I originally agreed to review this without reading the blurb closely. I like this author and I thought this was a shifter/fated mate book which I love. It is not that. It's set in a dystopian type future world. Women all died off at some point and how it's a society of all men. There are alphas, omegas and betas. In this society omegas have evolved to place where they are able to get pregnant and have babies (which honestly, is not my jam at all). Sometimes alphas and omegas enter into contracts by choice based on whatever reason, but often they end up with a fated mate (which is totally my jam).
The twist here is that when Jason comes across his mate he is only 19 years old. He's too young and has not finished his alpha training. Also, his mate, Vale, is much older (35) and close to be done with his childbearing years. What follows is a sweet story of these two trying to keep control of their animal type urges while seeing if they could really grow to care about each other.
Vale has a lot of concerns and his life is completely uprooted as alphas have total control when they find their omega. The omega has to give over their money, their property, they can't keep their job without permission from the alpha etc. It can be a very challenging life change and Vale has a lot of fears. He also has some things in his past that he doesn't want Jason to know about him.
Jason made this story for me. He was so darned earnest and sweet. He had no idea what he was doing but he worked so hard to prove himself to Vale and to be a good alpha. He had to grow up over night but it did it with detailed thought and kindness in his heart. His desire to become a good man jumped off of the pages at the reader.
Both of the MC's were well done and I felt for both of their situations. I also loved all of the side characters and they really added another layer to this story. (I'm hoping their will be another book in this world and we'll see Xan get a book). I thought the author did a great job of creating this complicated world with lot's of social and political ramifications. It was really interesting and parallels what many women still have to live with in many parts of our world.
So.....not what I thought it was going to be and it icked me out a bit in places but overall I really ended up enjoying this and while mpreg will not be on my reading list in general, I would read more by this author in this world.
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.
Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he's long since given up hope that he'll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He's fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.
When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can't be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.
But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha--as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn't sure it's worth it. But Jason isn't giving up his destined mate without a fight.
This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.