No Mate of Mine by Lisa Oliver (review)

Tagline: Abandoned Omega and fated mate is rescued from the BDSM torture that made him a vampire’s favorite snack, meaning pack/coven relations may never be the same

No Mate of Mine Book Cover

Title: No Mate of Mine
Author: Lisa Oliver

Genre:  Male/Male Paranormal Romance
Format:  Novel (53k words)
Series: Bound and Bonded #5

Book sites: Author |  Goodreads

Publisher: Oliver Group (July 2015)
ISBN: 9781310423994

Retail: $3.99

Rating:   star  star  star  half-star  (I liked it alot! )


Synopsis: Roger, an enforcer at the Washington wolf shifter pack’s Bound and Bonded BDSM club, met his fated mate Cam when the lad was just twelve years old.  Wanting to give him some time to grow into an adult, Roger left him to grow up in the safety of his home pack.  Years later, when nightmares prompt Roger to look for Cam, the Alpha wolf discovers his Omega mate is missing and the clues lead to a vampire BDSM club in New York.  As the Washington pack stands by its own, and the fated mate link is sacred, rescuing an Omega is who a vampire’s favorite treat means the paranormal fur begins to fly.

Review:  This book covers one of my favorite themes (Omega wolves) and it’s by an author I generally really like, but I did not find it to be quite as strong as some other stories from the same setting. I find these works, centered on a couple gay wolf shifter packs, often walk the line between really fun, fast-paced, and sexy on the one hand, and corny and/or short shrifted plots and characters on the other.  Sometimes the balance swings one way (where I really enjoy the escapist sizzle) or the other (when I’m disappointed by simplistic conflict/character/relationship resolutions).

I much prefer the author’s other BDSM-themed M/M wolf shifter series (the Cloverleah Pack) which seems to be set in the same universe. While I was excited to read about an Omega in this Bound and Bonded series, I found the results to be a little uneven, or at least not quite as compelling as I have found some of the author’s other sexy/BDSM/wolf shifter escapist reads.

Overall, fans of this author, and especially the Bound and Bonded series, should enjoy this book, especially if they like an occasional Omega character in amongst the general focus on very strong and in-control, hot Alpha/Dominant wolves. While some of the plot and setting twists were nicely fresh for an “Omega-in-distress” story, the focus of the work was his true/fated-mate dominant who had semi-abandoned the weaker wolf years before. Watching Roger work through his reactions was interesting, touching on plenty of issues, although not in an extremely deep manner (and therefore not as compelling as it could have been). To be fair, the strength of this author usually isn’t the great detail of slowly evolving and challenging character and relationship angst, but rather presenting a decent premise of a “fated mate” relationship conflict, following with several twists and turns, with each obstacle usually tackled somewhat quickly.

In other words, this author presents decent character, relationship, and setting issues but generally resolves them relatively efficiently and sometimes a bit perfunctorily, but always includes a decent amount of nicely explicit sizzle. Her stories are best for those looking for some escapist, heated reads that combine simple but still intriguing, character, setting, and plot and plenty of male/male sizzle, but nothing overly compelling.

This work fits that mold fairly well, making it a 2.5 to 3.0 star read in terms of quality and and 3.5 to 4 star read in terms of just escapist enjoyment and reading pleasure. So overall, I’m giving it a 3.25 star rating (because I often enjoy these types of works, including this one) rounded up to 3.5 because “Omega wolves,” coupled with a sprinkling of vampire themes in a wolf shifter story, are among my favorite themes.


Recommended for fans of:   Escapist, rescue the tortured Omega reads (without dwelling too much on the logic of the torture or the mate abandonment).

