Title: Hedonist: King’s Heat (Books 1-3)
Author: Roe Horvat
Heat: 5 Flames
Rating: 3.5 Hearts
Synopsis via Goodreads:
I’m the first omega king in a land previously ruled by alphas, and I’ve had the audacity to remain unmarried. Of course, all kinds of outrageous tales surround my palace. People say I’m a sorcerer constantly in heat, the orgies in my bathhouses never end, and every so often, a young alpha expires in my arms from exhaustion.
The truth is much simpler; I love pleasure, and relish in erotic beauty, so I surround myself with it. My omega companions and my loyal guards love me, and our arrangement is far happier than most marriages can aspire to be.
Except now, I must find the right alpha to father my heir, and I need to choose carefully.
King Sebastian is the single most stunning creature in the whole of the universe. He looks like a god of pleasure and fertility, so of course all his ministers and soldiers follow him with the blindness of men in love.
I’m a dirty commoner, a mere horse handler. When the king orders me into the palace and gives me the most scandalous proposal, I’m stunned. Why, instead of the noblemen who worship him, does he choose me? And how can I find the strength to say no?
Review: Well damn. Hell must be freezing over because I liked this book. And that’s not a slam against the author. Quite the contrary actually. It takes some skill for an author to take a trope that you don’t like and make it readable, dare I say enjoyable? I don’t like mpreg, so why did I read this do you ask? I don’t know. My GoodReads feed had this book on there for a while. I keep seeing good reviews for it and so many people singing the praises of the author. FOMO maybe? I gave in. l was willing to try another book in the omegaverse to see if I was too quick in my judgment.
The author’s note at the beginning explains that this book started as an exercise in creative writing to expand and explore skill in erotic writing. It was several short stories that eventually were combined into two books.
This book is pure erotica. Straight up smut. But man, this author can write it like no one’s business. JFC. I think it may have melted my kindle. It’s deserving of the Monica gif:
There are many different kinks, fetishes, detailed erotic, even outrageous scenes explored within. Heed the warning you’ll find. lt is every bit deserving of its name. It is exquisitely, unapologetically filthy.
So, knowing all that I dove in. The warning made me curious, so I took a chance. I’m not easily shocked or offended. My sensibilities are not all that delicate. lol.
Sebastian is an omega king. The rules of the ABO universe are different here than other stories that l’ve read wherein the omegas are revered and the alphas almost bend to their will, more or less. Since l don’t read much in this ‘verse, l don’t know how common or new that actually is.
Sebastian has been on his own since he was 15 when his fathers died and he became a king guided by his advisors. He grew up with his most trusted omega companions, namely, Ky, among others. He shares his bed and life with them and his 27 royal alpha guards. Sebastian has been feeling pressure from his advisors to pick a suitable alpha to father his child for his upcoming heat. It’s a decision that he has been struggling with for some time.
While he has no desire to be ‘owned’ by an alpha, he does not begrudge others who do and delights in the pleasure of witnessing a couple fall in love. If he can help facilitate it, he is eager to do so. This is the first half of the book. There are no women in this universe and it is every combination of man on man that you can think of here.
Where my opinion started to change is after he ‘meets’ the man who oversees the stables on the grounds. Jonah is an alpha. Sebastian is walking through the grounds when he happens to see Jonah having sex with an omega in the woods. Jonah is large and powerful. He begins to fantasize about what it would feel like to be ‘taken’ by him rather than worshipped by his companions/guards.
It’s a shame that it took half the book to get to this part as I think this is the part where the story truly begins. Up to this point, the scenes are rich and languid, but it’s just smut for smut’s sake otherwise. We get a sense of how Sebastian sees his world, but not much else. That said, all of it is the complete antithesis of everything that is Jonah. He is rougher around the edges, less reverent with Sebastian, and it lights him up like no one ever has.
Sebastian begins to visit the stables under the guise of wanting to pick up his earlier love of riding when he was a child, but in reality, he wants to get to know Jonah. See what kind of person he is, and wonder if he is a suitable choice.
When Sebastian finally tells Jonah what he wants, Jonah struggles with an answer. Given their difference in status, Jonah does not want to give up the rights to his child and wants to be an active father. This universe does not support that ideal in general since most alphas are fairly hands-off until the child is older. Despite Jonah’s reservations, he is drawn to Sebastian and agrees to see Sebastian through his heat. And when the two of them come together, it is fire. But it’s also passionate, bringing in that emotional undercurrent that I crave.
For this author to not only get me to read this book, knowing what it contains, and not only finish it but sing its praises…. takes skill. Now it may just be a fluke, but maybe others are right and I should keep an open mind. There is a part in the book where Jonah calls Sebastian a sorcerer. Pretty sure that’s what Roe Horvat is. Just sayin’. lol. I’m still not fully on board with the mpreg. It just….idk. I don’t like it. lt’s… disturbing to me. But, I just couldn’t seem to look away from this one. So there’s that.
I would love to see more worldbuilding and learn about the land that he rules. It’s politics and all that come with it. I hope the second half gives us some of that in addition to the scorching heat this author can bring.
This novel is split into two parts, the second due out the first of May. For now, I’m willing to see what happens because I really do like Sebastian and Jonah together despite what little story they have given me up to this point.
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