omega trapped coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Valentino Syracuse has been raised from birth to take over the family business. But he’s young, too young for some who question if he’s capable of running the Black Knives syndicate with the same ruthless efficiency as his father. Now, his father is dying and time is running out for Valentino to prove that he is more than strong enough to manage the enterprise. Under orders from his father, Valentino must marry and do so quickly. Marriage will prove to the rest of the syndicate that he’s mature and stable enough to take over the reins from his father. Valentino has no interest in marrying, but he knows his duty and begins a rushed search for an omega desperate enough to accept his proposal. 

Nico is desperate. Pregnant by an alpha who tried to killed him, jobless and homeless, he’s running out of time. Yet when Valentino Syracuse makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Nico hesitates. He doesn’t want to be connected with any of the city’s powerful criminal families and has worked hard to keep his independence. But Valentino isn’t the type to take no for an answer. Theirs isn’t a marriage of love and if Valentino can’t convince the rest of the syndicate that he’s capable of taking over from his father, then ending up dead is a real possibility. But in the midst of violence, danger, and lies, Nico and Valentino find a genuine connection, one that just might save them both. 

Omega Trapped isn’t for the faint of heart. It deals with a lot of dark themes, including drug use, abuse, some murky issues regarding consent (given that Nico has no choice but to marry Valentino), as well as abortion. It isn’t a love story, at least not in the traditional sense, and it takes a long time before the MC’s actually reach a point of true affection. So if you’re looking for something light and fluffy, keep looking. You won’t find that here. But if you like your romances darker than most, then Omega Trapped might be for you. 

Neither Nico or Valentino have the full depth I usually prefer in my characters, but neither are they flat and without form. They had just enough structure to get me invested in their story, though Valentino read as the far more defined of the two. There’s nothing gentle or kind about their relationship, at least not at the start, but the author does a good job peeling back the layers of both characters to show their humanity and the connection that develops between them. There is a strong current of insta-love here, or at least quick-to-love, but that’s pretty typical for alpha/omega stories, so you just sort of accept it as part of the genre. 

The antagonist is weak; they feel like just a bad guy for the sake of being bad and are neither memorable nor particularly interesting. The through story with this character isn’t particularly fulfilling and resolves too quickly to feel credible. I wanted this threat drawn out more, or at least given more time to simmer, but that doesn’t happen. As a result, the dramatic aspect of the plot gets lost around the second half of the novel and never really recovers. 

This book isn’t for the gentle of heart, but there is a happy ending and, for Nico and Valentino, that is no small feat. The MCs lack some depth and the antagonist is a non-starter, but the book had its charms and, while not a traditional romance, Omega Trapped was still fulfilling.