Unquietly Me welcomes author R.D. Hero for the Riptide Publishing Wet Heat blog tour!
Hello! I’m R.D. Hero, the author of Wet Heat, a book about werewolf menopause, nefarious alphas, and party-boy omegas. I’d like to thank the blogs hosting this tour. Follow along to read more about the world and characters of Wet Heat!
The World of Wet Heat
A/B/O = Alpha/Beta/Omega.
Either through fan fiction, or MM romance, you’ve probably heard of that trope. In MM, the standard is one alpha for a pack, his beta followers, and the submissive omegas—which is slightly different from the A/B/O AUs (Alternative Universes) one would find in fan fiction.
With Wet Heat, I followed the conventions fandom had laid out through years of developing the A/B/O trope: there are equal amounts of alphas, betas, and omegas. They exist in a modern society, spend most of their time in human forms, and follow a social system which establishes alphas as dominant, betas slightly less so, and omegas as submissive. As in our world, there are those who don’t feel comfortable in the role assigned to them, or don’t want all the things their society says they should. But most learn to play the game.
I love A/B/O, and I love exploring, working with, and breaking the constraints that trope places on its worlds. I find it interesting that some view the trope as a guilty pleasure. But most of all, I just like having fun writing those dominant/submissive dynamics.
In the world of Wet Heat, werewolves don’t have packs, and they follow the human family structure: fathers, mothers, children, grandparents, etc. The A/B/O dynamics play more than just a sexual role; alphas are expected to be aggressive and ambitious in work, while omegas are still fighting their way out of the homemaker-only life (but only if they want to!). Lee, the main character of Wet Heat, has never wanted children. This is more than a little uncommon in his world, where alphas should always want an heir, and omegas should always want to care for a family. So when he learns that Cain also doesn’t want children, he’s understandably suspicious.
With a world where social etiquette has been mixed with biology for so long, I wanted to write a couple made of two people who never quite fit the mould. Cain and Lee do well enough on their own, and perhaps could have gone on forever like that. But by seeing how Cain acted during the events of Wet Heat, Lee came around to the idea of being mated.
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.
Buy at Riptide Publishing
To celebrate the release of Wet Heat, R. D. is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 25, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About R.D. Hero
R.D. Hero bombed out of art school. After that, she admitted writing might be the best course of action, and hopped to it. She likes writing about people who shouldn’t fall in love, which she’s been doing for about eight years. Starting with online serial fiction, R.D. developed her favorite tropes and dynamics, writing what she wanted to read.
Aside from that, she loves spicy food, boxer dogs, camping, and photography.
“For God’s sake, just meet him.”
Sitting in his apartment, feet resting on the coffee table, Lee checked his watch. For the past hour, his seventy-year-old mother had been moaning at him over the phone about this arranged meeting with a beta wolf who was absolutely perfect!
But Lee had other plans for the night. Clutched between his fingertips was a vial of Wet Heat, aka synthetic omega heat pheromones. Dab a little bit on his neck, and the boys in the club would give him about five seconds to state his case before deciding whether or not they’d fuck a dried-up, old omega.
He smirked, glancing at the mirror on the wall to appreciate his image. Maybe the ol’ heat factory had shut down, but two hours at the gym each day made sure everything else was tight.
“Listen, Mom,” he said distractedly, “you’re not gonna wear me down on this, okay? After twenty or so years of telling you I don’t want pups, one would think you’d get the message.”
His mother heaved an exasperated, put-upon sigh. “If you had been listening, you’d know that’s what I’m getting at! He doesn’t want them either.”
With a roll of his eyes, he set the vial down on the coffee table. “Yeah, sure. He’s what, thirty-two? Give it another three years—”
“Haven’t you always told me that’s the most annoying thing you could say to someone who doesn’t want pups?”
Damn. She sounded so smug too. “Touché.”
“Well anyway, he’s probably just as cautious as you are. Maggie told me he didn’t really bite until she mentioned you were well past heat age.”
She just had to throw that “well” in there, didn’t she? “That’s not exactly a compliment, Mom. Jesus, does he have a fetish or something?”
Why Lee was even dragging this conversation out was beyond him, but that’s what always happened when he and his mom spoke on the phone. He had no intention of meeting hotshot beta lawyer, or whatever he was, especially now that Lee knew the only reason the guy was interested was because kids were literally impossible.
I’m kinda a hypocrite, huh? He popped a cigarette between his lips and reached for the lighter.
“You better not be smoking!” The words were barked at him before the lighter had even sparked.
“I’m not,” Lee muttered around the cig.
His mom sighed. Loudly.
He grinned. “Look, it’s not gonna happen. I know what I’ve said, but I doubt this guy is serious about the pup thing. Every beta wants to leave a legacy.” He chuckled. “Or sire an alpha.”
“Funny, that’s what he said too—every omega wants to nurture a pup.”
Lee grunted. He was well aware of the stereotype.
“Please meet with him, Lee. He’s established, mature, and ready to settle. I told Maggie you’d be just perfect—”
“Christ, Mom, what did you get outta this?”
There was silence for a moment. “Well, she had an extra ticket to Switzerland . . .”
Lee dropped back, and stared up at the ceiling. He could just imagine what lies his mom had told this woman about him—probably knocked off a couple of years and relationships. Hell, in her version, Lee must have a passion for home economics and a sweet, docile temperament like every good omega should.
He pulled the cigarette away and exhaled. “Mom, the answer is no.” He hung up before she could argue, and turned the phone off. Then he tossed it to the side.
Unsurprisingly, his mother’s efforts to find him a mate hadn’t lessened throughout the years, not even when Lee had stopped going into heat once a month. She’d weathered neighborhood scorn, disappointed extended family, and Lee’s father passing away without seeing their one omega pup at the altar. She’d accepted that he wouldn’t have pups. But she just wouldn’t give up the mate thing.
Well, now Lee was in a bad mood. Best way to fix that was to go out and get laid by some blustery big guy. Preferably a beta—with all of the dominance and none of the asshole entitlement alphas exuded by nature.
Although, that wasn’t to say Lee didn’t enjoy hooking up with alphas. But they tended to be trouble.
He tripped over some old laundry on the way to the door as he zipped the fly on his pants and then grabbed his wallet from the dish as he left. The 9 p.m. bus was idling at the stop when he got there, cementing that things were gonna work in his favor. He playfully flirted with the older gentleman wolf next to him until he reached Locust Street and then pranced out, ready to get the night going.