Omega’s Bond (Mated to the Alpha #4) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“This connection between us two, this bond, it gets stronger and stronger.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. The only reason I didn’t put this as a ‘maybe’ is because this isn’t really a part people can skip if they want to continue reading the series. Although maybe it is, who knows, though I do think some significant background information comes out here. This is, in my opinion, the worst part of the Mated to the Alpha serial so far. For a number of reasons, though most of it can be put down to inconsistencies. I will say that there were also some things that redeemed this part somewhat. Ethan and Max have known each other for about a week now, meaning this takes place a few days after Part 3. This part already starts off on a sour note with Ethan pissy at Max for a poorly though-out doctor’s visit. It goes a bit downhill from there for a bit. Alexia is back, unfourtunately. I liked her when she was first introduced in Part 1, but she’s since fallen out of favour with me. She was especially aggravating in this part. I dread her next appearance. There was also a bit of a mess in the interactions between Max and Ethan. Mostly as the result of some misunderstanding it seems that Ethan is really not as okay with his new life as Max thought he was. I have to admit that it came as a surprise to me too because Ethan’s chapters (which are first-person POV, as are Max’s) never really made that clear. It is clear that Max has maybe been trying to control too many things, but to his credit he does rein that in a lot. I think the worst he’s done so far to control Ethan is to keep him in his house, which I saw as less about trying to control Ethan and more as trying to keep him away from the media vultures. But, whatever, they do eventually sort all that out and Max vows to do better (and from what we’ve seen of Max so far we know he’ll definitely try). There is even an ‘I love you’ from Max, which I think is moving way too fast (so much for natural progression). Though that does come up from a weird scene where Ethan seems to have some sort of psychological break or PTSD flashback or something. Apparently there’s been a reason we haven’t seen his mother so far in the series, though none of what we learn here has ever been alluded to before. We’ll see what comes of that. Another thing that got more focus in this part is the mating ceremony, which I am not really looking forward to. Hopefully Part 5 is better.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Ethan and Max are settling into a pattern. It’s been a week since they met for the first time, and things seem to be going well… but are they really?

When Alexia comes over to discuss the mating ceremony she throws their whole dynamic off and uncovers that maybe the two men are not as settled as they think.
When Ethan gets a call from his mother, old wounds are reopened and the two men need to learn to trust each other quickly before everything goes wrong.

Then Max speaks the three words that Ethan fears the most…

Omega’s Bond is the fourth story in the Mated to the Alpha series. This series contains an innocent human, a sexy alpha, naughty scenes and Mpreg (male pregnancy).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Omega’s Pack (Mated to the Alpha #3) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“Aren’t you supposed to… you know… fall in love first, or something?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I read this as part of the full collection and I think that was published after more editing because I didn’t have the writing issues I had in Parts 1 and 2. Though the writing here is still a bit clunky, sort of like English may not be the authors’ first language? Part 3 opens about two days after where Part 2 left off. I definitely liked this part a lot more because it focused more on Ethan and Max’s relationship instead of running around and shenanigans (though there was some of that here too, I suppose). It’s apparently become a given that Ethan’s old life is effectively over. He’s mated to Max and living in his house and is becoming part of his world. Max introduces Ethan to the pack (we actually get to see some full-shift werewolves, but that’s only a short scene) and then, because Max is basically a local celebrity, there’s a press conference to announce Ethan and Max’s mating to the public. While all that is going on, what I really enjoyed was Ethan and Max trying to fit their lives together. Even though they’re both mate-bonded and having a baby, they’re still both effectively strangers. The fact that this book doesn’t have them immediately falling deeply in love with each other (there’s definitely an attraction and a bond, but it’s not romantic love) is one of its best aspects. Ethan and Max are definitely drawn to each other, and so far they’re getting along well, so I absolutely believe that they will eventually come to love each other as they get to know each other better. Another thing I appreciate is that Ethan wants his own life within the relationship (like normal people would, friends and a job and whatnot) and is taking steps to ensure that he gets one (within the restraints that his current situation has placed on him), and that Max isn’t going against this. That seems like a pretty low bar to set, but I’ve seen the opposite happen in other stories. I really hope that this focus on Ethan and Max’s relationship development continues, because that’s becoming my favourite part of the series.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Two days pregnant, two days of running to the bathroom as soon as he opens his eyes, Ethan’s life has not gotten any easier.

Ethan, newly pregnant and male, doesn’t know what he has gotten himself into. Between meeting the pack, running into his family-in-law and preparing for his first press conference, life has gotten a little hectic. Luckily his Alpha mate, Max, is there for him, to get him in and out of trouble.

Max, richest, openly gay, no-longer-bachelor Alpha in the city, has to fight his own feelings between wanting to keep Ethan close and knowing that he has to let the man explore their new relationship in his own time.

When the two men finally find some peace and quiet together, they learn some very intimate things about each other.

