When a pregnant Khory Landry shows up at the Danvers home, he is just hoping for someone to help protect him from a violent mate. He never expects to find a family who welcomes him into their home and their lives. But Khory is the son of one of the fight club omegas who died giving birth to him, and that means he is family. The Danvers will do anything to help Khory and keep him from having to return to a mate who tried to harm him and his unborn child.
Alpha Aeron Danvers finds himself immediately connecting with Khory and the two quickly become friends. Aaron introduces Khory to his friends and finds himself wanting to care for and protect Khory. The young men have a strong connection, but with Khory pregnant, they can’t tell if it is just a fondness for one another, or if there might be a mate bond between them. Either way, Aeron is a source of strength and comfort for Khory as he faces not only legal battles, but also the birth of his child.
Aeron and Khory have grown so close, both can imagine a future together. But after making so many mistakes in his life, Khory doesn’t think he is a good mate for someone like Aeron, especially with Aeron’s bright future in the constabulary. For his part, Aeron has had a difficult past and he worries with his history, he isn’t what Khory needs in mate. Yet the feelings the men have for one another are strong, and they are beginning to think there could really be a chance for them to build a new family together. But with Aeron’s former mate determined to battle him for custody of their child, the men will have to fight for their chance at happiness together.
Hear Me is the third book in A.M. Arthur’s Finding Free series, a spin off of her Breaking Free omegaverse series that focuses on the second generation of families. The story picks up just where See Me left off, so there is a lot of excitement right from the start as we hear Khory’s story and learn about his circumstances with his mate. As always with these books, there is a nice sense of found family as the Danvers clan and their friends immediately take Khory under their wing and jump in to help him. The situation with his mate is horrible and the story of what happened to him is just on the right side of crazy to work for this series. The case surrounding Khory’s mate and what happens to him and the baby plays out nicely throughout the story. Things move along with enough pace to keep the plot moving and we get an nice climax with lots of drama.
The relationship between Khory and Aeron is very much a slow burn in that they immediately become friends, but it takes them a while to move to more. Even when the guys express their feelings for one another, the physical side of things comes along pretty slowly, so this book is not nearly as sex heavy as most in these two series. There is a nice sweetness to their relationship and I liked watching their connection build, even before either man realizes there might be more.
Part of what holds these guys back from moving too quickly is that each man is unsure that they can offer enough to the other. We have lots of moments where they each realize their feelings for one another, but question whether they are a worthy partner. However, while the issue with Aeron’s past is explained and the guys work through it, the other issues are never really addressed. This made it feel like these were artificial hurdles delaying the men getting together as they turned out to be non-issues and the guys never even really discussed them.
I’ll also note a teeny little niggle, but one that threw me out of the story quite often, and that is Arthur at times uses characters’ full names when they are people well enough known that the other characters would never refer to them that way. The most frequent was the way Khory’s former mate is constantly referred to by first and last name, even when talking to Khory, as if there needs to be clarification about who they mean. It happens occasionally with other characters as well, again people who wouldn’t have needed first and last name used among this group of friends. Like I said, this is a super tiny thing, but it drew me out of the story every time they referred to his former mate by full name.
As with the first two books, this story also has a side plot focused on Layne and Peyton, two other friends who are falling for one another. Their romance has been a side story in the other books and continues to further develop here. I find their story quite compelling as the guys fall for one another amidst Peyton’s struggle with a terminal illness. It has been interesting to watch their relationship develop alongside the others and I look forward to more of their journey.
Overall, this was another enjoyable installment of the series. I continue to like following this younger generation as they find their own relationships and I am looking forward to more.