Omega's Gift: Hood Ridge Omegas, Reegan Lynch

Omega's Gift (Hood Ridge Omegas Book 4) by [Lynch, Reegan]

Coming to a conclusion we see the fates of two alphas who have fallen deeply for enemy omegas and two omegas who have discovered truth, support, and love in the arms and the pack of two fiercely protective and strong alphas.  There is also a war knocking on their doors.  Struggling under the weight of it all is the quiet Cecil and the pack alpha Mal.  

Ira had his struggles in the beginning and made his choice to be with Mal, choosing love over blood, so he's had a bit of time to come to terms with all the changes.  Cecil, however, is a bit newer and was also under the influence of his twin.  The burden Cecil carries is quite heavy.  He's finding something special with Luke, someone to share the yoke with if he would just find the courage to confess everything.  The truth is outed for him, though, when Cyril doggedly pursues Jed and Ezekiel's plans that ultimately end in his death.  And now Cecil might have to pay the price of their sins and secrecy.

Mal has the fate of his entire pack on his shoulders with the upcoming war as well as the lives of his mate and their unborn child to consider when he has the news dropped on his doorstep of wolfsbane in the water supply.  Rage overcomes him and he almost makes a choice that would cost him his best friend, pack alpha's second, and a friend and ally.  With the help of his mate he's able to breathe and consider not just the consequences of the betrayal but also the consequences of a more humane and merciful action.

This is certainly quite intense...but not exactly in the way we're expecting.  At the end of Omega's Heart there's a hell of a cliffhanger centering on Cyril and Cecil.  I was thinking we'd jump right in with that and while we did, it didn't play out how I thought it would.  We see Cecil's pain, fear, devastation, and his honesty.  While dealing with the death of Cyril he's confessing to his part in Ezekiel's plotting and fully expects a quick judgment and a painful death for endangering the entire pack.  Luke's interference makes it not so quick, but it's Ira's interference that I was impressed with.  He was obviously in danger and especially vulnerable to the particular attack the twins were supposed to carry out and yet he saw clearly what was going on, who was going to regret which actions, and that he was the only one who would be able to diffuse the situation for the moment.  His wisdom and observation allowed everyone to take a breath so cooler heads could prevail.

All of that strength seems to fail him just when he'll need it most.  When war finds them and Mal, Luke, and every other able bodied shifter in the Three Rivers pack go to fight for their families and lives Ira finds himself in a situation he wasn't exactly prepared for.  Labor.  Even with the ideal midwife and the support of Cecil he straight up loses his shit.  With no other choice Cecil leaves the safety of the bunker to retrieve Mal.  If he fails the chances are very high that both Ira and his child won't survive the birth.  So with that heavy responsibility he heads to the front lines.  On the way to Mal he finds Luke and his instincts to protect his mate, his love, combine with what he knows of Hood Ridge's fighting practice to get the jump on the enemy.  He finds an immense strength within him as he protects what's his.

As things find their both tragic and triumphant conclusion it's with the sorrow of loss and the joy of a new future that they move forward.  Cecil and Luke, Ira and Mal.  Love and a wedding keep happiness as the focus for how the packs will combine and move forward.

I liked the intensity and the conclusion which was hopeful, happy, and humorous as both couples indulge in their passions.  The big war was kind of touched on in moments but there wasn't one big battle scene for us to read, the focus instead was on the struggle for Ira.  Whether that focus was good because it was the more important part of the fight or because it was easier to write that than a full-out war, I'm not sure.  What I do know about it is that I like how it gave Cecil the opportunity to do what he had never done before and succeed.  It allowed him to rise above what he was always content with before and to employ all the strength and intelligence that was inside him his whole life but never got the chance to use.

Everything came together for a sweet conclusion that spoke of peace, unity, and happiness.    I'm a little sad that it's over because I want to see more of Mal with Ira and Luke with Cecil, especially with their growing families.  The story was good by itself and was a fitting conclusion for the series.

*Get caught up in the hope and love of the series' conclusion
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