This was recommended to me even before this current form of publication and it sounded fantastic. I didn’t have an opportunity to read it until now. I loved the idea of getting in while it was newly published and this edition comes with a bonus short story too. This fantasy ‘captive’ romance story started off grabbing my attention from the start and I read it in one sitting. It was exciting, full of intrigue and the twists were just the kind to make me hold my breath a few times. The romance is just a hint at this point (since they are still enemies that makes sense and all) and I love that this story is so all encompassing in its strengths that I barely noticed or cared.
The story starts out with Damen, Warrior Hero and Crowned Prince, ready to take his deceased father’s throne, but in steady his half-brother stages a coup and Damen has been enslaved and sent to his mortal enemies as a gift to their prince, Laurent. Laurent is cold, calculating and brutal, but Damen doesn’t break. He is set on escape and returning to his homeland to take his rightful place.
Things get complicated when he learns that Laurent and his regent uncle are in a silent battle for the Verian throne and the ramifications affect even Damen’s country who is an ally. Or so he thought until he learns of the unstableness there and the Verian’s plans to exploit this. Damen has to figure out what to do in the best interests of himself and his people. The political intrigue going on affect his plans and he has to learn to understand how these people think even as they use him for their own needs. Neither Laurent nor his uncle know who Laurent’s slave really is and he must keep it that way. No one can be trusted and everyone has their own agenda.
This opening story in the trilogy did a good job of setting the table and getting things going. The characters and plot are amazingly complex. Damen is the narrator and he is a straight forward man of honor who has been dropped into a viper’s pit. While he is a slave and has been stripped of his human rights as a result, I loved that it didn’t emasculate him or break his will. He has to learn to be subtle, but he shines very brightly. The intrigue is fantastic. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on and who was doing what even behind the scenes. Laurent is an exciting mystery at this point. He’s playing a deep game that has Damen learning to re-assess his original opinion about the younger prince. There is an underlying sexual tension between these two that is just being hinted to at this point and I love it.
Can’t wait to get on with part two of the story. As this was recommended to me, I will whole-heartedly recommend this one to M/M Fantasy Romance fans.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book falls in that niche of tropes called Capture Romance. It took me a long time to cross the line and read one. I’m not a fan of Dub-Con or Non-Con in general, but a few of the capture romances have appealed to me. I’m just curious what others feel about this. Do you like capture romances? Only under certain circumstances? No opinion either way?
Romance Roundabout #140 FR
New to Me #71 Author/series
Historical Romance #36
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