Title: Wet Heat
Author: R.D. Hero
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 2 hours and 42 minutes
Category: Urban Fantasy, BDSM, Suspense/Thriller
At a Glance: What narrator Nick J. Russo does for this basic story is give Lee’s character both the deflective sarcasm and underlying emotional neediness that isn’t always transparent in the written word itself.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.
After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.
Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.
Review: It’s always surprising to me when a narrator makes a story come alive in a way I never expected. R.D. Hero’s novella Wet Heat didn’t immediately grab my attention from the written blurb. However, the idea of a paranormal story from the viewpoint of an omega who didn’t want to submit or have kids, absolutely did. Here was a middle aged omega, well past his prime, merely wanting to be sexually appealing to the betas and alphas surrounding him. What Lee didn’t want was some commanding alpha who viewed him as nothing more than a baby-making submissive. When he meets the aromantic Cain, who is also an anomaly in that he is an alpha who doesn’t want progeny or who has never really felt drawn to an omega, Lee has met his match.
What narrator Nick J. Russo does for this basic story is give Lee’s character both the deflective sarcasm and underlying emotional neediness that isn’t always transparent in the written word itself. By setting a casual, lower tone and a shoot from the hip delivery, Russo offers up a seemingly unaffected middle aged wolf that is in actuality a hot mess inside. There is just enough differentiation between the snarky dialogue he delivers for the Lee who douses himself in Wet Heat—a cologne type aphrodisiac—and the Lee who realizes he just might be interested in Cain, and the strangely unaffected way he has of showing he is lusting after Lee. Russo also manages a slightly softer tone when Lee is trying to save his mini-me nephew from a manipulative alpha.
With a huffy cadence belying his impatience and a sultry drawl indicating his attempts to woo others into a hot night of sex, Mr. Russo gives Lee life—a certain verve that is not always as well defined in the book. This is a case where the narrator’s interpretation and ability to imbue characters with rich emotions just through the manipulation of his own voice actually added to the story itself in all the right ways.
With the audible release of Wet Heat, Nick J. Russo once again cements the idea that he is a talented voice actor and an entertaining narrator.
You can buy Wet Heat here:
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