Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Uber-Alpha Male: What's With This Guy? "Staking His Claim" by Lynda Chance

Twenty-one-year-old Elaina Ruiz has only just begun college when she meets Raul Vega for the first time. Recognizing his ruthless intensity for what it is, she doesn't correct him when he assumes she is an eighteen-year-old freshman.

Raul Vega has never met a woman he couldn't do without. Until he meets Elaina Ruiz and knows she has to belong to him--even if it means waiting for her to grow up.

Right from the beginning of this short novel you will be introduced to this I'm-going-to-have-you-whether-you-like-it-or-not kind of hero and if you are like me, you won't like him very much.  He spies Elaina, makes some assumptions about her, not the least of which are that she is way too young for him.  But he is determined that she is going to be his woman and from that point on he makes sure that no other male gets within shouting distance from her.

There is, however, one other factor in Raul's response to Elaina.  He is Hispanic and macho to the core.  He not only has his own personality traits to contend with, but he also has his cultural norms mixed in as well.  He is the man and his woman will always recognize that or else.  For a good portion of this book I really silently applauded Elaina's  subtrefuge about her age.  She had no intention of making it easy for this man.  That she responded to him with equal wanting is never in question.  But she has enough steel in her spine that she is going to  make him work for her and that she does with a vengence.  

Yet this story has a very tender and loving back story and as Raul and Elaina's relationship goes from turbulent lust to deep connections, the reader is aware that as she steals his heart she is also discovering that he is a man of great loyalty and gentle protection.  A simple touch of Elaina's hand is sufficient eventually to calm Raul when he is ready to fight the world.  He will fight the world to keep her for himself or to protect her, but her deep love will keep him tender and caring when nothing else will.

This is another one of Lynda Chance's great stories and is one that will be an emotional roller coaster for most readers.  It will be the kind of story that one will either like completely or dislike completely.  Alot of that has to do with the reader's own context and one's ability to relate to such strong characters.  They are gritty and lusty and there is no half measures here.  Her love scenes are very erotic and the loving is hot.  So all in all, this is another of her works that will please most readers and especially those who are really "into" the alpha male.  But don't worry:  Elaina is just as strong.  Her soft curves hide a woman who is every bit as determined to be herself as Raul is to have her.  It makes for some very entertaining reading.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.  

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