REVIEW: His Brother’s Dowry by NJ Lysk

Tony agreed to join the new pack and do his duty as a beta… But that isn’t enough for his brother.

Tony has always admired his older brother Peter. Enough that when Peter decides to leave their birth pack to try his luck in a new one, Tony follows him there. As a beta, life is not easy for Tony in the new pack—there, he’s expected to submit to the attentions of any unmated alphas since the pack does not have enough omegas yet. But he loves his alpha brother enough to endure the discomfort so Peter can get access to the new pack’s other betas.

Except Peter is in love with an omega already and the price of her dowry is well beyond anything he can afford. The girl’s brothers demand an omega of their very own.

Warnings: a/b/o, mpreg and breeding, violence, noncon, dubcon, forced sex change, incest, bestiality

Category: M/M, ☿

His Brother’s Dowry is a very explicit a/b/o gangbang novel. It’s mostly pure porn with some amount of plot in it, but its a very emotionally compelling piece that is just as much a horror title as it is an erotic one. Mind the warnings on this one, but if you’re into a/b/o and breeding, this is sure to be an absolute treat.

WRITING
The writing is very evocative, grounding the reader in Tony’s experiences and emotions. This is precisely what a book like this should be; first and foremost, putting you in the story and allowing you to project. It’s fast paced and reads quickly, and feels very much like going for a ride. The story itself isn’t a very complicated one- even the author claims, on its sell page, that “this is intended for titillation and any vestiges of a plot are entirely accidental.” What there is of a story is very much an internal struggle within Tony as he is slowly brainwashed, rather than much external going on. Tony is a beta in a pack that needs more omegas, and his brother betrays him by forcing him to change into an omega so he can sell him to three brothers as a bride. The story all surrounds Tony’s change, his mental and emotional states over the course of the change, and his gradual acceptance of his new life. The story may be simple, but the writing takes us through each heart-wrenching pace of it with such skill that it still leaves a very lasting impression.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
While the characters in this book aren’t ever especially well developed beyond more than incredibly domineering porn Daddies, the ways that the book plays with emotion is incredibly visceral. This is a story of intense abuse and toxic brainwashing, which sometimes takes the form of brutal subjugation and sometimes the form of gentler styled manipulation and gaslighting. These aspects aren’t presented in a positive light; instead the prose lingers on the emotional impact all of this has on Tony in ways that feel very raw and put you in the thick of these experiences. To that end, it will be a very uncomfortable for many but a very exciting one if you like that fear and horror to a narrative. It’s incredibly dismal, but in a way that allows you to feel there with Tony and engage with the fantasy of helplessness and vulnerability. Tony is a bit of a blank slate, but that just makes his experiences all the more real to the reader, who can project on to him.

WORLDBUILDING
This is kind of a/b/o, kind of werewolf stuff, a blend of the two genres. I haven’t read a lot of werewolf novels, though I know they are quite popular, or formally published a/b/o (as opposed to fanfiction) so I’m not sure how common of a blend this is, but it struck me as an interesting mesh of two different things. I would have liked a bit more exploration of how these werewolves fit into the wider world around them; are they sequestered away from humans, or do they secretly interact with humans? Do humans even exist in this world? There are a lot of questions to be asked here, and the story could have explored the setting and the ways that a/b/o works here a lot more than it did. One thing I found interesting but confusing was the idea that an omega’s wolf form is always female? Do their wolf forms not have these same secondary gender dynamics? And on the subject of the secondary gender traits and the sex-change, it is never explained how turning a beta into an omega works… if it’s so easy to do, and they seem to have no qualms about doing it, why are omegas so rare, again? I do understand that this is a porn book, and as such the answers to these questions may not be especially important, but it is worth noting them.

STEAMINESS
This is an incredibly hot book. It starts out with noncon, and moves into very dubcon territory in the second half, but it retains a sense of horror throughout as Tony is kept in various states of altered mind and body. If you’re into forced sex-change, breeding, and mindbreak, this has an awful lot. And the author does an excellent job of making the erotic scenes simultaneously frightening as well as arousing- Tony’s fear and humiliation is palpable, and so is his experience of pleasure and overwhelming sexual need. The experiential quality to the prose is very well done, and is hands down the best aspect of this book. Some truly compelling, meltingly hot, hard smut content here that reads just as disturbing as it is sizzling- which is exactly what I look for. Do be warned that there is some pretty rough and hard content here, including brief scenes of incest and of Tony getting fucked while in his fully wolf form. This is certainly not for the faint of heart!

I adored reading this, and had such a fun time letting myself get swept away in the feelings of terror and helplessness. It’s everything I would want from a steamy title like this, even if it could have been a little more fleshed out. It’s a porn title, after all, and a very skillful one at that if you like your content hard and your alphas harder.

Have you read His Brother’s Dowry? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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