Travis enjoys the solitude of his remote home in Fool’s Mountain National Park. His family wants him to spend more time in town, but Travis is still getting over his broken engagement and enjoys his time alone. After a flood hits the area, Travis is surprised to find a young man collapsed by the river. With the roads washed out, Travis takes the man home to get him safe and warmed up. He is ready to contact the authorities when Micah urges him not to call anyone. Micah is clearly not just a lost hiker, but on the run from something, and Travis abides by his wishes.
Travis quickly realizes that there is even more at stake here — Micah is in his first heat. He will need someone to help him through it, but Travis is wary about potentially taking advantage of the needy Micah. But Micah is very clear that he wants Travis to help him, and so Travis gives in to Micah’s desires. The two spend ten days enjoying Micah’s heat, while Travis works to meet every one of Micah’s sexual needs. It is like a fantasy for both men, and they feel themselves connecting emotionally, as well as sexually. But as blissful as it has all been, the men must also face reality. The past Micah is running from is coming back to haunt him. And both men have to return to the real world outside the haze of their sexual connection. Neither Micah nor Travis are ready for their time together to be over. Now they have to figure out if they can turn their experience into something lasting.
So, I have to start this review by saying this is probably the most sex-filled book I have ever read. Micah’s heat kicks in about 5% into the book and from then through the first half of the story, the guys are having sex pretty much continuously. And I mean truly, almost continuously. There are many times when one scene ends with them finishing having sex and the next starts with more sex. There are times when there isn’t even a scene change, where they just go from one bout to another in a change of paragraphs. It is really, quite literally, almost continuous sex for the first half of the book. As Micah’s heat begins to wane in the second half of the book, the sexual frenzy does die down a little and there is some more interaction between them outside of sexual encounters. But even then, the men spend most of the book either having sex or talking about sex.
The part that worked best for me here is the way that Horvat mirrors the progression and frenzy of Micah’s heat with the intensity and frequency of the sex scenes. When things are less intense, there is more time between sex, and when Micah is the height of heat, it is almost a continuous sexual frenzy. It let me as a reader feel the intensity and the ebb and flow along with the characters, which I think was nicely done. But on the downside, the near constant sex made it hard for almost any other story development. I was aware this was an erotic story (the cover tagline alone makes that clear), but I’ll admit I wasn’t really prepared for this. I have read and really enjoyed Horvat’s Those Other Books series, which is an extremely erotic series, but which also has very well developed stories. So I was expecting something more akin to that here, but instead, this story brings up a lot of plot points that never had a chance to develop due to the constant sex. We learn about the threat to Micah, and it appears to be a major threat (including a rape attempt), but then is resolved almost immediately. We get mention of Travis’ painful past with his ex, but it is never really explained or explored, nor is the issue of him wanting to hide away from the world in the cabin. We are told Travis is a super influential businessman, but nothing really gets developed there. Both men fall in love during this sexual frenzy, but they have barely gotten to know each other or talked about anything other than sex for days. Then after it is over, they both have questions about transitioning their connection to the real world, but it all feels dealt with on a cursory level. So for me, the issue was not just the quantity of sex, but the fact that it really inhibited the development of any of the other storylines and issues that come up during the book.
This is an omegaverse story, and these books tend to have a very specific kind of sexual dynamic. I enjoy omegaverse books, and I have read a lot of them. But some of this sex just wasn’t my thing. First, it felt very repetitive. There are so many sex scenes, and they have very similar patterns and emotions to them. Often sex can be a way to develop the characters and the storyline, but here the volume of scenes and their similarity just made it seem like I was reading the same thing over and over. In addition, a lot of the sex just wasn’t to my personal taste. Everyone has their own things they enjoy or don’t in their reading, so this is totally a “your mileage may vary” situation. But this book includes a lot of mention of Travis’ cock pushing out to poke Micah’s stomach, or pushing into his womb, which as a person with a uterus, just doesn’t feel sexy to me. They also both get off on the idea of Micah’s stomach being filled with come (or his womb maybe?) and again, this is a personal preference, but just not my thing. Just to give you a feel for things, here is an excerpt from one of the more intense periods at the height of Micah’s heat, from Travis’ POV:
“Take it, my insatiable darling. Take it all. I’ll fuck you again and again.” He leaned closer and purred unto Micah’s ear. “I’ll stab my cock all the way into your womb and pump you full of my cum. I’ll fuck you so hard and deep I’ll knock you up.”
A long whine tore out of Micah’s throat, and he thrashed in Travis’s lap. “Do it! Fuck me! Fuck me!”
Fire in his veins, Travis hugged Micah to still his frenzied movements. He turned and pinned Micah underneath him. Then he grabbed the nearest pillow and stuffed it under Micah’s hips to adjust the angle. Holding Micah’s legs spread wide, bracing himself on his thighs, he searched for the right spot, up toward Micah’s belly button from the inside. He pushed as hard as he could, forcing the whole knot as deep into Micah’s trembling body as it could go. His cockhead met the pulsing bundle of soft flesh. He rocked, pressing harder still, squashing Micah, and Micah keened, but Travis knew he could take it. He needs it. He needs me to breed him. He pumped his hips, barely half an inch back and forth, prodding at the barrier, and Micah mewled under him, delirious.
What had started as a possibility became a need so acute Travis felt like he’d crumble in tears if he didn’t get inside the shivering flesh.
“Let me in, Micah. Please, darling, let me in.”
Micah growled, eyes rolling back into his head with ecstasy. The delicate flesh protecting Micah’s womb throbbed, and Travis’s cockhead slipped into the hidden paradise.
He was inside. Accepted in Micah’s very core. The soft tissue shivered around his cock, tender and adoring.
He was welcome. Loved.
“Mine,” he gritted out. “Your body is mine.”
Guttural sounds tore out of Micah as he threw his head back, neck corded, a deep blush on his chest, and Travis got caught in a storm of mind-blowing pleasure. Micah’s insides convulsed around the knot with more intensity than ever, drawing the cum out of Travis’s balls.
He poured his seed into the sacred place in Micah’s body while their humanity fell away, exposing the wild beasts inside them both. Micah snarled and clawed at the skin on Travis’s ass, drawing blood, clutching Travis’s ass cheeks as if he wanted him to sink even deeper and rip his insides apart.
As I said, this is totally a personal preference on what does it for you and what you enjoy reading, so this may work for a lot of readers. And I did find some of the sex enjoyable and hot, but just not all of it.
Overall, I would say that this is a nice choice if you are looking for pure steam. This book is sexy and sex filled. It just didn’t have enough story development to really address the variety of things that come up over the course of the book, and left me feeling like this was just too shallow for the story it seemed to want to tell.