Series: The Dire Wolves Chronicles #1
Published by: Self-Published on September 15, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: The Author
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Gage was the first guy I ever wanted. He was my first crush and my first fantasy, but he wasn't my first in any other way because he never saw me as anything more than a friend— at least not until the night that changed everything.
It was all Gage's fault. He insisted we drive through the storm and take the back roads. By the time the storm hit full force we had no chance. One night of snowbound sex changed our relationship forever. The problem was at the same time I caught another guy’s attention. This other guy happened to be the alpha of a pack of shifter wolves. I thought the wolves were the worst of my problems, but I was wrong. When things went from bad to worse I had to make a lifelong sacrifice to save Gage, but what price is too much to save the one you love?
I received this book for free from The Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Also by this author: Soar, Search, First & Forever, Stay, Savor
One Line: Not what I was hoping for exactly, but the ending caught my attention.
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
Oh, why couldn’t I have enjoyed this book more?! Honestly, this book started off and stayed at around a “2 star” kind of read for me for like 80% of the book. About halfway through I was so ready to give up, but because I genuinely like the author and her writing, I stuck it out, hoping I would enjoy it in the end. If it wasn’t for the last 20% of the book, it would’ve been a total bust for me, but even then it didn’t improve that much. It really takes that long for you to even get a sense of what is going on, but just at a glimpse. I know the first book in a series is supposed to leave you with questions, leave you wanting more (and yes, it did just that), but I definitely could’ve used more of a fleshed out story and more insight into the characters.
Now usually I adore Alyssa’s characters and her stories tend to be pretty fast-paced and exciting. Unfortunately, Dire wasn’t that kind of read for me, although I did read it fast. From the very beginning, I just couldn’t get on board with how these two main characters thought, acted, and treated each other. Mary Anne and Gage have supposedly known each other since they were young, having grown up in the same town and Gage being friends with her brother, yet they don’t really KNOW each other. It wasn’t even your typical “little sister loves the brother’s best friend” kind of deal. He was just a casual friend who she barely spoke to and admired from a far. They didn’t really have a good friendship, yet we’re barely into the book and they’re throwing sexual innuendos at each other and admitting to sex dreams without preface. I can understand and accept that if it was like a “meet in a bar and want a hookup” kind of deal, but not if you’re going to have them be quasi-friends at first. It’s one or the other and trying to mix the tropes just didn’t sit right with me.
Gage had his good moments. I liked that he stuck by Mary Anne until the very end and did his best to protect her. Despite there not being any real substance behind their relationship so far, it was obvious he genuinely cared for her. I didn’t care for how quickly and frequently his thoughts went to sex and Mary Anne being naked, but it is what it is. Mary Anne was a bit too naive for my taste and even though I understand some of the actions regarding the situation her and Gage are in, I still didn’t like how easily submissive she was with Hunter, especially some of her thoughts. Hunter wasn’t a picnic either. By the end, you kind of see how serious their situation is and why he’s so protective of Mary Anne, but the way he goes about it is just creepy. It’s obvious he cares for Mary Anne, but there’s no reason for it. Nothing is explained. He just sees her and claims her. That’s it. I didn’t care for any of the other wolves either.
As for plot progression, you don’t get much. Most of the book is of Gage and Mary Anne dealing with Hunter and his group, but it’s a lot of back and forth stuff without much insight into the wolves and their paranormal world. We’re just told that “it’s dangerous out there” and the wolves are “protecting” Gage and Mary Anne. It kind of bugged me that we don’t get much of their story at all. Most of the book revolves around them being kidnapped by the wolves, Mary Anne trying to fight off Hunter’s advances (and doing a poor job of it), a lot of sex talk, and poor Gage having everything and then some being done to him because he’s in the way of Hunter and Mary Anne being together.
Despite all my problems with this book, by the end, I found myself really drawn to it. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as all of her other books, but Alyssa still keeps me glued to her pages for some reason. And that ending! She just had to have a cliffhanger ending, begging me to wonder what would happen next. Suffice it to say, I will be reading the next book to see what becomes of Gage and Mary Anne, and I’m hoping this progress better and the characters don’t annoy me as much.