**This review was completed from an e-ARC provided by the author. I have also purchased the e-book**
Carriger returns to the San Andreas Shifters, her male-male romance and a truly unusual pack of werewolves. Likely to be spoilers below!
Starting into the book, I’m reminded how Carriger paints scenery well, so the reader is easily on the edge of the nightclub, watching the action, only to come out and realize that one is on the commute home and really musn’t miss one’s stop. That said, this particular series of books have an odd sense of outsider-status, at least for me as the reader. Rather than fully engaging with the story, I felt always like an observer and occasionally one peeping in a little too intimately on the characters’ time.
Oddly–and perhaps an indication of how tired I am–it was 10% into the book (Kindle version) before the title finally kicked in to the conscious portion of my brain. Right, he’s an Omega, that’s what is causing all of this. It’s a change in role description for Carriger. She has focused in her paranormal stories, back through the parasol protectorate on high ranking pack members: Alphas, Betas, and one very memorable Gamma. The alpha male stereotype in romance exists for a reason and the omega role is a welcome anomaly. It was really refreshing.
Carriger presents a man who is — publicly–the antithesis of toxic masculinity. His entire self is caring and empathy and is that without malice or anger. Isaac was utterly appealing to the reader and I have no doubt this was intentional. Tank felt comfortable in a different way, that good friend in a group–the one never in the center spotlight but always there and always wanted and welcome.
Isaac and Tank’s relationship furthers that unusual nature of presenting the Omega as hero in their sexual relationship, with Tank preferring a submissive bottom role to Isaac’s one area of domination in his life. However, Carriger is very clear in the need for repeated and enthusiastic consent between the two men.
Ultimately this book felt a little underdone. It seemed to start slowly and then rush to an ending, resolution, everything is suddenly fine. I felt like it needed a few more scenes where we got to observe Tank and Isaac outside of crisis/sex or something else after the crisis was over that wasn’t just sex. Several threads were introduced that could eventually be adjacent stories but here they just felt loose.
If you’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series or you like m/m romance, it’s a nice change from the standard alpha male everything. I’ll keep reading and looking forward to seeing how else she handles the pack. We end the story knowing who to expect falling in love next…