Karter Jenks is a young constable just getting his start in his career. He grew up with a conservative alpha father and much of Karter’s attitude with regard to alpha and omega roles was taught to him as a child. But having been a part of the investigation into Kell Iverson’s abuse by his alpha mate has given Karter a new perspective on omega rights and he is working really hard to move past his upbringing and view the alpha/omega relationship as more equal.
While investigating a burglary, Karter discovers an unmated omega and his infant son squatting in an abandoned home. Jax Orris escaped his abuse and captivity, but his fear of the authorities has left him living on the streets for the past month. The men immediately recognize one another as mates, but Karter is very wary about scaring Jax by coming on too strong. Clearly Jax has suffered incredibly and Karter doesn’t want to do anything to make things worse. At the same time, Karter is determined to do whatever it takes to protect his omega and make sure he faces no further harm.
Jax’s number one concern is keeping his baby safe and so he is wary about trusting Karter, especially after he was so recently violated by other alphas. But Karter is careful and patient with Jax, and clearly cares about his baby as well. As Karter introduces Jax to his circle of friends, including fellow omegas Braun and Kell, Jax starts to realize that he can have a future that is safe and happy. He grows to care for Karter and the two begin taking steps to become a family. But as the police continue their investigation into the alphas who were abusing Jax, things become extremely dangerous as the bad guys do not want their secrets revealed. Jax and Karter hope they can make a future together, but first they must stop those that are seeking revenge and silence.
Heard is the third book in A.M. Arthur’s enjoyable omegaverse series Breaking Free. While the first two books are more directly linked as they follow brothers Braun and Kell, along with Kell’s trial for murdering his alpha, this one brings in a side character in Karter. We met Karter in the first books as a constable on the edges of the case against Kell. He starts off the series very conservative and with very clear ideas about omega roles, but being part of that case taught him a lot and now he is much more open and aware by the time we start things here. Part of me actually wanted to see a little more of his growth happen here in this book, as all of his growing and learning pretty much happens before this story starts and here he is basically already a model alpha. But I did enjoy seeing him change over the series and how kind and loving he is to Jax.
Jax is such a great character, with incredible strength and a fierce protectiveness over his son. As we learn about Jax’s suffering and what he went through, it is even more impressive how strong he is. The exact nature of his abuse is revealed in the story so I won’t spoil it here. Most happens off page, but he definitely suffers, including having his vocal cords cut so he can not speak. Jax is also much bigger than the average omega, bigger than Karter even, and it adds another layer to the dynamic between them, as well as Karter’s growth. Because not only is Karter learning to respect and care for an omega and that they should be equal partners, but he is doing so with an omega who is bigger and stronger than himself.
These guys are incredibly sweet together and Karter is so tender and loving. The story really focuses on Jax’s healing and acceptance of Karter into the lives of him and his son. Things do move quickly, as the guys are fated mates, and when you think about the number of days they have known each other it is kind of a whirlwind. But reading the story, it never felt too fast to me, and I liked the way Karter takes the time to woo Jax and make him feel safe and protected.
The story reunites us with all the guys we have met throughout the first two books, including Braun and Tarek, Kell and Ronin, and Dex and Serge. This little makeshift family plays a big role in the story, particularly the omegas who take Jax under their wings. Tarek also plays a big role as one of the investigators on the case and we follow along with him quite a bit as well. So I enjoyed seeing them all connecting and catching up on the lives of the other couples.
I have really been enjoying this series and tore through this third book. I think Arthur has created a really interesting omegaverse world here and I really love the characters she has created. If you are at all a fan of mpreg and omegaverse stories, I can highly recommend this book and this series.