Review: A.M. Arthur – Heard (Breaking Free #3)

Author: A.M. Arthur
Reviewer: Diane
Publisher: Briggs-King Books
Genre: Alt Universe

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary:

An omega who can’t speak meets an alpha who won’t listen….

Karter Jenks is a first-year constable who’s still trying to prove himself to his superiors, so he isn’t looking for a mate right now. Soon, sure, but he also knows he has work to do to change his alphahole tendencies around omega rights. The Kell Iverson trial opened his eyes to how cruelly some omegas are treated, and Karter doesn’t want to follow in his authoritarian father’s footsteps when he finds his mate. And he absolutely does not expect a homeless omega vagrant and burglary suspect to be his bondmate.

Jax Orris escaped a life of captivity and pain to save himself and his infant son. Living as vagrants isn’t ideal, but it’s better than trusting the authorities who landed Jax in hell to begin with. When their hiding place is discovered, Jax is shocked to feel the mating bond with the young alpha who’s been tracking him—and even more shocked when the constable doesn’t immediately arrest him for his crimes. It helps him trust Karter enough to accept his help in keeping himself and his son safe from the men Jax escaped.

Jax’s story horrifies Karter, and he vows to protect his omega from further harm—but first he has to get his stubborn, angry omega to trust him. Trust is no longer in Jax’s nature, but he can’t deny his connection to the young alpha eager to please him. Jax never thought he’d want another alpha to touch him, much less mate with him, but Karter’s gentle patience breaks down the walls Jax erected around his heart after the death of his first mate. As Jax’s next heat approaches, the investigation into his captivity uncovers surprising connections to several previous cases, and the danger to everyone involved increases. Can he trust Karter to protect him, or will Jax’s past destroy their chance for a happily ever after?

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Review:

Heard is the third book in A.M. Arthur’s Omegaverse series, and this story brings together an alpha we’ve seen before, Karter Jenks, with Jax Orris, an omega with a child who initially, is homeless and caught for breaking into a house! Kell, Ronin, Braun and Tarek also appear in this story, and create a few chapters of alternate points of view besides Jax and Karter.

This series seems to get better as more books and characters are introduced and the existing characters get to develop with each book as well. After what Constable Jenks has seen in Kell’s case, he wants to be a different kind of alpha. He has three younger brothers who are all betas and one wants to go to university, which his old school father believes is something only alphas need to do, betas should go into trades. He hopes to speak to his father on his brother’s behalf as he agrees with him that a trade would be a waste of his brother’s intellect. However, he also does not expect to come across his bondmate while investigating a series of break ins, nor does he expect his mate to be mute and have a child. Then again, none of the main character alphas in this series have experienced pairings in the way they thought they would!

As with the previous books, Jax is not a mere submissive omega, he has survived some terrible experiences after losing his first mate to a work accident. His focus now is his son, providing for him somehow and protecting him, no matter what that involves. And for a character who could not speak verbally, he never seems to be at a loss of how to express himself! What is interesting, is how he and Karter navigate what they will be or not be once they realize they are bondmates. Jax is not sure he wants that kind of existence again with how few rights he has as an omega, but he also has a son to take care of and his limited rights does not make it easy to make money to do so.

Each book seems to become my favorite, and this one was no different. I really liked the relationship of the two main characters, how they are trying to communicate and work together as a relationship many of us would consider normal. Not to mention how they become part of the overall group that includes Kell, Braun, their mates, and of course Serge and Dex, who once again provide shelter to an omega who has been mistreated. And they remain two of my favorite characters and by the sounds of it, they will now get their own story!

As I have mentioned in previous reviews for this series, if abuse themes are a trigger for you, this book could be a challenge as you learn what Jax had to experience between the loss of his first mate and when Karter meets him. As with the previous stories, omegas in this world have few rights, they are often abused and seen as property and if you are new to the omegaverse world, I think it is something readers need to be aware of if you are interested in reading stories in this world.

If you like the omegaverse world and if you have already read the first books, Saved and Seen, I believe you will enjoy this story. There are some sex scenes in this, and even some that take a surprising turn, which again, takes into account an alpha who wants to be different than the stereotype!

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