Pierce is attracted to his personal trainer, Steve. However, not only is Steve a fabulous trainer, but the two are friends and Pierce doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. So he keeps his attraction hidden, and his omega-scent blockers help keep things from being too obvious.
It turns out Steve has an attraction to Pierce as well. Guys don’t usually take Steve too seriously, assuming with his body that he has no brains to go with it. So he can’t imagine that Pierce is interested and keeps things just as friends.
When a snowstorm traps Steve at Pierce’s house one night, the guys get a chance to spend more time together. And when Pierce’s heat hits, it may be harder for both men to keep their attraction hidden. Now Pierce and Steve must be brave enough to share their feelings and hope for a chance at something more.
Exercising Restraint is the second book in Tamir Drake’s Different Dynamics series, though the story mostly stands alone. Two of the MCs from Different Dynamics show up here briefly, but you don’t need to be familiar with their story to follow along. I enjoyed the first book and found it light, easy fun with an omegaverse twist, and this story has pretty much the same tone. The story is short and things don’t go too deep, but Drake does a nice job establishing the attraction between the guys and the reasons each are hesitant about the relationship. This story isn’t quite as all out sex as the first book, but there are still some scenes that capture the omegaverse heat dynamic. I particularly appreciated how each man is very sensitive to the other’s feelings and works to make sure that the hormones are not unduly influencing the other’s actions.
I do think the world building needs some further developing here. Honestly, most of my understanding of this world’s omegaverse dynamics came from reading the first book and without that, things are pretty sparse here. Some tidbits are dropped, like Pierce uses odor blockers to mask his scent and libido inhibitors to keep his heats under control. But beyond that, we aren’t given much sense of how things work and at times even the characters themselves seem unsure about how the attraction and pheromones are impacting them. So I think as the series continues, these elements could use some development. I also think the early scene where the guys go out with James and Richard from the first book seemed a little bit shoehorned in as it doesn’t add much here beyond connecting the two stories.
But overall, this story provides what it seems to be intending, and that is light, easy, omegaverse fun. Drake provides enough character development and plot to hold the story together and the characters are a sweet couple. So I enjoyed the story and will be keeping an eye out for more.