4 stars · A.J. Merlin · Book Review

Book Review | Vile Boys – A.J. Merlin

Vile Boys: A dark omegaverse academy romance (Knot Their Toy Book 1) by [AJ Merlin]

Vile Boys
By: A.J. Merlin

Book Series: 
Knot Their Toy Series
Book # In Series:
1 out of 2
Dark/New Adult/College/Omegaverse
Publisher: Indie
Publication Date: September 18th, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
My Format: Advanced Copy


Winter Grove University is the dream school for anyone who wants to get somewhere in life, no matter if you’re an alpha, beta, or even an omega.

It’s almost impossible to get in. So when I beat the odds, I know it’ll be life changing.

I just don’t expect death on campus during orientation, or a warning to stay in my lane if I want to get through the next four years successfully.

Not that I’m worried, or anything.

That is, until the three most influential boys of Winter Grove decide to dedicate the semester to making my life a living hell for reasons that probably aren’t my fault.

Foster, Dorian, and August know how to hold a grudge. And they’re not willing to let me forget any slight I may have committed against them. Now, with three boys making my life hell and bodies piling up around campus, I have to wonder if maybe I should stop worrying about my grades and instead focus on the two alphas and a beta who can’t seem to leave me alone or the killer who might be closer than we thought.

Vile Boys is the first book in the Knot Their Toy duet and includes omegaverse, M/M, poly, and bullying.


Let it be known, I’m extremely new to the Omegaverse trope/world. And before I received this advanced copy I decided to do some researching on the topic. I can safely say I’m glad I researched the trope or else I would have been so freaking confused. But with that being said, my research made the intrigue I felt for this trope, grow immensely. So let’s get started on this review for Vile Boys by AJ Merlin.

Vile Boys is the first book in the Knot Their Toy Series written by AJ Merlin. This novel also happens to be a reverse harem with MF, MFM, and MM vibes. If this isn’t your vibe, you may not be a fan of this novel. This dark new adult/college romance is told from Mercy Noble’s point of view and it has been a long time since I read a romance novel with only one character’s perspective and I found I miss this method so damn much. I felt I really got to know Mercy as an individual and I loved it.

Here’s a breakdown of what Vile Boys is all about.

Mercy Nobel  has always had a dream of going to Winter Grove University, and when she receives her acceptance letter along with a scholarship, she feels her dreams have finally come true. She’s one step closer to becoming a Zoologist and one step closer to her dreams. But sometimes fate has a way of interrupting a perfect scenario. When an alpha won’t take no for an answer, Mercy unknowingly makes the wrong move and drops the name of the most notorious pack on campus. It’s just a name drop, there’s no way Dorian Wakefield, August Frost, and Foster O’ Dell. With her omega status, she better hope they don’t find out… and that’s where I’ll end this portion of my review.

One thing I loved about Mercy’s character is her rare independence. This woman knows what she wants, she has a plan executed flawlessly, and nothing or nobody is going to stand in her way to success. I loved her mind and I loved her sheer stubbornness. I also loved the vulnerability she kept hidden. She was a whirlwind of emotions, that’s for sure. This girl had a will to survive, and she showed that will throughout this story. I also loved the fact that Mercy wears hearing aids. I love the fact that AJ Merlin made this a main point in this novel. She showed the struggles Mercy faces on a day to day basis. Those moments really tugged at my heartstrings. 

Now onto the sexy portion of this review…. I have to say, researching the Omegaverse gave me an insight into the alpha, beta, and Omega relationships… but all the research in the world didn’t come close to preparing me for what was in between these pages. Everything from the bonds, to the knotting…. Oh… My… Goodness. I was not prepared for all that was mentioned in this novel. And to put it out there, I may have found a new trope I love!! Of course only time will tell. Mercy, Dorian, August, and Foster flamed the pages with their sexy as sin scenes. I remember one time while reading, specifically about the knotting, I actually looked over my shoulder and around the room to make sure I was alone. LMAO, I’m thirty-four years old and I felt myself actually blushing… I’m telling you, AJ Merlin definitely knows her way around writing hot as sin moments.

The reasoning behind why I rated this novel a 4 star is strictly due to a few moments I wanted to feel more chemistry between Mercy and Dorian. I wanted to feel that intense bond that I had researched and read about. From what I hear, a bond between an Alpha and an Omega is supposed to be special and unbreakable. So I expected the bond between Dorian and Mercy, along with Mercy and August to grow… Basically to sum up this paragraph, I wanted more chemistry and a stronger connection between the pack and Mercy. I wanted a stronger level of protection from both Dorian and August. I wanted that impending moment with all the alpha male vibes! Maybe in the next novel the connection will grow even stronger. We shall see.

Overall, I enjoyed the heck out of Vile Boys by AJ Merlin! I’m even more intrigued with the Omegaverse trope and I can’t wait for the second book in the Knot Their Toy series to release. I’m hoping for an even stronger bond between the four and, of course, more of the dark vibes that came with this novel. I can’t wait!

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Sff0Jv

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