Release July 29, 2017 Cover by Bee Javier
Aiden is a man in a woman’s body. His dream is to fly to Aquarix where the elusive Fluens–the only species capable of changing his life record and physically making him a man–reside, and for years he’s been working at a seedy brothel in Solarias to save enough money to make that dream a reality.
Lydo, the prince of Teresias, has spent his youth leading his father’s army and avoiding his responsibilities on his home planet. On brief leave during a dangerous mission, he stops at a brothel and acquires the services of a feisty young prostitute who insists Lydo refer to her as a boy. Amused by the girl, the prince pays her way to Aquarix.
Aiden is euphoric at his transformation, but Lydo is more than a little disconcerted by the fact he is attracted to Aiden as a man.
When it’s time to part ways, Aiden fulfills his second dream by taking a job on a spaceship. Resigned to step into his expected role on Teresias, the prince returns to his homophobic planet. But as the king parades princesses before his son in hopes of a betrothal, Lydo finds his heart remains with a certain adventurous boy somewhere out in space.
Second-in-command of River Wolf Pack (and later, Cascade City Pack), David is a soft-spoken, tall, blond alpha with deep brown eyes, and my favorite of my characters in the series. He’s loosely based on the sensitive blond I’ve crushed over so many times.
Perhaps it’s that sensitivity that brings about David’s conflict: he finds out he’s an alpha who enjoys submitting. If David thought having a human partner would cause him problems, he never expected that Jax would confess to normally being a top, causing David to find out that he LOVES submitting to Jax. An alpha who loves to submit. David can’t help but feel something is wrong with him.
Is this part of the reason Jax isn’t very well liked by readers? Because he causes a dominant alpha to submit? To be fair, David offers, because he loves Jax, and the alpha finds submitting to be something he needs in his life, even if it does make him feel less of an alpha.
Most likely, readers are annoyed with Jax because he refuses to take the bite. Jax is stubborn and just can’t take that final plunge of commitment, namely changing his entire world to become a beta werewolf. Yes, if he took David’s bite, Jax would be a beta. Perhaps that has something to do with his reluctance? After all, a beta will always submit to an alpha, and while David might be able to handle a human dominating him in the bedroom, having a beta do it would be a different story.
David and Jax are together romantically, but they aren’t mates. As a human, Jax can’t take a mating bite from David without becoming a werewolf himself. Not wanting David to suffer if Jax should leave, Jax finagles things so that Brooks becomes David’s beta mate. Brooks and David always had some chemistry going; in fact, Brooks had long been in love with the second alpha. Adding the beta to the mix makes for some smexy times, as well as an emotional mix.
The David/Jax/Brooks story line is most prominent in Second Alpha, Third, Mate, and A New Beginning.
Jax is a character my readers seem to have varied opinions about. He’s human–one of the few humans featured in my River Wolf Pack books. Physically, he’s tall, in his mid-thirties, has caramel-colored skin, startling gray eyes, and long dreadlocks. He once had an affair with a much older man–the president of the Human/Werewolf Congress.
In First Omega, Jax comes to River Wolf Pack compound at the request of his co-worker, Josiah, who’s recently found out he’s half-omega werewolf and has mated River, the pack alpha. Josiah wants Jax to help with human/werewolf relations. When Jax begins working with David, alpha werewolf and second-in-command to River, the two fall in love. This isn’t something that happens often in wolf packs, and their romance brings animosity within the pack and difficulty within Jax and David’s relationship.
One of the biggest conflicts between the two is that Jax isn’t a werewolf and isn’t willing to take David’s bite to become one. I think this is where a lot of reader antagonism toward Jax comes from. Readers feel that if Jax really loves David, he should take the bite. But Jax doesn’t want to change himself like that. He can’t bring himself to do it, even though he genuinely loves David. This conflict leads to various plot twists in the River Wolf Pack trilogy.
Another difficulty within the Jax/David relationship is the fact that Jax normally is not a bottom and alphas always top. Because he loves Jax, David winds up submitting to him in bed and that spurs a lot of self-questioning on David’s part because alphas do not submit and definitely shouldn’t enjoy it as David does.
My most recent book, A New Beginning, is the first in the Cascade City Pack series, a spin-off from the River Wolf Pack series. In this book, Jax’s character becomes even more complicated, and I’m not sure if what happens make readers like Jax more or less. Again, I hear a lot of mixed feelings about Jax–mostly “I hate him” or “I love him.”
I invite readers to leave comments on the Jax character and why they love him or don’t. As he’s taken a very big step recently, he will be featured more in the next book in the series.