Dark Alpha’s Claim (Reaper #1) by Donna Grant
Read: 6th – 7th April 2019
Publication Date: 17th November 2015
Quote from Dark Alpha’s Claim
“He [Baylon] was well and truly single from now until the end of time.
It was a price he willingly paid to be a reaper.
It was one he would pay again in a heartbeat.”
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 4/5 – World Building: 4/5
So what’s this book about?
Dark Alpha’s Claim is a paranormal romance novel (approx. 163 pages) and the first tale in Donna Grant’s Reaper series – a spin off within her Dark World universe that includes; Dark King series, Dark Warrior series and Dark Sword series – featuring supernatural/mythological beings including; dark and light fae, fae Reapers (who work for Death herself), dragon shifters and magic welding druids (the mies who use light magic, dark magic users the droughs and the druid Warriors who have the powers of the old gods). These various species can be found inhabiting our world as well as in their own magical realms hidden from the knowledge of humans.
This series centres around Death (Erith) and her group of Reapers. Death is the judge and jury of the Fae world and her Reapers are the ones who carry out the executions when she’s passed sentence on those most deserving of Fae. The Reapers are mixed bunch of seven Light and Dark Fae – Baylon, Kyran, Talin, Fintan, Eoghan and their leader Cael – and each book follows the romance of one of these impressive males and the woman who brings him to his knees and claims his heart.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Dark Alpha’s Claim is the first in an exclusive new series from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant!
There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I am coming for you…
My whole existence is based on taking what Death wants. Born to eliminate Fae guilty of unforgivable crimes, my reckless, wild nature makes me the perfect assassin to carry out Death’s bidding. I’ve seen more sinister and violent dealings than anyone could ever imagine. But it was the sight of her face that stopped me cold. I’ve never wanted a woman-never mind a human-so badly; never felt my heart, hardened by death, burn brighter and hotter until it burst into flames. She is everything I desire. The kind of woman that compels you to stake your claim on her, to let the world know that she’s yours. A Reaper saving her life will only attract danger, but I vow to protect her at all costs from the Fae that hunt her, and keep safe the woman who has claimed me, body and soul.
Dark Alpha’s Claim references many of the characters and adventures from Ms Grant’s Dark Universe but Ms Grant tries to ensure her newer readers aren’t completely lost by weaving pertinent information into this story.
I have already read a handful of books within the latter stages of Ms Grant’s Dark universe including the last few books in this series.
You can read my reviews for the Reapers series by clicking; Dark Alpha’s Night (Reapers #5), Dark Alpha’s Hunger (Reapers #6), Dark Alpha’s Awakening (Reapers #7) or by searching the tag #Reapers Series
So, what did I like about it?
I think I can now class myself as a fan of Ms Grant’s books as I’ve read a few of them now. I find her writing style easy to read and I like the way she paces the development of the plot. I love the fantasy world that Ms Grant has created and that her characters are not black or white, good or evil but allowed to be complex souls with a multifaceted mix of positive and negative traits.
I downloaded the narration of this book as I enjoy listening to the story as I read along. Victoria McGloven is a new-to-me voice actor and while I liked the tonal variations that she used for the different characters’ dialogue, I felt that some of the pace of her narration during the exciting fight scenes was a bit pedestrian.
I connect to a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resilient and can look after herself; I wasn’t disappointed here. Jordyn Patterson is a great character and I loved getting to know her and seeing her fight for what she believes; she’s a woman with gumption! I liked the way that all of the characters in this story were written – even the villain of the tale – none of them were flat 2-dimensional creations, they all felt very real.
Based on the books that I’ve read so far, I realise that Ms Grant loves the romantic aspect between her lead couple to be concluded by the end of each book; I love Happy Ever After endings too. Woop! Woop!
This book isn’t just about the romance between our main couple, there are various aspects weaved together in this book and I liked that we were a fly on so many walls, getting a glimpse of the characters that we’ll encounter in this series.
Dark Alpha’s Claim was a good start to a series and it managed to surprise me a few times, had me reaching for a tissue or two *sniff*, growling in anger and holding my breath on the edge of my seat worried what would happen next but fear not dear reader there was also some humour to put a smile on my face and enough building passion to titillate anyone’s fancy. I found myself desperate to find out what would happen next, staying up late to finish just one more chapter – in other words I was gripped!
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
I really enjoyed Dark Alpha’s Claim but here’s where I have to be completely honest and tell you why my rating was 4 stars rather than 5.
You may think I’m being mean, but it’s mainly because I didn’t feel a strong connection to our hero, Baylon, like I did with Jordyn. There weren’t enough scenes where we learned what made him tick or his history of how he became a Reaper for me; it all just felt glossed over. I’m sure I’ll get to know him more in the subsequent books but as this was his book I was disappointed that it wasn’t as focused on getting to know him as I would have expected.
I should also remind you that as the first book in a spin-off series Dark Alpha’s Claim features a few existing background story arcs that seem to have been ongoing through the main Dark Kings series and continues through this story and beyond. We also have the new mystery/threat that the Reapers are facing that is started in this book which is also left to continue on the next books but that’s OK because I like it when background story mysteries are left to run through a series.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I really enjoyed this novel; it was a tale that kept me reading from start to finish – I was hooked! Dark Alpha’s Claim has everything that I look for in a good story; adventure, mystery, action, great characters, some humour, romance and a fair amount of passion.
Due to the graphic nature of the violence and sex scenes, I would only recommend this book to adults who are not offended by this sort of content. If you enjoy paranormal romance tales with a multi-layered backstory that keeps you turning the pages from start to finish with honourable alpha heroes and heroines with plenty of gumption, lots of action alongside beautiful romance, oh and enough titillation to make you blush on the bus, then this novel is definitely one for you.
So, has my review of DARK ALPHA’S CLAIM (REAPER #1) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.
See DARK ALPHA’S CLAIM on Goodreads.com
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Before I go, I just wanted to remind you that the current Audible trial is a great way for you to try an audiobook for FREE – you could choose Dark Alpha’s Claim!
As you can tell from my reviews, I’m “reading” more and more books like this and find it a relaxing but more immersive experience. If you sign up today for a month it’s easy to cancel AND any audiobooks you download are yours to keep forever, even if you cancel!