Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Wet Heat
Author: R.D. Hero
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 2 Hours, 41 Minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.
After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.
Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.
Review – Book: Wet Heat is an artificial male attractant that omegas use to entice alphas. It’s like a cologne but supercharged. In this “world,” these alphas and omegas exist but don’t ever actually shift, but do live by the old hierarchy.
Lee is an aging omega who loves to be on the prowl and finds the chase more fun than the capture. He doesn’t want to settle down and is quite happy to keep everything carefree.
The Wet Heat he needs is expensive, so when he loses his job, he finds an alternate way to keep his supply coming in. When Cain, a researcher for the product, finds out Lee has been cheating to get his free product, he personally gets involved.
I was really attracted to the premise of this book and the unique world building. The characters are interesting and I especially liked Cain.
However, I never warmed up to Lee. IMHO – basic romance 101 – is to make your MCs (at least ultimately) likable. Lee is just a whiny, bratty, slut who uses people to get what he wants. I didn’t care if he found happiness. This was especially true since Cain was so likeable. I kinda wanted Cain to find someone else.
There is also a little secondary plot with Lee’s nephew and the maker of Wet Heat. This, too, could have really been a fascinating part of the story. It started to make a statement about stereotypes and societal expectations and the almost dystopian idea of manipulating that chemically – but then stopped before anything really happened. As a result it just drew attention away from the already rather anemic relationship storyline between Cain and Lee.
Finally, they don’t shift. I don’t know why and I’m not sure why they were shifters at all. I’ve seen plenty of alpha/omega stories that don’t involve wolves at all, and I think this is a case where that might have been more appropriate. I like shifting! I love the “mine, mine, mine” of fated mates and there is none of that here.
Review – Audio: I love Nick J. Russo. I chose this to review because he narrated it. I knew he’d make me at least enjoy the story if not make me like it a bit more than I had reading it. He does a great job with the growly alphas and he’s got such a lovely reading voice. You never know if a story will hit you differently in audio format and I’ve learned that sometimes your mood when you read/listen to a book can influence your opinion so I will give some things a second chance.
Though Nick did his typical awesome job, it wasn’t enough to make me like this any more. In fact, I think my distaste for Lee was amplified. So… if you’re in the mood for something different and you’re not too concerned about a realistic HEA or even an HFN you might give this a try.
If you’re a sucker for a sappy ending – keep looking. If you want wolf shifters who become wolves – keep looking.
I’d give the story a 2.75 of 5 stars and the audio a 5 of 5 stars for an overall rating of 3.75 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression: I liked/really liked it.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*