Sizzle:
Explicit Heat: fire fire fire fire
Passion: heart heart heart  – The fated mate  chemistry was present, a bit more familiar and friendly, if not overly compelling
Genre:  Adult Romance


Other Comments:

My biggest criticism would center on the Omega’s recovery from horrendous abuse. The author is careful to have the newly mated Alpha/Dominant to be caring, considerate, and backing way off typical Master/servant (or Dominant/submissive) etiquette as the Omega is not in need of harsh domination – quite the opposite. Still, there are hints that D/s activities outside of those that mimic the worst abuse previously meted out on the Omega would be pursued. (In other words, things like extreme pain, harsh verbal and physical Domination and humiliation, blood play, etc., would be avoided, but other D/s activities were likely to on the couples’ future menu.) Again, the author was careful to give plenty of power to the abused submissive to help shape their future play, but the discussion of it while he was basically in immediate recovery from horrendous abuse set my teeth on edge a bit.

Again, like others in the series, this is a relatively quick and escapist jaunt into wolf shifter culture where BDSM is keenly integrated their culture. Therefore, I’m not expecting – nor am I really strongly criticizing – the lack of depth and nuance with which some character and BDSM issues are handled. Overall, the author does a nice job at touching on important safety and relationship concepts in BDSM that are brief but fit nicely into short, escapist sexy works involving the topic. However, even though the author took great pains to have Roger be an extremely caring and understanding dominant wolf who rescued his abused Omega mate, my honest reaction to some of the BDSM discussion at the end was both “too soon!” and also whether the Omega would be at all interested in that type of play at all given what he had been through.

Just my honest $0.02. This should not detract from how, overall, the author handles BDSM tactfully, especially for a setting where extreme-tough and resilient supernatural wolf-shifting men enjoy rough physical play with each other.

Broken Alpha by D.C. Juris (review)

Tagline: Alien Alpha captain locates his captured, intimately linked Alpha brother who was tortured into becoming an Omega

Broken Alpha book cover

Title: Broken Alpha
AuthorD.C. Juris

Genre:  Male/Male Alpha/Omega Alien Romance
Format:  Novella (39k words)
Series: The Alpha/Omega Verse #1

Publisher: Torquere (Jan. 2016)
ISBN: 9781944449230

Retail: $3.99

Rating:   star  star  star   half-star  (I liked it a lot!)

3.5 stars (rounded up for a different take on an Alpha/omega relationship)

Tagline 2: Alpha captain of a starship discovers his beloved but missing brother to be held in enemy captivity where the torture has damaged him at a fundamental level

Synopsis: Captain Korden Encarit of the North Star thought he’d lost the most important person in the universe to him – his brother and lover, Rennett. A year later, Rennett has been found alive, a captive on a hostile planet. Only when their sibling link reactivates does Korden realize how bad the damage is: stripped of his mental strength, Rennett is now a Broken Alpha. With the help of his friends, Korden must try and heal his brother’s mind and help him adjust to his new status as omega. But Rennett needs a mate, and it quickly becomes clear that no one is willing. Will Korden give up everything he has worked for – his career, his ship – buck Presidian tradition, and risk the scorn of their father to save his brother?

Review:  This novella includes a fresh, unique, and provocative take on traditional Alpha/Omega roles, centering on an Alien race where one Alpha brother is “broken” and becomes an Omega due to a long period of torture. I found the setting and the initial exploration of the characters to be somewhat fascinating, perhaps a bit more emotional than I usually expect among Alpha males, but definitely intriguing and enjoyable. The rescue and caring for the “Broken Alpha” (who was tortured from Alpha to Omega) was also interesting but not quite as compelling.

The method of how the characters healed and resolved these strains was not as gripping as I would have liked – it seemed a bit too expository more than riveting, although the basic actions and ideas in the resolution were certainly somewhat novel  and compelling.

Technically, the two protagonists were brothers, so people interested in “brocest” will see a theme that touches on that type of pairing. In reality, if that idea squeaks one out too much, the “genetic brothers” theme is really not central (and the story would not read very differently if they were simply two Alpha best friends who formerly had only formed a deep emotional and sexual but not permanently mated bond.)

