Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
One of the complaints I hear from romance readers is how men real life rarely mirror men in fiction. Laurel Ulen Curtis’ A is for Alpha is a fun filled adventure about two women looking for their own fiction inspired heroes.
Haley Whitfield and her mother Allison are big Kristen Ashley fans. When Haley voices her frustration about a date she’s just had, Allison suggests they take a vacation and Haley agrees. Before they embark on their grand adventure they make a list using the alphabet with the characteristics they want their ultimate dream hunk to be. First on the list is Alpha because the entire purpose of this trip is to find someone who is just like a Kristen Ashley hero. There’s one slight problem, Haley finds someone she really likes, but he just doesn’t fit the Kristen Ashley hero mold. What’s a girl to do? Dismissing him from her mind she and Allison head west towards California. Will Haley and Allison find their dream hunks or will they realize that some men are better left to the world of fiction?
Firstly, let me just say I really enjoyed this! I haven’t laughed so much reading in quite awhile and even though I’ve never read Kristen Ashley, I don’t feel it’s necessary to do in order to fully appreciate A is for Alpha. This is very much a love letter to Ashley and I think any romance fan will walk away appreciating their favorite romance author a little more. Secondly, if you’ve read any of Curtis’ previous novels then you’re pretty familiar with her writing style. This one is different and much more flirtatious. You can really tell she had a lot of fun writing this.
We have good character development though a few secondary characters could have had more screen time. Despite this being about Haley and Allison’s grand adventure, it really is Haley’s journey. At one point, Allison tells her it’s okay to open yourself up to love and heartbreak. I really liked Allison despite her tendency to be a little crazy. I think every woman wishes they had a different relationship with their mother and Curtis makes you take a moment to appreciate your own mother. What I can say about our main protagonist? Haley is dramatic, but you’ll love her to pieces. I don’t want to go into detail about her because I want you to know her and form your own opinion. Of course a romance novel about finding one’s dream boat has to have one! Ah, Dan Smith. Gotta love the name and Haley’s reaction to it. He’s a bit mysterious and the big question you’ll be asking is, does he fit the list? Hmmm…that is something you’ll have to find out! Secondary characters include a Tim McGraw and Zack Morris lookalike.
Narration is first person via Haley’s perspective. The writing is engaging and I’ve mentioned it was a fun read. Some of things Haley says are a bit too over the top and I can’t really imagine someone talking like that in real life, but it goes with her personality and I let it slide. What I really liked about A is for Alpha? I liked how Curtis was subtle in her writing in terms of the big reveal. I want to go detail and discuss everything about this book, but it ruins the plot and I don’t want to provide spoilers. I’ll just say: I wasn’t expecting the curveball she throws. Regarding a favorite scene, there’s too many to pick. There’s a hilarious scene involving a four wheeler and someone named Butch.
Kristen Ashley fans: you’ll will want to add this book to your to be read list since Curtis pays homage to her. Overall, if you’re a fan of romances and bemoan the lack of real life heroes, then you’ll enjoy Laurel Ulen Curtis’ A is for Alpha. Curtis has mentioned that Allison will get her own book; dare I hope it’s with Tim McGraw lookalike?