Comment: Another read for the TBR challenge and this month the theme is paranormal or romantic suspense. I went with PNR with glimpses of suspense, not that I can say there is much of it...but it suited my reading list of October and it was the closest I had with the intended theme.
This is the story of Aric Savage, he is a member of the secret military OP Alpha Team, a group of operatives who became shape shifters after a weird mission. Aric has been taken by the enemy and has been tortured but he is rescued, along others in the beginning of the story and that is important because he will meet his mate after that.
Rowan Chase is a cop in LA but she never accepted her brother was killed and hint after hint leads her to the Alpha Pack complex where she meets the team and later on helps rescuing her brother and Aric, a man she feels strongly attracted to.
All would be well if the Alpha Pack hadn't to fight a specific enemy and to do that they have to figure out who that person is. But maybe the answers arrive too late to save all their loved ones...
This is my second attempt in reading this series. The first installment wasn't a favorite of mine, I've read it at the end of 2014, said I'd read more during 2015 but well, it's almost the end of 2016...where does time go? Anyway, the first book didn't impress me much but I feel glad I could still remember some things as soon as I started this second book. And I liked this one better. It's not perfect, but in terms of being able to maintain my interest in reading, this was better.
The story isn't too complicated when it comes to the plot. A bunch of guys (some girls, mostly doctors) in a shared complex, they are battling supernatural forces most humans would consider fantasy, they are buddies, some are nicer than others, all have their own personal supernatural abilities and were changed into wolves - and a panther.
The idea isn't that original for a PNR, but somehow works. As always, what makes it interesting are the specific characters, their powers, the friendship between them, the fact they behave like family and have a strong bond...well, to be honest, I think this aspect isn't used to its maximum potential, but whatever. They have enemies, humans and others they have to battle, they have comrades to rescue, not a single one wants to be mated and fights it when it happens...so, pretty much any type of PNR out there. Still, I liked this one better, I don't know if I was simply in the mood, if the writing is more fluid, therefore easier to follow and go through, if the characters felt more captivating...something surely was but don't expect originality or "amazingness".
The romance is always an important element in these types of stories and this wasn't an exception. Usually the romances are rushed and too much insta-love (even shape shifters/mating issues and rules aside) and I kind of noticed it here as well, but somehow, despite seeing it, I think it's better compared to the first one because of the attitude Rowan and Aric had going into it. I just think I can respect their decision and their lack of drama while being together. Of course, there is a slightly drama issue closer to the end, which was unnecessary but there's a HEA at the end and that was great.
The characters have to deal with emotional issues, they have to talk and discuss important things about themselves and I don't mean only the protagonists. I liked how the next story started to be prepared. Some people think this ha a cliffhanger but I don't agree. Sure, we are left wondering what will happen, but the way things are done I don't think it's not bearable. I liked how even things related mostly to other people somehow were important to the protagonists and others, not only the couple meant to be.
There is an obvious lack of more layers, more sense of community for a bunch of people living togther and the romance could have been done with more sweetness and romantic gestures...
The suspense parts, at least the ones we can address as suspense, certainly look weak and maybe there just to fill up space but to me it's perfect: not too much to make the story a thriller and just enough to make is a part of the team's purpose and goals.
All in all, Rowan and Aric provided an interesting story, yes there are obvious things one could change but I was entertained and I'm looking for to read the next story too.