- Bind Me In Steel, by BEAST
Bind Me In Steel, by BEASTHot
The day the dark stranger came was the day Wren Striker’s pack was destroyed.
All his life, Wren has known only his clan. His place. His service to his lord. Young, vulnerable, sheltered within one of the last fortresses held by wolves in a ruined, drowning world, Wren was raised to know only one thing:
As an omega, he was born to be his alpha’s mate.
But when the alpha of his pack challenges a stranger trespassing on their lands, a devastating loss to the mysterious, soft-spoken brute of a wolf leaves their pack shattered and without a leader. Yet when the dark stranger demands not dominance, but Wren himself as his price and his prize, Wren finds himself torn from the wolf-eat-wolf world he’s always known to become one half of a pack of two with no home but the wandering road and open sky.
The strange man known as Ero Wake claims he isn’t an alpha. Isn’t a leader. Isn’t anything but a lone wolf finding a way to survive in a broken world, where dryads and werewolves war for space with humans and halflings; where blood frenzies turn man into beast and beast into monster; where the Echo’s subliminal whispers seek out the unwary and lure them north, to a centuries-old Disc waiting with its eldritch songs that broke the world. But Ero knows more than he lets on, secrets as old as the end of the Earth, and something about the strength beneath his silence calls to every primal thing buried inside Wren.
It’s animal. It’s instinctive. It’s a need deeper than blood, a craving to belong to Ero and Ero alone. Every day with the much older wolf stokes the mating heat in Wren’s blood higher—yet for Ero, the risk of mating with Wren is too dangerous. Too frightening, when losing control of himself could unleash a beast more feral than any the world has ever seen. Half broken, touched by the Echo, Ero isn’t like any wolf Wren has ever met.
But if Ero isn’t careful…he’ll find himself tamed and bending to Wren’s delicate touch, both his heart and his wildness bound up in steel.
The romance was sweet and feisty in places. The sex was hot and heavy. The action was well crafted and suited to the characters. The MPREG storyline was handled perfectly. The bad guy was a real bad guy, and not someone redeemable or weak. The world was nicely explored, at relevant moments, split between Ero's recollections and his teachings to the sheltered Wren.
I loved the chemistry between Wren and Ero, right from Chpater 1 and throughout the story. The slow burn between them was nicely developed, with a steady pace that grew from understanding and spending more time together. I loved that Ero was willing to teach Wren about the world, about consent, and show him that life could be different and better. I love that he never pressed his advantage with Wren, that he wanted him willingly or not at all. It took 50% before the first sign of sexual contact and even then it fit perfectly into the story and didn't bring the characters any closer together than the plot deemed appropriate. It wasn't all sunshine and perfect after that, which was nice to see. They had stumbling blocks to get past, hesitations, and Ero was smart enough to realise the challenges ahead.
Overall, I loved every second of it. It is incredibly well written and presented for a debut novel. I will gladly read it again before delving eagerly into book 2, whenever it releases. And I'll be hoping that, at some point in the future, I can add it to my favourite reads on my bookshelf by getting the paperback. Because this is one book that I'd be willing to re-read again and again in the future. While remaining an original take on the Alpha/Omega genre, it reminded me in the best ways of TJ Klune's Immemorial Year, and I can't wait to see what else the author can do, and what else awaits me in the Bind Me world.
Rich. Haunting. Captivating. Dark. Enthralling. Call it what you will, Bind Me In Steel is a masterpiece!
“Let me have just this moment.”
“Somehow – through fate, through happenstance, through the strangest of chance – he had found the one thing that could give a thousand years of life true meaning, and free him from his self-imposed purgatory. And he had almost been fool enough to let it go.”