I haven’t been reading much lately, not even audiobooks. But today I needed to mow the lawn and fold laundry, both great audiobook activities. So, I gave Fighting for Love, by Aiden & Austin Bates a chance. I received an audible code for it at some point.
Description from Goodreads:
Warrior in the ring. Submissive in the bedroom. A dark threat against a promising future. . .and a growing new life.
He trains, he fights. MMA fighter Eric lives for each match because now there’s nothing else to live for. Though he once yearned for the steady, forever kind of love. . .though he craved domination. . .he was betrayed. Walking away from the man he would have married, Eric didn’t look back. And now his future is just as empty as his past.
The day Samuel was fired for wanting to marry the love of his life wasn’t his blackest moment—his blackest moment was the night before, when Eric left him without a word. But Samuel emerged stronger, learned that to survive heartbreak he had to be true to himself. He now craves someone to share his dark desires with—a dominating self Eric never knew.
Where there are secrets, there can never be true love.
When a new client walks into Samuel’s place, he’s shocked to see that the man booking his services as a dom is Eric. Is this a cruel joke, or are they fated to be together?
The only way to find out is to follow this thing to the end. Even if that means wading through blackmail, deceit and a shocking discovery that changes their lives forever. They have no choice but to defeat their enemies and make their love work.
Eric is carrying a baby and Samuel refuses to give them up without fighting the match of their lives.
You know, what I think amazes me most about this book is that it had two authors. Two people were involved in the writing of this travesty and neither one called a halt to it. It’s a disaster in so many ways. For one, even listening to the audio version, I caught several editing mistakes. The most common (and therefore the one that annoyed me most) was how it kept saying one character’s house was color-coded, but they meant color coordinated. As this was meant to be an endearing trait it was brought up several times and it was wrong every time. But there were also just other random mistakes. At one point someone left the bathroom to go to the bathroom. (He went to the bedroom).
But mostly I hated that the whole alpha/omega trope wasn’t situated in any sort of world. I’m plenty familiar with the Omegaverse. I’m not new to m-preg stories. But you can’t just drop alpha and omega characters into an undefined world. I have no idea if this was common among all people, some people, or a secret. I have no idea if these were human people or shifters of some sort (though I assume not since it wasn’t mentioned). Why were some alphas and some omegas? What makes an alpha or omega? Are there betas somewhere?
How, if at all, do the dominant and submissive traits come into play? Because the book infers that the words aren’t interchangeable, some alphas are dominant, but not all omegas are subservient, and visa versa. I think. I’m really not sure and that’s my point. None of this is defined or explained in any way. What’s more, the dominant character got into being a dom when he lost his job and someone else took him in and showed him the ropes. It’s reiterated that it’s just a job. So, even being a dom isn’t presented as a racial trait. So, what makes him an alpha if not his dominance?
Further, there is 100% no reason both characters needed to be male for this plot to work (as poorly as it worked, but you get my point). I love gay romance. So, I’m not saying the authors needed a reason to write the characters as gay. But the m-preg felt so forced and out of place, so poorly explained (not at all explained) that I feel like it just should have been left out. The sex was abortive and uninterestingly written (how do you make BDSM sex vanilla and boring?) that even it couldn’t redeem it. At least if one had been female one aspect of the pregnancy plot would have made a modicum of sense and one fewer facet would be a basket case.
Lastly (and this is a big spoiler), the whole plot hinges on my number-one most hated trope, the “Oops it all a misunderstanding that could have been avoided with a single conversation” trope. I hate this and it was apparent that this was going to be the case from chapter one and it was dispelled literally in a single partial paragraph. They had been together for years, were engaged to be married and one ghosted on the other based on a text from an unknown person. A text they later decided was a wrong number. It’s beyond ridiculous and predictable to boot. Why didn’t they just have the conversation two years ago?
About the only positive thing I can say is that the narrator did a fine job.