Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Release Day Review: Seen (Breaking Free #2) An Omegaverse Story by A.M. Arthur

seenTitle ~ Seen (Breaking Free #2)

Author ~ A.M. Arthur

Publisher ~ Briggs-King Books

Published ~ 26th September 2017

Genre ~ M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy/Alternate Universe, Mpreg

Rating

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Synopsis

Hell is a six-by-six jail cell and no hope for the future.

Kell Iverson has never raised his hand against another person in his entire life—and yet somehow he’s been arrested and charged with the murder of his alpha mate Krause. Sure, Krause brutalized him on a daily basis, and Kell hated his mate, but he never wanted the man dead. Not fighting the charge and accepting his fate is the easiest path—except Kell doesn’t think he’ll survive a week in prison, and he doesn’t want to disappoint his younger brother Braun by giving up. He also doesn’t expect to recognize the lawyer who shows up to defend him.

Ronin Cross was barely eighteen when he felt the mating bond with then-fourteen-year-old Kell, but his family moved away before Ronin could decide what to do. For the last ten years, he hasn’t forgotten teenage Kell, hasn’t mated, and now he’s in Sansbury Province to defend adult Kell from a capital murder charge. The mating bond is still there, but now isn’t the time to pursue anything with his fragile, battered, emotionally-damaged client.

For Kell, the term “kind alpha” is a contradiction, because he’s never known one. He went from abusive father to abusive mate, and for twenty-four years, he’s simply done what he’s told. But Ronin asks Kell what he wants. What he likes. Ronin sees him, and it’s both confusing and delightful. But Kell is facing prison time at best, execution at worst, and as his trial date looms, he can’t indulge in a fantasy that will never come true…or can he?

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

 

Debra’s Review

Seen picks up immediately after Saved ends and I wouldn’t suggest reading this as a standalone. If you haven’t read the first book yet, this review and the blurb itself will contain some spoilers of that first book.

This is Kell’s story and it’s much more emotional than the first was, as heartbreaking as it is joyful. Kell has spent his life in hell. First under the thumb of his abusive father and then mated to an even worse Alpha, Krause Iverson, who brutally abused and tortured Kell for three years. Kell is now awaiting trial on the murder of Krause. Kell has no memory of what happened, but he knows he was found in bed, next to his murdered mate with his fingerprint on the murder weapon. Kell’s younger brother Braun and his mate Tarek have hired Tarek’s college roommate, Ronin Cross, to defend Kell. Kell and Ronin knew each other briefly in their teens, but haven’t seen each other in 10 years. What Kell doesn’t know and Ronin does is that Kell is Ronin’s bondmate. Kell’s trial is precedent setting as an Omega has never been tried for murdering his Alpha. The stakes are high, but the personal stakes are even higher. Ronin will do anything to protect Kell, but first they all have to survive the trial.

If you’re reading this review, I’m going to assume you’ve already read Seen and completely felt for Kell. You know his past isn’t pleasant, but what was shown in that book only scratched the surface of how much abuse he suffered. It’s not easy to read and you should definitely heed the trigger warnings. 

Kell is understandably in deep despair. As strong as Kell is, he is afraid for his life in prison, mostly afraid of the reach of Senior Iverson. He fully expects that he will not survive to see a trial. He is mourning the loss of baby Branson, afraid that he has put his brother in danger and there are times he feels it would be better for everyone if he wasn’t around. He believes that even if he makes it out, he is used up and would be a burden. Certainly he would never have another mate. When Ronin appears and promises to do everything to defend and protect him, Kell wants to believe, but Ronin being an Alpha doesn’t inspire trust. Other than his brother’s mate Tarek, he hasn’t met a kind Alpha and he’s still not convinced he can trust Tarek. When Ronin steps in as Kell’s guardian and they spend almost all their time together, it becomes hard for Kell to deny the bondmate and it also starts to slowly become clear that Ronin is like no other Alpha he’s ever met.

Ronin has never forgotten Kell. When they met Ronin felt Kell had been too young in to be pressured into a mating and now he knows Kell is in no position to consider it for a whole new set of reasons. Ronin won’t let that stop him from doing everything in his power to save Kell and make him see how precious he is in Ronin’s eyes. Their relationship is fraught with potential disaster, from health issues to the possibility of Kell going to jail for the rest of his life. If you’re in the market for a new book boyfriend, Ronin just might fit the bill. He is smart, sexy and sweet. His respect and love for Kell is just heart-melting. Their relationship builds slowly, and with Kell approaching his first heat since his pregnancy, Ronin once again proves just how much he treasures Kell.

Aside from the love story and trial procedural, there is plenty of tension. Senior Iverson is a loose cannon and there is no question that he would be happy to see Kell dead and wouldn’t hesitate to go after those Kell loves as well. Everyone from the first book is back again, Braun and Tarek, Dex and Serge, and even Constable Jenks. As far as the Mpreg goes, it is discussed and a part of the story, after all Kell is still recovering from having nearly died delivering his child in the previous book, but there is no actual pregnancy storyline here in this installment.

A.M. Arthur got me with this one. It started off with tears of sadness and worked its way up to tears of joy. There was romance, steamy sex, heart in your throat moments and there were some surprises too. If that wasn’t enough, one tantalizing little piece of information that is dropped near the end that I hope we get to see play out in the next book (no, there’s not a major cliffhanger in this one). With another book on the horizon I wonder if it will be Alpha Constable Jenks falling? He certainly has grown since he was introduced and would be interesting to see him as an Alpha at the mercy of a bondmate. I’ll be looking forward to reading the next one either way.

Purchase Links

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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savedSaved: Breaking Free #1

He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. 67,000 words.

Review :: Amazon

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Meet A.M. Arthur

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments).

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2 comments:

  1. YES Please, I've been waiting for Kell's story! Crossing fingers for Kell and Ronin to have their HEA!! Congrats AM Arthur on your release!

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    Replies
    1. Enjoy it Carol! I think you'll love Kell & Ronin!

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