hedonist coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Even though he’s a prince, Aiken has lived a miserable and lonely life. As an omega, he is expected to be quiet, obedient, and totally deferential to alphas. It means he spends most of his time alone and lonely, while his cruel and disinterested father plans to marry him off to an alpha so Aiken can produce an alpha heir.

When Aiken’s father provokes the neighboring land into conflict, the Cairistine army attacks, kidnapping Aiken and taking him as their prize. He should be terrified at the seeming barbarians who have taken him. But Aiken is surprised to find an unexpected freedom in Cairistine and to realize their omegas are happy and content, unlike in his homeland. The ruling alphas, whom he dubs Bear and Wolf, make no demands upon him, even as they make their interest in him clear.

Wolf and Bear are in the last of their line of shifters and their magic looks to be about to die out. Legend has it that if they find a virgin omega who bears them twin sons on his first heat, it will bring back the magic. Neither expects that when they kidnap Aiken, they will find themselves so drawn to the beautiful prince. And they certainly don’t expect the sheltered young man to want them back. Bear and Wolf may be totally different than what Aiken imagined for his life, but they have awakened something inside him, a chance to connect with his sensual side. Together, the three men may not only find happiness together, but a chance to bring magic back to their people.

Alpha Kings is an erotic omegaverse story set in a fantasy world. The story takes place in the same world as Horvat’s Hedonist series, but while King Sebastian is mentioned in passing a couple of times as the king of a neighboring land, there is no other overlap and the stories stand independently. What readers of the prior series will find familiar is the lush, sensual style to the story. “Hedonist” very aptly describes these books, as they are very erotic in a setting where public sex, shared partners, group encounters, and casual nudity is very common. Horvat does a nice job establishing a very distinct tone and carrying it throughout these stories.

We open with Aiken being kidnapped by Wolf and Bear, and while he should be terrified, he is actually kind of pleased to get away from his father and his miserable life. Aiken is surprised when he gets to his new home to learn just how different Cairistine treats its omegas. They are revered and cared for and treated with respect. At first, Aiken is shocked by what he sees — naked omegas serving alphas, alphas casually fucking omegas over the table in the main hall, etc. — and he thinks the omegas are being misused. But soon Aiken comes to see that these omegas are happy and have a freedom the ones in his own land do not. They have agency over their bodies and the ability to enjoy and revel in sex, rather than merely being married off to whomever their father deems the chosen alpha. So there is a nice set up here as Aiken has this transition from seeing the people of this land as barbarians to realizing that they are actually caring, happy people, particularly compared to his own country.

Once Aiken comes to understand the people of Cairistine better, he starts to open himself up to the idea of sex as well, particularly with Wolf and Bear. Aiken is a virgin who has never had the chance to be a sexual person, but when he finally lets himself go, he falls into sex whole heartedly. Once these guys start getting together, the book moves mostly to extended scenes of sex between them for much of the story. Again, the theme is hedonism here and these men enjoy lots of fucking, drinking of cum and slick, public sex and nudity, reveling in dripping fluids, and sex so intense it makes Aiken pass out. All the sex does go on a little overlong for me as, after a while, the scenes started to blend together. It is just so much of the same thing. And while I feel like we do get a good sense of Aiken as a character, we learn very little about Bear and Wolf. Even though we get POV chapters from all three men and the alphas do have a few distinguishing traits, we barely learn a thing about either one.

The story rounds out with some political upheaval that resolves some of the earlier conflict and ties things up in a satisfying way. I have enjoyed this world Horvat has created and will keep my eyes open for other stories set in this fantasy omegaverse world.

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