The recovery included an brief introduction to the need to be controlled, hurt and dominated, and quickly acknowledges a laundry-list of BDSM-type activities and needs (without very little graphic depiction).  Those looking repeated anddetailed BDSM scenes will be disappointed, and those squicked out by BDSM themes might not appreciate the ending.  To me, the “Broken Alpha’s” need to submit to control and pain made sense, and the realization and acknowledgement of this need in the pair was interesting if a bit brief.   The story touches on slipping into the submissive cravings and the exploration of how “submissive space” filled essential needs.  While not quite as thorough or detailed as I would have preferred, I do commend the author for tackling this approach to BDSM (as I know many “real-life” submissives who use a trip into BDSM “sub-space” as an extremely cathartic release from past, abusive powerlessness).

Recommended for fans of: Alpha/Omega themes in an alien setting; Caretaker Alphas; rescue and recovery from abuse via BDSM.

Sizzle:
Explicit Heat: fire fire fire fireExplicit scenes with some kink (but most of the kink is implied rather than detailed, and the brother theme seems rather muted)
Passion: heart heart heart heart – Definite passion between the brothers
Genre:  Adult Romance


Other Comments:
The second in the series is definitely kinkier, although not in quite the way I expected.

He’s Just Knot That Into You by Nico Jaye (review)

Tagline: Desperate Alpha misses the potential mate right under the horned rimmed glasses in front of him

Book Cover

Cover: Anna Sikorska
Title: He’s Just Knot That Into You 
Author: Nico Jaye

Genre:  Paranormal m/m shifter romance
Format:  Novella (42k words)

Sites:  PublisherGoodreads

Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)
ISBN: 978-1-63216-823-8

Retail: $4.99

Rating:   star  star  star  half-star  (I liked it alot!)

Synopsis:  When Tanner moves to Chicago for a new job, he experiences his First Shift, a revelation that signifies he’s met his mate since the last full moon. The only problem? He doesn’t know who it is. To find his mate, he enlists his new assistant Jon to arrange a series of dates, but each one turns out more disastrous than the last.

With the next full moon quickly approaching, Tanner finally determines the identity of his true mate. Unfortunately, Jon has since disappeared, and Tanner must now begin a new search. Is it really Jon’s family crisis pulling him away, or is Jon just not that into him?

Review:  I loved the premise – a potential Alpha in desperate need of finding his fated mate overlooks a rather endearing Omega who is serving him right in front of his eyes.

A nicely sweet story of an Alpha looking for his mate, it’s a fun piece of mating fluff with a little sizzle and even some shifter toughness mixed in with the yearning and potential love.Overall, it’s simply a nice treat for a quick, escapist read with plenty of sweet and a touch of sizzle.

3.5 stars (rounded up for the knotting)

Recommended for fans of: Quick and sweet romances; Alpha males who appreciate quite and/or young nerdy mates; knotting.

Sizzle:
Explicit Heat: fire fire fire  – Some explicit scenes  (and tiny bit of knotting kink).
Passion: heart heart heart   – Some chemistry present, especially with
Genre:  Adult Romance


Other Comments:
A bit of a wolf shifter Alpha / Omega vibe (including a Female Alpha/Male Omega pair of background characters).

The Captured Omega by M.H. Silver (review)

Tagline: Potentially interesting low-heat Alpha/Omegaverse story with overly simplistic character and scene exposition

Captured Omega Book Cover

Title: The Captured Omega
Author: M.H. Silver

Genre:  Paranormal M/M Omegaverse Romance
Format:  Novel (258 pages)

Publisher: Lovelight Press (May 2016)
AISN: B01FGSAUQ4

Bonus: Kindle Unlimited

Retail: $2.99

Rating:   star1 star1  half-star  (2.5  stars – It was o.k. )


Synopsis: With his former, rather abusive alpha dead, Caden is unsure that his new alpha, Fletcher, will truly be any better. The lot of omegas is usually to be playthings and breeders for their alpha masters, but the new alpha indicates he will not breed or impregnate an omega against their will.  However, Caden’s work in helping fellow omegas may require him to seduce the new Alpha, who on the surface appears to be much less abusive than his previous master. As both omega and alpha work for their own opposing ends regarding their own safety and survival as well as in broader political struggles, the two have a difficult time resisting the powerful, natural, and sometimes magical  attraction between them. (This story is in an omegaverse type of setting.)