Omega’s Pack is the third story in the Mated to the Alpha series. This series contains an innocent human, a sexy alpha, naughty scenes and Mpreg (male pregnancy).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Omega’s Home (Mated to the Alpha #2) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“I went to the ball with just some loose ideas about what I wanted my night to be like. But none of those plans included having sex with a guy, or getting pregnant.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. A bit of a drop in quality compared to Part 1 (Omega’s Fate), but still mostly satisfying. This part picks up exactly where Omega’s Fate ended, immediately after Max’s phone call with his mother where she tells him that he got Ethan pregnant. This whole part takes place over the course of one day, the day after the Mating Ball. Ethan and Max are both freaked out, and Ethan runs off back to his place to be alone with his thoughts. But he won’t be alone for long because the media seems to be looking for him, which is apparently what happens when you mate with werewolf celebrity. They aren’t separated for long, because Max eventually finds and comes for him and takes him back to his place for explanations. I thought there was a bit too much going on in this part for how short it was. And even though there was a lot going on we didn’t actually see a lot of it, which was both good and annoying in different ways I guess. We see mostly all of Ethan’s journey back to his place, but we don’t see any of how Max ends up tracking him down. Max and Ethan’s business gets leaked all over the media, but we don’t get any deeper info on how that happens, and it isn’t really made clear just how big a deal it is that they got together. I was hoping for a bit more world building in this part but we don’t really get much. What we do get, luckily, is an explanation for Ethan’s pregnancy, and how that came about in a universe where biological males can’t conceive. It’s a good enough explanation, a bit weird that more people don’t know about it, but whatever. It’s not completely insane (considering the universe). The second half of this part was a bit slower than the first half and was focused more on Max and Ethan coming to terms with their new situation (and some sex, because why not). I did like the second half better than the first, but I did think it was a bit too convenient how Ethan seemed to easily accept that his whole life was completely upside down and that he’s now apparently living with Max. Also Part 1 had a few grammar errors that I mostly ignored, but they became a bit glaring in this part. The quality of the writing was definitely not as good in this part, but I was still engaged with the story and I’d still like to see where it all goes.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) “You’re pregnant.” Is not the first thing a man expects to hear after having sex with another man. But it’s what happens to Ethan, and that is just the start of a very messy day.

Ethan, until last night 100% straight, doesn’t know how to react when he finds out that the man he just had sex with not only got him pregnant, but that he is the richest, openly gay, bachelor in the city. So he does what he does best, run.

Max, a successful Alpha, curses himself that he let Ethan slip away. If the man is not with him he can’t protect him, or care for him. So he does what he does best, find his new mate and bring him home.

Only when the two are together do they really learn what happened last night, how Ethan got pregnant and what is yet to come for them.

Omega’s Home is the second story in the Mated to the Alpha series. This series contains an innocent human, a sexy alpha, naughty scenes and Mpreg (male pregnancy).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Omega’s Fate (Mated to the Alpha #1) – Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann

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“People come here to fuck and get fucked, simple as that.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I honestly had no idea what to expect before I read this (aside from mindless cringey porn, maybe), but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised at what I got. There seems to be a lot more plot than I was expecting, though not much world building but I suppose there might be more of that in later installments. Ethan is a human and Max is an Alpha werewolf, they’re both attending a Mating Ball (an annual event with the purpose of single Alpha werewolves going to find themselves a mate) and they’re meeting each other for the first time. Ethan isn’t attracted to men, but he still finds himself drawn to Max, who is definitely attracted to men and who is drawn to Ethan in return. They spend a bit of time together at the ball before eventually heading back to Max’s room (I think they’re in a hotel) for sex. I don’t feel like we get to know them much, but I’m putting that down to this being the first part of a serial and that we’ll get more insights into their thoughts and feelings in the other installments. I really hope we get more world building going forward, because there is very little of it here; and I also hope we get some clarity on Ethan’s ‘I’m not attracted to any man but you’ thing because it’s barely touched on here. This part is fairly short and all it really seems like is the opening chapters to a much longer story, which it probably is. I thought it was pretty fun. For a romance featuring an Alpha shifter there was very little posturing and practically no creepy possessiveness, which I was happy to see. The sex was nice, and wasn’t crazy or OTT, which was a nice surprise. It ended on a cliffhanger that has me excited to read the next part, which I hope I enjoy as much.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) The Mating Ball used to be a yearly event where bachelor Alpha werewolves meet potential mates, but now it’s a party mostly used to hook up with as many people as you can.

Ethan, one of the humans hired to entertain the werewolves, goes into the event with only one expectation: getting paid for having fun. The prospect of maybe meeting an Alpha female is only a bonus.

Max, a successful Alpha, has been getting pressure from all sides to settle down and prove his Alpha genes. Two problems: he doesn’t believe that the Mating Ball works and he is only interested in men.

Once there, he meets Ethan, who catches his attention immediately, but the man insists that he isn’t gay, or interested in Max.
As the ball comes to an end, the two men can no longer deny their attraction and take off together. Only to wake up to a very special surprise.

