Friday, July 28, 2017

Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake

Richard doesn’t mind being an omega; all he cares about is playing good hockey, even though it means ignoring the media that tries to rip him apart for it. They don’t think omegas should be allowed on the ice, but he gets along fine. He’s team captain. He can play with the best of them.

The one sticking point is his heats; Richard might be on suppressants, but he’s one of the unlucky ones who still gets a heat every four months or so. They suck to deal with, especially alone, but seeking out a heat partner isn’t an option. The PR nightmare alone keeps him from any kind of hook-up. He can’t risk it. Hockey is all he’s got.

When Richard’s heat comes early while his team is on a roadie, teammate and best friend James helps him out of a bad situation. Tired of hurting, Richard decides it’s better not to go it alone. And James is safe and warm; he’s a great alpha who knows just what Richard needs. When Richard also imprints on big, bad rival player, Dmitry Sokolov? There’s sweet comfort in a three-way with lots of knotting and dirty talk.

Richard might be on cloud nine.

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His hockey team was in the middle of a roadie when Richard woke up feeling painful and tender and thought, Fuck. His heat was early.

It wasn’t supposed to happen; being on suppressants meant his heats should come every four months instead of every thirty days, and they were supposed to be timed out. This one was due next week, when he’d be back home with two days off skating to at least deal with it. The first forty-eight hours, for him, was always the worst part. Yeah, he’d still have interviews and charity events in the downtime, but with the libido inhibitor and odor-blockers, he’d always been able to manage.

There was nothing for it now. He had practice and then the game—at least it was an afternoon game—so he sucked it up and dug out the briefs with their sewn-in pocket for absorption pads that, luckily, he always took with him just in case. He also popped a couple ibuprofen to try to ward off the pain he knew was coming. With any luck, he’d be able to get through practice and the game, and then have the night and tomorrow morning to curl up under his covers, suffer, and hate himself.

Every omega’s heat was different. Some had it so easy they didn’t have to bother with suppressants. Some had a partner, or they’d find one to help them through their heat, which could last between three days and nine. Others went on suppressants and were in the lucky camp of not having to ever deal with heats.

Richard had never been lucky. He had an implant that kept his heats as regulated as possible. But when he did get them, the onset was sudden and painful, especially the first two days—and they lasted for seven. His insides felt like they were burning up, and on top of the pain, he had to deal with nausea. Heats supposedly felt good when you had a partner to help you through them.

Richard wouldn’t know. He’d been on libido inhibitors since he was twelve. And while heat and sex were different things, he was the only omega playing in the NHL. He had to be careful, and that meant not letting anyone get close enough to know…

He was already under constant media scrutiny because he was captain of his team. And playing as an omega? Letting people know he had heats, period, was a risk. He’d heard it all before when he’d gone first in the draft:

A detriment to the team.

Uncontrollable actions.

What kind of player has a hair trigger?

Can he even play?

He’d gotten the implant ages ago, had it updated every two years like clockwork, sucked up the pain, and pretended he was one of the lucky ones who didn’t go through heats at all.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/M/M Shifter Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is a very short read. There is not a lot of development of the characters and you really only get to see a snippet (less than seven days) of their time together.

Richard is the captain of his hockey team, but he has been hiding a major part of himself. Because he's an omega, he has heats that he has learned to just deal with. He suffers through it, grits his teeth, and continues to play through the pain. There is a terrible stigma already attached to him because he is an omega and he doesn't want to give his team or the league any more ammunition. However, when a heat hits him unexpectedly, he's suffering much more than he needs. When his dinner delivery goes bad, James comes to his rescue.

James is Richard's teammate and an alpha. He helps Richard through his heat and it seems is very happy to do so. His good friend, Dmitry, is another alpha that Richard somehow imprints on while going through his heat. Now this is where the story gets a little muddy – is it the drugs that make him imprint on more than one alpha? Or, does this just happen?

The kindness that is in this story makes the alphas sweet and Richard is happy to soak up their attention. Richard also has to come to terms with the fact that he has alphas to actually go through heat with – he's been doing it alone for so long that he fears that once this heat is over, they will both go back and leave him.

I do wish that this story had been longer because I think it has a lot of potential.

3.5 Stars

While there were parts of this book that were a bit... weird, I have to admit that I still enjoyed reading it. I loved Richard as he tried to keep his heat scent hidden anyway he could just because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to continue playing the sport that was his whole life. I loved that James was so tender and caring for Richard during his time of need. Dmitry was fun and added a whole other dimension to the story.

That being said, I really wish we would've had some expansion on certain aspects of the story. Like what 'slick' was and why Richard just suddenly started producing it. And OMG... it was like a period for a woman and I found that mildly disturbing. I don't understand how someone could get to Richard's age and not have any idea about the things he was so lost on. Even if he didn't know everything, I'm sure he would've learned a bit from other couples just from stories and talking. Then there is the whole imprinting thing. Was it permanent? Was it only the one heat? I didn't quite understand how that worked. Let's just say there were a whole lot of questions I had that had they been address, the story would've been so much better.

However, taking in all the things I wish I'd had clarification on, all in all, I really did enjoy the story. I liked the sexy bits along with the friendships we saw. Seeing Richard and James turning their friendship into something more was exciting and interesting. I just wish we'd gotten a concrete answer as to what they were at the end of the story. Friends with heat benefits? More? I don’t know, I was left hanging and that was a disappointment.

Tamir has the tendency to write feelings into everything, no matter how filthy. He's not all that sorry about it.

Connect with Tamir

Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake to read and review.

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