Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Beta Dan Keller always assumed he would take over the pack as Alpha if anything should happen to their leader. But when the dead Alpha’s son chooses a human to become Alpha and lead their pack, Dan wasn’t sure of his place in the pack or his position. With ex cop Lex Tompkins as Alpha and new pack members, there is a lot of adjusting to do by all. One of the youngest members is also one who is having the most problems. Nathan Ross, the Omega of the pack, has a troubled past that has not only made him a target to other wolves but left him unable to shift as well.
When Lex suggests to Dan that he needs to get more involved with pack members, become a true beta, Dan never anticipated that the one who needed him the most would be Nathan. But a broken down car and a offered ride gives Dan a chance to get to know Nathan and to his surprise he finds he likes the shy man hiding behind poor posture and long bangs. When trouble arrives in pack territory and local animals turn up dead, all clues points to Nathan as the culprit.
Will Nathan and Dan’s friendship and burgeoning romance be lost just as its getting started or will the belligerent beta find his true strength in time to protect a man he wants for his own?
This is such a cute series. Accidental Alpha, the first story, revolved around an ex cop Lex Tompkins who gets bitten by a neighbor’s toddler which turned him into a shifter and pack Alpha. The kid was/is adorable and the situation Lex found himself in was funny with a few serious elements attached. Belligerent Beta is a perfect title for Dan Keller who is still smarting at being passed over for Alpha and by a child no less. Dan is aloof, intimidating, and in a quandary over his role in the pack. The story picks up with the pack and Lex still adjusting to the new order and Lex’s new powers. Nathan, a young Omega wolf, in jeopardy in Accidental Alpha remains troubled here for an unknown yet hinted at reason.
Nathan’s character is a little shaky here. His history is one he only told to the last Alpha with hints of abuse or something equally horrific. He is naive or ignorant about shifter culture. And his inability to shift has caused him to withdraw even further into himself. I expected more from Nathan’s history than is revealed here. Either the reader still doesn’t have the whole story on Nathan or some of the implications were too overwrought, Either way I felt his character could have used some additional information or substance. Did that keep me from liking Nathan? Absolutely not. As someone in need of support and compassion, Nathan hits all the right buttons in order to connect with him. Who did I love? Well, that would be Dan. Big, gruff, isolated Dan. Dan is a character that you like the more he opens up and that happens as gradually as it can over 97 pages. And when Dan finally starts to get to know and get closer to Nathan its as cute as a puppy pile. That’s the best part of this story. It’s heartwarming and so sweet.
If you are looking for drama or angst here, you won’t find it. That element is almost completely missing from this story. Any hints of turmoil or large crisis such as we saw in the first story are just so much smoke or a quick reference to Lex’s continued adjustment to his new shifter status. This is a sweet, adorable romance.. The couple is endearing and they make a perfect pair. When you are finished, I think you will find you were happy you spent more time with this pack and their latest mate pairing. Poppy Dennison continues to flesh out her portrait of this pack and their members with each new story. I’m not sure who is next up in the series, but I can’t wait to find out.
Cover art by Wilde City Press. I would call that model a wonderful bear but this is about wolves after all.
ebook, 97 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Wilde City Press
original titleBelligerent Beta
seriesPack Partners #2
Pack Partners Series:
Accidental Alpha (Pack Partners #1)
Belligerent Beta (Pack Partners #2)