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Adult Romance & Erotica Book Reviews

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Alpha Awakened (Dormant Desires #1) - Payne Hawthorne
Allison, a 40-something year old horse whisperer from Northern California, is on her way to Scotland to visit friends. She meets Jacob at the airport and the first sizzle of awareness sparks between them. That spark grows to a flame once on the plane. There's instalust and a need so strong that she finds herself agreeing or hoping to join the mile-high club with him. It doesn't quite come to that, but they shared for those brief few hours was enough to change both of their lives in unimaginable ways.

The idea behind the story wasn't new, but it was anything but boring. Their animalistic need for one another drove the first half of the story, and it was hot! The story was pretty good, up until the 48% mark then it kind of went downhill from there. The plot remained decent with it's fair share of legends and mythology, and the main characters had no idea what was even happening to them. The intensity of their chemistry/connection was severely diminished with their circumstances that were keeping them apart until the last few pages of the story
Allison spent most of the time (six months) in a coma dreaming of Jacob and wolves. Or rather, she dreamt of the both of them as wolves. Across the pond, Jacob was going through a more physical trauma, he was transforming and had no idea why, until he remembered old stories from his childhood.
. There were a few dream sequences in which they had sex. I suppose their initial meeting left enough of an impression on me to care enough about them to hope they'd find their way back to one another, but the flow of the story was choppy in some places that I just wanted to get to the end.

The first half of the story was easy to follow, but after the halfway point, all I had were questions and I was left confused over other bits of information that I couldn't even concentrate on the story anymore.

#1 This part was just so creepy that I couldn't believe my eyes. The nonchalance with which this was delivered … I couldn't get over my disbelief. While Allison was in a coma, her RN, a male nurse, who had spent all that time “caring” for her, had started to develop “feelings” for her. And then her Aunt points it out like this:

“You've grown more intimate with her,” Irene said to the male nurse that was bathing Allison's body.

“I've spent a lot of time with her, I take care of her every day.”

“Please, don't get me wrong, I only want the best for her, but, well, I think she's special. I can feel her in there; I want her to know there is love on this side too.”

“No judgment young man, just as observation, as long as you're not fucking her body, without her consent, I don't see any issues with you showing her love through her skin, I think it's good for her in fact.

He hadn't done anything quite that forward, but he had used his fingers on her soft little pussy a few times and her body had reacted ...


Seriously?

#2 The way the heroine refers to other people as “humans” led me to believe that she knew she was different. Or the term was just used poorly. For example:

She normally didn't notice other humans that much …

She was always the tallest woman and often the tallest human in the room.


#3 Upon learning that Jacob hadn't had intercourse with Allison, his assistant, Tom, pipes up:

“That's awesome news man, it means that's the main reason you're not yourself, not in control for more than a few days at a time.”

I fail to see how that news is “awesome”. Jacob is scared, he's desperate, he feels his humanity slipping, he has no idea how having a beast inside him will affect him for the rest of his life. Definitely not awesome.

#4 Then there was more confusion when Irene questioned Matthew on whether he fell in love with all of his female patients.

“No, [sic] actually never fallen in love with another human. I have a few of my dogs, the ones that raised me, but never any of my patients...”

“In the pack, if they are a lucky pack, not all get one, they're kinda rare actually, ...”


I didn't understand that conversation at all. Matthew talks about himself/his family as if they aren't human. He says he was raised by dogs, but near the end of the story, his mother tells him about the family secret – that their ancestors were wolf shifters. So the timing of all of these revelations is way off. Not to mention that Allison doesn't even know that she's different either.

#5 The repetitive retelling of Jacob's struggles got boring after a while. It was always the same thing, just spaced out over the seven months.

#6 Constantly switching between using Matt and Matthew and even spelling Matthew wrong on a number of occasions, among a few other spelling/grammar and tenses errors.

I hope the author considers getting a little help from beta readers or an editor before releasing the next book, if there is going to be a sequel. This story had potential, but there were just too many problems with the execution to simply overlook them.