Beau Jeffries is an Alpha werewolf and wants to be a doctor working with humans, rather than doing shifter research. When it comes time to interview for residencies, the heads of the university are concerned he doesn’t have a pack or an omega to lean on when things get tough (as they often do during an internship). Beau has been packless since was sixteen and isn’t particularly interested in joining one (he has his reasons), and he hadn’t planned on taking an omega so soon. Still, the higher ups at the university strongly suggests a married Alpha wolf would go a long way to helping them make a decision, and to make patients more comfortable.
Roland Lea is a broken omega wolf. He’s had a string of abusive Alphas. The last one was the worst. He’s also been on heat suppressants for a lot longer than he should be, and they’re taking their toll on his body. Now, he’s at a shelter for omegas, scarred, frightened, and alone. The employees of the shelter suggest he needs an Alpha to care for him, but Roland’s convinced nobody will love him as he is, especially because he’s been told he’s unable to have pups.
It turns out there is a service that matches single Alphas and omegas. Beau turns to it to find a temporary omega for three years, the length of the residency. When he sees Roland’s profile, he realizes he’s sick, and with Beau’s medical knowledge, he knows why. Beau wants to help, so he chooses Roland. He’ll be able to be married and cure Roland at the same time.
Marriage quickly follows their first meeting, and Beau and Roland begin their life together. Beau begins to nurse Roland back to health, all the while he finds himself needing Roland as much as Roland needs him. Now the question is whether they should follow their hearts into a marriage not based on convenience, but on love.
I’m going to start this review by saying Omega Required is one of the best Alpha/omega/shifter stories I’ve ever read. This is one of my favorite genres, and when I read the blurb, I knew it would be right up my alley. It didn’t hurt that Dessa Lux was the author. She has written some awesome stories, so I was already a fan. You guys, this one completely blew me away. I think I may have been expecting something different…maybe a little bit of a set up, then insta love, a little conflict, and a fluffy HEA. Instead I got a compelling story with layered characters in a situation that could be nothing more than a business transaction, but turns into something so much deeper. I was so enthralled with it, I read it straight through…no interruptions, no bathroom breaks, and no sleep. I simply did not want to put it down.
I loved Beau and Roland (or Rory as he likes to be called). Beau was a good man who had been given a raw deal when he was kicked out of his pack at sixteen. All he wanted was to help humans, not deal with packs or omegas or marriage. He wasn’t exactly pleased with the university’s “suggestion.” He wrestled with the decision, but his desire to be a doctor won out. Poor Rory, he fell for an older Alpha when he was very young. He found himself being mentally, physically, and sexually abused for years. The last Alpha took him to a midwife to have him “fixed” so he could continue to rape him and pass him around to his other Alpha friends without having to worry about him getting pregnant. He took heat suppressants because, when in heat, an omega will do just about anything to be satisfied. He didn’t want to make himself vulnerable to still more abuse. He was so sick and sad, and I wanted to just hold him close and tell him everything would be alright.
I think what I especially loved was how tender and caring Beau was toward Rory. Yes, this was a marriage of convenience, yet he stayed awake giving Rory water and soup every few hours while Rory slept and began his long road to healing. Beau was there every step of the way, never once getting frustrated or angry. When he called Rory “Baby,” my heart melted. I think they both began to fall in love that first week. They just needed to come to terms with it.
I don’t want to give too much away here. A lot started going on once Beau started working at the hospital’s clinic. Beau has a gift, and he uses that gift with a very sick patient, but it backfires. It would affect his career and future with Rory if it was discovered, but it gets out of control. I guess this was my only real issue with Omega Required. It seemed like it went on a little too long. I felt myself slipping a bit…not enough to stop reading, but enough to consider skimming (I didn’t though.). Don’t worry. The story gets itself back on track, and everything turned out just fine.
As far as any background characters are concerned, there aren’t many that played a huge role, but they did help to move the narrative along. Rory meets some of the local pack and they help him realize being part of something bigger than himself is actually fulfilling. Beau’s advisor is a little gruff, but he means well, and he’s got Beau’s best interests at heart. Lastly, there is the patient I mentioned and her father. Once again, no spoilers, but they’re the reason the happily ever after Beau and Rory deserve might not have happened.
All in all, as I said at the beginning, Omega Required was awesome! It held my attention and kept me entertained. It had everything that I love…shifters (of course!), a broken man who blossoms with love, romance, really great sex, and a plot that assures me I’ll be reading this book again and again. I highly recommend it. If you’re not a shifter fan, this might changer your mind, and if you’ve never read a shifter story, this is the perfect book to start. Definitely pick this one up.