Sometimes surrender turns into victory…
Forced to be the sex slave of an alien warrior, perpetual bad-boy, Joel, finds himself tossed into the bed of a space station commander who tests even Joel’s cultivated bravado. While he learned to survive an abusive father, the Travian proves to be a greater challenge. Joel soon finds himself caught between the desperate need to fight his captivity and the unnerving tug of attraction he feels for his new master.
Born to one of the lower castes of his people, Arath has worked his way up to a coveted command. His drive for success has left him isolated from his crew. He has no time or interest in caring for the pesky human pet thrust upon him by his superior. His duty allows him no other choice, so he reluctantly takes what has been given to him. He is surprised by how easily he is seduced by his pet’s allure.
Joel and Arath dance around each other and their growing attraction, until politics intrudes and tests their tentative feelings. The stakes are suddenly raised, and the choices they make may change the course of history for both of their species.
Reader Advisory: This book contains sex scenes of a non-consensual nature, as well as scenes of dubious consent, violence, abuse and torture.
This is the first book in the series I read and there weren’t any times where I got lost or confused. However there’s a bit of backstory about the world that isn’t immediately obvious. You definitely get enough information throughout the story to understand how everything applies to Joel and Arath so if you haven’t read the first you’re going to be fine.
I do want to caution readers that much of the sex in the story is of dubious consent or non consent. Joel is a slave in the story and the rules of the world allow his master to have sex with him without asking his permission. The scenes are well done but many will still struggle with the lack of consent. I’m able to overlook it to an extent because of the rules established in the world.
I really liked Joel. He was a strong character that had trouble accepting his new reality. Yet he made the best of the situation he found himself in. I would have liked him to decided labels and anatomy don’t matter a little bit sooner. He seemed to be fighting because he was expected to towards the end and it felt forced more than genuine. I so loved how he handled himself once he accepts his feelings for Arath. He would do anything to protect his master.
Arath was wonderfully written. I loved how he cared for Joel even before he realized his affection for his pet went beyond what the governor required. He was so wonderfully written with his firm beliefs and couldn’t see past his world view yet slowly changed as he spent more time talking and interacting with Joel.
The third quarter of the book dragged a bit and I skimmed parts where it was just more of the same. But once I got to the final quarter with how their relationship is tested I was again enthralled with the characters, story and writing. I do wish the misunderstanding and tension between Arath and Joel when Arath thought Joel was lying would have been resolved better. They both had some lingering issues that needed to be addressed a bit more.
I really enjoyed the side characters. Wen was wonderful. He became an amazing friend and support for Joel. He also was a total sweetheart and I hope he finds his happy ending at some point as well. He deserves to find that forever love. I can’t wait to see more stories in this series and the world Ms. Cayto created.
Samantha Cayto is a Boston-area native who practices as a business lawyer by day while writing erotic romance at night—the steamier the better. She likes to push the envelope when it comes to writing about passion and is delighted other women agree that guy-on-guy sex is the hottest ever.
She lives a typical suburban life with her husband, three kids and four dogs. Her children don’t understand why they can’t read what she writes, but her husband is always willing to lend her a hand—and anything else—when she needs to choreograph a scene.