Devlin has created a life for himself away from his pack and he did so with the blessing of his father, the alpha. At university, he’s on track to complete his thesis and lives a good life with his human boyfriend, Dan. And then Devlin’s father dies and he returns home to mourn. His brother is now alpha and he has plans for the pack that Devlin is powerless to ignore. Overnight, his well ordered life is shattered and Devlin goes from being a relatively independent omega to a brood mare.
He’s forced to pick a sperm donor and settles on two alphas, Rami and Naveen. Their threesome doesn’t necessarily start off on the right footing and, from the beginning, Devlin struggles to convey his sense of betrayal and isolation. Rami and Naveen are slow learners, but they care about Devlin and begin the long process of living with and caring for their omega. It’s not love at first sight, but with time, patience, and compassion, it might be something honest and powerful.
I struggled with The Mating Habits of Werewolves from the start for lots of reasons, but primarily because Devlin reads like a tortured soul. I’m usually fine with dubious consent, but something about Devlin’s situation unsettled me. When his brother decides all the pack omegas will have children, Devlin has no choice but to submit due to his status. This is problem number one for me, because there is no way to get past the fact that Devlin is essentially raped. He can’t say no. He can’t tell Rami and Naveen to stop and his biology forces him to submit. That isn’t dub con in my opinion, it’s just rape. And there’s nothing you can do to redeem a situation like that once it on the page, at least in terms of trying to pull something romantic from the relationship.
It doesn’t help that Rami and Naveen are complete idiots, thought Naveen is the worst of the two. They’re alpha males, but instead of seeming caring or protective, they come off as thuggish and caveman like. It’s not attractive. And while they soften and do learn and adapt for Devlin, it felt like too little too late for me.
So all of this leaves Devlin with sexual trauma and a forced pregnancy and too often I think the author tries to smooth these events over by reminding the reader that all of this is a product of biology. But that feels too easy. Saying that Rami and Naveen act like tools because they are alphas seems to absolve them from being responsible for their actions. And it doesn’t matter that they get better as the book moves forward. Their initial treatment of Devlin is never completely resolved, at least to me, and so it was hard to believe in this triad as truly united.
The Mating Habits of Werewolves didn’t work for me because, in my opinion, it pushed beyond dub con into rape and then tried to patch together a relationship between a victim and his abusers. Now I realize that other readers may think I’m being too harsh against Rami and Naveen, as they aren’t vicious monsters and they do rally around Devlin eventually. But the overall story just left a sour taste in my mouth and it wasn’t one I could really move past.