Title: Curves For The Lone Alpha [Lone Alpha 1]
Author: Molly Prince
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
When Carrie is dumped by her fiancé on the eve of a naughty weekend away she makes an impulsive decision to go by herself. At least she’ll be able to drown her sorrows with champagne alone in a hot tub instead of alone in her dismal apartment.
It is a decision that puts her on a collision course with James. A packless alpha, working for the government to track down and eliminate rogue shifters. Other wolves consider James an outcast and a traitor to his own kind, but he has a hidden agenda. A mission to find out who wiped out his entire pack… and why.
When these two lost souls find each other neither can explain how they feel so drawn to one another. Carrie, still recovering from her recent rejection, can’t believe this untamed and sexy stranger could possibly be interested in her. And James is at a loss to explain how this cute and curvy human can possibly enter his dreams… and why it feels like they were fated to be together.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I read this book as part of the Fated Mates Box Set, so I am planning to give a review to each individual book in the set, and then the set as a whole at a later date. There are twelve books in the set, and it is currently for sale on Amazon for $2.99 at the time this review was written. This is book 11 of 12.
This was an exceedingly short novella, and one of the few I’ve actually enjoyed. I’m not a big fan of novellas; for me, they tend to feel rushed 98% of the time. That isn’t so with Curves For The Lone Alpha. I was immediately pulled in by Carrie’s sometimes self-deprecating, but chatty voice. After having read several of these BBW shifter books, I can say that this particular novella to me rang the most true. Though the main female lead was a larger girl, she didn’t spend the book telling herself she was disgusting (as often seems to happen in BBW romances) She saw her flaws, but she gave herself very real pep-talks to try and overcome them. Of course she was sometimes doubtful of herself and embarrassed, but she didn’t whine about it or dwell on it. It was a nice change. There’s nothing more unappealing than a character who does nothing but complain about how fat and disgusting they are.
Likewise, it was nice to see a main male lead (James) that didn’t proclaim in this really creepy way how he only likes larger women because being overweight is sexy. I’ve found that in a lot BBW books the men often come across as creepy fetishists. James, didn’t. Instead he focused on the fact that he didn’t care if she was overweight, because he wasn’t looking for a warrior to stand by his side—he was looking for a woman to come home to at the end of the day. Someone to have a family with and be there to hold him and patch up his wounds. I thought the author’s portrayal of his attitude towards Carrie’s weight was really well written, and 0% creepy.
The Characterization of the many characters in this novella was probably one of the biggest things that stuck out for me. These characters were beautifully written—in fact, the whole narrative was. Every time a question popped up for me on why a character would make a certain choice, a sentence later it was explained. The character’s thoughts and actions rang true and genuine. I never felt the need to roll my eyes or throw anything at any of the characters. The one exception perhaps was during the sex scene between Carrie and James. Carrie always seemed to have this slightly “timid but not going to show it” aspect to her personality, but when we hit the sex scene she suddenly threw it all at the window and became very dominant (if not right out brazen) in the blink of an eye. I know, I know… people are often different in the bedroom than they are out of the bedroom, but it seemed like too much of a jump for me. I wish she’d toned it down a little. Instead, it came across almost as if the author were using the shock-value of her actions/words to try and pump up the sexual tension of the scene… and instead, it just shot it in the foot. It broke the immersion for me.
I will say, there were a lot of things this novella did right. The portrayal of Carrie and James as fated mates was probably one of the most convincing portrayals of soul-mates I’ve ever run across. Usually I look at these sorts of instances and go “oh yah… they’re instantly in love–scratch that–lust. I’m sure they’ll stay together forever.” insert sarcasm. I believed it in this novella. It was subtle, not forced, but before I knew it, I believed it.
Now, the major reason this novella didn’t score higher than it did, was the ending. It ended (for me) very abruptly. It felt like the story was half-finished (and maybe that’s in part because I was so engrossed in the storytelling that I didn’t see the ending coming). In the course of a chapter we went from a quick battle (which by the way, I don’t qualify as the climax of the story. It was over in less than a page) to sex, to shopping. I think in part, I was still waiting for the climax of the story to hit—and it never came. Instead, I turned the page and the book was over. It fell flat.
Overall, I’d say this novella was extremely well written. The narrative was convincing and gorgeous. The dialogue of one or two of the characters was a bit monologue, but for the most part, the story was engaging and sucked me right in. I only wish the ending had been better. Would I read this story again? Definitely. I really enjoyed it. Would I recommend it to others? Yes. I think if you’re looking for a peak at BBW shifter stories and want to see if they’re for you, this would be a great start. It was a really quick read, but it was well done.