Confident Shifter Alpha Female Finds Love & Sexy Times in Imperfect World

Spiral of Need (Mercury Pack) - Suzanne  Wright
”Derren is a very dominant, forceful, intrusive male who thinks my business is his and who is determined to have his own way all the time. But even though he pushes me to tell hi things, he never pushes too hard—he shares with me so that I’ll share with him. Even though he doesn’t like any distance between us, he lets me have my space andprivacy when I need it. And even though he very rarely gets a peaceful night’s sleep because of me, he never complains or sleeps anywhere but beside me. How can I not care about the fucker?”

Ally Marshall had beeb close to imprinting with a shifter in her pack until he found his true mate. Despite having graciously stepped aside and wishing her ex happiness his mate is determined to destroy Ally, turning the whole pack against Ally. Luckily, a surviving member of her childhood pack sends help in the form of Derren, the Mercury Pack’s Beta. Ally will bear anything, even the simmering hatred his pack has for shifters with the gift of foresight, if it will offer an exit from her current pack.
Surviving in a juvenile detention required alliances, and years later Derren has to honor a debt despite his loathing of Seers. Seers are duplicitous creatures; they have caused friends considerable pain. Yet he craves Ally. His wolf wants to ‘mark’ her. He would think she was his mate if didn’t know she already had one although Ally’s true mate hasn’t claimed her.

Ally and Derren have battles ahead. An ex’s mate wants to break Ally. Unknown enemies attack Derren’s pack. Despite their secrets and personal prejudices these two shifters are about to combust if they can survive the people trying to destroy them.

I can see the appeal of Ms. Wright’s storytelling. It’s steamy and borderline erotic, similar to the steam level in Lora Leigh’s Breed series. Her heroine is a warrior. Ally talks the talk and walks the walk. Simpering? Passive? Can kick butt yet the hero has to save her? NOT. AT. ALL! Ally is one tough Alpha shifter and she can see the future AND she actually tries to do something to prevent horrible things from happening. Ally is a survivor and a warrior all rolled into one!

What stopped me from loving this book are a few things. First, there were inconsistencies in the characterizations. The Collingwood Pack, the pack causing hell for Ally, seemed an illogical fit for Ally and the world-building seemed manipulated to suit the plot. (The CP’s Alpha was a weak-kneed alpha. The fated mate rules glided past Ally’s ex. ) Next, the shift in narrative when the characters were in their wolf form was lacking in emotion and knocked me out of the story when they occurred. For example, while fighting the characters lost their names and were identified by the color of their fur. It led me to question whether there was some sort of inner turmoil regarding the characters’ dual nature. There wasn’t, so why the disconnect in the narrative? Finally, despite Spiral of Need being the first book in a spin-off series, this book does not stand-alone very well. A story arc from the Phoenix Pack series seemed to pick up where it left off. I did not know the couple very well but I felt as though I should; their presence was very strong for secondary characters.

I rated this book with 3.5 stars, but I think longtime fans for Wright’s other series will have greater enjoyment. For those who have never read Ms. Wright, I suggest starting with her Phoenix Pack series, which is what I will do before continuing the Mercury Pack series. Despite the issues I had I am eager for the next book and hoping Cain or Dominic get their own story.

ARC courtesy of Montlake via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.