Omega’s Fate is a first time gay romance, with unprotected steamy action. This story contains male pregnancy (Mpreg).

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the full Mated to the Alpha collection x x x x]

 

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Monthly Round-Up: March 2018

Read the thing (3):

 

Maybe read the thing (3):

 

Added to TBR List:

Daddy, Daddy and Me – Sean Michael

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“Like the gay version of Mary Poppins?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. First of all, most of this is stupidly adorable. There are a few other things going on, but the main drive of the story is Jeff and Donny falling in love while caring for Jeff’s two adorable children. The grand majority of the scenes are either Jeff and Donny being cute with the children, or Jeff and Donny being stupidly cute together (while also having sex, there is quite a bit of sex). There are a few dark parts to the story, like the fact that Jeff and his older son are still trying to get over the loss of the children’s mother, who died in a house fire a few weeks before the story starts; and Jeff being hounded by his asshole ex who turns out to be a psycho. But the overall tone of the story is light and fluffy. Jeff, who was technically only meant to be a sperm donor and function in the children’s lives as their godfather, is in way over his head with these two babies he suddenly has care of. His lifestyle as a single dad who works long hours means that he needs to bring someone in to help with childcare, that’s where Donny comes in. Donny is a gay nanny who has been turned down for every childcare job he’s applied for so far, which sucked at first but really ends up turning out for the better. Jeff and Donny don’t waste much time in falling head over heels in love with each other, and they quickly move from ‘employer and employee’ to ‘family’. A lot of this is slice of life stuff with Jeff and Donny taking care of the kids and falling for each other. Actually one problem I did have was that I felt that Jeff and Donny got together too soon and then I got anxious every time they had cute romantic scenes together because it felt like it wouldn’t last. The story didn’t seem to be going anywhere so I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Some conflict and drama did pop up later in the story, which did save things. I really did like Jeff and Donny’s relationship, and their relationships with the children. Most of the story is complete fluff, which isn’t really everyone’s thing, but it’s pretty inoffensive and fun. Some of the darker aspects of the story were a bit unexpected and more serious than I was expecting, but they do make for a nice break from all the rainbows and sunshine. Definitely recommend if you enjoy cute stories about easy romances and cute children.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three-year-old motherless. Beth’s loss has totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn’t anywhere near childproof, and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with Jeff’s time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to work with kids, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn’t count on the prejudice he’d face as not only a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job-hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff’s door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks maybe he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff’s children might be a dream come true for Danny and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either of them ready to really be a family?

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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The Teddy Bear Club (The Teddy Bear Club #1) – Sean Michael

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“Dev laughed again, and Aiden decided he really liked the sound of it, bright and full of life.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. This book probably won’t be for everyone. It’s very sweet and fluffy and very kid-centric. I was drawn to the story because of the summary, but the summary turned out to be a bit inaccurate. Most of the story is complete fluff and the minutia of daily baby care while Aiden and Dev’s romance kinda just falls into place. There is some drama with Dev’s mother, but that ultimately never comes to anything and more or less seemed like a waste of time. Though it was an entertaining break from all the child care fluff (seriously, if you don’t like reading about children in your romances you won’t like this book, like, at all). Really, everything of substance in this story doesn’t come to much since most of the focus remains on Aiden and Dev coming together and merging their families (probably a bit quick, but whatever, Dreamspun). Aiden and Dev getting together happened very easily, like there was pretty much no angst surrounding that. It was welcome, unnecessary relationship drama just for the sake of it can get pretty annoying, but also there wasn’t really anything in there to fill that gap. Aiden and Dev took care of their children together with very little fuss, they were always fairly upbeat and positive, and everything was just really overly cute. They had no obstacles, and when the closest things to obstacles did show up it ultimately came to nothing. It was a nice change to read a romance where the couple didn’t have to fight for every little aspect of their happiness, but it was also pretty boring to read a romance where every interaction was written out as a series of steps. There were whole sections of the story where one scene went on for pages because it was full of step-by-step actions and bland dialogue. Sometimes Aiden’s oldest daughter had some cute interactions, and Aiden and Dev’s friends could be pretty funny, but everything was mostly bland (even the sex scenes got a bit long). The thing with Dev’s mother was really a non-issue and a bit of a let-down considering how she was built up. Though I will say that it was a nice change to read a story like this (with an evil grandparent demanding custody of a child they don’t actually have rights to) where the current parent/guardian doesn’t just roll over and accept a ton of abuse in the name of keeping the peace (this seems to be a thing with Harlequin romances, of which the Dreamspun Desires books resemble). Also the fact that we never get much closure with Dev’s sister and her situation was a bit disappointing. Anyway, the biggest problem this book has is that it’s kinda boring and over-padded with minutia. Definitely avoid this if you aren’t a fan of children in romances.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Two lonely men. One perfect family.

Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.

Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his sixteen-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn… three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more—maybe even something that can last.

But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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