CONSOLIDATED REVIEWS Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising

I’m dividing reviews into MEN, WOMEN, and BOOK MONSTERS, so you’ll see that my target readers enjoyed it. (If you don’t know what a book monster is, see my last post.)

(These reviews were posted after the ‘giveaway’.)


T.S. from twitter: you had me in huge tears this morning – the Alley in book 3- just to let you know what a great writer you are – must read on…

D. from goodreads: (4/5 stars) Once I started, I couldn’t put it down, which was kind of a surprise since I am not really into ‘shifter’ fiction. I am looking forward to reading the two sequels and see what happens.

E. from my blog and goodreads: (5/5 stars) Your “give away” got me to read Duke 1, and from there I have bought 2 and 3. Although the “stats” are against you with your writing, I am sure you will beat the odds – I have been recommending your books to my friends. At the end of the day, most of the “beaters” will be read once, and deleted or lost – yours will be ones that people keep coming back to.

T. from sofurry: (5/5 stars) Very engaging. Duke with his growing circle of friends and loving family really do hook you and cause you to worry and smile as their lives intertwine and grow. The story is emotional at times, and I think that is the best part of Duke’s story. I doubt you can read this with out feeling empathy and pain when harm falls their way, and equally the joy when things go better than expected.

G. from goodreads: (5/5 stars) Very good read. Started this book when I came home from work, and just finished it. I simply couldnt stop til I got to the last page. Very different from other books I ve read, and I like that!A different take on the shifter, but a good one. Very good erotic and fun read! Tomorrow will be book number 2!

D. from goodreads: (3/5 stars)

R. from goodreads: I have read the first and enjoyed it. Much fun and shenanigans as well as genuine feeling. Woof.

M. from (5/5 stars)

K. from (5/5 stars)  Duke Alpha Rising i’d say was a pretty well written story, the only thing I  found wrong with it was Mike’s unrealistic acceptance of *SPOILER* Duke’s  affair with Rouke. Other than that a well written book I’d recommend this for  anyone who is interested in the furry community or just a cute homosexual story.


M. from goodreads: (3/5 stars) The story was told from a silly point of view. All the situations somehow work out in the end. There’s a lot of sex, but the characters were sweet. But it was entertaining nonetheless. There were a few editing errors, not enough to interrupt my reading like some do.


A.A. from goodreads: (2.5/5 stars) Let me preface my review by saying I don’t think this was a bad book, it just wasn’t for me. What I Liked: [1] The writing. I couldn’t find any fault in it. I like the way the story was told and the way Duke told it. [2] Duke. I liked his voice even if I didn’t like all the humping and crying. [3] The creativity. I’ve never read another shifter story like this. I liked how their “dogs” were very much a part of the man. What I Didn’t Like: May contain spoilers…. (It does, so if you want to read more, see her review. Basically, she doesn’t “really like sex with other peoples while they’re in a relationship . . . So that pretty much turned me off the story from then on,” even though the book blurb mentions his ‘lover’ and ‘another competing for his affection’.)

P.M. from goodreads: (2/5 stars) I wish that I could say exactly what I didn’t like about this story but I honestly can’t. This world and these characters just didn’t do it for me, nothing drew me into the story enough to make me care for any of them. (Basically, she was pissed off that I had the nerve to question A.A.’s review and wrote this after saying so.)

C.B. from goodreads: (3/5 stars) (no comments)

T. from goodreads: (1/5 stars) I had to stop at the mid point because I just couldn’t care for Duke and I have a bit problem with ‘cheating’ even if you are in the same room together (‘swinging’?) so I stopped reading. (She clarified:) The book had its own cosmos and myths which were well thought out by the author, as well as different personalities for the various characters/animals. I only have a problem with the interactions between Duke and Mike (with the other lovers they share) which I find not compatible with my personal definition of a love relationship. This is a personal preference which guides my choices in reading material which explains why I couldn’t finish this story. This may be what other readers are looking for so I mention the activities in my review. This situation is just like I prefer vanilla ice cream and other people may want chocolate or coffee favors. I did like the shifter world and politics involved between the purists and Duke’s family which is why I read half the story, but the series of sexy scenes with Duke and everyone had no story to them.

F. from (3/5 stars) This is quite a strange short novel. Centred on creatures that shift into house pets or into the random wildlife forms it can and will not, at first, evoke the same sense of potential danger and wild sensuality that is what makes the best werewolf novels with their big, brawny and dangerously sexy characters so compelling. Once accepted the unusual supernatural lore and a writing that is far from flawless because of typos, mistakes and a shaky syntax which makes whole paragraphs barely understandable, this work ends by being extremely enjoyable. The supernatural element, relevant though it is, is just a frame for a complex net of human relationships that evolve in the most heart-warming way. Duke is a great character: young, maybe naive but full of warmth, courage and good intentions, he manages to assemble an odd pack of bizarre individuals bound together by love. Mike, his companion, is well rounded as well and the same is valid for most of the other characters. All the love that these individuals experience together is sorely needed as the shifter world in general is not a particularly nice one. Plot is confused, patchy, with conflicts that are quickly introduced and easily solved, but it does not drag and it does not stand in the way of an enjoyment that begins with page one and goes on to the end. This book, the first in a series of three, stands more or less on its own but ends with a moderate cliffhanger that prods the reader to read the second part. There is a lot of graphic sex and some involves humans with partially shifted supernaturals. The shifters being as intelligent and aware as humans I find there is little to complain about this, but I suppose a warning might be in order for sensitive readers that might not like near-bestiality.

My response to F. from I find it hard to reconcile your review; you give many positive qualities about the book, but also many negative qualities. A book that is “far from flawless because of typos, mistakes and a shaky syntax that makes whole paragraphs barely understandable” cannot also be “extremely enjoyable”. A plot that is “confused, patchy” cannot provide “enjoyment that begins with page one and comes to the end without dragging for a single moment.” As the positive qualities outweigh the negative, including “a complex net of human relationships that are born and evolve in the most heart-warming way,” “Duke is a great character,” and “Mike, his companion, is well rounded as well (as) most of the other characters,” the negative qualities must be regarded as stated too severely. (He deleted it.)


T. from goodreads: (1/5 stars) as he has rated all ‘gay’ books without having read them.

R.C. from goodreads: (5/5 stars) not a bigot, but an anti-bigot, to counter T’s rating.


B.C. from (1/5 stars) “The whole morphing concept in this book is farfetched and strange. The setup for  the main story confused me. How can you take any of the events seriously when  main characters can mutate into another form at will? I immediately wanted to  write a review after reading this one because it looked like it had potential  but fell short.”

My response to B.C. from “”How can you take any of the events seriously when: . . . main characters can  mutate into another form at will?” . . . they fight with sabers made of  light?” . . . the dead rise from the grave?” . . . they ride brooms and  shoot lightening out of sticks?” Aren’t you familiar with the science  fiction/fantasy genre, specifically, the shifter/furry genre? If you don’t enjoy  or can’t accept this, why read it at all?

UPDATE: B.C. from pulled his review!

About scavola

author of the gay 'Duke' and GLBT 'ATL Engineering' series
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