Monday, April 8, 2019

Review Tour: Honeythorn by Marina Vivancos #Review #Giveaway

Length: 58,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Omega Milan Pryor knows his duty. He must travel North through the continent towards the snow, the cold, and his new betrothed. They say that Lord Alpha Raphael Ledford, the man he is to marry, is as artic as the weather of his land. But Milan has always been an optimist. Perhaps he might find friendship in the arranged marriage. Even love.

It doesn’t take long for Milan to realize that all the rumours about Lord Raphael are true. Reclusive, distant, frigid. Milan finds himself unwelcome in what he must now call his new home. He’s used to fighting for what he wants—but can he survive a husband as cruel as Lord Raphael?

Being bonded to one who rejects you is a painful thing. Will Milan be able to win his husband’s regard? What terrible secret is Lord Raphael keeping, and will Milan be able to discover it before it’s too late?

Or will Milan perish along with his heart?


Being mated for love is a wonderful thing but that’s not the fate that necessarily awaits Milan Pryor as he leaves his southern home to travel to the wintry north and an alpha he has never met. The war between the North and South is over and as a way to unify the two, well born omegas are taking part in arranged marriages. Milan has been promised to Lord Alpha Raphael Ledford, a seemingly cold hearted man who has been divorced once under mysterious circumstances. It’s rare for a mating bond to end as it can result in the wasting away and eventual death of the omega if done callously and maliciously. All Milan knows is that his alpha has no intention of fulfilling the bond he began on their wedding night and now Milan must survive his first heat as a mated omega, alone. If he can do so, the bond will weaken and fade leaving Milan able to at least live a somewhat normal albeit lonely life. However, if Milan is too weak, he may not endure his heat and that may prove to be fatal.

After the failure of his first mating, Raphael is determined not to open himself up to an omega again. Raphael has done his duty by giving the mating bite but since that night has not touched Milan, only knowing that constant touch solidifies and strengthens the bond leaving him susceptible to being emotionally swayed by his mate. His first marriage was a disaster and left Raphael hurt and fearful of ever trusting another mate so completely. But he never knew that withholding his touch would actually put Milan’s life in danger. He may not trust the omega but he certainly doesn’t want him harmed. Now he must reestablish their bond if Milan is to survive but that means opening himself up for possible betrayal again.

Set in an alternate world where alphas can be either female and male and omegas are treasured, author Marina Vivancos offers up a non-shifter story with steampunk overtones entitled, Honeythorn. There is nothing paranormal about this Alpha/Omega novel such as shifting humans into animal form as many stories in this genre often have but there is the potential for mpreg and a mystical mate bond that allows for the mated couple to sense each other’s emotions. From the beginning of this novel I was captivated by Milan and his strength. So often omegas are portrayed as weak and incapable of living independent of an alpha but Milan is different. Not only does he stand up for himself, he’s also happy—positive and determined to make his marriage work. I really enjoyed his character and the way in which the author chose to make him a dynamic individual as opposed to a victim.

I also loved that it was the alpha, Raphael, who was so uncertain and afraid to allow himself to be vulnerable to falling in love again. Without going in to too much detail, we get a sense that his former husband not only stole from him but was also abusive in other ways—perhaps even physically. That was a plot point that was not fully explored and I wish the author had taken the time to expand on it and allow for Raphael to divulge the full backstory to Milan rather than touch upon it only briefly and somewhat superficially. Despite that, I felt the courtship between Raphael and Milan that resulted after Milan nearly dying was rather sweet and allowed for the two of them to grow in trust and love for each other very nicely.

Honeythorn had the feel of a gothic romance with a steampunk vibe and a bit of the paranormal thrown in for good measure. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but believe me when I say it did—quite well in fact. The author gives the omegaverse a new spin in this novel and I think many will enjoy the result.

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!

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