Review: All of the elements of a good, unlikely alpha/omega mpreg romance and an underlying supernatural, political plot were present, but the work was lacking in the execution and exposition of these creative story lines and characters. The book raced through developments, shortly describing major events and changes without compelling prose or developing feelings and revelations at an appropriate pace that would entice and draw the reader in. Basically, the story and character ideas and conflicts were very solid, but the execution within individual scenes was often overly quick and simplistic.

For example, on several occasions the omega did something the alpha would likely find very questionable and/or dangerous.  When the alpha discovers the omega’s questionable activity, he simply asks the omega who immediately explains it away truthfully.  The alpha immediately moves on, even though that level of deep trust between the characters really had not really been established. These were opportunities for some drama and intrigue, or at the very least building some real emotional and relationship ties between two characters who lusted after each other, saw some very good in one another, but also had every reason to distrust their prospective partner. Repeatedly flying through huge potential conflicting issues with a quick, trusting sentence or two just made whole aspects of the plot and relationship rather flat and unappealing.

There are enough elements that show promise, but overall it reminds of other works with decently outlined but thinly written stories that surround very heated erotic scenes – except this mpreg story really doesn’t have much heat either. This is most appropriate for readers who like Alpha/Omega MPREG with a well-thought story but do not mind if it is thinly written (and has very little explicit heat).


Recommended for fans of: Omegaverse (Alpha/Beta/Omega) stories; MPREG (male pregnancy); almost complete trust/lack of conflict between the main characters.

Sizzle:
Passion: heart  heart  –  The plot and relationship developments implied a great deal of chemistry and passion between the two, but I usually did not really feel it
Explicit Heat: fire  fire   – There are a couple of explicit scenes, nicely sweet and somewhat reciprocal (although somewhat tame compared to heated MPREG smut).
Genre:  Adult Romance


Other Comments (spoilers):

Examples of extremely flat, underdeveloped, or just way too hokey scenes:

  • Both alpha and omega are secretly searching for an extraordinarily powerful artifact, and when each realizes the other is pursuing the same item, there is quick agreement to look for it together.  There is no real drama or distrust, even though the omega has been horribly abused by alphas in the past and is working for what the alpha considers to be a dangerous and untrustworthy organization.  This type of scene would have been ripe for some potentially interesting character and relationship development.
  • The extremely jealous alpha thinks his omega servant/bedmate is sneaking off to hook up with another lover.  When he finds out omega is basically working for (what the alpha considers to be) a subversive organization, he mostly shrugs it off with just a little warning to his wandering omega about potential dangers.
  • When the omega takes the extraordinarily powerful artifact/jewel to a man he doesn’t trust (and the alpha warned him about), the omega gets pummeled and loses the jewel.  Even though the opportunity presents itself, he does not tell his extremely understanding and trusting alpha about it, but hides this major development for a while.  When the alpha eventually finds out, he almost just shrugs it off.

I understand the idea that not every romantic couple needs to clash again and again, and not every minor or major issue needs to be driven into a soap-opera style confrontation. However, the extreme level of nonchalance for major developments (that could shake the future of their entire world) and over-the-top trust (for characters who did not seem to have yet really earned it yet from each other) just made the scenes rather unbelievable and simply just too pat for my preferences.

