cautious match coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Jori’s brother has signed him up for the Perfect Match dating service in order to help him find an alpha. Jori has no idea what to expect, but he had to take a host of tests in order for the agency to find the man who is supposedly his best possible fit. When they present Jori with his match, the agency claims that Jori and his alpha are a near perfect fit, both by personality standards and hormonal attraction. In fact, they are so perfect that the men will need to be careful, as even being around one another may trigger the alpha’s rut and Jori’s resulting heat. But the agency also won’t tell Jori just who this mysterious alpha is, and Jori can’t help but be nervous about the whole experience.

Avery is wealthy and established, but he also has a terrible history of picking the wrong men who are after him for his money. Going through a matching service seemed to be a way to put science into the equation and take his own poor judgement out of it. When Jori comes for dinner at Avery’s house, things are a little awkward, especially as they have to be careful not to end up alone inside together, for fear their pheromones will trigger one another. But the conversation eventually smooths out and the men realize that despite their different financial situations, they have things in common. They also have a fierce attraction that is hard to deny.

Jori and Avery know they need time to get to know one another, but with Jori’s heat looming, they also need to figure out fairly fast whether they will work as a couple. Jori seems like just the kind of sweet, honest, and supportive partner that Avery needs. He is a far cry from the men Avery usually dates, who are all about what they can get from him. And Avery is doting and kind and not at all the arrogant rich man Jori feared he might be. The men find a connection so quickly it scares them both, especially once they end up in bed together. Now, Avery and Jori must decide if they are ready to take the leap into a future together and trust that they are, in fact, a perfect match.

Cautious Match is the first book in the multi-author Perfect Match Agency series and author Roe Horvat kicks things off so well here. The story starts off establishing the agency, as we see Jori meeting with them to learn about his new match. It is a nice set up for a multi-author series and a good way to tie the books together.

Once Jori gets oriented, we jump right into the men getting to know one another and fighting (rather unsuccessfully) to keep some distance before falling into bed together. As with the other omegaverse stories I have read from Horvat, this one is extremely high heat and very erotic. Once the story moves past the initial set up, this is pretty much all sex, all the time. However, Horvat takes an interesting approach here with the omegaverse world that I haven’t seen before. We know from the start that Jori and Avery are so compatible physically that their attraction may spur on Avery’s rut, which in turn could lead Jori to an early heat. They need to be cautious about getting too close for fear of triggering the rut. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, they are unsuccessful…

I really liked the focus on Avery’s rut, as it gives us a twist on the omega heat, one of the hallmarks of this genre. In that case, we have omegas whose bodies take over, for better or worse. There is a sense of loss of control and of needing to be taken care of by an alpha. So here we see the reverse, where Avery has this intense need for sex that is physically painful at times and he needs Jori to help him through it. It gives Jori a sense of power and confidence when facing this man whose wealth and sophistication intimidate him at first. Jori knows it is him who is making Avery this desperate and him who is the only one who can satisfy his new man. It is a nice way to give a power balance to the typical omegaverse dynamic that usually has the omega more vulnerable. Let me be clear here that while Avery does feel out of control and in need, the sex is fully (and enthusiastically) consensual and Jori never feels coerced in any way. We also do get extensive parts of the story focused on Jori’s heat. But I really liked how we see both sides of the physical relationship and it gives a nice dynamic to the story.

As I said, most of this book is Jori and Avery having lots of sex in lots of ways. I loved seeing Jori come into his own sexually and explore his desire and his sense of power in their connection. Given that, there is not much in the way of larger plot after the initial set up, but we do explore some of Avery’s past with regard to his other relationships. The small bit of conflict comes as Avery worries his poor past judgement will affect how Jori sees him and both men briefly wonder if things are moving too fast. But this is all resolved fairly quickly and things come together really well in the end.

Horvat just has a way with intensely sexy books and if you are looking for a story with a lot of focus on the physical, I think this will be a great choice. There are also some interesting elements in this story that add a new dynamic for me in the omegaverse trope that I thought gave this one a little something extra. I found this one really engaging and I definitely enjoyed Jori and Avery together.

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