Posted February 7, 2012 by The Captain in All Reviews

ARC Review: Alpha Instinct (Moon Shifters #1) by Katie Reus

Reviewer Top Pick, February 2012

TLDR recap:

Ana has a problem – she’s grieving a terrible loss, Taggart, the alpha jackass with neighboring property thinks that a little “forced seduction” is just what the doctor ordered to bring her to heel, and Connor Armstrong – mega hottie Scottish werewolf from her past who makes Ana’s wolf sit up and beg has come back to town.  She can take his protection for herself and her pack but it comes with a price – a little hanky panky, the frustration of his no extra information replies to her questions, and the danger of losing her heart to him – again.  Add in some stupid human tricks, a whole posse of uber hot werewolves in Connor’s pack (including his brother Liam), and danger, danger, danger!  Hit high on the Awesomesauce-Story-Blend-O-Matic and you get Alpha Instinct, a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: Alpha Instinct
  • Series: Moon Shifters
  • Author: Katie Reus
  • Prominent Characters: Ana, Connor, Liam, December
  • Recommended reader age: 18+
  • Sexual content level: Moderate


*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***


***I have thought very long about writing this review.  That is why I am currently under my desk.  I’m wearing my motorcycle helmet and leather jacket, a pair of shit kicking boots and holding a wooden spoon, some glitter glue, and an eyelash curler.  Be warned.***

Alright let’s get down to business.  Alpha Instinct. What did I think?  I think it rocks. I think that this is the beginning of a series that may just be the werewolf answer to the BDB.  That’s right, I said it.  There is potential here for this series to perhaps knock some of our favorite vampires off their little pedestals and be replaced with hot ass werewolf goodness.

***Don’t get to close!  I’ll glue your eyes shut with this glitter!  I mean it!***

Gasp!  That’s right. I totally mean it too.

Now, if you were around for the December year end voting, you know that the BDB has a fierce, furious, rabid fanbase. Hence the protective gear.  I don’t wanna get bit and get those shots in my ass.  Those are some big BIG needles, y’all. And my hiney is sensitive.

Some people will read this book and think I’m off my meds again. That’s okay.  But let’s look at the facts, alright?

  • We’ve got uber hotties who are very alpha but find themselves totally entranced and completely bowled over by the power of their twoo wuve’s Smex Beam.
  • There’s really nasty bad guys coming from every angle with a larger over-arching plot line of the ultimate big bad.
  • The chicks are pretty damned bad ass themselves in their own ways.
  • The fights are balls to the walls, no one is safe, life or death at stake.
  • Hot sex.
  • A strong, damaged alpha male who needs his lady love to grow into his potential and be the ruler of the keep.
  • Bonds that are forever and ever…if you can get past all the crap fate is going to throw in your way to stop you.  (Which makes the reader nuts worrying over how the hero and heroine will overcome their adversity and find their way into each other’s pan-  errrr  hearts.  Yeah, hearts.)
  • Large ensemble cast filled with intriguing characters and crazy ass plot line potential!

Ana is tough, a female alpha in her own right. She’s also tired, beat down, and running out of choices.  Most of the ones she has left are trying to pick the lesser of an evil types.  Which totally sucks for her.  Ana is a great gal.  Loyal, fierce, loving, kind, tough, tender, and a wonderful sister.

Lucky for her she gets Connor.  These two have history together that goes back decades and until they work out the secrets they’ve been hiding in their hearts, they’ll both be hurting unnecessarily. Which, if it was me, the first time Connor turned on the brogue I’d be nekkid.  Even if he told me to take out the trash.  Off my clothes would fall.  Cause he’s teh sexay beast.  🙂

Don’t get me wrong, Connor is just as lucky to get Ana.  I bet he’d say he was more lucky than she. That’s the kind of guy he is.  Tough, capable, strong, and in control of the situation.  Someone Ana can lean on.  Which she definitely needs.  Poor girl.

Memorable quotes:

Oh, go ahead and do it Connor!  I’ll root for you.  Go Connor go!  Go Connor go!

Connor scrubbed a hand over his face.  “I was ready to take her right on the kitchen counter.”

“And that’s a bad thing?” Amusement laced Liam’s words.


Mmm… good question Ana!

“Uh, I wondered if you were a boxers or briefs kind of guy.”  The comment popped out so fast she couldn’t rein in her big mouth.

She hadn’t meant to ask it – even if she did want to know the answer – but at least it had the intended effect on Connor.

He blinked once as he stared at her.  His green eyes filled with not shock exactly, but mild surprise.  His mouth parted slightly, and she smiled inwardly that she was able to take him off guard and hopefully push him off kilter just a little. She felt unbalanced this morning and didn’t want to be alone in that.

Her tiny victory was short lived when a grin spread across his face. “You want to find out right now?” he asked playfully.


Liam can put a spell on me, anytime he wants.  🙂  December you lucky girl!  Ask him to do something!  I’m dying!

“I don’t know why I’m here, but I wanted to see you. I feel like you did something to me.”

His eyebrows rose.  “Did something?”

“Put a spell on me or something,” she muttered as her cheeks flushed.

He tried to hold back a bark of laughter, but failed.

“That’s called chemistry, baby, but I’ll do anything you’d like me to.  All you’ve got to do is ask.”

If you liked Alpha Instinct of the Moon Shifter series…

Go and read the Black Dagger Brotherhood books!  Or re-read them as the case may be.  For all the reasons listed above and the fact that you’ve got loads and loads of pages to drool over.  With action, adventure, danger, evil, sex, alpha males and the women who get to tame –  no not tame.  Ride?  Well, sometimes.  Hmmm….let’s just say love.  Yeah, the women who love them, the BDB is books and books worth of fun!

I also like the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole for these same reasons.  And, there’s a book early on in the series devoted to Bowen, Scottish werewolf hottie and flirty bad boy extraordinaire!  Bowen is one of my favorites, and even though I just broke up with him, I may perhaps secretly still drool over him. When no one’s looking.

Final thoughts:

I was on chapter 3 when I was texting DVK to ask if she knew if Alpha Instinct was the beginning of a series.  I liked it that much.  I really do believe that Katie Reus has an opportunity to create a world that just might be as epic and create as many rabid fan girls as the BDB.

Yep, I totally mean that and if you crazy BDB fan girls get too close I’ll smack you with this spoon!  I’m not sure what I’m doing with the eyelash curler, but I’ve got it and I know how to use it. Mostly.  Okay, not really at all.

Like most series starters, Alpha Instinct has the job of not only setting up a new world with all it’s laws and foibles, but it also has to get us to fall in love with our hero and heroine and give a damn about their trials and tribulations.  It does that, and darned well.  There’s plenty of suspense balance with humor, sex, family ties, and just darned good story telling.   I can’t wait for the next installment.  Happy release day to Katie Reus, and to us, the lucky readers!

Alpha Instinct is a GraveTells Recommended Read!


Rating: Alpha Instinct


Related links:

Katie Reus’ website here.



The Captain

When not in pursuit of two small children, a sausage shaped black lab, workaholic husband, crazed hermit crab, bachelor's degree, Jensen Ackles, or editors, I spend time writing and reading PNR/UF as fast as my overtaxed eyes and fingers can read and type. I'm busily writing a series with plenty of Smex Beam deployment and the occasional short story. I am susceptible to bribes involving chocolate, peanut butter, and interesting combinations of the two.