The Country Omega by Penelope Peters (review)

Tagline:  An omegaverse story of arranged mating promise, tension and trust

Country Omega Book Cover
Title: The Country Omega
Author: Penelope Peters

Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Novel (334 pages)
Series: Downing Cycle #1

Publisher: Amazon Kindle (Jan. 2016)
AISN: B01AIT6JNO

Bonus: Kindle Unlimited title

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

A quick read for a novel, this story has a nice range of sweet but intriguing, surprising, and entertaining scenes centered on an arranged match between a city Alpha with a demanding, sophisticated, high-powered business family and a country omega with a loving, domestic family and a shadowed secret. The author starts with an intriguing and eventually dramatic introduction and then weaves scenes of past secrets and yearning dreams into the story of two separated would-be mates. I especially appreciated the depth of the supporting characters, from competitively friendly lawyers, demanding and over-protective fathers, wise and doting mothers, to conflicted music teachers.

I don’t think I’ve read any other omegaverse piece with such nuance and depth. The Alpha-Beta-Omega dynamics are central to the story and potential relationships but not overstated or overly used as explicit sizzle.

Outside of dreams, an Alpha knotting and the potential for impregnating his male omega mate is saved for the end. This is more a “will they or won’t they” end up together and which Alpha is right for the omega story rather than a book of repeated, hard-core sizzle. It’s nice piece for those readers who like focus on plot and character as much or more than the heated Alpha/omega Mpreg breeding scenes.

Advertisements

Wolf Blood Born by Meg Winters

Wolf Blood Born

Title:  Wolf Blood Born 
Author: Meg Winters
Genre:  Male/male romance
Book info: Author | Goodreads
Format: eBook Novella (128 pages)
Publisher: Amazon Kindle

Overall rating:   3 stars (out of five)

Tagline: Exiled Werekin prince and his mating heat (leading to Werewolf pirates)

Note:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (via the “Don’t Buy Me Love” program of the M/M Romance group on Goodreads).

This paranormal, male/male romance has a rather original setting as the protagonist, Harrison, is a prince from a matriarchal werewolf “empire” exiled to rather inhospitable human lands (where werekin are usually enslaved or worse).  Thrust into leadership by rescuing other wolves, Harrison must deal with the mating frenzy of the full moon, the unexpected devotion and attraction from his fellows,  and the vagaries of surviving in a hostile world of human and werewolf pursuers.

The strength of the work lies in its unique setting and politics, with details unveiled through this first installment, starting in a bit of an awkward fashion but also via increasingly interesting plot complications and twists revealed as the novel wore on.  From shadowy werewolf empires with harshly political matriarchies to the promise of werewolf pirate booty, the author builds a new and potentially interesting world for werewolf mating heat and romance.

Unfortunately, the characters and prose too reflect the awkward and choppy aspects of the story rather than the more intriguing, polished aspects.  The protagonists are sympathetic but not as engaging as I would have preferred, and at various times the writing was a bit too choppy for my tastes.  (For example, there are numerous times where several sentences are used to express an idea that I think would flow much more nicely in a long, complex sentence.  I am not a fan of starting a short sentence with “but” when the following fragment fits clearly with the preceding short sentence.)

The more I read, however, the more I felt this novel was simply an introduction to a more complete story to be unveiled in subsequent  installments and, suprisingly, the more I enjoyed the current reading as a set-up for a future payoff.  The plot devices around attraction,  full-moon frenzy, wolf mounting, human jealousy, and permanent mating seemed at first to be awkward and artificial but slowly drew my interest as more details and nuances were revealed.

The sex was nicely delayed and steamy enough, although the ultimate emotional attachment of the protagonists seemed rather artificial to me. However, I did greatly appreciate the reciprocal nature of the heat, and the unveiling of certain character details took me by surprise and greatly piqued my interest.

To my surprise, the potential of the setting (including possible “werewolf pirates”) has drawn me in.  I expect some of my hesitancies about occasional choppy prose to be smoothed out as this new author continues to write and expand the story and universe.  I am certainly intrigued enough to continue on to the second installment.

Setting:  4.5 stars  (even though the idea of “werewolf pirates” does nothing for me)

Characters:  2.5 stars (warmed up a bit to them as the story wore on)

Relationship: 2.5 stars (the “serve” your rescuer idea was neat, but not well executed)

Heat:  3.5 stars (reciprocal nature worked for me)

Plot:  3 stars  (with potential for more in later installments)

Paranormal aspects:  3.5 stars (forced matings were more “ick” and “blah” than intriguing or haunting)

Prose: 2.5 stars (not bad, but not great)