Alpha Erased // by Aileen Erin

//published 2020//

Oh my, time is flying by!!  Yesterday was the release date for the latest addition to the Alpha Girl series and I totally forgot to post my review!!

While this series is somewhat outside my normal reading fare, I’ve really enjoyed the journey.  Erin writes likable characters and engaging scenarios, and I completely blew through this book as fast as I could.  I’m not sure how well this one would have read without the background of the rest of the series – there are a lot of characters to track and various types of creatures (like fey and werewolves and all that other great paranormal stuff) interact in specific ways in Erin’s world, so I do recommend starting at the beginning and going from there.  (You can read my reviews of the rest of the series here.)

In this story, Tessa is kidnapped, so we spend a lot of the story reading Dastien’s perspective.  I was super stoked to get inside his head for a little bit, because I’m pretty fond of Dastien.  I could have used a smidge less time of him flipping out about Tessa’s disappearance (he’s easily triggered, geez) as that got a bit repetitive, but overall this book just made me like Dastien more than ever.

This book’s strength is also its weakness in a way – it’s heavy on action.  That’s great for keeping the pages turning and keeping me wondering what was going on next, but now awesome for building relationships.  I get that Dastien and Tessa are forever bound to each other etc. but it would have been lovely to see a little more time of Dastien wooing Tessa back after she was kidnapped.

But if you enjoy paranormal adventures, I definitely recommend this series.  It’s great fun and I can’t wait to see which direction Erin heads next!

NB: I received this book as an ARC, which does not impact my review.

Lunar Court // by Aileen Erin

Last summer I read and weirdly enjoyed Aileen Erin’s Alpha Girl series, so when I had an opportunity to read the latest installment in that series as an ARC, I took it, despite the fact that I rarely read ARCs (way more pressure/commitment than I’m usually interested in).

So yes, these are werewolf books.  I don’t do a lot of paranormal reading because most of it tends to be too angsty/sexy/plain creepy, but sometimes you find a series that works, and I feel that way about Alpha Girl.  I really like the characters and the world-building.  I reread the series to work my way back into Lunar Court, and found myself liking Tessa and her friends all over again.  The first five books are basically all one big story – while they do a good job of having each book wrap up some small lines, the overarching plot continues throughout and is done really well.  From there, while the books are still closely connected, each one reads more individually.

In Lunar Court the story focuses on Chris and Cosette.  Chris is a werewolf, and has been one of my favorite characters throughout the entire series.  Cosette is fey, an area of world-building that Erin has been slowly developing throughout the last few books, especially in Shattered Pack, where we learned a lot more about how their culture works.  There are a lot of obstacles between Chris and Cosette becoming a couple, and overall this book was a lot more romance-focused than the earlier books.  As such, there wasn’t quite as much action.

My favorite part about this book was the dual POV.  The rest of the books in the series have had a single POV, which worked for what was happening in them, but being able to know what was happening with both Chris and Cosette, since they spend a lot of the book apart, really worked here.  I’m on Erin’s mailing list, and she’s mentioned that she enjoyed the dual POV so much that she’s thinking of using it for her next book in the series as well, so hopefully she sticks with it.

Overall, this was a 3.5* read for me, which is slightly below the 4* average I would give the series as a whole.  The pacing felt slower in this story – it didn’t quite drag, but some things definitely felt repetitive.  It also had a darker tone than earlier books, with themes of long-term physical and emotional abuse and manipulation.  There are still way more f-bombs in these books than I find necessary – one of my biggest complaints about this series as a whole.  Finally, while overall this series has done pretty well skirting around the religious aspect of paranormal, the involvement of archons in this story (who aren’t angels except they kind of basically are angels??) meant that this story was edging over the line of theological complications that made me more uncomfortable than the earlier books’ theme of “don’t mess with demons.”

Still, the story itself is well done.  I really like Chris and Cosette and totally ship them. I enjoyed watching them overcome the obstacles so that they could be together.  Hopefully Erin continues this series, as there are still a lot of characters to explore.  If you’re looking for some slightly-angsty paranormal, I totally recommend this series, especially since a bunch of the Kindle books are currently on sale in celebration of Lunar Court’s release.