Seventeen-year-old Tessa McCaide has come a long way since her abrupt entrance into the world of werewolves, but she still has just as far to go before she’s comfortable with turning full wolf. In the meantime, she’s avoiding the topic of shifting to four legs any way she can. Thankfully her mate, Dastien Laurent, is quite the distraction.
When she finds her best friend, Meredith, getting sick in the bathroom, Tessa knows something’s majorly wrong. Meredith was cursed years ago, and the dark magic kept her wolf dormant—only now the wolf is awake, and that same spell is killing her.
Tessa has no intention of sitting around while Meredith wastes away. Even if it means playing with magic she doesn’t understand, she’ll do anything to save Meredith’s life. Including bargaining with the local coven of witches and its crazed leader, whose only goal is getting Tessa to join the witchy ranks.
Can Tessa save her friend without losing herself?
Some characters are created so well that they take on a life of their own in your mind. Reading about them seems seamless and easy because the author is at one with her craft. That’s how I feel after following another adventure with Tessa in Avoiding Alpha.
I can’t remember reading a first person point of view that seemed so natural. I’m not sure if it’s because the dialogue flows so well, the action and descriptions keep the plot moving or what but it’s extremely effective. The story is Tessa’s and after reading this second book, I going to say with assurance that this is not a standalone read. It most definitely picks up where the first one, Becoming Alpha leaves off, if a few days later. The transitions that Tessa goes through as she learns the ways of her wolf are fascinating and it’s like being on a roller coaster. Some days are good and some days are bad, really really bad. In this segment, Tessa is watching her best friend die and there doesn’t seem to be a cure. After reading the first book, I know that the heroine is stubborn, feisty, testy and is willing to go the extra mile to accomplish the impossible. That tendency to go where angels fear to tread is the heroine’s major personality flaw, and her strength.
In this installment, the villain is exposed. Yes, there was a villain in the first book but this one showcases a taint that more than probably touched Becoming Alpha and set up house in Avoiding Alpha. Battle lines are starting to be drawn and it’s muddled as to who is on which side. I’m thinking the setup is key for future stories. The author is painting a very intricate picture with depth, fascination and an overall story arc. It’s gripping.
I can see Tessa and Dastien’s relationship grow in this book. It’s getting stronger; they’re starting to work on the kinks that come with her being turned and falling in love in such a fast manner and they’re learning to trust. Although, like I mentioned before, Tessa has this impulsive streak and it causes some significant stress for the hero. Trust is hard to balance with a headstrong alpha female, but Tessa is learning; they both are.
If a reader is anything like me, at one point in the story I jumped to conclusions. I expected, based on how the story was being told, that I knew what Tessa was going to do and it was going to be a cliché. Wow, was I wrong. I’m thrilled to be wrong. What Ms. Erin had her heroine choose to do was a perfect balance. I had this feeling of dread and it was all for naught. Tessa might be young in age, but she’s got what it takes to take a stand and defend her friends, herself and her new family. Sometimes her thought process is older, wiser than I expect but I firmly believe that it stems from her life before becoming wolf and it’s believable. Her actions certainly earn her the title of heroine.
Avoiding Alpha has so much going for it. The secondary characters, the dialogue, the hints of intrigue and the drama of racing against time to save a friend and the meeting of family members on their home turf all come together to create an intense, entertaining and wonderful reading experience. Even though there is an overall story arc and romance weaving throughout this book, and the first in the series, each one so far has its own complete suspenseful conflict and resolution for a reader to enjoy. This series is shaping up to be an amazing adventure and if the next book is as good as this one, I’m going to put this author on my auto-buy list. Ms. Erin is a new favorite author.