Rating: 4.75 stars
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Silas Northstar was a normal omega, one who did his duty. When his alpha offered him to the rival Greenwood pack as a peace offering, Silas went willingly. The peace, however, only lasted until Silas’ new pack got him alone in the woods…then, they attacked. Abused and half-dying, Silas inexplicably received the power of necromancy. He used this power to ruthlessly attack his assailants. Silas survived the attack, which itself became the stuff of legend. Soon, everyone in the paranormal world reviled and feared Silas and his ability to raise and control the dead. Well, almost everyone. Silas now finds himself caught by the alpha of the Westlake pack and again in a familiar and terrible situation–at the mercy of a selfish, horny alpha.
Dean Westlake has never been overly fond of his hot-headed alpha. The alpha’s attempt at sexually abusing their captive, Silas, is just another reason why Dean finds the man repugnant. But when Silas gets put under his care, Dean suddenly understands just how appealing the omega is. Worse yet, the attack triggers Silas’ heat. Now, the omega is desperate for sexual release. Little does he or Dean expect their desperate coupling to be so…well, maddeningly pleasurable. Still, Dean knows the rumors. No one can hold someone as dangerous as Silas Northstar for long. And why would the stunningly attractive and incredibly powerful shifter want someone as plain as Dean anyway, especially after what the Westlake alpha tried to do. But month after month, Dean and Silas’ paths keep crossing. It’s not long before Dean dares to hope he might hold a special place in Silas’ heart. That is, until the Council–a panel of powerful paranormals who enforce the laws for their kind–come searching for Silas. Suddenly, Dean is questioning everything he thought he knew about the paranormal world and his feelings for Silas. When the man himself finally reappears, Dean isn’t sure there is anything in his heart left to salvage.
Evil Omega is another werewolf shifter title by author S. Rodman. It does not seem to be intended as part of a series with Omega Alone, though the werewolf mechanics (omegas being thrown into heats by strong alphas, needing sexual release for the heat to end, knotting, etc) seem to be the same. Personally, I found Evil Omega a fantastic mix of romance, adventure, and drama. Silas is a terrific main character, strong and self-assured. Cocky, even. He is a survivor who knows how to protect himself and isn’t afraid to call out bullshit when he sees it. But he clearly struggles with trusting others after what his own pack and the Greenwood pack put him through. I loved how he uses his bravado to hide his growing feelings for Dean and how his years of being alone mean he’s not always great at explaining what he’s thinking or planning. Sometimes to his own detriment. I thought these qualities made for a great contrast for the almost goody-goody aspects in Dean.
When Dean first encounters Silas early in the book, Silas has just endured an attempted sexual assault. Dean wants to avoid all temptation and refuses to touch Silas until Silas makes it clear that, because he is in heat, foregoing sexual intercourse is actually the crueler path. This kicks off a theme of Dean often questioning if Silas truly has feelings for him, or if it’s just physical attraction. The idea that Dean is merely convenient is also helped along by how infrequently the two MCs can actually be together and how it usually coincides with Silas’ heat cycles. But Dean is nothing if not constantly aware of the kind of power any alpha (including him) would have over an omega (like Silas).
Of course, beyond the red-hot chemistry Silas and Dean share, Rodman includes a lot of what I think are tender moments and self-discovery. One of my favorite scenes was seeing Silas and Dean at Silas’ home. Not only was it delightful to discover Silas’ softer side (having a green thumb and doing a bang up job making his domestic space cozy), but Dean proves that he can be sensitive to Silas’ non-sexual needs…and that Silas seems to approve of receiving that care. Later, once it seems like Dean and Silas are firmly coupled up, the Council appears and sends the story in a wildly different direction. Yet the world that Rodman has created helped me accept all that happens. As an angst fan, I rather enjoyed Dean going through this extremely dark period where he questioned everything he thought he had with Silas. I also really liked that Silas’ merely reappearing didn’t make Dean instantly forget or forgive the fact that Silas seemed, for all intents and purposes, to leave Dean high and dry at one point.
Overall, I thought this was a marvelously entertaining read. There is so much spice with a wallop of dub-con at first and references to extreme non-con in Silas’ past. Every time Dean and Silas come together, they can barely seem to keep their hands off one another, so if you enjoy on-page intimacy, there is a lot to enjoy here. And it develops from a physical-only type relationship into one where they share an emotional connection, too. Our two main characters are delightfully distinct. The official blurb describes Silas as a power bottom and I thought that was a wonderful counterpoint to how powerful he is as a necromancer and how feared he is for having that power. Conversely, Dean is something of a submissive top. He gets firmly established as a man with a huge capacity for love and ability to lead. These qualities get tested when the Council gets hold of Dean, and it was fun reading about his reactions to betrayal and imprisonment. I think fans of S. Rodman’s work will enjoy this title immensely, as will fans of shifter stories and opposites attract tropes. If you like steamy books with a lot of drama and emotion, I think this book will fit the bill perfectly.