Omega Nanny by Penelope Peters (review)

Tagline:  An omegaverse story of a widowed alpha and an estranged omega
Omega Nany Book Cover
Title: Omega Nanny
Author: Penelope Peters

Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Novel (281 pages)

Publisher: Self-Published (April 2016)
AISN: B01EBA527U

Bonus: Kindle Unlimited title

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

A widowed, straight alpha needs a nanny for his child and discovers an estranged, single, and straight omega.  What are two straight men to do, especially a desperate employer and an employee who needs a job, when the pheromones start to drive them wild?  Is it the mating drive or the mutual respect that could overcome the “not my type” and “don’t jeopardize the job” vibes between the two?

Overall, it was a sweet and explicit omegaverse story with enough plot and relationship tension to keep things interesting in addition to two heated and sizzling encounters.  There was certainly a bit of manufactured feel (falling in love in 2 weeks), but elements adding to the tension (a beta friend who was not a girlfriend) and interesting if underdeveloped supporting characters (former wife, protective alpha friend, meddling sister, and sweet daughter) helped give the quick novel life beyond the sizzled. Some setting information, especially regarding the usually ignored role of betas in an Alpha/Beta/Omega omegaverse was a nice touch.  Also, I’m not always appreciative of Alpha violence and protective instincts, but I was pretty pumped when Thomas goes a little alpha in support of a non-alpha.

A nice read for fans of omegaverse stories with a some focus on the relationship and setting along with the mating heat (although knotting was only briefly mentioned and the mpreg was slipped past into the epilogue).

Omegaverse and a little gender fluidity:

In a surprising (to me) twist, the male omega had a cock, an ass that was breedable, but no testicles. At first I was surprised and a bit disappointed by this, as one of the reasons I like omegaverse stories is the male-male action, especially leading to pregnancy.  I’m already a bit hesitant about some of this genre, as Alphas are often hyper-masculine and, except for their equipment, the male omegas often take on very traditionally feminine roles.  Although I very much appreciate gender-challenging characters, I am also a bit disappointed when it’s always the top, Alpha who takes on the masculine roles and the receptive, bottom, omega who takes on traditionally female roles.  (Also, tops that constantly penetrate their male partner but who never let a bottom near their own entrance is a particular turn off of mine, but par for the course in omegaverse novels.) When these roles are so strongly separated, it seems to me one might as well just write male/female stories.

However, as I thought about the extra “hitch” (or lack of one) in this story a bit more, if I think of omega with a penis but no balls who takes on typically female roles, “male” might not immediately jump to my mind, but it is a very gender fluid character.  So it took a little time to wrap my mind around, but I am warming up to viewing this story as a cool traditional gender bending/more gender fluid setting, almost like a paranormal transgender romance.  If the omega identifies as male, even if he has some characteristics more often associated traditionally feminine traits, it’s still a male/male story to me, perhaps just with a nice bit of transgender/gender bending flavor to challenge my assumptions.

Of course, now I am very curious about female alphas mating with omegas, continuing on with the challenging roles this society makes about gender behavior and roles.

Lost and Found by Willa Okati (review)

Tagline: Sweet Alpha/Omega Shifter Mpreg Smut
Book Cover
TitleLost and Found
Author: Willa Okati

Genre:  Erotica (omegaverse)
Format:  Short Story (15k words)
Series: Omega Wolves Series #1

Publisher: Changeling Press (2016)
ISBN: 0759302448

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

Summary: Works as a (sweetly romantic) erotic mpreg wolf shifter short

After being exiled for his pack for loving the Packmaster’s son, Alpha wolf shifter Matthias returns only to find his love Bree shunned when his Omega nature is evident.  Young, true love is lost but found again in the cold of the winter snow and the overwhelming mating heat.  Overall, while the underlying plot was sweet, the writing and the story were not very compelling. Fans of explicit Alpha/Omega wolf shifter attraction, lust and love and their overwhelming drive to connect during the mating heat may find this to be a sizzling albeit short read.  While placed in a werewolf setting, the steam includes favorite themes of omegaverse enthusiasts such as male pregnancy (mpreg) and knotting.

