Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild
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About The Book
He’s a feared recluse and an emotionless tyrant living in a dark manor filled with painful memories… until he meets the one omega he cannot resist.
Corvaiz is one of the wealthiest alphas in the country with a ruthless business reputation and a frightening countenance. Once, he strictly controlled an alpha tribute who is now married to a professor at Moonrise Academy. Corvaiz bought his way onto the academy board and now walks the school halls just to keep track of his former vassal.
But when he rescues a young omega from a locker room debacle, thoughts of a deeper past trauma guide him as the bullied boy becomes a priority to protect and keep close.
He’s an eighteen-year-old omega who loves to study and get perfect grades… but all that is suddenly threatened.
In his freshman year at Moonrise Academy, Miles loves his classes and new friends. But when he finds himself the target of four senior alpha bullies, he begins to lose his will… until the academy’s biggest investor rescues him from a fate worse than death.
Miles and Corvaiz could not be more unalike. But an electrifying connection begins to form between them. When Corvaiz offers Miles lessons in self-defense, the peace-loving omega is compelled to accept.
As the bullies become more brazen, and Miles’ growing devotion to Corvaiz crosses a teacher/student line, can Miles find the courage he needs to win both safety and the love he desires most?
Deeply nestled into the strange reality of the omegaverse, I liked this story the best of the three Moonrise Academy books so far. Then again, each of these books builds on the others in terms of the world created by Wendy Rathbone; in which there are no women, only omegas, which are essentially male women. There is no issue about same-sex relationships, because there is only one sex, with three gender variations.
OK, it’s still not entirely logical to me. But, allowing for the tortured logic of this world, Rathbone has managed to create characters I liked and related to. That’s half the battle.
Miles, 18, is a freshman omega at Moonrise Academy. He is going to be the second person in this series to get the full attention of CorvaisArucali, 33, known as the Heir. Given his relationship with VashLandesham in the second book, the title is enough of a teaser to make people read it!
We don’t know much about Miles, other than he was raised by a single omega who didn’t give him any sense of self-worth. I guess in this world you want an alpha rather than wanting a son in our world. There is also the strange dichotomy of “old pack law” versus normal modern law in this world, and that plays a major role here.
The CorvaisArucali we know is an SOB for sure. But, at least we know why he became that way from book 2—the murder of his twin brother by Vash’s older brother. We also know that Vash was legally enslaved by Corvais, who controlled and tortured and belittled him for eight years—but was never exactly violent to him. So Corvais was only sort of a sadist, and himself tortured by his past.
This is supposed to make the reader open to the idea of redemption, and Rathbone manages to pull it off. She digs deeper into Corvais’s heart and mind, but also throws in the unexpected reaction that Miles triggers in the bigger, older, much more powerful wolf. This is a place where Corvais’s need for control is completely overwhelmed by laws beyond his understanding. Rathbone handles this with clarity, giving both wolves emotional honesty. I bought it. I believed it. I rooted for it.
One thing that makes all this more palatable for me is that both the archetype of big-and-powerful and its opposite, small-and-weak, appeal to me as a male type. I can see myself in both roles, and thus can find various ways into the psychology of the story.
I was skeptical as to whether Rathbone could pull of a graceful ending to this redemption tale, but she does, and doesn’t go too far into making Corvais magically become a different person. Well done.
Now of course I have to read the next books, so, also well done.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
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