Four years, ago Keir nearly died. If it weren’t for his cousin, Luke, taking pity on him, Keir’s pack alpha would have done to him what he did to Keir’s father, beat him methodically and brutally to death for being an omega. A male omega, a monstrous, sinful creature who supposedly exists to corrupt Alphas, leading them away from their duties to their packs and preventing them from siring children. As if Keir had any choice in how he was born. That nightmare is in the past, though. Tonight’s nightmare is just some frat bros at one of his tables perving on him. It’s fine as long as they’re paying, but when they invite another young man to their table — a pretty young man who seems to get sloppily drunk after only one drink — and then quietly help him out of the bar, Keir knows he has to get involved.
As it turns out, neither the pretty young man nor the frat bros are what he thought they were. Not one of them is human; like him, they’re shifters, and now he has not one, but two packs hunting him through the streets of Chicago. Did you know there are werewolf police? Keir didn’t, until tonight, when he got arrested by them. Then, his old pack, the one that tried to kill him, gets involved.
It turns out omegas are more rare than he knew and worth money. Lots of money.
Lone Wolf is the first book in the Exiled Omegas series and … it’s got a lot of stuff going on. Really, how many times can one person be kidnapped? I counted seven, maybe eight — depending on whether a rescue you don’t want counts as kidnapping. And honestly, it got to feeling a bit silly as the book went on. There’s drugging, mpreg, and occasional violence; Keir is called a whore and a perversion, threatened with rape and forced impregnation, and he’s over it on page one, and it made a lot of the events of the story feel kind of pointless.
Keir is small, beautiful, and paranoid. Having lived his life knowing he was ‘wrong’ — being gay, being an omega — he has always been on the defensive. After being exiled from his pack and living on his own for four years, he’s still ready to run away at a moment’s notice, hiding among humans and pretending to be one, pretending shifters don’t exist until he’s caught out. Then the kidnapping starts. Keir, at first, reacts calmly and cleverly, utilizing his intelligence to overcome and escape. But by the third, fourth, fifth kidnapping it felt less about thinking, analyzing, and acting as it did rote muscle memory.
Julien, Keir’s fated mate, spends much of his time chasing Keir, worrying about Keir, and rescuing Kier. By the end of the book, Keir realizes he still has no idea what Julien likes to watch, what music he likes, or his favorite food. All he knows is that Julien is big, beautiful, and the Alpha to his omega. Even though Juloen’s point of view is shown in the book, all I could really get from Julien is that he has the patience of a saint and a strong sense of duty.
What little time the couple spends together is mostly about bonding, fucking, and reassuring each other that they love one another — or at least care for one another, as they’ve only been acquainted five days or so, with gaps for the various kidnappings. I appreciate that Julien knows Keir’s been through a lot and doesn’t want to push him, and that everyone’s aware fated mate is more biology than magic, and that Keir needs time to learn to trust his new pack and his new family.
There’s a lot to like in the writing and the world building … but the kidnappings. This book is long and reads long, and with the kidnappings happening like clockwork and being treated with as much interest or reaction as going to the store for bread, it made them feel less like events happening and more like events to get through. If you’re a fan of the author or enjoy shifter novels, this is a decent entry, with a few threads dangling for future books in the series.