Cover for Alpha's Warlock, Mismatched Mates #1

Book Review: Alpha’s Warlock

Title: The Alpha’s Warlock

Series: Mismatched Mates #1

Author: Eliot Grayson

Genre: MM Paranormal (Warlock/Werewolf) Romance



Cursed, mated, and in for the fight of their lives…

Warlock Nate Hawthorne just wants a cup of coffee. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. Because instead of precious caffeine, all he gets is cursed by a pack of werewolves who want to use him for his magic. Now the only way to fix the damage is a mate bond to a grumpy and oh-so-sexy alpha in the rival pack, who happens to hate him. This is so not how he wanted to start his day.

Ian Armitage never intended to take Nate as his mate. The Hawthorne family can’t be trusted. Ian knows that better than anyone. The fact that he’s lusted after the way-too-gorgeous man for years? Totally irrelevant. Ian’s just doing what is necessary to protect his pack. This whole mating arrangement has nothing to do with love and never will. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

Nate and Ian will have to work together if they have any hope of staving off the pack’s enemies and averting disaster. That’s assuming they can stop arguing (and keep their hands off each other) long enough to save the day…

The Alpha’s Warlock is an explicit M/M paranormal romance featuring a snarky warlock, a brooding alpha werewolf, knotting, enchanted socks (long story), and a guaranteed happily ever after. This series does not contain mpreg.

“Nate. I never hated that Jared was with you. I hated that you were with him. I hated him. I hated myself for hating him. I hated everyone in the fucking world except for you.”

Check it out on Amazon now! It’s free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

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What I loved:

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a really solid enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance and the climax is quite action-packed, even for the genre. I actually read this one a couple of years ago, right after it first came out and then decided to give it a re-read, because I plan to work my way through the entire series (eventually—my TBR list is already out of control).

It’s interesting, because there’s a lot about this book that past experience tells me I shouldn’t like but also totally (and unapologetically) do.

For instance, enemies-to-lovers isn’t generally my jam. No hate on it as a trope. It’s just not what floats my boat. Usually, that is. Also, “smart-ass twink” isn’t usually a trope I care for much either in my MM romance reads (and if you looked up the smart-ass twink trope in an encyclopedia, I’m pretty sure the passage would be mostly all about Nate, because as a smart-ass twink, he is ICONIC). And, quite frankly, Nate (our main character) is downright mean to his love interest, Ian, for the first 40% of the book, something I’m almost never into. None of this should work for me.

And yet, by the end of the story, all of it does.

I think it’s because Eliot Grayson takes plenty of time to build up WHY Nate is using his sarcasm and his cutting wit. Deep down, he’s a very hurt person due to the way he was used for his magic by his father and it’s now terrifying for him to be even the least bit vulnerable with another person, so he uses his sarcasm and his often very cutting remarks as a defense against letting people get too close to him. Though I definitely wanted to clobber him over the head a few times in the first half of the book for how he interacted with Ian (who, let’s be real, should probably be canonized as the patron saint of patience), I still found it easy to forgive him. Especially when he recognizes his crappy behavior towards Ian and realizes that he was wrong and then makes the conscious choice to change how he’s going to behave towards his mate in the future.

At this point, I realized I might sort of love Nate.

I also realized I might more than sort of love Eliot Grayson as an author, because this was handled without being facile, maudlin, or saccharine. It was just the organic progression of Nate’s character and it made perfect sense for him.

I’m 100% a nerd about story structure, but hands down, the most interesting part of this story for me is that the romance between Ian and Nate is almost invisible for a significant chunk of the book. It’s very organic and natural based on their circumstances, but the progression is SUBTLE. This isn’t a bug, though. It’s definitely a feature—the progression IS absolutely there. It’s just so well-drawn that it doesn’t jump off the page. That is, until we get about 50-60% of the way through the book and stuff starts to get very real and both Ian and Nate (who have kind of despised each other up until this point) are suddenly confronted with the very real possibility that they’re about to lose each other for good.

Then they both have to be brave and fight for what they want. Spoiler alert: it’s each other. They’re fighting for each other.

This story was decently steamy, but it certainly wasn’t the smuttiest story I’ve read this year (I’ve read some pretty smutty books recently, but I think that honor MIGHT belong to Dress the Neck Becomingly). Still, the sex scenes were definitely a lot of fun. Knotting isn’t usually my thing, but it definitely worked well here.

By the way, if you’re unfamiliar, this is a book about werewolves and there’s plenty of knotting involved. If you don’t know about knotting yet, I won’t ruin it for you. Read the book and you will learn plenty. For now, just know that it involves werewolf anatomy and it’s quite smutty and maybe even a little filthy, but in an extremely fun way.

By the end, I was really happy that Ian and Nate both found happily ever after in each other. Their happily ever after might be a work in progress (let’s be real, they’ve both still got some growing to do), but it feels very honest for who they are. And it’s perfect for them as a couple.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it if you’re into werewolf romance that relies on an enemies-to-lovers trope. Or you might be like me and like it so much that you might have to revise all your preconceived notions about what you enjoy. Either way, definitely go read this.

You can get it here.

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