Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin

Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (276 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind.

But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves.

Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems.

Team Jacob, move on over. There’s a better werewolf in town, Dastien, and he’s an alpha with a capital A. Tessa is the heroine who makes a lot of sense and I enjoyed watching her come to grips with the new crazy that has become her life.

The best thing I liked about Tessa is her personality. She’s always been an outsider because of her gifts and she’s been shunned, bullied and ignored. There’s a saying, “that which doesn’t kills us, makes us stronger” and it’s appropriate for Tessa. I totally understood her character. When a kid has to deal with bullies, and survives, there can be a strength that is born, a maturity that is beyond their chronological age because they survived adversity. They end up being able to handle the trash that life throws at them much better than their peers who have had it easy or were the “popular” crowd. When things don’t go their way, prima donnas lose their cool but survivors, like Tessa, shine and can handle crisis much better. That’s how I saw the heroine. Her tough life prepared her for not only the wild adversity and craziness of the world she was thrust into, but in the middle of all that insane change, she found her stride, friends and her first boyfriend. Good things can and do happen, but for Tessa, well, there’s a huge price to pay. She’s not the only one who pays it either.

For the first book in the series, it does a wonderful job of setting the stage, introducing the main characters and antagonists and the emotional hoops Tessa is going to face. The story is told in first person point of view which usually bugs me. Not this time. It’s perfect for the story and the author never slipped once. I loved the author’s voice, Tessa’s attitude, and the descriptions throughout the story were spot on. Once the heroine got bit and all the weird stuff started happening – the revelations, the action, the twists and turns she has to navigate as she is introduced to a new school and new classmates, the snide and jealous girls and the snarky comments – I could not stop reading. It was like a compulsion; I had to turn the pages, keep reading, find out what happens next, and what happened after that. It’s a very busy, action filled book mixed with realistic dialogue, secrets, intrigue and tension from the simmering violence. And through it all, I liked Tessa’s character more and more.

Dastien, he’s a different matter. I liked him and the author’s description of him was yummy. But he sure came across as a waffle – he couldn’t make up his mind. Thank goodness the author had him explaining why he was that way. The reason made me like him all the more. I liked when he growled and when he calmed Tessa down. He has a lot of wonderful characteristics that appealed to me.

As for kissing, well, there certainly was some and it briefly got a bit steamy–they are wolves after all. But that was as far as it went. I’d call it sweet, but with a hint of hot sauce.

The small core group of friends that Tessa gathers around her throughout the course of the story were awesome and a great supporting cast I liked them all. As for the bad guys, if I wasn’t supposed to like them, the author made sure I didn’t – but there is a twist at the end. Another reason why I liked Tessa so much.

Becoming Alpha is awesome. It’s way better than the book with the sparkly vampire guy and this heroine is spunky, extremely likable and has a good head on her shoulders. What’s even better, this is a series with a couple more books already out and a brand new one coming out later this year. I’m going to be budgeting to buy all of them. And, if they all are written as good as this one? Wow, am I going to be in for a treat. I can’t wait!!!

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