Kell Iverson woke up in a hospital having no idea how he got there. He is now accused of murdering his alpha mate, Krause, but Kell has no memory of what happened that day. An omega has never before killed his alpha, and Kell’s case is making news. But he is terrified and uncertain and has no idea if he is the one who really killed Krause.
Ten years ago, a teenage Ronin Cross bonded with a young omega Kell, but when Ronin’s family moved, they lost touch. Now Ronin’s friend Tarek has called him for help defending Kell on murder charges. Ronin knows that Kell is meant to be his mate. But he also knows now is not the time to become involved, even if Kell wanted him. Kell is still traumatized from the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse he suffered under Krause. Not to mention that he is on trial for murder, and he faces jail time or even execution. Ronin needs to focus on the case, not on his mate.
As the two men spend time together preparing for the trial, however, the bond that connects them begins to grow stronger, and the men eventually act on their feelings. Both Kell and Ronin know they are meant to be together, but their future is so uncertain. With Kell’s life on the line, they must hope Ronin can keep Kell out of jail before they can look to a real future together.
Seen is a great follow up to Saved and it nicely segues from that first book. We learned about the trial at the end of the first story, so the two books flow nicely together, bringing back all our favorite characters and introducing us to Ronin. There is a really nice romantic quality to this story, and a sweetness to it that is a bit different in tone to the first book. Kell has been through substantial trauma, and as much as he likes Ronin, it is really hard to fully trust him. Kell is used to constant abuse, to an alpha who sees him as nothing other than a womb to carry a child, and to sex being nothing but pain. In big and small ways, Ronin cares for Kell and shows him that not all relationships are like what he had with Krause. Ronin lets Kell take the lead on virtually everything, always making sure he is happy and comfortable. There is a really nice tenderness between them, on top of the sexual connection. Over the course of the book, we not only see Kell begin to make strides forward emotionally, but also see some of his internal strength really come back as he is able to stand up for what he wants and face down some of his demons.
Along with the relationship development, the story focuses largely on the preparations and the trial itself. The story has a courtroom drama feel as we learn about Ronin’s trial plans, see the witness testimony, and uncover evidence. I found this part interesting and I think it connects well with the bigger picture of omega rights that we started addressing in the first book. But I did find that there is a lot of legal stuff here that I wasn’t really expecting and sometimes the story felt a bit slow compared to the first book. But I did enjoy seeing the court case bring the two books together into a solid resolution and leaving both our couples in a good place.
So if you have read Saved, you are definitely going to want to pick up this second book as it really pulls the story together in a great way. If you aren’t familiar with the series, you should definitely start in book one or else you will be jumping in at the middle. And there is a third book coming out in the fall, so I am really excited to see where Arthur takes this universe. I am really enjoying the world she has created and can’t wait for more.
Note: As I said, Kell has experienced substantial abuse and it is a key aspect of his trial defense. So this story does recount scenes of the abuse he suffered, though it is all in the past versus real time. However, please be aware if this is a trigger for you.