Dom Wessa didn’t shed a tear at his old man’s funeral. Corrupt and twisted, his father was a cruel man, but his death has finally freed Dom to establish his own control over the Central Empire. Dom doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, but he’d rather make positive changes then rely on violence to manage his affairs. But when he finds a drugged and malnourished Omega being beaten in an alley, Dom’s Alpha instincts take over.
Lin Vasiliev has hit rock bottom. Desperation for heat suppressants led to a heroin addiction and now he’s a drug addled shadow of his formal self. Under Dom’s care, Lin finds himself again and, in Dom, finds an Alpha he adores. But a war is brewing between the empires of Luxor City and it could destroy everything Dom has struggled to build. Still more terrifying, it could cost him the two people he cares about the most.
The Empires of Luxor City is really a romance involving two couples, Dom and Lin and then Atsadi and Jimena. Set in an Omegaverse, there’s all the typical Alpha/Omega dynamics and knotting, but no shifting or mpreg. Dom is basically a mob boss, but he has a bit of class and he’s striving to make changes to the old system. He doesn’t mind using violence and he’s far from innocent, but his devotion to Lin is sweet. The romance between Dom and Lin isn’t quite insta- love, but it’s not far from it. We don’t get a lot of relationship building or maturation, which I would have enjoyed. The other romance between Atsadi and Jimena takes over about half way through the book and in many ways ends up overshadowing Dom and Lin. That relationship is more established and more tragic, but again, we don’t get to see a lot of evolution between the characters.
I think the biggest issue for The Empires of Luxor City is that it can’t decide which couple it actually belongs to. Both couples are profiled, but neither are given the time and space to grow. They tend to drown one another out and actually end up distracting from the overall story, which is pretty intriguing. I think if the book had focused on one couple there would have been more room for depth and development. There is a fair amount of world building here, but I would have enjoyed a bit more fleshing out of how the separate empires were formed and how they differ. We’re given some of this, so it’s not completely absent and I give the author credit for making Luxor City feel like a realistic construct. But additional structure and scaffolding would have added to the overall experience.
I enjoyed parts of The Empires of Luxor City more than others. My real frustration stems from the fact neither of the featured couples really has a chance to define themselves on page. But the world building is decent and I think fans of Omegaverse romances will still find quite a bit to like in this story.