 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Smashwords Edition
seriesShifting Needs #1
Shifting Needs Series in the Order They Should be Read:
- The Protector of the Alpha (Shifting Needs #1)
- Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2)