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.

Soul Mate for Sale by Kian Rhodes (review)

Tagline: Abused human omega bought and mated by caring Alpha

Soul Mate for Sale Book Cover

Title: Soul Mate for Sale

Author: Kian Rhodes

Genre:  M/M Paranormal Erotic Romance
Format:  Novella (75 pages)
Series: The Omega Auction #1

Publisher: NDP Publications (March 2016)
ISBN: 9781530791543

Bonus: Kindle Unlimited title

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Abused human omega bought and mated by caring Alpha

This was a straight-forward, male/male romance story of an abused human omega sold and rescued by an attentive, caring Alpha werewolf. It’s set in a twist on an “omegaverse” universe where male Alphas knot and impregnate Omegas. The plot was simple, following the omega from abuse to life and love in a new pack. The theme of rescue was fine, but the characters were a bit flat.  While the chemistry between them had some sizzle overall it wasn’t particularly enticing to me.

In many ways, this reminded me of a “Stormy Glenn”/Siren Erotic Romance type of erotic story, which usually focus on plenty of explicit heat and conflict with quick moving plots, rapidly developing relationships and simplistic dialog.  This book has better dialog but much less drama, plot, and relationship conflict. Overall, it was a pleasantly diverting novella, providing a bit of knotting and potential Mpreg (male pregnancy) in a sweet, short Alpha and Omega story. The sizzle was present but relatively tame, punctuating an enjoyable if not overly heated quick and comforting read.

Heat: Plenty of physical tension and explicit scenes building from quick releases to full knotting

Note: This series, The Omega Auction, should not be confused with The Omega Auctions series by April Andrews. 

Omega to the Ranchers by Stephen Hoppa

Omega to the Ranchers Book Cover

Title: Omega to the Ranchers
Author: Stephen Hoppa
Genre:  M/M Paranormal Erotica
Format:  Novella (115 p.)
SitesGoodreads | Amazon
Series: Becoming Omega #1
Publisher: Amazon (Oct. 2015)
AISN: B017EKHM9K

2.5 stars (out of 5)

Tagline: Abused human omega rescued and respected by Alpha and Beta werewolves (Alpha/omega ménage erotic story)

I received a free, epub copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

A brief, novella-length story of an abused, straight, and human omega taken in by two hunky werewolves, including the pack Alpha and his caring but tough Beta mate.  The plot follows their somewhat careful move towards a “triad” ménage relationship navigating through the vicissitudes of pack politics, personal histories of abuse, and fears of the omega simply being used.  Includes explicit scenes of first-time with men, voyeurism, lightish Domination/submission, and fully threeway ménage.

I read this twice, and the first go through was somewhat enjoyable, while a second, closer reading was less compelling.  This came across a simplistic, easy to read, but occasionally eye-rolling quick jaunt through erotic and/or romantic themes I enjoy, including werewolf pack dynamics (especially involving omegas),  fully “triad” ménage relationships, and a rescue from abuse theme.  While I did not find the story to be particularly compelling, it worked o.k. as a diversionary, escapist read with a little Alpha/Beta/Omega werewolf sizzle.

I agree with other reviewers who have indicated this fits nicely into the “Stormy Glenn” category of m/m erotic romance, where explicit stories have enough plot to be separated from pure erotica/smut, but with writing that has plenty of cheesy, simplistic, and sometimes eye-rolling passages.  In other words, this works for a basic, somewhat heated werewolf ménage read rather than a compelling romantic/erotic story.

Positive moments included a chuckle for the phrase “werewolf-sexual” (as opposed to bisexual or homosexual) to explain the (human) omega’s sudden attraction to two strong (werewolf) males, highlighting a subdued form of the “instant mate” trope.   Also, there were repeated, decent character actions regarding the slightly contrasting roles the Alpha and Beta played for the Omega.

