Rafe Vargas is a man living a lie. Fifteen years ago, omegas were rounded up and confined to breeding farms, supposedly for their safety. But thanks to herbs and suppressants, Rafe has managed to mask his omega scent and live his own life. His computer hacking skills mean he can help the omega cause from behind the scenes, while working a completely normal day job.
Grant Tenereth is the current leader of the Omega Council. The welfare and care of the farmed omegas are his responsibility. The farms are run by a private corporation and until now Grant has trusted them to their business, but the recent kidnapping of more than 20 omega children means Grant must investigate further. He engages the company Rafe works for to investigate how computer systems were manipulated to aid in kidnapping the children. Forced to work together with an alpha, Rafe is under the constant stress of having his secret revealed as Grant must confront the brutal reality of the omega farms. Together they could change everything for omegas, but they’ll have to decide if the sacrifice is worth the risk.
Set in the omegaverse, To Tame an Omega follows many of the same fun and occasionally bizarre tropes that we normally find in this unique universe: heats, self lubricating omegas, the mention of male pregnancy, and so on. But in this version, omegas are locked away as children, supposedly to protect them from aggressive and violent alphas. In reality, they’re sold to the highest bidder when they come of age and are kept in near jail-like conditions during their formative years. It’s a brutal existence and it makes Grant’s character a little difficult to like. He claims ignorance of conditions on the omega farms, but given that he is supposed to be in charge of the council that funds the farms, his ignorance rings hollow. I couldn’t help questioning why he hadn’t investigated things further and the fact that he didn’t makes his character less redeeming. He isn’t a bad guy by any stretch, but it smacks of a laziness that allowed others to suffer. Rafe is feisty and bold and he’s easy to champion from the start. His determination to remain independent and free of an alpha’s control is admirable, as is his devotion to the omega cause. He’s no one’s puppet and while a pawn of his biology, he’s found a way to live life on his terms.
My biggest complaint with To Tame an Omega, and nearly all books in the omegaverse, is the idea that biology, specifically an alpha’s, often become an excuse for borderline rape behaviors. I enjoy a little Me Tarzan, You Jane as much as the next person, but when that starts to invade rules of consent, it’s not sexy, it’s foul. Now in Grant’s defense, he is able to control his lust for Rafe, but other alphas can’t and this brings up serious questions about assault. “I couldn’t help myself,” is never an acceptable defense for me, even in a fictional world.
To Tame an Omega ends abruptly and without the resolution I expected. As a result, I felt the story wasn’t fully complete and definitely lacking towards the last quarter of the book.
To Tame an Omega is generally engaging and has an interesting take on the omegaverse world. There are some issues with Grant’s behavior toward the omega farms and there are serious trigger warnings here for sexual assault survivors. I think fans of the omegaverse will enjoy this one, but I also think its time to start to posing some important questions about the good and problematic of this particular genre subset.