Wolf shifter and park ranger Eric Silver is committed to his job policing spectacular San Isabel National Forest, and he’s hot on the scent of some mysterious wolves who are up to no good. When Eric’s investigation leads him to cross paths with forester Pepper Grayling, he’s fascinated to learn this she-wolf is her pack’s leader — strong, independent, and definitely not looking for a mate.
With unknown dangers on the prowl, Pepper is tempted to give in to her attraction to Eric and align her pack with his. But Pepper’s been pursued by many alpha males–all out to take over her pack and gain her hard-won territory–and Eric is a born leader. How does Eric earn the trust of a she-wolf who’s been betrayed so often in the past?
For a change, an alpha female wolf is calling the shots and the male has to dance to her tune. I liked the switch up and enjoyed meeting Pepper and her pack. Eric, the hero, I’ve met in past books but he was always on the periphery. He’s center stage this time and yet for all his yumminess and alphaness, he’s walking on eggshells around Pepper and that was fun to watch. How does a man who likes to take charge, who thinks he’s right and steamrolls over others with his ideas, (because they’re usually great, so he says), temper his natural inclination? His dilemma intrigues his alpha and pack to no end, and the resulting story is amusing.
The beginning of the book introduces Eric as a man of action, integrity and honor. All good qualities to find in a hero but they are useless when a woman won’t trust those qualities even though she values them. Pepper’s experience with male alpha wolves has been a bit warped. A reader will see through examples shared in the novel just how skewed and twisted her exposure has been. They have formed her, hardened her and fed her determination to not only not mate an alpha wolf, but to not mate at all ever again. How is Eric going to get around that hurdle? By just being himself, which is pretty awesome as I’m sure he’d agree.
The internal conflict comes from Pepper and her extreme distrust and reluctance to even consider allowing Eric to pursue her. But she’s charmed despite herself, so I enjoyed watching her get seduced. The only drawback is the repetitive nature of her resistance to not wanting to be mated to an alpha. The author made that abundantly crystal clear early on; the constant reminders wore thin after a while and made me want to yell, “I get it! I get it!”. Eventually, she stops resisting because Eric is irresistible. The external conflict comes from the kind of alpha male that she abhors and he’s as stubborn, wily and ambitious as any criminal who wants what others have. The depth of his determination stems from something that happened in Pepper’s past and it was a surprise to find out how it played into the drama and suspense of the plot.
The author took some time to explore Pepper and Eric’s jobs and responsibilities, and gave me some idea of each of their personalities, character and quirks. It fleshed them out enough for readers to feel connected and interested in what happens to them. I know it did that for me.
One thing that happens, and what romance readers enjoy, is when the main characters succumb to the physical passion that drives them. All scenes were well written, steamy and effective.
Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply is fun, steamy, interesting and a page turner of a novel. I did enjoy myself. I liked the happy ever after ending and I thought it was romantic. Pepper and Eric went through a lot to get there but the journey was worth it. I’m pretty sure fans of the series will enjoy this story and since it’s a standalone read, there’s plenty for new readers to enjoy too.