Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Briggs-King Books
Genre: Alternate Universe
Hell is a six-by-six jail cell and no hope for the future.
Kell Iverson has never raised his hand against another person in his entire life—and yet somehow he’s been arrested and charged with the murder of his alpha mate Krause. Sure, Krause brutalized him on a daily basis, and Kell hated his mate, but he never wanted the man dead. Not fighting the charge and accepting his fate is the easiest path—except Kell doesn’t think he’ll survive a week in prison, and he doesn’t want to disappoint his younger brother Braun by giving up. He also doesn’t expect to recognize the lawyer who shows up to defend him.
Ronin Cross was barely eighteen when he felt the mating bond with then-fourteen-year-old Kell, but his family moved away before Ronin could decide what to do. For the last ten years, he hasn’t forgotten teenage Kell, hasn’t mated, and now he’s in Sansbury Province to defend adult Kell from a capital murder charge. The mating bond is still there, but now isn’t the time to pursue anything with his fragile, battered, emotionally-damaged client.
For Kell, the term “kind alpha” is a contradiction, because he’s never known one. He went from abusive father to abusive mate, and for twenty-four years, he’s simply done what he’s told. But Ronin asks Kell what he wants. What he likes. Ronin sees him, and it’s both confusing and delightful. But Kell is facing prison time at best, execution at worst, and as his trial date looms, he can’t indulge in a fantasy that will never come true…or can he?
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.
Seen is the second book in A.M. Arthur’s Omegaverse series, this is Kell’s story – he was introduced in the first book, Saved, as the main character’s older brother, who had a cruel mate, a challenging birth and basically, had an existence that seemed to be completely without his consent! At the end of the book, due to the death of his mate, the character of Ronin Cross is introduced, an alpha lawyer that Tarek calls to represent Kell when Kell is charged with murdering his mate.
Based on what was revealed of the two characters in the first book, I already wanted to read more about Kell and Ronin, so I was quite happy to get this book to read and if other readers feel the same way, you’ll be happy to know this book releases not long after the first one! It is told primarily from Kell and Ronin’s point of view, and I tell you, this book is quite the journey for the characters – lead and supporting!
If abuse themes are a trigger for you, this book could be a challenge for you because as the investigation and trial take place, you learn what Kell has endured for the last three years and it is not pleasant. There really have not been any happy or peaceful moments for him since he was mated with Krause and the one thing that brought him joy, his son, was taken from him as well. It is also evident, to anyone who hears and witnesses the evidence, that all of it was intentional. While some alphas like their omegas submissive, but also want them to be around to be omegin to their children, Kell’s mate, his father, his father in law and even the friends really could not care less. And that would be the one caution I would offer readers, if characters like that bother you, there are several of them in this story, but if you like knowing who you should dislike in a story, well, you have lots of choices!
For what was suggested in the first book, and what continues here, I really wanted Kell to find some kind of happiness, and he does, with the help of Ronin, Braun, Tarek and my two favorite betas, Dex and Serge. Constable Jenks, and a few other constables, who seemed a bit questionable in the first book, redeem themselves in this book, in many cases, unable to believe what Kell survived and possibly changing their tune on how omegas should be treated. I would have loved to have more of Dex and Serge, especially since, once again, it is suggested that Serge has a very interesting back story that I would love to read!!!!
Ronin was a very different alpha, he had actually met Kell 10 years previous and they almost were able to be friends, except Ronin’s family moved before they really could. He has a wonderful family and a great omegin and as such, he has made some very intentional choices to be different, and fight for rights of omegas. And he goes to great lengths to make Kell feel comfortable with him.
Since I liked the lead characters even before I started the book, and with the characters carried over from the first book, and even some of the new ones brought in, the way the characters meshed together gave the book a very real feel, even though this is a created world. The story had a great pace, with the trial portion of it along with the scenes of Kell and Ronin outside the courtroom and the book was rather difficult to put down. I did expect there to be a happy ending, but I knew it would not be easy to come by!
If you like the omegaverse world and if you have already read the book Seen, I believe you will enjoy this story, and if you have read Seen, you likely already know that learning Kell’s story is not going to be an easy read. Although it makes him that much more of a character as a result of what he has lived through! There are not a lot of graphic sex scenes in this one, which I thought was respectful to what Kell has been through, there are likely more scenes referencing the abuse he was subjected to than sex scenes, but they are part of the plot and also part of his journey of recovery.