Stray (Fennys Den College #1) by Crystel Greene
I read this the other day when I needed a quick fix of M/M, Alpha-Omega naughtiness. More specifically, Stray is a non-shifter, fake mate, alpha-omega, gay romance. And what’s even more, it’s in an mpreg universe even if that feature isn’t actually on-page.
M/M shifter stories are absolutely one of my guilty pleasures, but I find that the non-shifter variety with just the Alpha-Omega dynamics works just as well. And boy, did Stray work well!
Synopsis: At an all Were(wolf) College, Alphas and Omegas are – apparently very progressively – now allowed to attend the same classes. Aryn, an Alpha who needs a pretend mate, decides to approach an Omega he’s been attracted to since he started at Fennys Den. Trae, the Omega in question, isn’t impressed. Because even if he secretly has the hots for Aryn, he’s sick of alpha high-handedness and the Pack-Weres treatment of those without a pack. But Trae’s not about to turn down $1000 for only one night of acting. They can spend a night together without anything happening, right?
I wanted something short, which Stray most definitely was, but despite the compact story format, the characters weren’t only darn endearing and catching my interest, but they were also surprisingly well developed. Not only did I immediately like both Aryn and Trae, but Greene made me want to learn more. Both about them and the Fennys Den College world. There shouldn’t be any room for world-building in a 157-page read, and yet Greene managed it. That’s bloody impressive.
Now, it’s a really simple story line, and there’s no room for side stories. But the supporting characters still feels three-dimensional and there’s a hint about an underlying plot about murdered Were families. And it all just melded together to this yummy read that left me wanting more. Way more. Unfortunately there’s only two books published in the series so far (there’s a #1.5 too, but in my experience, point fivers are only ever like extended epilogues so they don’t count) and I can’t imagine that the second book will be enough to satisfy this new Fennys Den College craving I’ve got.
In summary, this is a great read if you need an M/M, Alpha-Omega quickie. I’m really impressed by Greene’s writing. She managed a perfectly balanced short story. Romance, sexual tension, character depth and a fresh new angle on a Were universe. If she’d ever decide to write full-length novels with a bit more flesh on them bones, I bet they’d be 5-stars.
I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).