Guest Review: Saved: An Omegaverse Story (Breaking Free #1) by A.M. Arthur

He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their 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.

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

It’s a cruel cruel world for omega’s in this particular universe, where they’re used and abused to be breeders for alphas to beget more alphas, having very little, if at all, basic human rights.

This is a non-shifter ABO story, and it starts off with Braun being sent to an omega halfway house after his father passes away, as he’s not deemed capable of taking care of himself, let alone have control over his own life. Perhaps fortuitously, Braun witnesses a terrible abuse on one of his fellow omegas which spurs him to escape, fearing that he too, will be up for such a horrible fate. Luckily, he comes across some kind betas who take him in and who happen to be bff’s with Tarek, a constable and rare alpha who’s a strong supporter of omega rights.

Immediately of course, Tarek and Braun realize that they’re potential bond mates, a situation that says they’re pheromone compatible, strongly urging them both to make it official. However, Braun has been brutalized by a cruel alpha father and doesn't trust any alphas, nor wants to be tied to one ever. It doesn't help either that his brother Kell, is mated to a monster whose constant cruelty is accepted with very little backlash. There’s no way in hell Braun is going to just blithely mate with the first alpha that sparks his interest. Tarek definitely has his work cut out for him to show he’s worthy, for it’s going to take a lot more than just pretty words and promises to win Braun over.

As a warning, this contains physical and emotional abuse, attempted rape, non MC rape, and dubious consent (but that’s typically the norm when it comes to most heat cycles). This was also way more than just a romance as it depicts a world where omegas (and betas to a smaller extent) are treated little better than slaves, and there’s some simmering dissent hopefully hinting at some big changes that are on the horizon.

So, in addition to heat cycles, uncontrollable urges with crazy pheromones running amuck, plus KNOTTING, this also had a decent plot regarding Braun and how he becomes empowered to make some much needed change to his life and that of his fellow omegas. This kinda sorta ends on a cliffhanger mostly regarding Braun’s poor abused brother. Be reassured that Braun and Tarek, after going through some tough relationship learning curves, are at a strong point, but the overall arc leaves us hanging. I enjoyed this and am definitely intrigued enough to see how this plays out when the next book arrives!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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