While Eric’s touch said, “I own you,” Tyler’s said, “I’m going to take care of you.”

Overall rating:  It was o.k. for a short, explicit werewolf ménage escape – 2.5 stars.   Therefore, following the general “star” meaning indicators,  rounded down to  2 stars (“o.k.”) in Goodreads, and up to 3 stars (“o.k.”) in Amazon.

 

Examples of problematic moments:

Unconcerned alpha: The pack alpha, Eric, doesn’t have an omega to ground him, so members of his pack are turning “feral” (which seems like a fate close to death, if not worse), three alone within that last few weeks.  Instead of discussing this issue at a pack meeting, Eric dismisses it and starts talking about the improvement in pack finances (much to the dismay of the pack members).

Missing poster: Apparently an abusive, cop father distributed a large number of MISSING posters after he severely beat his 19 year-old kid (almost to death?) and left him to probably die.  It just didn’t make sense – perhaps he was trying to cover-up his abuse, in case people asked what happened to his (adult) son and/or if the victim’s body suddenly turned up?

Feel of the ranch: At one time, the omega exclaims “The entire property with the ranch probably cost millions. Or fuck, I dunno, billions?”  During the rest of the story, the pack’s ranch came across as more of a struggling concern (or at least all of the pack members were very hard working and the finances/margins didn’t seem particularly great).  So either the “millions/billions” statement was supposed to indicate the new, human omega was clueless when it came to real-world finances (billions?), or the feel the author was trying to convey was inconsistent.  (In the rest of the book, it came across a semi-struggling concern where the Alpha had to put in plenty of hard work, versus a more comfortable, CEO type of role.)  This is just an example of how the writing did not come across as particularly compelling, detailed or believable.  (And yes, I realize if one is focused on the erotic aspects, those details don’t matter much, but overall this type of writing undermined any greater pull beyond the erotic heat from the broader story.)

Sudden, rough-ish, rather Dominant/submissive sex: 

On the one hand, the Alpha and Beta were extraordinarily and repeatedly concerned about the Omega making a choice to be with them out of his own free will and not feel forced, even though continued delay in their formal claiming was endangering the lives of individual pack members.  On the other, the pair has no problems quickly leading the virginal, abused omega into rough-ish (“fuck my face”) submissive sex, and basically using him in a tit-for-tat sex game.  Again, while this is not necessarily out of place in an erotic story meant to be enjoyed for semi-kinky heat, but gives the surrounding story an unbelievable (or at least inconsistent) feel.

“He jerked my head back and forced it back down, using me so hard and rough, I could hardly take it, but I wanted it so fucking bad that I was moaning around his delicious skin.”

“Then he grabbed me by the hair, jerked me to my feet, and thrust me up against a fence post. His hand came down hard against my ass cheek. The ringing smack sent trembles of need through my body.

“You’re going to get it hard for that.”

“Please, please fuck my face.”

 

“But I want you to get this. It wasn’t that you dominated me that made me feel weird. It was that I felt like I was being used in a game. I felt like, like I was on the outside of your relationship”

 

“Or no, maybe they just wanted to see me on my knees, choking on their cocks as the dominated me. That thought alone was so hot, I could almost cum all over again.”

“Oh yeah, take it like an omega.”

Wettened:  A quote from the book: “Tyler’s wettened hands…”  Technically, this is a grammatically correct usage of the past participle of the word wetten as an adjective, but it’s an extraordinarily uncommon usage (and, to my mind, rather awkward construction) in current English.  I don’t know whether to be impressed by such a surprise, or bothered by how it awkward it sounded to me.  I wondered if it were a regional usage (the author used the word centre, so I thought he might be British or Australian).  The extraordinarily little usage of this word I could find was scattered across only a three dozen articles in British, Australian, Canadian and American newspapers. (Only thirty eight uses of the word found in five billion documents in LexisNexis, and similar results in other news, business, and academic databases.)