After nine months of mourning, Isak Honeycutt is ready to marry again. As an omega, such things are out of his control and he has no idea what to expect from his new Alpha, Emil Carillo. Not only is Isak being bonded to someone new, he is moved to the South, where omegas are treated vastly different than they are in the North. Emil proves himself to be sweet and kind and Isak is utterly caught off guard. As an omega, he has no voice and few protections and Isak isn’t used to the kind of life Emil is offering.
Emil feels awkward as he is suddenly thrust into the role of mated Alpha. Isak seems skittish and unsure of their union, and only when they come to know one another better does Emil realize how abused his omega has been. Emil begins a cautious courtship of his fearful mate. He’s determined to show Isak how a true bonding between an omega and an Alpha should be. If Isak can learn to trust in Emil and all that he offers, the couple might just get their happily ever after.
Cherryvine is the second in the Honeythorn series and while it exists in the same universe as Honeythorn, these can be read as standalones. Cherryvine is sweet and rather gentle for an omegaverse romance and, while it lacked a certain amount of depth, the characters are generally compelling.
Isak and Emil aren’t fully dimensional, but they’re far from caricatures either. Both experience their surroundings differently based on their social status, yet they show growth as characters and as partners. This evolution from tentative affection to love is a sweet journey, occasionally bordering on the saccharine. That said, Isak and Emil work as a partnership and while Isak’s past trauma is dealt with somewhat superficially, it’s obvious Emil cares enough about his mate to put his needs first rather than his own. That makes his character all the more redeeming and interesting. Isak’s courage in expressing his wants and past fears makes him the book’s champion and he is easy to enjoy as a character.
Cherryvine isn’t one of those books that lingers too long on the darker aspects of the world around it — the essential slavery of most omegas and the sanctioned abuse against them. This is a shame because the book lacks a certain level of complexity. A lot of what happens reads as surface-level action without much further depth or plot development beyond the basic. I felt like the book had more to offer, so it was disappointing that such opportunities were missed.
I did enjoy Cherryvine and its main characters who offered readers a sweet and simple love story with just a bit of angst. I wish the plot was further fleshed out and the characters given more chance to shine, but that doesn’t prevent Cherryvine from being a cozy read. Fans of the Alpha/Omega trope will find plenty to like here.