Buy Link: I, Omega
Author: Kari Gregg
Publisher: Loose Id
Ok, I will admit it. I saw this cover and wanted to read this book. Hey, good marketing, right? Then I read the blurb and was even more intrigued. Even though the story is a bit out of my comfort zone, I was really drawn in right from the beginning and enjoyed the book quite a lot.
When we first meet Gabriel, he has been on the run for two months. Before this, he had been a normal guy — working as an accountant, driving a Taurus, and spending an occasional evening at a club enjoying being a sub. However, one night he meets a master who forever changes him, turning him into something no longer fully human. Gabriel flees and is now hiding out from his master and the other shifters who hunt him. He is starving, craving his master, and struggling on his own. As a reader, I could feel Gabriel’s fear here, knowing something is after him and that is only a matter of time before he gets caught. When Cal finally finds him, Gabriel is both scared and relieved.
Had he the strength, Gabriel would’ve leaped at him and begged his master to take him. That was the bliss and the horror of it. Starved and empty no matter how much he ate, hormones ping-ponging inside him as new instincts took hold, Gabriel was helplessly drawn to the shifter. The human part of Gabriel wanted to run… But a growing part of him—the part his master had given him—wept in relief.
Now that Cal has Gabriel back, he isn’t letting him go. They return to Cal’s pack compound and there Gabriel starts to learn about his new life as a pack omega and his importance to both Cal and the other shifters. In the beginning, he is torn between his human nature’s desire to flee and his new inner beast that needs to be with Cal desperately. As he and Cal become closer to bonded, Gabriel’s fear and anxiety lessen and his connection with Cal and the pack becomes the most important thing to him. I really liked the way we experience all of this along with Gabriel and as readers we come to understand the nature of their relationship and his role in the pack as he does.
I will admit I am not a big BDSM reader and this book was pretty intense for me. These are not happy puppy werewolves frolicking in the woods (in fact, we never even see them shift). These are hard, aggressive shifters and the sex between Gabriel and Cal is equally hard and aggressive. Cal does have a serious talk with Gabriel about his sub limits and it is very clear that he places great importance on Gabriel’s health and happiness. Yet he expects total obedience in a 24/7 environment, something Gabriel isn’t sure he wants.
I was bothered a bit by the nature of the mating and the fact that it leads to what I’d consider some dubious consent. Gabriel’s new inner beast wars with his human side and his needs are being controlled by the changes that have come from the mating with Cal, along with drinking Cal’s blood and having sex with him. Although Gabriel’s stronger side wants the sex with Cal (needs it desperately, in fact), his fading human side isn’t always sure this is what he wants. I guess because this mating was forced upon him in the beginning, it bothered me a bit that it is so much of what is causing him to want sex with Cal now.
Yet I still found myself really enjoying this story. It was faced-paced and exciting. I liked discovering the sides to Cal along with Gabriel. When the book starts, Gabriel is scared of Cal and we only see him through Gabriel’s eyes. Yet as the story continues, it becomes clear how much Cal cares for Gabriel and needs him to be part of his life. And as Gabriel gets further along into his change and closer to bonded with Cal, we see him become more comfortable with himself, less scared of everything, and begin to assume his role as the pack omega.
This book did push my envelope a bit far in terms of the BDSM world. I have trouble wrapping my head around such a complete power exchange. But I think that is part of the fun of reading – getting a chance to experience new things in your mind that you may not ever want to do in real life.
I, Omega totally sucked me in from the beginning. I cared about Gabriel from the very start and loved that Cal won me over as the story continued. It is an intense world, but definitely worth the read.
Cover Grade: A
Do I really need to explain why? Ok, ok. First the obvious gorgeousness. I also liked the little touch of the initial tattoo on his neck. Didn’t make an A+ because that cover guy is a little bigger and buffer than Gabriel is supposed to be. But am I complaining? No I am not.