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

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

by The CaptainFebruary 7, 2012

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.



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About The Author
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.
  • February 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I just finished this book over the weekend and I really enjoyed it too! There was a small problem with the pacing and some of the author’s vocabulary choices could have been better but overall it’s a great start to a promising new werewolf series.

  • February 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

    First book in a series is always a question mark. I think that the potential is huge here. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting.

  • February 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I adore this review. I love how you’re hiding out from the BDB fanatics. BDB is so awesome (I’m a fanatic myself! Oh Blay/Qhuinn, when will you get your day?!), but there are some really amazing other stories out there!! I’m looking forward to reading this one. It’s on my TBR for the end of this month.

    Looking back, Dark Lover (BDB #1), Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed #1), and the starter for the Fever series all had a slower pace and allowed my attention to wander a bit, none of them being my favorites among their respective series. Even so, the series themselves are really great and I’m glad I stuck with it, so I’m looking forward to another series with potential like that!

  • February 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    There’s no telling how awesome this could get.

    And the BDB fanatics are scary. I’m glad my helmet is full face.


  • February 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Alright Captain, I was interested in this one before. Now I’m heading straight to Amazon to buy this. A werewolf BDB is pretty much what I’ve been hankering for since before the BDB came out so you win! 😀

    I love me some BDB but the true fanatics are scary… may I hide with you? 😉

    • February 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Rhianna, you can try to come under here with me, but it’ll be tight. Maybe we should retreat to the basement closet under the steps? There are edibles there. 🙂

      Oh, and a fireplace too, so we can be cozy while we hide out.

      I hope you enjoy this book and see the potential that I do. Plus, HAWT ASS SCOTTISH WEREWOLF BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!

      *sigh.* yumyumyum!!

      I liked this a lot, and there are plenty of places for Katie to go with the ground work she’s laid out. Come back and tell me what you thought after you read it. I wanna have someone to dish with! (Or you can find me on GoodReads or at my own website.)

  • Sophia Rose
    February 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    You’re perfectly safe from me. A. I have not read the BDB which usually brings gasps of shock for me. B. I’m not picky whether they’re vamps, weres, fae, etc as long as theyz hot and hero types.

    I had not heard of this one and it looks good.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    • February 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Sofia I just read my first BDB book a few months ago because DVK pretty much strong armed me into it. LOL.

      So far I really like Rhage although he was an ass for a lot of his book. But I’ve decided that he’s a pretty good guy and very sweet to his lady.

      Zsadist, oh Zsadist. So damaged. So delicious. Like him too.

      But there’s things in the BDB that I can’t get past, and I’ve complained to DVK about them and she’s been very indulgent. I can’t go into them here the fan girls are already onto my signal. Read a few and we’ll talk more once I’ve moved locations!

    • February 8, 2012 at 12:46 am

      Ms. CDP really needs to read at least through V’s book so I can stop stressing that she’s going to spoil the ending with all of her rampant Twitter RP watching! Gah! *grin*

      Mmmm Vishous, how I <3 thee. Call me up AN-E-TIME and I’ll gladly meet you at your penthouse. Mmmm. And John Matthew makes me swoon. And Blay and Qhuinn are just about the hottest thing since… ever.

      I’m a little bit of a fan… just a little. Lover Reborn BETTER NOT SUCK LIKE PAYNE’S STORY DID!! *deep breath* Ok I’m good. No seriously, good… yeah.

      • February 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

        I’m right there with you! Mmmm V *licks lips* Hell I’d take any one of them, though Wrath is my chosen hellren. *swoon*

        And I wouldn’t say her story sucked…was just a tad anticlimactic. Not enough smut either. However, I LOVED V and Butch in that one 😀 I can’t wait for Lover Reborn!

  • February 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Sounds like I have some competition here! It also seems like I’ll be reading this book because it sounds like my kind of read. Cheers!!

    • February 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Hey Hildie! Yes, read it! It’s fun. Oh, and come back later this month. I get to interview Katie and zee boys and girls. 🙂 I’m excited.

      Cause there’s hat ass werewolves! Loads and loads of ’em. And some of them are single.

      They don’t need to know I’m married, right? LOL

  • February 25, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Ok so I’ve heard that the Midnight Breed series and Immortals After Dark series are both like BDB, and now this one too…sounds like I’ve got some reading to do.

    However, no one dethrones the BDB! 😀

  • March 14, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I was hooked as soon as you said, “HAWT ASS SCOTTISH WEREWOLF BROTHERS!” Definitely trying this one, NOW 😀 Buying it right now lol. Love my Kindle!

    What is this BDB you keep speaking of? I’m fairly new here…

    • March 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

      HI Shannon! i don’t know if I should tell you about the BDB or let you remain blissfully unaware. Maybe you’ve already Google searched yourself.

      Anyway, I didn’t know about them until a few months ago when a certain bestie *cough* DVK *cough* turned me on to them.

      The first book “Dark Lover” like most series starters is okay. Not epic-ally awesome, but an enjoyable read. I enjoyed book 2 more. Book 3, I loved, Book 4 made me furious and elated and completely turned on all in one. LOL. I’m up to book 7 or 8 or something now.

      The BDB (Black Dagger Brotherhood) is vampires who fight the good fight against these gross dudes called Lessers who run around looking like Powder set free from a mental asylum. They are each flawed in their own ways, and bumble around until they find their twuu wuve. 🙂

      JR Ward (author) doesn’t pull any punches with torturing her characters. Pisses me off royally sometimes. It’s an enjoyable series, lots of action, adventure, loss, joy, and of course Smex Beam. You’ll either love it, hate it, or be ambivalent.A lot of people don’t like the street vernacular used. But if you like to see hawt ass dudes fighting alongside each other and the unbreakable bonds created by a fighting unit comprised of guys who willingly lay down their lives for each other…. You’ll get past the “shitkickers” and “My Brothers”.

      Okay, longest comment EVAR. 😀

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